Friday, September 5, 2014

Allen Twins NICU Photo Shoot!

Please enjoy Preemie Prints' families inspirational story & photos. Consider supporting our mission to share hope with families who have a baby born prematurely or critically ill. We thank our supporters, Preemie Prints volunteers, and donors for allowing us to continue touching the lives of NICU, preemie, and angel families.

We pray these special memories from Preemie Prints 
will help families heal and remember how strong 
they were in overcoming their NICU journey together.

“Ever since I was a little girl I always had a premonition that I would have twins. I idolized my grandmother all my life and wanted to be just like her. She had 6 kids including one set of fraternal twin girls. Everyone would always tease me saying that twins skip a generation and that I very well could end up with twins. However, as I got older and realized the odds of that really happening, I gave up on the idea. Plus, my cousin from the same line of family had identical twin girls, so I just assumed that it had skipped a generation and went to her. Therefore, there was no way I would ever have twins.

My husband and I had been married for 2 and a half years when we welcomed our little boy into the world. It was a perfect pregnancy with absolutely no complications and he was born at 39 weeks weighing 6 pounds, 15 ounces. We were so blessed. We always knew that we wanted a big family so it wouldn't be long before we would try again. When my son was 13 months old, we found out we were pregnant again. We were so happy! I went to the doctor’s office at 8 weeks and had an ultrasound done. It showed one baby that was measuring right as he or she should be. We were so happy and I was so excited to be pregnant again expecting it to be just like my last pregnancy.

Fast forward to our 20 week ultrasound where we would find out the sex of the baby. Since we first found out we were pregnant with the “at home” pregnancy test, I was telling everyone that it was going to be a girl. I had the most intense feeling about this that I told my husband, "If the ultrasound tech tells us it's a boy, I'm going to tell her she's wrong". Even the night before the ultrasound, I had a dream about girls and pink and bows and everything that goes with it. So we get to the ultrasound and immediately I'm seeing two babies in disbelief. The ultrasound tech instantly starts looking over her paperwork and asks, "Did you know you were having twins?" I answered back to her, "Shut up! Are you serious?” It was complete shock. We already had an ultrasound that only showed one baby. My first trimester pregnancy symptoms were maybe a little worse than the first time, but not by much. I couldn't believe it! Thank goodness my husband was there with me so we could both take in the shock together. It didn't take us about 30 more minutes to get over the shock and start to get excited! I always wanted twins and during the ultrasound we also found out it was two girls! Just like all of the other women in my family with twins. We couldn’t wait to tell our parents and siblings!

However, everything wasn’t perfect. Baby B had discordant growth of around 20%. Since we’re from a small town with a small hospital, they immediately had us do a web conference call with an MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine) doctor. She told us the risks involved and asked us to switch care to the “big” hospital in a nearby city about 60 minutes away. Over the next several weeks, we had tons of doctor’s appointments and ultrasounds. At 25 weeks, we found out the discordant growth had increased and that baby B had an umbilical cord/placental issue that was attributing to the slow growth. They told us that we could potentially lose baby B and that it was just a waiting game until my next appointment at 28 weeks. Those weeks were incredibly difficult, but I had complete faith that everything was going to work out. I checked that each baby was moving and kicking several times a day and that really helped me get through those weeks.

At our 28 week appointment we were told that the discordant growth had increased, but that baby B had still grown. With all the data we had, we decided to start doing ultrasounds and heart rate monitoring twice a week to keep a better check on the babies. Shortly before 31 weeks, my doctor had me check into the hospital for hospitalized bed rest and frequent daily monitoring. It wasn’t that anything was worse, she just wanted to take extra precautions since we were getting close to our goal date for delivery of 34 weeks pregnant. So I checked into the hospital expecting to be there for 3 weeks and didn’t even make it 3 days. Thank goodness we were in the hospital when we were because on the third day, baby B’s heart rate kept dipping all throughout the day. It was apparent she was in distress and the doctor on call that weekend finally made the decision that it was time to deliver.

This is the moment my husband and I had been working towards for so long. However, I was still incredibly scared because I truly wasn’t expecting a delivery before 34 weeks. I was worried about the babies and how they would be coming out 2 months prior to their due date. The C-section happened very fast and before we knew it, my husband and I were the proud parents of two beautiful daughters. And to make matters even better, they were so much healthier than we ever expected them to be. Neither one of them had to be intubated for breathing, their skin color was great, and there were no major problems generally associated with preemies.

We’ve only had the girls in the NICU now for 24 hours, but our experience so far has been great. That staff is so good at our hospital. They are great at explaining things to us and keeping up with the needs of our girls. My husband and I both know that we have a long road ahead of us before we can bring them home and that there is most likely going to be a lot more ups and downs before we get there. However, we are so blessed to have our two girls in our lives after a pretty difficult pregnancy and we couldn’t ask for much more than that!”

Preemie Prints NICU Photographer: 
Robert Arbuthnot, Robert Arbuthnot Photography -  St. Louis, MO

Photos belong to our volunteer photographers, families, 
and organization please do not use for any purpose. 

Preemie Prints is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization sharing hope with NICU families through a variety of support programs. One of those programs is the gift of NICU photography and preemie photography. NICU families from across the US can request a no-charge photography session by a Preemie Prints volunteer. The family request from can be found on the right side of our website. These sessions are free of charge and for any NICU family, regardless of time spent in the NICU. The NICU photo shoot can take place inside the NICU or after baby is discharged and at home until their 1st birthday. Facing time in a NICU with a premature or critically ill baby is an extremely difficult time for families. Preemie Prints has a mission to share hope by letting families know they are not alone. Preemie Prints currently has over 100 volunteers nationwide. We are always looking for more volunteers to share in our mission! If you are interested, please email and visit our website at To date Preemie Prints and our volunteers have gifted over 400 NICU family sessions. 

This was a Preemie Prints NICU graduate photography session that took place near St. Louis, MO. We're thankful to the family for sharing their story & memories in support of other NICU families.

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