A Unique Story
In short, Kristen’s birth story is unique. She and her husband were having twins. At church service one morning, she started feeling contractions. She was only 22 weeks pregnant. Her water broke when she got home, and they rushed to The University of Tennessee Medical Center.
Her physicians were able to hold off labor for two more weeks when Kristen’s first twin, Micah, was born at 24 weeks and one day. Kristen was the perfect candidate for delayed interval delivery, a delivery procedure where twins are born at different times. Kristen’s second twin, Madilyn, wasn’t born until five and a half weeks later. Kristen’s birth story is the longest interval delivery in recent memory at UT Medical Center.
“It’s very surreal. I know that it is a very rare circumstance to have an interval delivery. Especially as long as mine was. I feel very blessed to have kept Madilyn in as long as I could.”
When Kristen arrived at UT Medical Center after her water broke, the physicians and staff immediately informed her of every possibility that could happen and made her feel comfortable. Kristen says that any time she had a question about her unique birthing circumstance, a physician was right there on hand with a fast and knowledgeable answer.
After Micah was born, a specialist from the high-risk group would visit her every day. These visits became something she looked forward to every morning.
“They wanted to know exactly how I felt and exactly what happened the night before. We would just discuss the plan. They made me feel like I was so important and made me feel like I was part of their family.”
A Second Home, a Second Family
Because of her unique circumstance and medication after Micah’s birth, Kristen wasn’t able to visit the Level III NICU to see him for two weeks. The nurses and staff were very sensitive to her being unable to see her new baby. When Kristen’s family would go to the NICU to see Micah, the nurses would come into her room and stay with her while they would FaceTime her family down the hall.
“That was wonderful to have someone to talk to. They saw many tears and gave me many hugs.”
When Micah was first born, he was taken to the NICU. Kristen said he needed to be somewhere where there were a lot of nurses. Then a few weeks later when Madilyn was born, the whole family was moved into one of the private twin rooms. Kristen has fond memories of this room, as it became their second home.
“In this room, it felt like home. We were able to decorate the walls. We were able to close the curtains when I needed to. The NICU nurses made sure we could change diapers and bathe my babies. They gave us everything we needed to feel like parents.”
A New Chapter
Kristen says that leaving the medical center was bittersweet. The NICU had become their home. And they considered the NICU staff their family. However, it was time to start the next chapter of their lives.
“When the babies came home it was a great day. We laid them down and they just stared at each other. They were home and finally together.”