Surviving twin born 15 weeks early to celebrate first Christmas at home

Christmas couldn’t be quicker for these parents, who can’t wait to celebrate the day with their 1-year-old son, who was once the size of a Christmas cookie.

Wells Hurd spent the first 115 days of his life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) after he was born at just 25 weeks old.

His mother, Paige, 28, was pregnant with twins, but sadly, Ezra passed away just two hours after giving birth at their Indiana home on November 5, 2021.

The heartbroken mother then gave birth to Wells in an ambulance, where he spent 15 minutes fighting for his life as emergency services didn’t have the resources to care for such a small baby.

But now, a year later, Wells is doing well, having miraculously recovered.

Paige Hurd
Paige Hurd, 28, at 25 weeks pregnant, prior to giving birth in November 2021.
TikTok/mom_of_hurds

What is a MicroPreemie? How are they different from preterm babies?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 15 million babies are born before the 37th week of pregnancy each year.

There are several subcategories of preterm births based on gestational age:

  • Extremely premature (less than 28 weeks)
  • Very premature (28 to 32 weeks)
  • Moderate to late preterm birth (32 to 37 weeks).

Wells was slightly heavier than a soup can and weighed 1 pound and 8 ounces, making him a micro preemie. A baby born before 26 weeks gestation or weighing less than 28 ounces is considered a “micropreterm.”

“Many survivors face disabilities throughout their lives, including learning disabilities and vision and hearing problems,” WHO said.

Speak with news week Speaking of the day Wells was born, Paige said: “When I was pregnant with twins I had more scans than usual – all of which were normal.

“But I just knew something was going to go wrong. I went to two different doctors and they said everything was fine but my maternal instincts were different.

“The day I was born I felt good as I rocked my daughter Hazel, then 11 months, to sleep.

“But then I felt a random pain but it wasn’t very bad, I put Hazel in her crib as the pain got worse.

“I quickly realized it was labor, and between calling my husband and calling 911, I gave birth to Ezra just 15 minutes after I first noticed pain.”

Two ambulances arrived and Ezra was taken to his mother in a separate one.

As they drove to a local hospital, she gave birth to Wells, who fought for his life for 15 minutes before arriving at the hospital.

Do micro-premature babies have a greater chance of developing health problems when they grow up?

Stanford Medicine Children’s Health has published a study that looked at 10,877 babies born between 2013 and 2018 and “found a significant improvement in survival for those born between 22 and 28 weeks compared to the past.”

Researchers examined the neurosensory, developmental and functional progress of babies born at 22 to 26 weeks gestation and performed assessments when the children were 2 years old. Overall, about half had mild or no evidence of neurodevelopmental problems, while 29 percent had moderate disabilities.

Paige Hurd
Kangaroo Care is skin-to-skin contact when a baby is placed against the parent’s chest. Here’s a photo of Paige holding Wells.
tik tok/mom_

said Paige news week: “My husband Zachary, 28, and I were prepared for the worst.

“Doctors said Wells probably had a brain hemorrhage and could have cerebral palsy.”

There are a number of serious conditions that a micro-premature baby can be exposed to:

  • Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH): IVH bleeds into parts of the brain. Micro-premature babies have fragile blood vessels in their brains, and these vessels can rupture easily.
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC): Because the organs of micro-premature babies have not developed properly, their intestines are vulnerable to infection. In NEC, the intestinal mucosa become infected and begin to die.
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS): Most micro-premature babies have difficulty breathing after birth because they are so small.
  • Sepsis: a life-threatening condition caused by bacteria entering the body. Micro-premature babies have an immature immune system and are exposed to many invasive procedures in the NICU, making them more susceptible to infections.
infant
Wells Hurd was born at 25 weeks and weighed 1 pound 5 ounces.
TikTok/mom_of_hurds

“We have been informed of any complications and warned that he may not live a normal life.

“In the first week we got a call that both lungs had collapsed and they had to put in emergency tubes which helped straight away.

“Other than that, he had zero complications.

“The odds weren’t in his favor, but I always knew he would be fine,” Paige said.

How to deal with the loss of a twin

On November 11th, Paige held Wells for the first time, but it was also the last time she held Ezra.

It’s normal to feel a range of emotions when it comes to the loss of a twin. Paige took to social media to describe herself as a twin mother without twins who is going through “simultaneous grief and celebration.”

She also shared a video with the caption: “Mother’s intuition is so strong. I also had a dream that I delivered to them the night before.”

More than 20 million people viewed the TikTok video, which explains that Paige had a strong connection with just one twin throughout her pregnancy.

dr Alejandra Vasquez, a certified grief counselor, wrote a blog post for grieving parents.

She shared the following tips with Join Cake, an online end-of-life platform:

  • Be present in your grief and avoid suppressing your feelings.
  • Share the memory of your twin
  • Talk about your loss as it is part of the healing process
  • Trust the process and remember that it’s normal to go through a mix of emotions like anger and depression
  • Ask family for help and seek support from a therapist or counselor

Coping with loss while trying to celebrate new life

This time last year, the couple was going through a difficult time. Trying to cope with the loss of their son Ezra, they visited Wells and took care of toddler Hazel.

Zachary, who is also an engineer, had to return to work after two weeks of paternity leave.

Paige recalls feeling guilty on the days she couldn’t visit Wells because she was suffering from coronavirus and a sinus infection.

infant
Last year, Wells was the size of a Christmas cookie.
Paige Hurd/TikTok/mom_of_hurds

she said news week: “December was a tough month as I was ill which meant I was hardly able to visit him. It was terrible not being able to see my child.

“Fortunately I was better on Christmas day and we went to see him. One of the nurses was kind enough to put up decorations for him.

Paige recalls feeling “helpless” when he was in the NICU as the nurses fed and swaddled him.

She said, “I didn’t feel like a mother until he came home on February 28, 2022.”

When can you take home a MicroPreemie?

After almost three months of the year, Wells was released and was able to settle in at home with his parents and older sister.

The Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit organization, has stated that a premature baby is ready to go home when they:

  • Can breathe unaided
  • Can maintain a stable body temperature
  • Can breastfeed or bottle feed
  • Increasing steadily
  • Is free from infection
Paige Hurd
Paige Hurd, 28, keeps Wells in the NICU and husband Zachary, 28,
TikTok/mom_of_hurds

Paige said, “When I compare my NICU baby to my full-time daughter, it’s a very different experience.

“Wells used to be the size of a Christmas cookie and now he’s so muscular.

“He uses every muscle in his body to do what he wants, hitting milestones faster than Hazel.

“In August he was corrected for six months and started to stand alone.

“He’s a wild little boy and it’s a pleasure to be here. He has exceeded all expectations and tries his best to do whatever Hazel does.

Christmas Prem Baby
Wells Hurd, now one, spent his first Christmas in the NICU but this year he will be home with his family.
Paige Hurd/TikTok/mom_of_hurds

“This year we’re trying to do as many Christmas traditions as possible after we missed last year.

“We put up our tree in mid-November and I have various festive books to read every night in December to count down to Christmas.

“On the day we will hang out with the family and let Santa come in the morning.

“It’s going to be great to finally be able to enjoy all of us in the same room.”

Is there a health issue that worries you? Let us know at health@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.

https://www.newsweek.com/christmas-premature-baby-first-holidays-home-nicu-1763073 Surviving twin born 15 weeks early to celebrate first Christmas at home

Rick Schindler

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