By: Madison Burke
When Brandy and Michael Wheat found out they were having twins, they were ecstatic. Brandy has twins on both her mother’s and father’s sides of the family, so they knew there was a strong possibility they would welcome two bundles of joy instead of one.
“We had a feeling that’s how it was going to go, but it was still pretty exciting when the doctor told us,” Brandy says.
The young couple also knew there likely would be some challenges. Brandy had a scare at 27 weeks where she suffered from a shortened cervix and was advised to go on bed rest.
“It was pretty frightening, but I knew I would do everything I needed to do to keep my babies healthy,” Brandy says.
Brandy also suffered from high blood pressure during that time. At 33 weeks, it was decided that it was best to have a Cesarean section delivery.
The babies were delivered at Boone Family Birthplace. The twins, Waylon and Willow Mae, then spent three weeks in the Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to be treated for breathing difficulties.
“The NICU has highly skilled nurses and respiratory therapists who manage state-of-the-art technology, including oscillator ventilators and nitric oxide treatment, to assist infants with breathing,” says Laura Noren, service line director of Women’s and Children’s Health at Boone Hospital.
Brandy says she was amazed at how supporting and kind the Boone staff was during those three weeks.
“Every nurse made sure we knew what was going on at every moment. It really is more than a job for those nurses. We spent so much time at the hospital, the staff became like family,” Brandy says.
One night, Brandy and Michael stayed in one of Boone Family Birthplace’s sleep rooms, a room reserved for parents who need to be near their baby after the mother has been discharged.
“We were so grateful to have a place to rest that was so close to our babies. It was wonderful to be able to wake up and go right to them,” Brandy says.
“The sleep room is just one of the ways we strive to meet the unique needs of our families. Each room has a comfortable queen-size bed, TV, mini-refrigerator, microwave and private bathroom to allow the parents a place to rest, but still be near the NICU,” says Noren.
Brandy says the nurses worked hard to make sure Brandy and Michael felt prepared when it was finally time to take the babies home. “The nurses were so kind and really wanted us to feel confident about taking them home when the babies were discharged.”
Brandy recovered from her C-section well, and both Waylon and Willow Mae are now in good health. Brandy currently is a stay-at-home-mom and Michael works for the Missouri Gaming Commission.