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Article posted: 4/22/2013 5:30 AM

Antioch family walks to celebrate their twins

After three years of working with fertility specialists, we finally learned on Dec. 27, 2011, that we were not only pregnant, but expecting twins. The feeling was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

We had so much to learn and much to prepare prior to our Aug. 21 due date. We learned early that taking folic acid during pregnancy can help prevent birth defects of the baby's brain and spinal cord. As new parents-to-be, we wanted to do everything right. We passed the milestone of the first trimester, had a breath of fresh air and started the second trimester bridge to the third trimester.

What we thought would be smooth sailing from this point on was far from easy. I developed a common condition, pre-eclampsia. My blood pressure was increasing and water retention had set in. The discomfort from migraine headaches also put me on immediate bed rest. After continued observation with blood work and labs, our physician advised a steroid injection to mature the growth of babies lungs' with the intent of imminent birth.

Our twins, Blake and Kaitlyn, were born at 32 weeks and three days, both weighing 3 pounds, 10 ounces. They were both immediately admitted to Advocate Condell's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. We were amazed every day how well the twins responded to the medical care they received. After only three short weeks our healthy, happy, twins were discharged home.

Today, both babies are growing and developing well, and their personalities are shining through. We are so grateful and blessed. Thank you, to all those who have walked, volunteered and supported the mission of March of Dimes over the last 75 years.

We walk because we believe the March of Dimes helps families just like ours. The money raised for the March for Babies walk has led to discoveries like surfactant, a drug that helps babies lungs develop, and that taking folic acid daily can reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spinal cord.

But there's still so much work to be done. We walk so that one day all babies can be born healthy.

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