Lindsey Duran knew her pregnancy with twin daughters would be considered high-risk due to having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder and endometriosis. However, her girls were very healthy and measuring on track throughout her pregnancy. She was able to keep up her kindergarten teaching with minimal discomfort.
However, by Thanksgiving 2012, her health took a downward turn. She began showing all the signs of developing preeclampsia and was placed on bed rest over the holiday. She was moved to hospital bed rest until it was ultimately decided the babies should be delivered. Her daughters Hadley and Aubree were born at 31 weeks gestation on Dec. 7.
Not only are the girls now healthy five-year-olds, Lindsey has overcome her own health challenges with PCOS. She now teaches fitness and nutrition classes and as a result has lost more than 50 pounds on her wellness journey.
Lindsey’s honest portrayal of the loneliness of a preemie mom’s life in NICU will be relateable to many readers.
Do you remember what it was like to see your girls for the first time?
Other than a quick peek when they were born, I didn’t see them again until about 24 hours later. The magnesium was still heavily affecting me but I was insistent on being taken to see them. I remember being overwhelmed, a bit scared and just so overjoyed to see them and touch them.
Do you remember what it was like to hold your girls for the first time?
I got to hold Hadley first, then Aubree. They were probably two days old. Honestly, I just cried. I had gone through so much to have them, prayed and trusted God and he answered our prayers.
What got you through the tough times?
My heavenly father sustained me through it all. Also, my husband, Greg, the support from family and a lot of prayer.
What kinds of things did you do to feel more like a “normal” mom to your twins?
Nursing was very important to me. I spent most of my time pumping to make sure they had what they needed from me. I would hold them any chance I got and talk to them constantly.
The hardest time was when I left at night. Being able to pick the girls’ nurses also helped. They were absolutely amazing woman.
How was it relating to friends and family during the girls’ NICU stay?
Very hard. No one really can fully understood what I was going through. There was a lot of time spent alone. Spending our first Christmas with our new babies in the hospital was incredibly hard. It made me not want to see family or be around friends. Almost like I was hiding a bit. I had a lot of guilt. Like I was the reason they were in NICU.
You went on to have a full-term son. How was having preemies different than having a full-term baby?
Our son was born two years later at 41 weeks–a big ‘ole turkey at 8 pounds 7 ounces! Goodness, the experiences were like night and day!
It’s practically torture having to watch your babies hooked up and pricked constantly and then having to go home every night without them. It’s all about hitting those milestones in order break them out! With a full-term baby, all the added stress is gone. The focus is all on the joy–which is amazing.
How are your girls today?
The twins just turned five-years old. They have zero health issues. You would never know they were born premature.
What would you tell a mom who has a preemie baby in NICU right now?
Just breathe. Take it one day at a time. You don’t have be strong all the time. Allow others to lift you up.
I always say preemie moms deserve a merit badge. What merit badges do you think you have earned?
No badge for me. I was strong and unwavering because I knew my God was taking care of us all.
(I’m going to give her an honorary FAITH badge! –Leah)
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