- Last year the NICU Parent Partners and Family Members of Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, got the CN Tower in Toronto to be lit up. This year SickKids, Mount Sinai and Sunnybrook in Toronto are collaborating and the CN Tower will be lit up purple for the second year in a row! There is a sundown vigil at the tower planned - ALL are invited to gather around the tower at sundown.
- Niagara Falls will also be illuminated in purple on November 17.
I wanted to share my story, since November 17th is world Prematurity Day:
When I was growing up I always thought about how fun it would be to one day have multiple-birth babies. I thought about what it would be like to bring home two chubby little babies at the same time. No one ever shared with me some of the common realities multiple-birth families faced. I didn't realize the impact that a preterm birth can have on multiple-birth babies.
At 8 weeks I found out I was having twins. I was all over the place with my emotions, feeling happy , nervous, excited, scared...I was told of the realities and some of the statistics of carrying multiple babies to term and tried to remain positive that I would have term babies, but that was not to be.
At 32 weeks, gestation my tiny 4Lbs and 3Lbs baby boy and girl arrived quickly and with little to no preparation time for me. It happen so quickly, into the operating room - had to have a C-section. One of the babies was head up, and despite me being very optimistic throughout the whole pregnancy that I was going to deliver these babies naturally, the doctor strongly suggested a c-section.
My little miracles were whisked away from me very quickly where they were stabilized and received medical support .Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU); the best equipped unit to provide lifesaving medical interventions to such small premature infants.
My excitement and hopes for the future were dashed by the sudden arrival of my twins and replaced with feelings of despair and hopelessness. My husband and I could not do anything to help them. My husband and I had to stand back and let a medical team take over with the hopes that they would work their "magic". Then finally, after many almost 2 months in the NICU , Maya was able to come home with us, but then another heartbreaking event , Brandon had to stay behind.. He was having these episode where he would stop breathing on his own ... The machines he was connect to would sound off this loud alarm . So he stayed for almost another 2 weeks... During those 2 weeks, me and my husband went back and forth everyday with our 5 year old daughter and our little peanut, to visit their brother.
When I reflect on that time, 20 months ago, I remember it like it was yesterday. I felt very alone at that time, as though no one really knew what my husband and I were going through, unless they had lived it before. During our NICU time, life was not easy, as I'm sure you can imagine, seeing your child attached to all these machines is a nightmare for any parent. When we were finally all home together, as a big family... Another challenge begun ... Having not much family to help us with our children ... It was non stop all day, all night. Now, my twins, 20 months old, looking at my life... I feel so blessed, thankful and over joyed. I have 3 healthy, beautiful children...
And thank-goodness that the NICU days are behind us.