aware // meet my preemies: Colton & Keltie

Today, I bring you handsome Colton & sweet, sweet Keltie, born at 26 weeks & 1 day.  Eek!  Twins!!  You know I love twins.  Ha!  Read on to find out how these two were brought into the world and what they faced during their lengthy stay in the NICU.   

On Thursday, January 19, 2012, I was lying in bed watching the news and I thought I peed my pants.  I literally got out of bed laughing because I couldn’t believe I was doing that kind of stuff already.  I took my pants off and noticed it was more than just a dribble – and then I went into the bathroom and I was gushing fluid.  I knew right then and there that this wasn’t urine and that my water had broke.

I called down to my husband and told him we had to go to the hospital.  He came running upstairs and couldn’t believe his eyes.  I was hysterical but he grabbed me my phone so I could call the OB's office and they told me to get to the hospital as soon as possible.  They started me on monitors for both babies' heartbeats and contractions and they did a test that confirmed it was, in fact, amniotic fluid.  I had suffered from preterm premature rupture of membrane (pPROM).  The OB came in and did an u/s which did little more than confirm both babies were still breech and she did a physical exam and found that my cervix was still closed.  I was apparently contracting, but didn’t feel them at all – I was 3-4 minutes apart when I came in!  I was immediately given a steroid shot (the first in a two shot series) and they started me on magnesium sulfate to stop the labor.  A neonatologist came in to talk with my husband and I and we were essentially told that at 25w3d gestation, the babies had a 50/50 chance of survival.  We were heartbroken.  But, the team of doctors (OBs, MFMs, etc…) were going to work as hard as possible to keep me pregnant for as long as they could.

I was then moved to a room in the birthing unit where I was monitored very closely.  I was given an u/s Friday morning that confirmed it was baby girl’s sac that had broken and it was a full rupture.  Her fluid level was considered “low”, but she wasn’t showing any signs of distress.  I was given goals to make it through the steroid series and to 26 weeks gestation - and I did, barely.

Sunday morning I was stable enough that they moved me to the maternity special care unit where I would stay until I delivered the babies.  We didn’t know if that would be a few days or a few weeks, but we were hoping for the latter.  So many friends and family visited with me throughout the days I was in the hospital and on Monday night my mom came to watch the Bachelor with me…the last show I would watch before becoming a mom.

Before my mom left the hospital for the night, at around 10:00pm, the amniotic fluid that was leaking turned pink.  The nurse came in and checked the babies and they sounded good and they hooked me up to the TOCO to check for contractions and there was nothing.  The nurse spoke with my OB and they said that it can happen where the fluid changes colors and it was considered “normal”.  At around 2:30am, I was having these lower abdominal pains – almost like I needed to have a bowel movement.  I got up to try and go a few times but nothing happened.  I finally called in the nurse and she checked the babies and both sounded good.  She put me on the TOCO and it wasn’t registering anything.  Then I was getting those lower ab pains more severely and I finally asked her to move the TOCO lower.  Well, I was registering large, sustained contractions and so she called my OB once again.  The OB came down to my room prior to her next c-section and did a “digital exam” to see if I was dilated and guess what?  She looked up at me and said, “I can say I feel two little feet”.  I about died.  I was approximately 6cm dilated and Baby Girl had essentially kicked her feet through my cervix!

It was then like a scene from a movie – while they were rounding people into my room, I called my husband and we both knew he’d never make it. They made one attempt at an IV in my room and my OB finally said something along the lines of “we don’t have time for this – she’s got to go NOW”. I was then flying through the hallways – I was so scared that I was physically trembling. I went right into the OR and there wasn’t even time to give me a spinal so I was put under general anesthesia and that’s the last I remember before waking up in excruciating pain in recovery.

On Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 3:19am, at only 26 weeks and 1 day gestation, I gave birth to two beautiful preemies:  Colton Christopher weighed 1lb, 13 oz and was 13 inches long and Keltie Grace weighed 1lb, 9oz and was 13 inches long.

Keltie spent 100 days in the NICU and was discharged 3 days after my due date.  She had a relatively "usual" NICU stay with breathing, feeding, and growing being her challenges.  Her biggest hurdles was a pneumothorax (collapsed lung) healed via a chest tube and nephrocalcinosis which is essentially build up in the kidneys which presents with high blood pressure.  She has since resolved all of that and only remains on a very small dose of a diuretic to keep things moving along through her kidneys. Keltie is 9 1/2 months old and is now approximately 15lbs and almost double her birth length.  She likes rolling, sleeping on her belly (no matter how many times we turn her), blowing raspberries, and yelling.  She's got a killer smile that can turn any frown upside down. 

Colton spent 142 days in the NICU and was discharged 6 weeks after his sister.  His course was about the same except he suffers from severe acid reflux which was making him stop breathing and thus the reason for his extended NICU stay.  Colton also had laser surgery in one tiny spot in his eye for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) but it shouldn't affect his vision much, if at all.  Colton is also 9 1/2 months old and now weighs approximately 18lbs and is an inch longer than his twin sister.  Colton likes rolling, playing with toys, eating, practicing sitting, and spitting up (in large quantities...still).  He is a ladies man and uses those big, beautiful giraffe eyes to catch everyone's attention.

So – that is the birth story of our twins…or, as we refer to it, Keltie deciding to break her sac and then sticking her feet where they don’t belong.  I can’t even begin to explain the amount of love I feel for these two peanuts.  It actually overwhelms me at some points.  They’re absolutely beautiful and fought as hard as they could to come out on top.  I’ve learned to appreciate the small things – things that “normal” parents likely take for granted.  They are true miracles and we celebrate them every day.

Feel free to learn more by visiting their blog:  http://project26weekpreemies.wordpress.com.  

Photo and story submitted by momma Krista.  


  1. Great story! I am still amazed at how you well you've handled everything Krista. You and your husband are heroes to my wife and I. Truly amazing!

    - J. Hall

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