Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Pamela’s Story

After 94 days in the NICU, Pamela brought her one surviving triplet home.  This is Pamela’s story:

We were thrilled to find out we were expecting triplets, as in this pregnancy I would be watched closely due to preterm labor that started at 32 weeks with my first pregnancy with my daughter being born at 36 weeks. I was put on 17 P shots to help prevent preterm labor. I had many ultra sounds everything seemed to me going great until 18 weeks when during an ultra sound we found out that one of our babies no longer had a heart beat. My husband and self were very disappointed but knew that we had two other healthy babies to look forward to.

Soon thereafter at about 20 weeks we found out were  having fraternal  twin girls we were so happy knowing that our older daughter would have two other sisters….. During that week I had made several calls to my OBGYN telling her my concerns that I was having lots of pressure. She told me to go right to the ER where she would meet me. After being checked out at the hospital she told me my cervix was softening but felt closed. I was sent home on strict bed rest I was also referred to our regional perinatal center where I would be meeting with specialists. That week I went for an ultra sound and I was dilated 1 cm and almost 100% effaced. The doctors there discussed with me the risks of a late term cerclage and how they are less effective in multiple births. I was sent home on strict bed rest. The next two weeks I was at an ultra sound which seemed like every other day things looked stable. My new doctor told me that I would be being admitted into a hospital about an hour away from my home at this point I was 23 weeks and 4 days.

This was extremely hard for me do to having a 10 month old daughter at home and two young foster boys. Thank god for my husband and parents ……. That night in the hospital I became sick, I called for the nurse and told her something was wrong I was vomiting and having extreme cramps. So they hooked me up the machine that monitored contractions and sure enough I was in labor contraction every 5 min. The doctor came in check me and I was 3 cm dilated with a bulging amnio sack. In a flash I was taking all sorts of pills to stop the contractions, was started on magnesium, and given steroid shots to help the babies lungs.  I was rushed to labor and delivery where I was literally flipped with my legs up and head down. I remember the NICU doctor coming in to talk to me telling me that if my babies were born before 24 weeks they would be put on comfort care until they passed away. I could not believe what I just heard.  He told me that babies born before 24 were not considered viable and the long term effects were so negative they do not even try to intervene. I was devastated like are you serious that was the last thing I needed to hear. When my husband arrived I told him everything and he was in shock as well. But the median I wan on was doing its job and the contractions had stopped.

The next two weeks would have been the longest two weeks of my life.  The magnesium caused blurry vision and fluid on my lungs which made it hard for me to breathe but I was determined to do whatever I needed to do for my girls…. Then it happened  the meds would not work anymore the contractions just kept coming and getting stronger there was nothing the doctors could do would help at this point I was 7cm dilated. I remember calling my husband and telling him to come asap.  I remember getting an epidural and the possibility of having a c-section. When my husband arrived we were taken into the OR. I was so over whelmed there had to be 30 plus people in the room. I broke down started crying and started having a panic attack everything was happening all at once. The girls were born on Feb 20 2010 at 25 weeks and 4 days Amelia was born 12 inches long 1 pound   12 ounces and 7 minutes later Alayna 11 inches long and 1 pound 11 ounces. They were so tiny they looked like a little purple Barbie doll. The doctors and nurses started working on them right away they both were intubated and CPR was started on Amelia. That’s all I remember the nurse saying do you want me to start chest compressions.

The next few days were hell to say the least especially for what was to come.  Amelia heart was failing and had to be brought back 4 times after her heart stopped, her kidneys were not functioning correctly, she needed PDA surgery, and we found out she had worse than a grade 4 IVH  bilateral brain bleed that affected her entire brain. Alayna had to have 20 plus blood transfusions, PDA surgery, ROP stage 2 an had to be on meds for sodium, and blood pressure. Alayna was on several different vents for a month and a half. Alayna had a grade 3 brain bilateral brain bleed. All 6 NICU doctors  met and spoke to us about the condition of Amelia there was no questioning that her brain was not just damaged in some parts but  100% destroyed.  We had the hardest decision of our lives to make. We let our little Amelia go and she passed away in our arms. I was totally destroyed I had given up all hope for Amelia but day by I was there for her and she fought so hard with many ups and downs….. But after 94 long emotionally draining days in the NICU Alayna came home. An she was so worth it !

Afton Mower About Afton Mower

After Mower (UT) lost her firstborn son at 21 weeks.  Her daughter was born a year and a half later at 27 weeks.  The NICU was overwhelming and isolating and it was through those two experiences she was led to found this social hub for parents to find the support they needed. Afton also gave birth to another daughter, born two days overdue after four months of strict bedrest. She believes it is a tender experience to hold a special baby in your arms when his spirit returns to his heavenly home, a miracle to watch tiny babies survive the risks of prematurity and a blessing to hold a healthy full-term baby after months of difficulty and sacrifices.


  1. You are such an amazing strong woman.. and i wish you all the best.. X x X

  2. I am so happy you have your little one home with you and so sorry your other little ones didn’t have the chance to do so. I hope you can feel their sweet little spirits when holding their sister.

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