Meet the Springfield Ambassador Family - The Walders
Springfield, MA, April 04, 2012
In 2005, our daughter Alaina was born prematurely at 33 weeks. Since then, we have welcomed three more premature children: identical twins, Aaron and Brady (34 weeks) and Brett (37 weeks).
Our first NICU experience was overwhelming. Alaina was transferred to a facility an hour away from where she was born and it was two days before we were reunited. I was scared to see her in the NICU. She was on CPAP, had a feeding tube and an IV. She was discharged after two weeks and has never looked back.
When the twins arrived we were better prepared for a NICU experience, but that did not make it any easier. Aaron was on CPAP and under the lights for jaundice, Brady had several apnea spells, and both boys had feeding tubes. They continue to be underweight and they have some minor speech delays, but otherwise, they are thriving today.
When Brett arrived, despite his size of 8 lbs 9 oz, he struggled to breathe. The doctors transferred him to the NICU - in a different hospital. Brett was discharged after only one week, along with a bili-blanket for his jaundice and a car bed. Thankfully once he was six weeks old, he turned the corner and he, too, has never looked back.
The premature births of my four children are not what I would have chosen, but thanks to developments and advances in research on prematurity made by the March of Dimes, our family’s story has a happy ending.
Cynthia Walder is the chair of the Springfield Family Team Committee and a dedicated volunteer of the March of Dimes.