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NICU Journeys: Cru and Carter

9 May 2024 cru and cailan 2

Hear from Mum of four, Lauren, about her family's journey through the Neonatal Unit at Ayrshire Maternity, and why they are now fundraising for Crosshouse Children's Fund.

Shock Discoveries

‘I discovered I was pregnant when I was already 15 weeks along, which came as a complete shock.’

‘At that time, my little girl was only 8 months old.'

'The news of another pregnancy so soon came as a big surprise. An even bigger surprise followed when we discovered that we were expecting twins!’

lauren, hospital mum

‘We had another scan at 20 weeks to do a full body check on the babies and that's when it all went downhill.’

It was discovered that I had a rare pregnancy condition called Twin to Twin Transfusion (TTTS).

TTTS occurs in pregnancies where twins share one placenta and a network of blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients essential for development in the womb.

Sometimes the vessel connections within the placenta are not evenly dispensed and there is an imbalance in the blood exchange between the twins. One twin — the donor twin — gives away more blood than it receives in return and runs the risk of malnourishment and organ failure.

Weekly Scans

‘From 20 weeks, I was then under the care of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and was up there every single week for scans as things could change so quickly from 1 week to another.’

‘Over the course of 8 weeks, I underwent three sedated procedures to drain the fluid that had built up around one of the babies.’

‘At my 28 week scan, it was discovered that the fluid was now around both babies instead of one, and at this stage they couldn't go back in to do a procedure as it was too risky and one of the babies could die.’

‘At this stage, my babies would be safer outside in hospital than they were inside the womb.’

lauren, hospital mum

'They booked us in to head to Crosshouse Hospital that same night and I had an emergency C-section the next day.'

‘I had never felt so sick and scared in my life. They were coming out so early at only 28 weeks and I was terrified that they might not survive.'

Cru and Cailan

'Our twin boys, Cru and Cailan, were born on the 18th July, 2023.'

'Cru came out first at 14:43 weighing 2lb 6oz and then Cailan came out at 14:45 weighing 2lb 13oz.'

Cru and cailan hosp'They were rushed straight to neonatal intensive care, and it wasn’t until 10pm that night that I was able to see them.'

'They were the tiniest wee things ever!'

lauren, hospital mum

‘That was the start of our long, hard journey in NICU.’

‘The boys were both intubated and put on Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).’

Incubator‘Cru was also having issues with his little heart having a PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus).’

‘It was a mentally and physically draining time, especially as we had two other kids at home to look after, Carter, aged 5, and Arla, aged 1.’

Family pic lauren ccf‘My partner was still going to work as he didn't take his paternity leave until the boys were home, so we had to find childcare for Carter and Arla when I went up to hospital to see the boys.’

'It was a really hard time for us all.'

lauren, hospital mum

‘We felt guilty as we couldn’t spend as much time with Carter and Arla, and had to rely on our parents to watch them all of the time.’

‘That being said, Carter and Arla absolutely loved coming up to the hospital to see their brothers and the staff always went above and beyond for them.'

'The staff would make them laugh, keep them entertained, and top them up with juice while we had time with the boys.’

Family pic sofa

‘I truly can't thank them enough for everything they did for all of us.’

Lauren, hospital mum

‘Even on the darkest of days, they always made a bad situation better by being there for us and reassuring us that everything would be OK.’

‘After a long 3 months in NICU, we finally got our boys home on oxygen in October 2023.’

Cru and Cailan babies‘It was such an emotional day saying goodbye to everyone on the ward, as they had become like family.’

‘I am just so thankful that we are here today with our happy, healthy twin boys because of everything the incredible NHS staff at Crosshouse have done for them.’

Giving Back

'To give back to the unit after everything they’ve done for us, we decided to raise money for Crosshouse Children’s Fund.'

'Carter wanted to do the Wee Wander at the Glasgow Kiltwalk to raise money and to show support to his brothers.'

KW TEAM PIC'We had an amazing time. Carter absolutely loved it and has already asked to do it next year again.'

'We were already planning on the Kiltwalk becoming a yearly tradition for us as a family, but it was so kind of him to ask off his own back to - in his own words – ‘raise more money for the babies.’

'Carter has raised £825 so far on his JustGiving page - we're so proud of him!’

Carter kw route