Fraternal twins Henry and Waylon Cartee are lively one-and-a-half year old boys.
“They are rambunctious. They just love to play with each, and they’re into everything,” said their mother Sarah.
While, the boys are a lot like other children their age, they didn’t start life like most other children. The twins were born severely premature – at only 26 weeks and five days. For the first 102 days of their lives their home was the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, or NICU, at Spartanburg Medical Center.
Sarah said her pregnancy was normal. She felt fine and got positive reports from her doctors.
“Then all of sudden one morning I went into labor,” she said.
Henry and Waylon were born at a nearby hospital and were sent to Spartanburg Medical Center via the NICU transport team.
“They had gotten notice and were very well prepared,” Sarah said.
In the NICU, their condition was monitored closely. They received multiple chest X-rays and received routine eye exams.
It was an frightening experience for Sarah and her husband, Josh, who visited daily.
“I loved the nurses – they were very hands on,” Sarah said. “If we had any questions, they were very helpful in answering and explaining what was going on. And if we needed to speak with a doctor, they were always willing.”
Because the babies were so fragile and often hooked up to medical equipment, it was difficult for them to bond with their parents. The NICU went the extra mile to help make it easier for the parents to spend time with their children.
Specially designed rocking chairs help with skin-to-skin contact between mothers and premature infants.
The Spartanburg Regional Foundation provided funding for the chairs through its annual grants program, and the Foundation’s NICU fund enables the purchase of other equipment that supports the development of these tiny patients.
Sarah said she appreciated that the NICU provided this extra layer of support and made it as comfortable as possible for her to hold Henry and Waylon.
Over time, the twins grew and gained strength. It was an exciting day when the Cartees were able to take them home.
Along with the twins, the couple has a two-year-old son named Hank. Sarah and Josh have their hands full – and they couldn’t be more grateful.
“We feel very blessed,” Sarah said.
Make a big difference in a tiny life. Donate to the NICU Fund on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017: https://regionalfoundation.com/donate-now/giving-tuesday/