In 2011, we were thrilled to be expecting twins--a boy and a girl! While I was extremely ill the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, everything appeared to be progressing normally. However, our “normal” pregnancy quickly changed on June 23rd, one day shy of 24 weeks gestation. My water broke and I was rushed to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for emergency care.
At UIHC, it became clear that I wouldn’t be leaving the hospital until after the delivery of the twins. I had experienced a premature rupture of membranes around Baby A, our daughter, and the goal now was to administer as many rounds of steroids as possible and hold off labor and delivery. I was stationed into a wing of high risk moms on bed rest and our twins were monitored twice daily. The goal was to live this new “normal” for 8 weeks to get our babies to 32 weeks gestation.
The morning of July 18th, my birthday, felt normal. I had made it to 27 weeks and 3 days. However, after informing a nurse of back pain that I couldn’t shake, I was wheeled into labor and delivery, where nurses measured contractions and attempted to get our babies’ heart beats. When it was discovered my temperature was over 100 degrees, I heard the doctor announce “prepare for emergency c-section.” It was 13 weeks too soon.
I woke up in the recovery room with Kevin and my mom by my side. Kevin's face confirmed that the twins were alive, but it was incredibly serious.Charlotte was 2lbs. 1 oz. and Beckett was 2lbs. 6 oz. They were just 14” long. As parents, we felt completely helpless. Neither baby was breathing on their own, and I could hear the whir of the ventilators keeping them alive and the beeping of the heart monitor machines.
After 83 days and dozens of setbacks, we were finally able to take our babies home on October 11th, 3 days before their due date.We left with heart monitors and portable oxygen tanks, which the twins were tethered to for four months. Miraculously, by 1 year and 9 months, doctors classified the twins as being caught up with their “real age,” and discontinued monitoring their progress. Today, Charlotte and Beckett are healthy 6 year olds with no lingering complications.
Kevin and I realize we are considered to be the "lucky ones." We benefited immensely from March of Dimes research, education, and advocacy programs that allowed for medical advancements in caring for premature babies. The scientific interventions made possible by March of Dimes have truly given us the family we have today. We want to help to make that available and better for families experiencing premature births in the future. We are honored to serve as the 2018 Signature Chefs Auction Ambassador family and to be giving back to an organization that has given us so much.
In support of our ambassadorship, please join us in raising funds for this incredibly important cause. Your gift will support babies like Charlotte and Beckett and will allow March of Dimes to continue to lead the fight for every mom and baby. With your support, we look forward to day when every family can experience the joys that come from a full-term pregnancy and healthy baby. We thank you for your generosity and for joining us in this fight.
Kristin, Kevin, Charlotte, and Beckett Dietzel
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