D-day (delivery day) came a little bit earlier than expected and I’m now officially taking maternity leave to take care of two new babies as a first-time parent.
Although my official due date isn’t until September, twins usually come a little earlier, and in my case, twins with complications come even earlier than that.
It feels pretty daunting to be entrusted with the care of these two little humans, but my husband and I are learning as much as we can from the nurses and doctors in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Our little boys spent one week at Foothills Hospital NICU, which I learned is the busiest NICU in all of Canada.
Over the past several months, our healthcare team has done an amazing job preparing us for the realities of having premature babies in the NICU and all the challenges that come with that. After one week, I’ll say it comes with many ups and downs we’ve had to learn to navigate.
Luckily our boys have shown some major improvement. They’re breathing on their own without support now and learning to eat orally instead of through a tube.
They’ve since moved to a lower-level NICU in Calgary to make room at Foothills for other babies in need of a level 3 NICU. Being a level 3 NICU, the Foothills hospital can’t turn down any babies, which means it often gets crowded and they look for other hospitals to take the babies that are well enough.
I’ve watched several friends spend time in the NICU with their newborns before, some for several days, others for weeks. Now that I’m doing it myself, I realize how difficult it really is to see your babies hooked up to equipment and feel helpless in their care.
What has helped me is being as involved as possible. There are so many things I can’t do for them right now, but I can change their diapers, I can take their temperatures, and I can feed them as they get stronger. And that’s ok for now.
Many first-time parents can probably agree that pregnancy and taking care of babies come with a steep learning curve, and at least I have the help of the most amazing NICU medical staff to get me through this.
Throughout a complicated pregnancy, I was grateful to continue working for Airdrie City View and the Rocky View Weekly. I can’t imagine not having a job that I love to keep me going – a role that gave me a place to tell the stories of people in the community and keep me connected.
While I didn’t think my time as a reporter in Airdrie would be interrupted so soon, I’m excited to return and continue writing important local stories for you once we’ve figured out this baby thing a little bit more.
Since I started the position at the end of 2021, I’ve really enjoyed working here, getting to meet locals, and building connections throughout the community.
I’ll continue reading up on local happenings while I learn how to make the twins nap at the same time. This is not goodbye, but see you next year.