After 14 years of trying to conceive, Alicia and Jeremy Eldridge found out they were pregnant with twins. When Alicia delivered the boys eight weeks before her expected delivery date, the family relied on the advanced technology and expert caregivers of Kettering Medical Center’s Level IIIB NICU to help get ready for their first big trip home.
April 7 | 8 weeks pregnant
After 14 years of trying to conceive, Alicia and Jeremy Eldridge heard the heartbeats of their twin boys for the first time. “The excitement of the boys having each other—having a sibling—eased any worries we had about having two babies,” Alicia says.
July 17 | 20 weeks pregnant
“We didn’t know if we’d ever be able to conceive. The boys are our little miracles.”
At 20 weeks along, the twins were healthy and growing and Alicia and Jeremy announced their pregnancy.
October 10 | 32 weeks pregnant
After waking up with double vision and a high blood pressure reading, Alicia called her doctor, who instructed her to meet him at the hospital. There, her doctor determined that she had a life-threatening form of pre-eclampsia that causes kidney and liver failure, and her twins would need to be delivered via C-section.
The babies’ lungs were not developed and they needed to be immediately taken to Kettering Medical Center’s Level IIIB Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Luckily, that was right down the hall. Kettering Medical Center’s Level IIIB NICU is equipped to care for babies born at any viable gestational age and even has suites specially designed for multiples.
“We were so fortunate that the NICU was in the same hospital and our boys could receive the most advanced treatment and care right there.”
October 15| 5 days old
“It was amazing holding them for the first time, but it was also a little scary because they were so tiny and were hooked up to wires and oxygen. The nurses were right there, though, and would put them on our chests and make sure all of the cords were positioned correctly.”
The Eldridges were placed in a multiples suite, which includes a rocking chair located between the two isolettes, allowing parents to hold both babies at the same time while their tiny bodies can remain hooked up to essential monitors and treatments. Every piece of equipment and technology in the NICU is tailored to the meet the needs of premature and high-risk newborns.
October 16 – 30 | 2 weeks old
Alicia and Jeremy did not anticipate so many monumental firsts to happen away from home, but the nurses at the NICU made them memorable.
“The NICU nurses are the best. They explained everything to us and made sure we were comfortable.”
Jeremy and Alicia gave the boys’ their first baths, diaper changes, and bottles in the NICU and established a daily care routine with the help of the nursing staff.
Neonatologists visited the boys every morning and reported on their treatment plans. “They were very informative and helped managed our fears. They not only took care of our boys, they took care of us.”
The twins even dressed up for their first Halloween in the NICU. Nurse Chelsea crocheted football hats for Bradley and Dylan to wear. “The nurses really try to do special things because they know how hard it is for you to leave your babies there,” says Alicia. “They even made scrapbook pages of the boys that I could take home with me.”
November 7 | 4 weeks old
“When Bradley was discharged, the nurses spent an hour going over everything with us. They addressed all of our questions and fears.”
November 8 | 4 weeks and 1 day old
“The day Dylan came home was emotional because we had been in the NICU for a month. We were crying, the nurses were crying, we were all giving each other hugs.”
Alicia and Jeremy say there were tears when they finally had both of their babies’ home. “To be able to hold them and love them without them being attached to wires and monitors going off… it was a feeling of relief to know we had made it through all of that and our boys were healthy. Our boys were home!”
November 28 | 7 weeks old
For Jeremy and Alicia, it was surreal to have their boys be 7-weeks-old on their due date. But they looked back on their time in the NICU with gratitude.
“I know it is scary and it is very hard to be a NICU parent and leave your children there. But they were in wonderful hands. The doctors and nurses cared for our boys as if they were their own.”
May 10, 2017 | 7 months old
“It is overwhelming to have twins but it is also amazing,” Alicia says. “We feel like our life is complete.”
The Eldridge boys have come a long way since their early arrival and are now happy and healthy seven-month-olds.
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