Amour Stewart, a courageous mother of premature twins, opens up about her emotional and challenging journey in honor of Prematurity Awareness Day. Despite the difficulties, she is determined to share her experience and shed light on the realities of premature birth.
The journey began with Amour recognizing her mood swings, a common occurrence during pregnancy. Her husband, noticing the tension, brought home a pregnancy test that confirmed their joyous news. However, their excitement soon turned to worry as Amour experienced severe morning sickness, similar to her previous pregnancy. Vomiting every day until 17 weeks, she was advised to undergo a scan to ensure the well-being of both her and the babies.
During the scan, Amour was taken aback when two circles appeared on the screen, confirming her intuition that she would have twins. She recalls being shocked yet proud, realizing the responsibility that lay ahead of her.
As the pregnancy progressed, new challenges arose. At the 23-week scan, it was discovered that one of the twins, whom they named Waitī, had a low doppler indicating insufficient blood flow to the placenta. This revelation initiated a new chapter in Amour’s journey.
Booked for numerous scans and medical appointments, Amour found herself residing in a hospital in Auckland until the babies were born. Meanwhile, her husband and daughter sought refuge at the Ronald McDonald House nearby. Despite the physical and emotional toll, Amour found solace in spending time with her family and forming connections with fellow roommates.
At 25 weeks and 4 days gestation, Amour’s situation took a turn for the worse. One of the twins, Waitī, displayed signs of distress, prompting her immediate transfer to the delivery suite. The uncertainty and discomfort surrounding the medical procedures and the fragility of her babies weighed heavily on her heart, but she found strength in her husband’s unwavering support.
The twins, Waitī and Waitā, were born prematurely, weighing 490 grams and 690 grams, respectively. Both faced various health complications, including the possibility of cerebral palsy. They required continuous care in the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for a total of 125 days.
Amour describes each day as a celebration of milestones achieved by her precious boys. From breathing advancements to successful breastfeeding, every step forward was a victory worth cherishing. One of her most cherished moments was watching her daughter hold the twins for the first time, displaying a protective and loving nature.
Amour’s determination to breastfeed her premature twins was fueled by the loss of other birthing options. Despite the challenges of pumping and missing pump times, she persevered, leading to a successful breastfeeding journey for her boys.
Throughout this journey, Amour faced numerous challenges and sacrifices. The emotional strain of being separated from her family whilst caring for her fragile babies took its toll. Nevertheless, Amour’s resilience and unwavering love for her children guided her through the darkest moments.
By sharing her story, Amour hopes to raise awareness about the realities of premature birth and inspire other parents facing similar challenges. Her journey reminds us of the remarkable strength and endurance of mothers in the face of adversity.
1. What is Prematurity Awareness Day?
Prematurity Awareness Day is a day dedicated to raising awareness about premature birth and its impact on families and society. It aims to educate the public about the challenges faced by premature babies and their families.
2. What is the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU)?
The Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) is a specialized unit in hospitals that provides medical care and support to premature babies or those born with health complications. It offers close monitoring, specialized equipment, and a dedicated healthcare team to ensure the well-being of these vulnerable infants.
3. What is the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)?
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a specialized unit in hospitals that provides intensive medical care to critically ill or premature babies. It offers advanced medical technology, specialized treatments, and round-the-clock monitoring by a team of healthcare professionals with expertise in neonatal care.
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