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Born Before Their Time

Research by the March of Dimes has won 13 Nobel Prizes – and totally transformed the prognoses for preemies.

Born  prematurely, Casey and Jacob Schoenfeld spent the first five weeks of their lives in the NICU at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne.

Born prematurely, Casey and Jacob Schoenfeld spent the first five weeks of their lives in the NICU at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne.

“You’re having twins!” Jenny Schoenfeld stared at the ultrasound technician. Surely she had made a mistake. She hadn’t.

“I looked at the screen and immediately two little circles popped up and my heart started sinking. I was in a state of shock,” Jenny admits. “Heath and I had waited quite awhile to have children and I remember thinking how can I carry two babies, take care of two babies?”

“How could we afford two babies?” Heath adds, recalling his initial reaction upon hearing the news. But after the shock wore off the young couple excitedly told friends and family. Little did they know they were in for another one.

“The twins weren’t due until August 24 and my pregnancy was going really well until June 7 when I started going into premature labor,” says Jenny who was put on bed rest. When her water broke the night of June 18 she and Heath barely made it to the Indian River Medical Center before the babies were born five weeks early. Jacob arrived first, weighing 4 pounds, 9 ounces and wailing. Two minutes later Casey, weighing 4 pounds, 5 ounces made his debut.

“Jacob was fine, but there were four doctors working on Casey who wasn’t making any noises. It was like your worst fears coming true,” says Heath. Casey was taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne and two days later his brother joined him there.

“Both boys were having a lot of trouble mastering breathing, sucking and swallowing,” Heath continues. “You can prepare yourself as much as you can but you’re never prepared for the surprises that God delivers.”

Read the entire article in the September/October 2011 issue