Lubbock twins home and healthy after 65-day stay at UMC Children’s NICU

Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 11:14 AM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Most expecting parents are not ready for it when they hear the words, ‘It’s twins.’ The Snider family was just as shocked when their baby girls Laikyn and Lorelei entered the world 12 weeks early, two weeks after losing their home in a fire. With so much uncertainty, the Sniders were thankful for the team at UMC Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, funded by Children’s Miracle Network dollars, who kept their babies alive.

In late March, when Desiree was 26 weeks pregnant with twins, she and her husband Charlie lost their home near New Home to a fire.

“Very quickly, everything was gone, everything we owned. And then Lubbock and West Texans were great at helping us get started back,” Charlie said.

Within weeks, their friends and family raised more than $30,000 to help them rebuild their home and their lives. They were just getting back in the groove of life after the fire, when Desiree felt a pop in the middle of the night. Her pain progressed until the next day when she reached out to her midwife.

“And she said, no, like something is not right. You need to go to UMC, and she reiterated that - you need to go to UMC - like they will take great care of you,” Desiree said.

When they got there, UMC staff decided she should stay through the night to monitor her pain.

“Less than 30 minutes later from that conversation was when the girls were here,” Charlie said.

Desiree’s uterus ruptured, severely threatening her life and the lives of her twins, Laikyn and Lorelei. She began to quickly lose a lot of blood. Medical staff rushed into action, safely delivering both babies 12 weeks early, and saving Desiree’s life. The girls were whisked away to the NICU, where Desiree and Charlie came to see them every day for the next 65 days.

“And at first you know, the first week, it’s overwhelming seeing all the pumps and all the monitors and, you know, everything, all the wires and stuff hooked up. But then after a while you become really grateful for all of that stuff that’s keeping your babies alive,” Desiree said.

NICU Director Dr. Melissa Piepkorn says when babies are born that early, everything about them is premature. She says any organ system can cause problems, and twins meant double the risk.

“There were a lot of days where we felt like, you know, one of them was moving well and finally moving forward, and we’d have a setback with the other one,” Dr. Piepkorn said.

They battled through a brain bleed, staph infections, intubation, and blood transfusions, all with the help of dedicated staff and capable technology. Even after two months, Charlie says they almost didn’t want to leave.

“There’s a lot of people in there that we consider friends now, now that we’re not patients,” he said.

If Laikyn and Lorelei were born on their original due date, they would be nearly 10 weeks old. Instead, they will turn six months old in October, healthy and in a new home. Dr. Piepkorn says the majority of NICU patients go on to live full, healthy lives.

“So, we do, we think it’s a place of miracles and I think everyone loves being there. We feel like what we do is meaningful. We get to interact with some of the most amazing families from across the area and they’re very, very vocal with their appreciation, so that makes our job really easy,” Dr. Piepkorn said.

Because of the NICU at UMC, the Snider family got to stay in the Lubbock area, their home.

“A lot of times with babies born that early, you know, the odds aren’t exactly in your favor, but because of everything they had right there, my babies are here,” Desiree said.