7 Sets Of Twins In NICU At OKC Hospital

Friday, October 24th 2014, 6:08 pm
By: News 9

The cries are so faint, you can barely make out where they are coming from.

Ask any doctor or nurse at Integris Baptist, and they will likely point you in the direction of the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Preemies have visited the NICU at Integris for 32 years now, but nurses said they've never seen what they're seeing now.

A unique baby boom -- seven sets of twins born within weeks of each other.

"All right sister girl," Donna Ledford, a nationally certified neonatal nurse, pulls a three-pound baby girl from her incubator.

It's feeding time, then a check of her temperature and then back to the incubator.

The twins are separated for their care.

Parents of each twin set stare into the little boxes. Their babies connected to monitors, some breathing with ventilators.

"Everything just came pretty fast," Robert and Sharon James said. 

The James' said they were expecting twins, but admitted they were not expecting to spend their first two months in the NICU.

Savanna and Sayler weighed a little more than a pound each at birth, so when their parents went home, they went in incubators.

Nearly nine weeks they've followed the routines set forth by doctors and nurses.

"It's hard... it's a long road... just hang in there," Sharon James told other parents and seemingly reminds herself.

Neonatal nurses see the struggle for parents of preemies every day.

"It's emotionally draining, so we are very well equipped for that," said Debbie McCann, the clinical director for the NICU. "We cry with our parents; we laugh with our parents. So, it is the best of both worlds."

Now, more than ever, the nurses have their hands full, caring for the many set of twins that make up half the population of the NICU.

"Evan is in the incubator," said Atava Myers about the condition of one of her twin newborn boys. "He is having a hard time holding his body temp."

Myers considers the nurses and modern technology to be a blessing in this situation.

Nurses believe the miracles lies with each little set of fingers and toes.

"Some are fertility patients, so it's wonderful we are able to give those parents that chance, and then some of them are just congratulations, you are parent of a twin," said McCann. "So what kind of miracle is that?"

Feedings, diaper changes and even cuddling are all a part of the job, and their dedication does not go unnoticed.

"The nurses are great," said Robert James. "The NICU is absolutely wonderful."

It's a bond parents hold as dear as their babies.

"This has been a treat, and the reason we can do this is because they have gained strength," Myers said.

The NICU at Baptist helps about 300 babies a year.

Patients from the last 15 years are invited to attend a reunion from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 25 at Integris Baptist Medical Center, Concourse Level, Rooms J, K and L.