Twins Get 102 Days Strong at Texas Health Dallas
At 27-gestational weeks into her pregnancy with twins, first-time mother-to-be Jennifer Rodriguez began experiencing preeclampsia. In an effort to lower her blood pressure, Jennifer was placed on strict bed rest by her obstetrician, Dr. Clark Griffith of Health Central Women’s Care, inside the Margot Perot Center for Women and Infants at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. Despite the preventive measure, Jennifer delivered her premature babies just days later. Alexis Faith and Elizabeth Grace Rodriguez arrived 13 weeks early, each weighing in at a mere 1 pound and 10 ounces.
So began a more-than-three-month-long journey involving doctors, nurses, a social worker and other medical staff – all dedicated to keeping the infants alive and helping to transition the family home. Both twins required around-the-clock monitoring in the hospital’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for episodes of apnea and bradycardias, during which the babies’ heart rates dropped. Alexis needed CPAP (airway) treatments as her lungs developed and blood transfusions to combat anemia. Beth was on a respirator for 11 days before advancing to CPAP treatments. She needed more transfusions than her sister due to a heart condition known as patent ductus arteriosus, or PDA. Medicine helped spur the closing of Beth’s tiny heart valve to correct the PDA and enable her to begin thriving in the NICU.
Texas Health Dallas’ NICU and Special Care Nursery provide advanced therapies and care to promote the development of even the most fragile newborns. This is part of the reason why Jennifer and her husband, Sam, chose the hospital for OB/GYN care and delivery.
“I have always selected my doctors from Texas Health Dallas,” Jennifer said. “I know that the hospital has an incredibly strong reputation when it comes to delivery and baby care. The staff was very patient with me, as the first few days after the girls were born were a blur. They had to repeat information that I didn’t remember and hold my hand when I fell apart with fear for my children. Both the NICU and Special Care Nursery teams were gracious and provided such a stellar gift of compassionate care to my family.”
Slowly but surely both Alexis and Beth improved and, after 82 days in the NICU, they were ready to move to the Special Care Nursery. There, the Rodriguez family had a private room in which Jennifer and Sam learned how to care for their preemies from nurses with specialized training in neonatal care. When the 37-year-old mom’s confidence faded, the hospital staff provided additional support as well.
“I was terrified to bring the babies home, especially since Beth still needed oxygen,” Jennifer remembered. “The hospital staff listened to my fears about caring for my daughters and took time to make sure I felt comfortable with every aspect of care before we left.”
“Our social worker walked me through all the hard stuff. The neonatologist, Dr. (Gerald) Nystrom, day nurse Samtha and night nurse Kayla were also wonderful. In fact, the hospital even let us stay an extra night because we had lost power at our home due to a storm. Everyone went out of their way to make us feel special and cared for during our 102 days at Texas Health Dallas,” she added.
Find out more information about the Special Care Nursery at Texas Health Dallas.