On April 14th 2020, at 27 weeks, I gave birth to identical twin boys. Weighing only 2lbs and severely pre-mature, they spent the next three months in the NICU. They were, and still are, INCREDIBLY strong!
Now, a year later, I’m sharing our NICU diary and celebrating with with so much GRATITUDE!
After a few back and forth visits to labor and delivery with pain that felt like contractions, I was FINALLY admitted into the hospital. The contractions that were originally diagnosed as Braxton Hicks, were now signaling labor and my cervix had started dilating.
The team of doctors started me on a regimen to support the babies and give them the best chance for survival: 2 rounds of magnesium for brain development, steroids for lung development, and anti-contraction medication that would pause contractions long enough to get those two supports in full effect.
I was completely TERRIFIED…. I was only 27 weeks with the boys and with COVID, no one was allowed to be with me in the hospital. The NICU team met with me to provide survival rates, possible risks, and insight on what next steps would look like if the boys DID come early.
After a few days, labor intensified and we had to move forward with an emergency C-section. LUCKILY, We had friends on deck to watch Charlotte and Anthony made it to the hospital 3 minutes before they took me back.
After a week in the hospital and lots of ups and downs, our beautiful baby boys were born via C-section last night at 27 weeks.
Crew Jacob Bassili was born at 11:34 weighing 2.2lbs and 14in.
Callen Theos Bassili was born at 11:37 weighing 2.8lbs and 15in.
They are both in the NICU, doing GREAT, and being cared for by the most incredible nurses. I was finally able to see them this afternoon and completely fell in love when I saw them. They are the sweetest, tiniest little loves and responded to both of our voices.
We want to thank everyone for all the prayers and positive messages! We have felt completely lifted and blessed by the community of support surrounding us! We know that we have a LONG road ahead of us but our faith is in God!
The day we got home from the hospital, emotions hit me hard. I’ve been mourning my pregnancy and having a difficult time emotionally processing the abrupt change in our planned arrival of these boys.
It was hard leaving our babies in the hospital, driving home with an empty backseat and an absent belly. I know that they’re exactly where they need to be, getting the care they need, but there’s an element of defeat that I couldn’t grow these babies to their full potential in my body.
I still rub my belly expecting to feel them push back in response. I had imagined feeling them grow uncomfortably inside of me for weeks to come. I will miss the excitement of my bump growing ridiculously and documenting pregnancy milestones.
And then, all of this is erased from my mind each time I see them.
We’re still not able to hold them, but I am able to cradle my hands around them. Yesterday, I had my hands around them, I talked and sang. They turned their delicate little heads toward me, opened their eyes and we were completely connected; it’s been the most BEAUTIFUL moment so far.
I know that the experience of pregnancy isn’t what really matters, it’s the health and wellness of the babies. I am so grateful that they are doing so well and I am COMPLETELY in love with these little loves. But, it’s still so hard and I cry every time I leave them.
Best day yet- I got to hold my babies!!!! There are no words to describe the joy I’m feeling! I walked into their room this morning and written under their Goals For The Day was “Skin-to-Skin.” I started crying and then the nurse started crying!
I held each of them for 45 minutes. Their temperatures stayed regulated, oxygen levels at 100, and they transitioned with no stress signs. This mama finally feels a little more complete and I seriously can’t even describe the love I have for these two!
Today was a VERY good day!! We received positive news from the ultrasound and heart echo which was the best update ever! Both boys also had their IV lines removed today which is another huge stride! Now, they are just on a feeding tube and high flow air and caffeine to help with apnea.
They are growing so much and eating more every day! Callen weighs 2lbs 11oz and Crew weighs 2lbs 6oz. I also got to hold each of them for an hour! We are SO GRATEFUL for the continued prayers- thank you all so much!
Daddy’s first snuggles! Anthony FINALLY got to hold the boys today and my heart is melting. These boys have my heart!
Love muffins are 3 weeks old today! Here is some perspective on how much bigger they have gotten- although, the preemie diaper is still a tad big! Callen is now 3.8lbs and Crew is 3lbs!
I can’t say it enough (and neither can the nurses and doctors). We are SO amazed with how well they are doing- especially for their age!
Highlights: they got upgraded to a feeding tube through their nose, bumped down to 2L air, have decreased apnea events, no more temp probe, maintaining goal feeds, and both are taking a pacifier. AND they are the cutest little mini muffins EVER!
Today was MAGICAL! I still can’t believe that we have twins- we have TWO babies! And today it felt more real because I got to hold them together for the first time!
These boys finally got to meet each other and be skin to skin together snuggling with their mama. They each took turns checking each other out- it was the cutest! Today was a great day (and of course I cried).
Crew and Callen are 1 month old! Time has seriously flown by. We’ve had our ups and downs over the last month (far more ups) and we are consistently amazed in the growth and strength of these two little muffins. It hasn’t been easy- I’m completely exhausted and I have no idea what balance looks like but… we are so BLESSED!
Crew: 3lbs 12oz, oxygen support is down to 2L, he loves bath time and hates having a wet diaper. Nicknames- muffin, mini muffin, captain Crew.
Callen: 4lbs 7oz, no more oxygen support, he loves his pacifier and bath time. Nicknames- muffin, muffin man, Callen the Stallion.
They have come SO FAR in such a short time! Everyone’s prayers and positive thoughts have truly been felt and have lifted our family during this past month.
These boys have been CRUSHING week 32. All the Doctors and nurses told us it would be a milestone week, but we had no idea how much these boys would progress in just a few days!
Crew weighs 4lbs 7oz
Callen weighs 5lbs 4oz
Highlights for both boys- popped top, transitioned to cradle, no more oxygen support, no brady’s or desats in 48 hours, successfully latched and enjoyed non-nutritive breastfeeding
Upcoming goals– breastfeed, take a bottle, maintain weight gain, ween caffeine support and remain stable, love life and snuggle hard.
The Doctors say that if they continue on this trajectory, they could come home as early as 35 weeks!! I’ll be spending my weekend ordering all our gear on Amazon!
Today, I’m not ok… Holding my baby as he stops breathing and turns purple for the third time, vigorously rubbing him and begging him to keep breathing, alarms sounding and nurses quickly responding to increase oxygen and offer stimulation.
This isn’t the story I had in my head when I was pregnant with them. 6 weeks old wasn’t supposed to look like- wearing a mask while I visit my babies, not being able to see them whenever I want, Charlotte not having met them yet and her asking, “are my brothers real?”
These are challenging times and this weight feels OVERWHELMING. I’m exhausted physically and emotionally and at times, my heart hurts. My heart hurts for these babies that shouldn’t have to work so hard to stay alive. My heart hurts for Charlotte when she cries and clings to me every time I leave for the NICU.
I mostly keep my head up and stay positive but today I hurt, I’m tired, and I’m scared. I’m not posting for sympathy, but rather, to share the realness of my reality. I don’t want to look back and only see the highlights. I want to look back, see the highs but also the lows and say, “wow, that was hard but these babies are so strong and we made it through!”
This entire experience has been a lesson in letting go of control and surrendering. My faith is in God and I will continue to trust Him and praise His name.
Today was my first time giving Crew a bath. He LOVED it and just melted into the bath as I poured warm water over his swaddled little body. There is nothing sweeter than a freshly bathed, sleepy baby.
How LUCKY to have a built in best friend! These little dudes are 35 weeks and doing great! We celebrated with a virtual baby shower with our Texas crew. Anthony and I are so grateful! We have been BLESSED with an incredible community of support and love surrounding us!
Crew is 6lbs 3oz, no caffeine or flow, daily recreational breastfeeding, and starting to introduce bottles. Callen is 7lbs, weaning off high flow and caffeine, daily recreational breastfeeding and starting to introduce bottles
They have come a LONG way during the past 7.5 weeks and we are so proud of these little fighters. Their biggest battle is reflux- which they will hopefully grow out of soon as they mature with digestion.
I can’t believe these little loves are 2 months old– and they would’ve still been growing in my belly! I’m so grateful that they are here and they are HEALTHY. Crew weighs 6lbs 12oz and Callen weighs 7lbs 10oz
What an eventful month! The boys are growing SO fast and they are famous in the NICU for being tiny giants.
We introduced bottles and both boys take a lot of their feeds through a bottle! We are still working on coordinating the breathe, suck, swallow rhythm, so feeds are pretty intense. They love cuddling mom and dad and being snuggled together! Now, we are just waiting for them to mature out of the bradys and desats so we can go home.
Highlights- No more oxygen support, no caffeine, started bottle and breastfeeding, speech therapist assessment, final head ultrasounds, vision screening, 2 month shots, negative COVID test, first bath with mama
Today was a day I NEVER thought would come… Although, logically, I knew it would, but it always felt so unachievable, so far away.
After 83 days in the NICU, Callen finally earned his exit ticket! Entering into this world at 27 weeks and 2.8lbs, we experienced all the ups and downs, but through it all, we are nothing but GRATEFUL and BLESSED! Grateful for his strength, the care and love of the nurses and doctors, and blessed with the outpouring love and support from our family and friends.
Callen is greeting the outside world at 39 weeks and 9lbs 3oz! Happy tears were shed and big sister FINALLY got to fulfill her role!
Our boys are home!! After 85 days, 12 weeks, and 3 months, Callen and Crew are finally home! Starting their life at just 27 weeks and 2lbs, they are now meeting the outside world at 39 weeks and 9lbs!
These boys have consistently AMAZED us with their strength and I am so proud to be their mama! It’s been an incredible roller coaster ride- emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. But through it all, I am so much stronger, grateful, patient, and faithful.
THANK YOU to everyone for encouraging us through this journey. From day one, I have felt hugged by everyone’s prayers and positive messages. I will NEVER be able to put into words how much that support meant to us!
A week after they came home from the hospital, we were FINALLY able to move to Texas- something that was originally planned for the end of April- until the boys decided to come early.
As crazy as that transition was, we immediately felt overwhelming peace and comfort being in Texas with both of our families. And being here, the boys continued to grow and thrive!
The experience we had with the boys in the NICU, during COVID, across the country from any family, was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. But, it is where I find the most gratitude.
We are incredibly lucky for how healthy and strong these boys are! Starting from 2lbs and now 25lbs strong! GOD IS SO GOOD!