We found out we were pregnant only three months after our wedding. We discovered we were having twins one month after that. There may or may not have been a few inappropriate words uttered at that ultrasound appointment. I mean, NO family history and no fertility treatments, what are the odds? Apparently pretty good. More on that later.
After being in and out of the hospital for over a week, our sons were born at 28 weeks gestation (12 weeks early) when I was finally diagnosed with HELLP syndrome, a rare pregnancy related complication characterized by hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low blood platelets. Their birth day was truly one of the most terrifying days of my life. Weighing just 2 lbs 5 oz and 2 lbs 6 oz, Hayden and Logan spent 71 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa.
Our experience was so traumatic that for 5 years, my husband and I were convinced we were finished having children. But through a series of events that can only be described as divinely inspired, we once again opened ourselves up to the possibility of more children. Our daughter Olivia Grace was born on my birthday in 2014 at 35 weeks gestation weighing 5 lbs 1 oz after it was determined that my amniotic sac was leaking fluid. Despite being a peanut and 5 weeks early, my little diva had no NICU time. Girl had a set of lungs on her (and still does for that matter).
It was with her that I truly discovered the beauty of babywearing and Lillebaby. I wore her older brothers every once in while. Like when I had to take them both to the grocery or when I was somewhere I couldn’t bring a stroller (sporting events) but truth be told it was uncomfortable for all of us. I mistakenly thought all baby carriers were the same and after a few outings, the carrier I had was tossed in a closet never to be thought of again.
5 long years had passed in between my two pregnancies and it was during that time I learned about babywearing. I knew it was something I wanted to experience with my daughter.
When Livvie was born a dear friend graciously gifted us a Soft Structured Carrier from a popular brand. I had to purchase an infant insert to go along with it and was heartbroken when she hated it! When she was about 4 months old, we tried it out again, without the infant insert and she was pretty happy, but I was not. It was super uncomfortable and I found my back hurting...A LOT.
A few weeks later i was introduced to Lillebaby and it was love at first wear. I could not believe how comfy it was and how much lower back pressure was relieved. My daughter also loved it and babywearing became something we both enjoyed. After lugging around a gigantic double stroller and infant seats for over a year with my older boys, babywearing was truly a Godsend. I even ditched the infant car seat when she was 5 months old and only used the stroller for walks in the neighborhood.
In September 2015, my husband and I received the shock of a lifetime when an ultrasound revealed we were having twins AGAIN.
And yes, we know how that happens.
The pregnancy itself was pretty uneventful. I had mucho Braxton Hicks contractions which are way harder to deal with at age 37, than age 29. Looking at my history, I knew the odds of giving birth prematurely were pretty high and when we made it to 28 weeks, I breathed a sigh of relief.
The relief only lasted for 24 hours because at 28 weeks 1 day, my water broke. Thankfully, with the help of some pretty powerful medicines we were able to keep the babies in for 5 more days, plenty of time for the lung developing steroids to work their magic. At 28 weeks 6 days gestation (only one day later than their older brothers), it was discovered that those pesky contractions were actually doing something and I was dilated to 3 cm. By the time, I hit the operating room less than an hour later, I was at an 8.
Michael and Joshua were born weighing 2lbs 10oz and 2lbs 11oz. This NICU experience was much different than the one 8 years prior. They had virtually no issues and were discharged after only 53 days, a full 18 days sooner than their older brothers.
Just like with my daughter, I am treasuring our babywearing relationship. They both are so happy and there are so many things I wouldn’t be able to do were it not for our Lillebaby Carriers.
The carrier in the image below means a lot to our family. As the mother of 5 preemies, I have no doubt that the technology, medicine and research developed because of the March of Dimes are what saved their lives. For this, I will be forever grateful look forward to the unique opportunity I have to share this carrier and it’s significance to others.
Andrea Boring is a happy Catholic, web designer, blogger and speaker. She lives in sunny Phoenix, AZ with her husband David and 5 rugrats. She LOVES making new friends and you can connect with her here.