Two of them, 1 of Me

My twins have been sprouting like weeds the last few months! It’s still hard to fathom my tiny 3 pound preemies are now almost 15 months-old, weighing 28 (Noah) and 25 (Nikoh) pounds.

Nothing short of miraculous to watch them play together…Today as I remember them sleeping in their NICU incubators, it almost feels like another lifetime.

I originally intended to populate this blog much more frequently, but being a mother to my twins has proven to be incredibly demanding ever since they started crawling, and now walking and climbing on absolutely everything! (And NO baby proofing doesn’t really help when you have one toddler going left and the other toddler going right.) I always find myself thinking and talking about how difficult twin motherhood is, not because I want people to say, “Oh poor you,”….but more because I am still amazed at how mothers do it, and how they did it decades before me with much less resources.

Twin motherhood is quite the beautiful challenge and you can never fully comprehend it unless you have carried two babies in your womb simultaneously and taken care of them everyday. There are moments where it feels overwhelming and almost impossible, but there are also plenty of times where it brings more love and happiness I ever could have imagined. Tears normally accompany both ends of those two spectrums.


Every aspect of twin motherhood has indeed had its immense challenges, and certainly its highs and lows, but the part that literally tugs at my core is the obvious fact that there is ALWAYS two of them and one of me. I have two babies, only 1 minute different in age, who often need and want me at the exact same time. It tears my heart apart to have to pick between the two of them when deciding who to tend to first. Believe it or not, it happens several times a day.

Many parents tell me what a blessing it is that my twins are each other’s playmates. Yes, it’s so wonderful that they love to make each other laugh and they do entertain each other all day. But what happens when they are playing, chuckling, having a great time and all of a sudden they bump their heads together? This happened last week. There I was with my two babies, crying “mommmm! mommmmm!” I ran over to them, dropped to my knees and scooped them both into my arms so they both felt comforted. But I couldn’t pick them up simultaneously, and there was no way to give them the individual TLC I know they needed. It broke my heart to see the tears rolling down their little cheeks, boogies coming from their little noses, and I had to divvy up my hands to wipe the tears and clean the noses with one hand each.

And then there are the times when they are sick, when only my arms can comfort them. The last two weeks Nikoh was very sick with bronchitis. His throat was so swollen and red he didn’t eat or drink much. He was sluggish and not nearly his playful self. He wanted to lay on my chest, and in my arms for the better part of one week. But then there was Noah, who didn’t catch bronchitis, but did have a high fever for a few days and some congestion and would you believe he just wanted to be in mommy’s arms too?

Aside from being in the NICU with both Noah and Nikoh, these last few weeks have been the most emotionally and physically draining for me. I literally had to rotate babies in and out of my arms for several days straight so I can give them an equal amount of love, comfort and attention. It was so hard to do. I would be holding Nikoh trying to soothe him, and never really got to give him all of my attention because I was looking over at Noah who would often be sitting on the floor, leaning on my legs and looking up at me with his red and swollen little eyes. After 30 minutes of holding Nikoh, I would switch and it would be Noah’s “turn.” Imagine doing that over and over. It was like neither one of them were fully comforted because once they started to feel secure and cozy with me, I had to put them down and pick up their twin brother.

But it’s not always seeing them cry that makes me sad, sometimes it’s seeing them happy and wanting me so much.

At least once a day we watch one of their favorite cartoons, The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, I know all of you parents can relate to how magical this show really is! The second they hear the theme song, Noah and Nikoh will stop whatever it is they are doing and instantly turn to look at me and once we’ve made eye contact they start dancing, bouncing their little legs up and down. They both run up to me as I am dancing along with them and start reaching for me to pick them up. How do I decide who gets picked up and dances with mommy, and who stays dancing by himself? As a twin mom I have learned when I can’t get to them at the same time, they have to take turns. So today for example I picked up Noah and danced with him in my arms, while I dropped my other arm and grabbed Nikoh’s hand so he too can feel like he’s dancing with mommy. This might not sound like a huge dilemma to some, but trust me when you are a mom to twins it is heartbreaking not being able to give them the attention they want, need and deserve right when they ask for it.

I imagine parents who have more than one child also have to deal with these scenarios from time to time, but I can’t be certain it’s as intense as having two children the exact same age needing you at the exact same time and likely for the exact same reason. This is just one of the things about twin motherhood I never even thought about during my pregnancy, because I really had no idea what to expect. And despite my research, there was no book out there teaching me how to be “OK” with dividing my heart and attention between my two, precious boys, every second of everyday.

All I can hope and pray for is that the times I do give them both individual and “twin” love and attention, they feel comforted by me and loved enough to feel like they were born to the best mama in the world.

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Noah & Nikoh’s Mommy

In Retrospect~ Twin Motherhood

It’s been a few months since I have had the chance to blog… my twins keep me extremely busy running back and forth between them!

A girlfriend recently asked me how I felt motherhood changes life, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to reflect on my first year as a twin mommy. (Great timing too because my twins, Noah & Nikoh, turned 1 on March 26!)

FullSizeRender (February 2015- Noah & Nikoh 11 months old)

So friend, here’s my answer…

Some women say they grew up feeling that embedded “maternal instinct,” while others admit (with some hesitation) that “motherhood” was never really atop of their priority list. For me, the desire to become a mother always fell somewhere between those two spectrums.

Anyone who knows me well will tell you education and career had always been my main focus in life. I never felt like being a mom was my ultimate dream or life goal. Instead I thrived on education and living my childhood desire of being a journalist and writer for as far back as I can remember. It wasn’t until the first moment I saw Noah and Nikoh in their incubators in the NICU — when I was not allowed to hold them for their first few days of life, and only able to place my hands and fingers along their tiny, frail bodies — that I instinctively felt the overwhelming emotion of actually feeling and yearning to be a mom. Seeing my babies for the first time changed me completely, and it happened in an instant. All of a sudden I was someone’s protector, their best friend and their biggest advocate.

Yes I felt like a mom the moment I found out I was pregnant and I knew my life would change tremendously when my twins were born (it actually changed drastically as soon as I found out I was expecting twins), but I never expected how different I would become after I gave birth to them. I have always considered myself to be a genuine, kind-hearted, giving and loving person, but those emotions have amplified since I became a mother to my twins. During my pregnancy I often imagined what type of mother I would be once my twins were born. I knew I would give them all of my love and devotion. But when my babies Noah and Nikoh were born two months premature, I instantly became the type of mother they needed.

I was laid off from my job with a few months before my twins were born, and I was devastated. But you know that old saying, “It’s a blessing in disguise…” Cliche I know, but that’s exactly what it was. I love my career and am very proud of all the education, sacrifice and experience I have under my journalism belt, but I never thought twice about it after my twins were born. I often say that if I were still employed when my twins were born, I would have quit my job in a heartbeat in order to stay with my babies in the NICU around the clock the way I did for more than a month.

Why? Why quit my job when so many preemie parents continue working and somehow juggle the NICU?

Because that is the mother my Noah and Nikoh needed.

They needed me there by their side every single day. To watch over them as they were being poked and proded, pray alongside them at their weakest moments, and to hold them when they were finally strong enough to be in their mommy’s arms. I knew they needed a mother who wouldn’t miss a second of their most trying, early moments of life.

My preemies needed and deserved a devoted mom that was there for them in the NICU. Despite feeling like my body had been cut in half and healing from an emergency c-section, my babies needed me every morning, every night, all day to sit with them in the NICU and walk back and forth between the two, whispering into their incubators how much I loved them and how wonderful they were doing.

Even when the NICU nurses would tell me to go home, get some rest, step outside..I always chose to stay because that is the mother my babies needed. A mommy who was there for them all of the time.

Before I had my twins I used to be selfish… always on a news deadline, constantly in a hurry to finish writing my stories and always contemplating the next personal goal I would achieve. When I lost my job I cried because I missed and loved my work so much. Today that sounds silly. I can’t ever imagine loving anything more than my babies.

So my friend, motherhood has showed me that time, indeed, is ever so precious. It flies by. Zooms by really when you have children.

Today as I sit on the floor in my den, playing with my twins who just celebrated their first birthday, I find myself thinking about “missing my work” less and less. Instead I spend my days chasing them around, making sure they don’t pull down the blinds or knock over a chair, and I realize that being a mother to twins, has far exceeded any of my educational or professional achievements that used to mean the world to me. Twin motherhood is definitely my biggest accomplishment and it has brought me all of the love my heart has ever desired.

Yes I still am a journalist, I love to write, read and learn about the news of the world, but for the time being I realize that time is fleeting, and although the news is never-ending, my twins will only be babies for a short period of time, and it’s up to me to savor, indulge in and really experience every single second with them.

One day I will return to my full-time journalism post, but for now I find achievement in watching my twin preemies grow and thrive, and helping them meet all of their developmental milestones.


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XO~ Noah & Nikoh’s Mommy

10 Days of Twin Separation..


The majority of premature twins develop at different times, making the transition from the NICU stay to their home an emotionally jarring experience for mommy and daddy.

As I sit here and write about our experience last year with our twins, Noah and Nikoh, it’s still surreal to relive all of the emotions attached to having our newborn twins separated for 10 days.

Nikoh was discharged from the NICU on April 28, 2014, 34 days after he was born. His twin brother, Noah, went home 10 days before him. The separation anxiety my husband and I felt from having one baby at home with us, and our other baby in the NICU was intense. It felt like our hearts were literally ripped into two pieces, as cliché as that may sound. (I’ve talked about this in previous blogs; how we experienced emotional highs and lows simultaneously because our twins developed at different stages.)

As new parents to preemie twins, we learned a lot while parenting in the NICU. Everyday was a new obstacle. Our babies’ discharge days were no different.

When it was Noah’s turn to “graduate” from the NICU and go home, the neonatologist and nurses told me I should stay home and give him just about all of my devotion, in order to make sure he continued to thrive (Read more about Noah’s discharge from the NICU in my previous post.) In my mind and heart I thought to myself, “Are you serious? How will I stay away from Nikoh?” Noah was barely 4 pounds. He was so tiny, so fragile and I was PETRIFIED every time I had to change his diaper, change his clothes, feed him, etc. I handled him with the utmost caution. Yes I had been doing all of this since he was born, but he had been a NICU preemie so there were nurses who helped me handle him in the hospital so I felt more at ease. At home we didn’t have the comfort of the NICU monitors telling us Noah was breathing OK, eating OK, sleeping OK, etc. So at home our stress levels were at an all-time high. But although I was occupied with Noah, my mind and heart were constantly thinking about Nikoh, who was still battling it out in the NICU…predominately by himself. We still didn’t have an exact date as to when he would go home, so being away from him made the waiting game SO much more intense than when Noah and Nikoh were side-by-side in the NICU.

Nikoh was “Baby B” – born second and although he weighed a few more ounces than Noah when they were born, he was always a little weaker and less developed than Noah. Since he was born I often refer to Nikoh as “the dark horse.” Because although he would sometimes fall behind in his progress, there were days where he would come out of nowhere and essentially “catch up.” Nikoh had to stay in the NICU those 10 extra days because he needed more time to reach his NICU milestones before he could come home. One of his biggest obstacles was learning to tolerate his 24 hour feedings. Essentially he had to feed for 24 hours, and his body had to accept the amount of ounces the nurses set for him every two hours. Sometimes he would lack the energy to complete his feedings, sometimes he would fall asleep, and sometimes the breast milk wouldn’t digest properly in his tiny stomach…so it took him awhile to be able to achieve the 24 hour completion of feedings. He also needed a blood transfusion for an infection he developed in the NICU which also set him back a couple of days. It was frustrating to see him take one step forward, and two steps back. He was a lone warrior during those 10 days, and he made me, his daddy and his twin brother Noah SUPER proud.

I would call to check on Nikoh several times a day, asked the nurses to tell him his mommy loved and missed him. I also got a detailed report about Nikoh’s progress from my husband who visited him every night after work for those 10 days. I was only able to visit him a handful of times. I left Noah either with my mom, or my sister, a handful of times while I visited Nikoh for a few hours, and on Easter we decided we had to spend their first holiday with both of them. So my parents spent Easter at our house with Noah, and gave my husband and I the chance to spend half of the day in the NICU with Nikoh. Being their first actual holiday, in true twin style, we dressed them exactly the same and made sure to take their Easter picture. In the NICU my husband and I spent Easter kangarooing with Nikoh, although I held him most of the time since I hadn’t seen him very much. We fed him, changed him, and did all of the things new parents typically get to in the comfort of their homes on their baby’s first holiday. When we got home, we spent the rest of the night taking care of, cuddling and loving Noah.

Although we were thankful to be able to spend time with both of our babies on Easter, it was heartbreaking to leave Nikoh in the hospital that night.

(Nikoh in the NICU on Easter 2014)

(Noah at home on Easter 2014)

Those 10 days felt like an eternity. But we made it and most importantly, Nikoh made it through like a little warrior.

His discharge day kind of “just happened,” all of a sudden, on a day we least expected it. Much like the day Noah was discharged. The thing that is so weird about having a baby, or in our case babies, in the NICU is that from the second they are born you want to take them home so bad. While they are in the NICU you spend every waking minute cheering them on, praying and hoping for their discharge day. But then it comes and all of a sudden you start second guessing, “Are they really OK to come home? Are they strong enough? Will they be OK? Should they stay a couple more days in the NICU? Will I be able to give them the care they need?”

In all honesty it’s the biggest emotional roller coaster I had ever been on..and there is nothing you can do, or anyone can say, to prepare you for all of the emotions, all of the highs and lows, that come with being a NICU parent. It’s terrifying and beautiful at all the same time.


But when the NICU journey is over, you come out of it a stronger person and hands down a stronger, more-prepared PARENT…

Nikoh’s last moments in the NICU felt less emotional to me than Noah’s final day there. I still cried, but all of my tears were out of happiness. I was ECSTATIC to walk out of the NICU knowing my babies NEVER had to spend one more night away from me and their daddy. But on Noah’s last day I cried so much out of sadness because we had to leave Nikoh there, and so when it was finally his turn to go home ALL of the tears were out of sheer joy!

Nikoh had been moved out of the NICU into an “overflow” NICU nursery a few days before he was discharged. Since he was close to graduation and the NICU was filling up fast with new preemies, his nurses felt he was strong enough to have less observation. So although he was still monitored by NICU nurses and doctors, when he was discharged he wasn’t in the actual NICU. And because of that, he didn’t have the type of emotional “send-off” that Noah had. The nurses didn’t come say bye to him (except for the two that had been monitoring him in the overflow nursery), and we didn’t have any family waiting in the lobby to meet him. But it was still the best day of our life, as was Noah’s discharge day. As the nurse wheeled him to the car, I walked alongside his crib and stared at him in amazement. He had gone through so much, and while we were by his side for most of it, a lot of his work in the NICU was done on his own. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I approached the hospital’s exit. We had literally lived there since March 26, 2014 and now it was time to go home and not look back.

(Nikoh was placed in his car seat and wheeled out to our car.)



When I found out I was pregnant, I NEVER even though about premature birth and I knew very little about it. It’s incredible how something you never think about can end up having such a tremendous impact on your life.

Although my babies are now home and thriving at 10 months old – 8 months adjusted age – they will ALWAYS be premature twins and likely always have to work a little bit harder at reaching developmental milestones. And just like in the NICU my husband and I will be there every moment of their life to help them achieve every dream and every feat, big and small.


XO~ Noah & Nikoh’s Mommy

Noah Goes Home, Nikoh Stays in the NICU #bittersweet


From the day our twin baby boys were born and nestled into the NICU, nurses began prepping my husband and I for the reality that Noah and Nikoh WOULD go home at separate times.

When the day finally came — 24 days after they were born — it was beautiful and heartbreaking all at once and we were nowhere near emotionally prepared.

Noah was discharged on April 18, 2014 from the NICU, 10 days before Nikoh. I remember that morning so vividly. I was getting ready to go to the hospital and visit my babies when my cell phone rang. I immediately recognized the hospital’s phone number and my heart sank, “Oh gosh I hope the babies are OK,” I said to myself. (The hospital typically never called us unless their was a negative change in Noah and Nikoh’s progress) But to my surprise the nurse had the best news, “Hi Mrs. Jaime, Noah is ready to go home today. What time can you be here to pick him up?”

Just like that, our Baby Noah was strong enough to go home. She made it sound so simple!

But how could such a milestone, a day my husband and I had dreamt about for so long be here already? It had felt like Noah and Nikoh had been in the NICU forever, yet when I received the phone call “that moment” seemed to have come so fast.

Tears immediately began falling from my eyes, and my heart was racing. A mixture of emotions overcame my body. Happiness, anxiety, nervousness, excitement and sadness as I wondered what Noah’s discharge meant for Baby Nikoh?

Born two months premature, Noah and Nikoh progressed at different stages, developed and advanced at different times (read more about that in my previous blogs). Typically when one had a bad day, the other had a good day so it was constant highs and lows for us as parents in the NICU. Normally when we were celebrating one baby’s achievements, we were struggling with the other’s setbacks. Although we knew they’d be discharged at separate times, we were never given a date or even a time frame to expect when they would be able to go home. That’s why it was such a big surprise when we were told Noah was ready to “graduate” from the NICU.

Everyday we would ask their doctor, “When will Noah and Nikoh come home? Are they almost ready to come home? What do they need to achieve before they can come home?” And like I have written in previous blogs, the answer from the nurses and doctors were always, “It’s up to Noah and Nikoh and how they progress. We can’t give you a time frame, we take it day by day and see how they do.”

So the phone call regarding Noah’s discharge was totally unexpected because their conditions literally changed from one hour to the next.

My plan for Noah’s discharge day had to change instantly. Normally I would spend the entire day in the NICU visiting with Noah and Nikoh, and waiting for my husband to join us at night once he was out of work. I called him right away and told him Noah was ready to go home, so he scrambled to get to the hospital as soon as he could.

It all happened so fast.

Noah’s car seat was already sitting underneath his crib in the NICU waiting to take him home. A few days before Noah was released he was required to take and pass a car seat test, which checked his heart and breathing while he sat in it to make sure the positioning was safe for him to ride home. One of their nurses gave me a packet of papers about one inch thick that needed signatures, and had a ton of information, the “Do’s and “Don’ts” for preemies which we had learned during our time in the NICU, but it was still extremely overwhelming.

As I was prepping Noah to go home, cleaning out his crib, taking down his name tag, peeling off our photos, packing his diaper bag and dressing him, I looked over at Nikoh in his incubator. I was so sad. I felt so bad. I wondered if he knew I was about to leave him behind? Did he know his twin brother Noah was getting to go home? Was he going to “feel” alone and sad?

My heart was torn apart. My tears never stopped. It was almost too much for me to handle. Several nurses tried to calm me down, they hugged me and told me Nikoh wouldn’t be far behind and would be home “soon.” They told me now Noah would need me at home with him. But how was I going to walk out of the NICU without Nikoh? It felt so unnatural, I couldn’t bare the thought of taking one of my babies home and leaving my other baby behind.

I walked over to Nikoh’s incubator so many times during those few hours, watched him as he slept, rubbed his forehead, cheeks, hands, feet and back with my hands as he slept. I held him when he woke up, I fed him, changed him and rocked him back to sleep. I talked to him and told him I loved him, how proud I was of him and how I was counting down the days until he would come home too. I cried as I told him I didn’t want to leave him, but I had to take his big brother home. I explained to him that I wouldn’t be able to see him anymore everyday, but told him that daddy would be there everyday and that I would call to check on him every day and night, and several times in between. I asked him to not be sad without his brother, and instead to stay strong and keep growing so he could come home with us as soon as possible.

(This is some of what I remember telling him:)
“I love you my Nikoh Baby. I’m not leaving you my love, but you won’t see me for a few days. I will visit you in your dreams and I will send my hugs and kisses through daddy. I’ll be praying for you, thinking about you, getting things ready for you at home and sending you milk to help you keep growing strong.”

When the nurses told me I shouldn’t return to the NICU to visit Nikoh, but instead should stay home with Noah I felt so confused. What new mom is told she shouldn’t be with her preemie baby everyday? He needed me, they both needed me. But how could I be at two places at once? There was no way. Noah couldn’t return to the NICU, and Nikoh wasn’t ready to go home. So how does a mother chose between two babies who need her equally the same?

It was heart-wrenching. I’ve never felt so much sadness.

But after a lot of tears, words of love and support from my husband, the nurses explained more, and it made a TINY bit of sense.

“Nikoh has a whole team of doctors and nurses focused on him, watching and monitoring him 24/7,” one nurse told me. “Noah ONLY has you. You need to give him all of your attention and take extra good care of him. He needs you for everything.”

Of course the explanation didn’t make it much easier to leave Nikoh in the NICU, but it gave me some reassurance that he would be in excellent hands. As it turned out, I didn’t visit Nikoh daily, but there were a couple of times that I left Noah with my parents or sister so I could go back to the NICU and see him. There was no way I couldn’t see him for 10 days straight! We even spent half of Easter day with Nikoh in the NICU. And although I felt useless to him while I was at home with Noah, I continued to send him breast milk daily to help keep him strong and growing. And that made me feel better knowing I was still helping and being there for him through the NICU journey.

When it was time for us to take Noah home, his nurses gathered in the NICU to say goodbye to him and I could barely contain my emotions. It was so overwhelming. As we put Noah in his car seat, I asked if he could say goodbye to his brother. A very sweet nurse took Nikoh out of his incubator, carefully untangling his wires and gently sat him on top of Noah’s lap. It was one of the most bittersweet moments I’ve ever experienced. It’s a story I will tell them forever.


As we wheeled Noah out of the NICU, his carseat was placed in the crib and his nurse pushed him through the labor and delivery waiting room. I followed behind and was so surprised and happy when I saw my parents, sister, brother-in-law and niece and nephew standing there waiting to FINALLY see Noah.
Although my parents were allowed to visit my babies in the NICU, the rest of our family had never seen my babies in person so that moment meant EVERYTHING to me. Everyone had waited to meet Noah and Nikoh for so long, and now they were able to see Noah in person. My sister Nubia immediately burst into tears and kept saying, “Oh my God, hi baby. Hi baby. I love you.”

So many smiles, and so much love. I indulged in that moment of happiness because Noah deserved it, he worked for it for so long.

It was a moment I will never forget….

We said our goodbyes to my family, put Noah into the car and headed home. I stared at him the entire time, held his hand and constantly made sure he was breathing. At the same time, I was talking to Nikoh in my mind and telling him half of my heart remained with him in the NICU. I asked him again to be brave, keep fighting and never forget that mommy, daddy and Noah are yearning to have him home where he belonged.


Fast forward 8 months later to today Dec. 10, 2014, I get to spend ever minute with both Noah and Nikoh at home. They are the best of friends, the sweetest, happiest twin boys and I can’t wait to tell them all about their NICU journey and how they indeed conquered it together.

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XO~Noah & Nikoh’s Mommy

Attack of the ‘Tiny White Bumps’

photo-7 copy 4 (Noah in April 2014 with an infection on his cheeks.)

(*Note: I tend to write this blog in chronological order, but I am jumping forward a bit to share some photos and quick information about an infection my baby Noah suffered during his first few weeks at home after being discharged from the NICU.)

The day Noah was discharged from the hospital in April 2014, my husband and I were a nervous wreck.

He had been in the NICU for a little over a month and we were terrified about all the “what if’s” that could happen at home. And while we were ecstatic to bring our tiny 4 pound baby boy Noah home, we were also heartbroken to have to leave his twin brother Nikoh in the NICU. It was a stressful time to say the least.

So when we noticed what appeared to be a little rash on Noah’s face, our stress level was amplified.

Since he was born two months premature and super fragile I knew I had to pay attention to everything, no matter how small it seemed. So when we noticed a tiny cluster of white bumps surfacing on his right cheek, we started researching in our preemie baby books to see if we could figure out what it was. Originally we thought it could possibly be baby acne, so I made sure to keep it clean and monitored it for a day or two to see if it would clear up on its own.

photo-7 copy 12 (Noah’s infection started out as what appeared to be “Baby Acne” on his right cheek, but it quickly spread to his left cheek and chin.)

Unfortunately it got a lot worse very fast. Before we knew it had spread to his left check and chin, and started secreting some clear fluid. We called his pediatrician and she told us to bring him in that day.

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Noah was examined and his pediatrician used a cotton swab to gently scrape off a few pieces of the rash which she sent to the lab for testing. As it turned out, the rash was not baby acne but instead a skin infection caused by bacteria that needed to be treated right away. There was no way to track down if he caught the infection at the hospital or at home. So the possibilities were endless.

Noah’s pediatrician prescribed him Cephalexin, an antibiotic, and the topical ointment Mupirocin, to get rid of the infection. It took upwards of three weeks for Noah’s infection to clear up, and it got worse before it got better. We were super hesitant to give him any type of medication because he was premature, but we trusted our pediatrician’s recommendation.

photo-7 copy 8 (Noah’s infection covered with the topical ointment Mupirocin)

The infection went through a series of phases. At first it secreted white liquid, and after a few weeks it started to dry out and scab, then it started to flake off on its own.

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I was extremely careful to keep Noah’s hands covered with mittens when I put the ointment on his infection, and I had to be super cautious that his clothes didn’t get snagged on his cheeks or chin.

While Noah was trying to fight off his infection, Nikoh was discharged from the NICU. My husband and I had to be very careful to make sure Noah and Nikoh did not share any clothes, burp cloths, mittens, boppies, blankets or anything else that could potentially pass the infection to Nikoh.

We were very worried that the infection would lead to serious symptoms, but overall it didn’t result in anything abnormal. Although Noah was very uncomfortable and it looked horrible, over time it healed perfectly and today you would never know he had any type of facial infection.

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I just thought I would share our experience with this infection in hopes of helping other mommies and daddies of twins and singletons know what to look out for!

In the NICU we learned the importance of constant hand-washing and sanitizing in order to keep our preemies free from germs and infections and this experience really solidified my decision to ALWAYS make sure anyone who comes in contact with my preemies has washed and sanitized their hands before touching my babies.

Some people may think our constant hand-washing is excessive, but I beg to differ. I will do anything in my power to keep my babies infection free!


XO~ Noah & Nikoh’s Mommy

Anticipated NICU Milestones

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Most parents get to take their new babies home a couple days after they are born. But the road home is a lot longer and much more unpredictable if you give birth to a premature baby, or in my case, premature twins.

When my sons Noah and Nikoh were placed in the NICU minutes after they were born on March 26, 2014, my husband and I immediately began wondering, “When can we take them home?” Of course we knew the NICU was the best place for them to be since they were born at the beginning of 30 weeks gestation and had a lot of developing to do, but that didn’t stop us from anticipating the day we would take them home.

One of the most frustrating aspects of our babies living in the NICU during their first month and a half of life, was that we never had a scheduled date of when they would go home. So we literally had to take it one day at a time. It felt like FOREVER. Anytime we would ask their neonatologist or nurses, “When will our babies get to come home?” the answer was always, “It depends on Noah and Nikoh.”

The timeline of when they would come home was up to them and depended on how fast their tiny bodies would develop and gain strength. A big weight to place on their little shoulders if you ask me!

Just to be safe, we were told to expect they would go home around their due date of May 21, 2014. So we knew we had a LONG road ahead.

Their neonatologist also prepared us for the reality that Noah and Nikoh would likely be discharged to go home at different times. So although we looked forward to discharge day, we also dreaded it because we knew we would probably have to leave one baby behind in the NICU when the other baby was ready to go home.

Bittersweet to say the least. (I will write a future blog all about their emotional discharge days which indeed came 10 days apart and was the happiest and saddest days of my life.)

Every NICU baby has their own personally tailored list of medical milestones they have to achieve before they can be discharged from the hospital’s NICU. The list varies from baby to baby, but most preemies — including Noah and Nikoh –have to complete some or all of the following milestones:

>>> BREATHING: NICU babies must learn to breathe on their own before they go home. Both Noah and Nikoh were placed on a CPAP at birth, a respiratory support machine which gave them constant air flow to help them breathe and keep their tiny lungs from collapsing. The CPAP is a clear, thick tube which was positioned tightly over each babies’ nose. It took Noah and Nikoh each about two weeks to breathe unassisted. The day that machine was unhooked was one of the best days we had in the NICU. A MAJOR step forward!

>>> WEIGHT: Noah and Nikoh had to show consistent weight gain on a daily basis. They each had to reach at least 4 pounds before they could go home. Typically Noah and Nikoh would gain a couple grams each day, and although it doesn’t sound like much every gram was a BIG step forward.

>>> BODY TEMPERATURE: NICU babies are kept in warm incubators until they are able to maintain their body temperature at 98.6 degrees fahrenheit. Once they were able to maintain a stable body temperature, they would “graduate” from the incubator to an open crib. It is important for preemies to maintain 98.6 degrees, because if the temperature is too low or too high it can cause stress to the baby which can result in weight loss, an increased heart rate and irregular breathing. It took Noah and Nikoh about two and a half weeks to maintain their body temperatures and move into their open cribs. The day we found out Noah and Nikoh were strong enough to move out of their incubators brought HUGE smiles to our faces and made us SO proud of them! Another milestone that sounds so small, but meant so much for them and to us! Noah moved into the crib first, and Nikoh followed about a week later. This milestone was also emotional for us because although we were so proud of Noah taking a step forward, half of our heart was still saddened by the fact that Nikoh was still in the incubator.

>>> FEEDINGS: Noah and Nikoh were originally fed through feeding tubes, but when they learned to suck, swallow and breathe they began bottle feedings (which came a few weeks after they were born). Before NICU discharge they were required to finish a full day of bottle feedings every 2-3 hours. Some added requirements were that they had to finish their bottles within 30 minutes of feeding start time and they had to remain awake while feeding. For preemie babies, bottle feeding can be quite the task. They must be able to drink and digest breast milk and formula. It takes a lot of strength and coordination, which results in the babies getting very tired. My husband and I were taught to keep Noah and Nikoh stimulated while feeding them in order to help them complete their feedings. We would rub the back or sides of their heads, tickle their little feet and hands and talk to them to keep them stimulated. From our experience, tolerating the feedings was the last thing Noah and Nikoh accomplished before they were discharged. It took both of them about a week to learn to tolerate and complete the required feedings. When they were finally able to bottle feed successfully, they were discharged within 2 days. BIGGEST milestone ever!

As a new mommy it was often disheartening, stressful and overwhelming to watch Noah and Nikoh experience setbacks while trying to achieve the NICU milestones. I felt a lot of guilt because my babies were in the NICU. A big part of me felt like my body failed me and jeopardized the lives of my babies. I struggled a lot internally with that guilt, and I still do to this day. In my research I have found that the guilt is common for most preemie mommies. I do remember on the days that felt really overwhelming, my husband and I would often say to each other, “How awesome will it be when we are all home together?!” We anticipated being home with them so much, and that day the four of us were finally together at home was the best day of our lives.

So instead of counting down the days, we were in the NICU around the clock cheering our babies on and making sure we were as “hands on” as we could be every single day. We learned to changed their itsy bitsy diapers (which was stressful to do with tons of wires, tubes and needles poking out of their little bodies), we learned to give them sponge baths which was hard to do because at 3.6 (Noah) and 3.9 (Nikoh) pounds they were so tiny and fragile, we spent hours and hours “kangarooing” with them, or giving them skin-to-skin contact to create a bond and make them comfortable with us, and I learned to breastfeed them, which was difficult and frustrating to do at first since they didn’t know how to suck or swallow much during the first few days. We wanted to learn every single thing about our babies, and we did. It was so much to learn and “take in” but as the days rolled by, we felt more comfortable in the NICU and more confident “handling” and caring for our babies.

My husband and I made a great team. We were both committed to spending every day and night with our babies in the NICU. Many nights my parents also joined us in the NICU to visit Noah and Nikoh and also learned how to feed and bathe them. We made sure we were there for the majority of their daily feedings, bath time and any time we knew they were having any X-rays, blood work or procedures done.

It made us feel better knowing when our babies were awake and a little more alert, or when a nurse or doctor was performing a procedure on them, Noah and Nikoh would be comforted to see, feel and hear their mommy and daddy right there with them.

We were a team right from the start.

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Noah and Nikoh each had a lot of work to do in the NICU, and we were so proud and amazed to see how much strength our tiny little boys displayed. I can’t imagine going through half of what they did. My husband and I had so many proud moments in the NICU, it was nothing short of miraculous to see their progress from birth to discharge day!

Today as I sit here and write this blog I glance over to my babies who are now six months old, four months “adjusted” age. They are each closing in on 20 pounds, starting to roll over, and learning to say “mom,”! The NICU seems like such a long time ago, but it will always remain a big part of who they are.

Although time tends to stand still at moments in the NICU, it has literally flown by since they have been in the comfort of our home. I feel blessed and thankful to God for giving Noah and Nikoh such courage and strength, and for continuing to help them grow and develop everyday since they were born.

I look forward to sharing more about my miracles in future blogs.


XO~Noah & Nikoh’s Mommy

Jaime Twins in the NICU #crashcourse

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The NICU is an overwhelming place, especially when you give birth to twins two months ahead of schedule. There’s a lot to learn, and it all happens so fast.

I delivered Noah and Nikoh via emergency c-section on March 26, 2014 and spent five days in the hospital recovering from the surgery. The only “plus” to being hospitalized for so long was the NICU was down the hall from the hospital’s maternity ward. We visited with our babies every chance we had.

Immediately we learned the NICU was where dozens of babies were battling their own life-threatening situations. NICU babies are the strongest, most resilient babies you could ever imagine. They go through more pokes, prods, surgeries and procedures than most adults will ever have to endure. I was overcome with emotion every time I walked into the NICU. It was heartbreaking to see so many babies… many alone in their incubators, some babies with visitors, others who were sound asleep and those who were crying but had to wait their “turn” to be tended to by the busy nurses. As a mom, my first instinct was always wanting to rush over to the crying baby to offer he/she comfort, but I knew my babies needed me at that moment too.

Each time my husband and I would visit we would walk over to Noah and Nikoh’s incubators, he’d go to one baby and I’d go to the other. Their incubators were always positioned side-by-side so we could visit them both at the exact same time. We would stick our arms in their incubators, softly caress their little faces, cradle their tender heads, touch their tiny hands and feet and whisper to them how proud we were of their progress and perseverance. A minute or two later, my husband and I would “switch” so each of us could say hello and bond with our other baby. It would continue with the two of us going back and forth between Noah and Nikoh over and over throughout our visits, multiple times a day. For the first couple of days our babies were too “unstable” for us to take them out of the incubators, so the majority of those first visits really consisted of us gazing into their incubators, and imagining the moment we would get to hold them in our arms.

At the start of each visit we would get an update from the nurse who was taking care of our babies. Noah and Nikoh typically had two nurses per day, each worked a 12 hour shift and were assigned to care for two NICU babies. Most of the time one nurse was assigned to both Noah and Nikoh which made it
really convenient for us as opposed to having to get briefed by two nurses (less time getting updates and more time visiting!)

Typically the updates would include a rundown of several different areas of concern including if the babies had gained weight, were they tolerating their gavage feedings (which were done through a feeding tube inserted in their mouths and/or nose. *Their feedings started about five days after they were born, in the first few days they received IV fluids) had they been crying or uncomfortable, did their bilirubin levels rise or fall (which were monitored because they had pretty bad jaundice), were any episodes of Apnea detected ( which is common in premature babies and happens when the babies stop breathing) and had they experienced any Bradycardia or “bradys” which is a drop in the babies’ blood oxygen level as a result of apnea. We were also updated on how well the babies were breathing. Both Noah and Nikoh were placed on a CPAP at birth, a respiratory support machine which gave them constant air flow to help them breathe and keep their tiny lungs from collapsing. The CPAP is a clear, thick tube which was positioned tightly over each babies’ nose. It covered just about their entire faces and were very uncomfortable for them. It broke my heart to constantly see them try and tug on the CPAP mask. And although it was very faint, I often would hear them cry while they struggled to get comfortable with the CPAP covering their faces.

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Alarm bells were a common sound in the NICU. Every time I would hear a monitor beep (which happened at least a dozen times an hour) my heart would sink and I’d quickly look at Noah and Nikoh’s monitor to check their blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, etc. The nurses explained what all the colors and numbers and sounds of the machines meant, that way when we heard the dreaded “ding, ding, ding” we knew what was happening. It was terrifying when the alarm was coming from one of our babies, and a relief when it wasn’t. Emotional roller coaster I tell ya! I swear we would hear those alarm bells in our sleep, and I can still hear them in my head as I type this blog.

It was a lot to learn, a lot to process and a lot to accept.

I often felt intimidated talking to the nurses and doctors because they would talk in medical terms, and it was up to us as the parents to ask countless questions in order for us to really understand what was happening with our babies’ and their developments. The one thing I have learned being a journalist is to be SUPER comfortable peppering people with questions, even if its about a subject I know close to nothing about. So there we were, constantly asking questions, sometimes the same question more than once and often to more than one nurse.

Each day brought different triumphs and pitfalls for both Noah and Nikoh, and it often seemed like when one of our babies had a really great day, the other baby was struggling in one area or another. Our emotions were often divided down the middle — happiness and sadness — because Noah and Nikoh were always on “different pages,” medically speaking. It was rare that they ever had good days at the same time.

We realized that no one could ever be a better advocate for our children than myself and my husband and that’s why it was essential for us to be in the NICU everyday and night, so much so that the nurses would often tell me I should probably take “a day off.” But not seeing my babies for more than a few hours was never an option for us. They were hospitalized in the NICU for a month and a half, and we were there all the time.

Every time we left the NICU, it felt like we left our hearts behind. To help ease the heartache, we taped prayer cards and a picture of us on the inside of Noah and Nikoh’s incubators so they knew we were always there with them. Overnight we would call their nurse and get our updates over the phone. It was heart-wrenching when we were separated. Trusting strangers with my under-developed, precious babies was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Looking back, I consider those NICU nurses our angels. They took care of Noah and Nikoh extremely well, and often spent time talking to us, parent to parent, to reassure us that one day we would be able to take our babies home.

A lot of NICU moms and dads tend to ask each other how often they should be visiting with their baby/babies, and it’s hard to say because the circumstances and logistics are different for everyone.

But if you want my opinion, I would say visit always and often. Make it work. Make the sacrifice. Call in reinforcement to help you tend to your other children and other obligations. Beg your boss for more time off. Do what it takes to be there by their side. NICU babies need their moms and dads. They know when you are there. They take comfort in your presence. Your love and devotion to them WILL make them strong.

XO~ Noah & Nikoh’s Mommy

Got Twins? Get These!


(Nikoh (left) and Noah (right) at their five-month check-up on Sept. 2, 2014.

* I tend to write this blog in chronological order, but I have a few friends pregnant with twins so I thought I’d jump a head a bit to help them get prepared for their babies.

During my twin pregnancy I spent a lot of time researching and perusing twin baby blogs in hopes of finding what twin “must-haves” I needed to get my hands on. (Yes, I went into labor the week before my baby shower and had absolutely none of the items below, but that’s the topic of a later blog! I had every intention of being prepared before they arrived 😉 )

No doubt every twin parent will come up with their own list of “must-haves,” but here is what has worked for me so far. This twin “must-have” list is in no specific order, but instead a compilation of my daily “go-to” twin resources.

LulyBoo Baby Lounge – My twin boys Noah and Nikoh were born two months premature. When they “graduated” from the NICU and came home, they slept a lot during the day in their LulyBoo Baby Lounges for the first few months. I would place their individual lounges side-by-side on my couch, and put the babies inside to sleep. Noah and Nikoh always seemed to sleep very comfortably in the lounges and also had fun playing in them too. I love these baby lounges so much because they did a great job at keeping my preemies snuggled, and comforted while they slept. They were also very easy to clean. All I had to do was unzip one side and the lounge’s fabric cover just came right off. I would wash it and dry it in the washer/dryer and then easily put the cover back onto the lounge’s interior foam. I often caught Noah and Nikoh staring at a little sheep that is sewn into the interior wall of the lounge too, and when they started stretching their arms I would find them touching the sheep. So I know they loved the LulyBoo Baby Lounges! The baby lounge is also made for travel, and folded up very easily when I needed to take it with us to visit family.

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Breast Milk Storage Bag– My twins were hospitalized in the NICU for a little over one month after they were born on March 26, 2014, and while they were there I either breastfed them or pumped and bottle fed. I produced a lot of milk right from the get-go, so much so that I quickly filled a little freezer in the NICU and the nurses advised me to start storing my breastmilk at home. That first day I was totally unprepared, so I had to store my milk in a Disney-themed “Frozen” lunch bag that I borrowed from my niece that morning to store my lunch for the day while visiting my babies in the NICU. I had zero time to go shopping while they were in the NICU, so I ended up using that little bag for several weeks to store my breast milk. I would just fill it up with some ice from the cafeteria’s ice machine, and if my babies didn’t need the milk I pumped that day I would take it home and store it in my freezer. The problem I had was the ice melted fast, so it wasn’t the best for storing breast milk, but it did the trick! If I had a better storage bag, it would have been much easier to transport it from my freezer to the NICU.

Two Boppies

I think us moms have all heard how wonderful boppies are, so this is probably nothing new. My twins have used their individual boppies to do just about everything: sleep, feed, burp, tummy time, sit, etc. When I brought my twins home from the NICU they were small, and only weighed about 4 pounds. The boppy was huge compared to them but it still came in so handy. When I was alone with my twins and it was time for feedings, I would place both babies in their boppies, side-by side on the floor, and I would sit in front of them. My left hand would hold one bottle, and my right hand would hold the other bottle, thereby allowing me to feed them simultaneously. When it was time for one baby to burp, I would lay him on his tummy on the boppy to help him burp and I would pick up the other baby and finish feeding him. You will come up with all sorts of ways to make the boppies work for you and your twins, that is just one example. Now that my twins are five months old, (three months adjusted age) I tend to use their boppies to sit them upright so they can look around, move their heads and necks and give them a break from lying flat on their backs while strengthening their head/neck muscles.

Summer Infant Fox & Friends Classic Comfort Wood Bassinets – Noah and Nikoh each have one of these bassinets and they have been life-savers! One word: WHEELS! Although my babies were originally too small to sleep in their bassinets when they came home from the NICU, I immediately started using them to help me during bath time. I place each baby in their bassinet and wheel them both into the bathroom. I then give each baby a bath one at a time, with the other twin right beside me in his bassinet so I can keep my eyes on both of them. Very convenient when you are bathing babies without a helper! After their baths, I put the babies back inside the bassinets and wheel them back to the bedroom where I change and dress them. The wheels on the bassinets allow me to push them both from room to room simultaneously. A definite time saver! I also put the babies in their bassinets and wheel them right next to my shower, so I can watch them when I take a super fast shower!


Aside from the awesome wheels, the bassinets are beautiful! I love the dark wood finish and the modern style. Very different than the traditional bassinets.

First Years Close and Secure Sleeper – Like any new mom, I was absolutely terrified when I brought my babies home. Bed time tends to bring me the most anxiety because I am so afraid I won’t hear my babies if they cry. The First Years Close and Secure Sleeper has helped so much in reducing my nerves. I have used it in two main ways. I place one sleeper in the center of our Cal King bed with Nikoh (Baby B and about a pound smaller than Noah) inside of it and it has been awesome! I am super comfortable sleeping with Nikoh inside of it in our bed because its walls/barriers do not collapse, therefore keeping me or my husband from rolling on top of Nikoh, and it keeps him safe on his back throughout the night. It was important for us to have Nikoh securely sleep in our bed because he often vomits in his sleep, and it’s imperative for us to hear him to make sure he doesn’t choke.

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I use our second First Years Close and Secure Sleeper for Noah. Because my babies were born two months premature, I have felt that they were too small to sleep in the bassinet, mainly because they would roll around in it and wake themselves up. So what we have been doing is placing the First Years Close and Secure Sleeper inside Noah’s Summer Infant Bassinet (it fits perfectly inside, with no wiggle room for him to get stuck between the two) and place Noah inside the sleeper on his back for bedtime. I love how the sleeper keeps Noah in place, and brings him up higher in the bassinet. When he is asleep in it next to my bed, all I have to do is glance over or drop my hand inside to feel him and make sure he is breathing and is OK.

Taggies Soft ‘N’ Snug Bouncer

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I have used these bouncers everyday since I brought Noah and Nikoh home from the NICU. I really like the plush, soft lining and the mobile that is attached to the bouncer. The Taggies bouncer also has a music and vibration function which have helped soothe my twins on many occasions. In addition to sitting my twins in it to relax and nap, I also use the bouncers from time to time during feedings.

Graco Duet Soothee Swing & Rocker – I started putting Noah and Nikoh inside their swings when they were about three months old, and they have proven to be very useful when my arms get tired of holding them. Although I have yet to use it as a rocker, you can definitely use it as one in addition to a swing. My babies fit comfortably inside the plush seats, and are often soothed by the different nature songs, melodies and vibration functions it offers. The only thing I don’t like about the Graco Duet Soothee Swing & Rocker is that the teddy bear mobile does not move. My babies stare at it so much, I’m sure they’d enjoy it more if the mobile actually moved.

Munchkin Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail Set– I can’t tell you how many times I have heard parents say the diaper pail or diaper genie was a total waste. Let me tell you why I beg to differ. When you have twins, you will quickly become a master diaper changer. You will be changing sooo many diapers, you will feel like your house if full of them, and it will be! I promise! On any given day I accumulate about 15-20 dirty diapers, sometimes more than that. If I didn’t have the Munchkin diaper pail, I can only imagine what the trashcans around my house would look and smell like. Stinky overflow for sure! The Munchkin diaper pail does a great job at keeping all dirty diapers in one bin, and keeping the odor from seeping out. I change the bag on the diaper pail about twice a week. My only regret is not getting one for downstairs. My kitchen trashcan tends to fill up with dirty diapers when I have that the twins in our den, and it makes me cringe every time I have company over. But in our bedroom, all diapers are tossed into the diaper pail and you’d never know it’s almost always full of used diapers.

Munchkin Bottle Warmer – A bottle warmer is generally not considered much of a necessity to many moms, especially because you can always warms a bottle by running it under warm water. But if you have twins, trust me you’ll want to spend the $20 something to get one, or two. If you have stored breast milk, or refrigerated formula, you’ll want to warm it up before feeding it to your little ones. In the beginning I would warm up my babies’ milk by placing the bottles in coffee cups filled with warm water, and it would take upwards of five minutes to get warm. Much too long for screaming twins to wait! I decided to run to Target and buy a Munchkin Bottle Warmer to see if it would make my life easier, and voilà! Now it takes about three minutes to warm each bottle, which results in about four less minutes of crying babies. Definitely a must-have because the less crying your twins do, equates to more conserved energy they have to grow!

Fisher Price Fast Finder Diaper Bag – If you have twins you automatically think you’ll probably need two of everything, especially a diaper bag, but that’s not the case for me. And trust me I pack EVERYTHING! So I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that all of my twins necessities fit into one Fisher Price Fast Finder Diaper Bag. At first glance it doesn’t look like it is big enough to hold enough clothes, diapers and supplies for twins, but it is! It is equipped with a large interior storage space, several exterior pockets, an insulated, easy-to-reach bottle pouch, an exterior wipe pocket and wipe case, a cushioned changing pad and pockets to help you keep medicines, lotions, bottles or any other accessories organized and stored inside the bag.

Joovy Twin Roo Stroller Frame -I researched a lot of strollers before choosing the Joovy Twin Roo stroller. There are several reasons why I love this stroller, and only one reason why I don’t. I have been using my stroller for just about five months now, and the only gripe I have about it is I have to lift the car seats out of the stroller frame in order to get to the diaper bag and my purse which I store on the bottom storage basket. The car seats snap in and out of the frame easily, but I just wish there was a faster way to get to the storage basket without having to take the car seats out.

Ok, now for the great news! Everywhere I go, moms always tell me, “What a cool stroller, I’ve never seen one like that before.” That’s because with the Joovy Twin Roo, the car seats snap into the frame sideways, and each car seats sits in the opposite direction, so it’s easier to tend to each twin. photo-3 copy 4

I also love how easy it is to maneuver the stroller around grocery stores, malls and department stores. Let’s be honest, it is stressful enough mustering the courage to go out in public with newborn twins, so the last thing you want is a stroller that doesn’t fit anywhere. That was my biggest fear, especially because I knew side-by-side, wide strollers would just aggravate me.

Another great thing about the Joovy Twin Roo Stroller is that it’s easy to lift, (I lift it in and out of my car several times) and it fits nicely into the trunk of a sedan or an SUV. It pops right up, and folds right down and there isn’t much you have to do besides that when it’s time to use it.

The Joovy Twin Roo Stroller is compatible with several car seats, I selected the Chico Key Fit 30 which fits great.

Chico Key Fit 30 Car Seats – If you end up delivering preemies like I did, the NICU will require you to take them home in a car seat that is suitable for 4 pounds +. The Chico Key Fit 30 has proven to be awesome for my preemie twins. I especially love the newborn insert it has the kept my tiny little ones snug and secure while transporting them from the NICU to home. These car seats also snap in and out of the Joovy Twin Roo Stroller easily, and aren’t too heavy. I also really liked the grey/navy blue combination of colors on the car seat, perfect for my twin boys! The material is also very easy to clean. We have had several spit ups, and each one has wiped right off with no residue left behind.

Graco Pack n’ Play With Twin Bassinet Play Yard

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My twins have slept in their individual incubators/cribs/bassinets since they were in the NICU for safety purposes. But I love this product because it allowed my twins to sleep separate, yet right next to each other when they were napping or sleeping downstairs in our den. I love putting Noah and Nikoh to sleep in the Graco Pack ‘N’ Play With Twin Bassinet because it’s a convenient way to have them side-by-side and together in one place. I really liked that the bassinet has a dome that you can put up when you want to block light from your baby’s face. *The bassinet portion is to be used for babies ONLY under 15 pounds!

Lastly, I want to suggest if you have a two-story home be sure to have an area on both floors that has all of your twin necessities like diapers, wipes, blankets, burp cloths, bibs, onesies, pajamas, bottles, etc. In my house I have everything they need in my bedroom and their nursery, and another station in my den that way I don’t have to go up and downstairs when I need something.

There are so many things I use everyday for my twins, but these have definitely been the things I use the most.

If you are having twins you will quickly learn that it will take a lot of trial and error before you figure out what works the best for you and your babies. In my case, I found that my twins got tired of being in one place for too long, so I constantly move them around. My den is more like a twin circuit training gym, where I constantly move them from the swings, to the bouncers, to the boppies, to the play pens…you get the idea!

And if you are like me, blessed with an amazingly helpful mom/grandma to your twins, SHE will be your saving grace! My mom Norma has been my #1 twin “must-have.” She has helped me figure out the best way to feed, bathe, sleep, play and soothe my twins. Without her I definitely couldn’t be as successful as I am taking care of my Noah and Nikoh on a daily basis. So along with this list of things to help you, I hope you also have someone as incredible as my mom to help you transition smoothly into what will become the most challenging and most beautiful time in your life.

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I can never thank you enough mom, I love you.

XO~Noah & Nikoh’s Mommy

Hi Mom, Welcome to the NICU



(Images: (Top) Nikoh & I in the NICU (Bottom); Noah in the NICU )

Before my twins were born on March 26, 2014, I had never been inside a neonatal intensive care unit. I quickly learned the NICU would be where we experienced just over a month of triumphs and heartaches. But most importantly, it was in the NICU where no matter if a day was a “high” or a “low,” they were always precious, unforgettable and life-changing moments with our preemies Noah and Nikoh.

Throughout my pregnancy I anticipated spending time in the NICU with my babies, because I knew I would deliver them early, but I never imagined what a critical role it would play during my babies’ first few months of life. I was there around the clock bonding, feeding, bathing, nurturing and learning how to nourish and protect Noah and Nikoh once it was time to take them home…By far the most memorable time of my life.

Some of my NICU recollections

Hector and I were allowed to visit our babies in the NICU anytime we wanted, and if we were ever away from the NICU for a few hours, we could call and get updates about their conditions. Common updates we would ask for when we would call in the morning after spending the night at home were if Noah and Nikoh were breathing well, how did their feedings go, had they been crying or fussing, were they sleeping well, had they gained weight over night and were there any signs of developing infections or setbacks? The babies could not have any other visitors, except for their grandparents, who visited them just about everyday and were able to create special bonds of their own.

Each time we entered the NICU, we rang a doorbell, the nurse answered and we would say, “We are here to see our babies, Noah and Nikoh Jaime.” Once we were buzzed in, we placed our belongings in a locker, put a hospital robe on over our clothes and thoroughly washed our hands (from elbows to fingertips). Hand washing was extremely important because the NICU houses so many premature and sick babies, so keeping germs away from the unit was of upmost priority for both parents and hospital staff.

Inside the NICU, Noah and Nikoh were always nestled in their individual incubators. Although they were separated, they were always placed right next to each other that way when we were spending time with them, there was only a few steps between them (Often, we would stand or sit on a rocking chair in the middle of both incubators, that way we could look “left” and “right” to watch them both at the same time). The babies’ incubators had their names written on the outside, and inside the incubator we were allowed to tape prayer cards and a picture of Hector and I on the incubator walls so the babies knew mommy and daddy were always there with them. (Thinking back, I am sure the picture and prayer cards brought more peace and comfort to Hector and I, than it did to the babies. As NICU parents, it was heart-wrenching to have to leave them once I was discharged, which I will also blog about soon.) Nevertheless I had to do anything in my power to make sure my babies never felt alone, so hopefully the pictures and prayer cards brought them comfort and strength too.

On the babies second day in the NICU, I remember noticing their hospital identification bracelets. I assumed it would have their names on them, but instead they said “Nisha Monique Jaime.” It’s amazing how something so basic — my name, which I have seen countless times in print — had such a powerful effect on me. Seeing my name on their identification bracelets was the first time I really “felt” like they were mine…and it was an incredible feeling, because I had prayed and yearned for them for such a long time.

That moment was so profound, because I knew although they had nurses taking care of them, it was our love, dedication, strength and prayers that would give Noah and Nikoh the courage to grow and thrive.

Inside the NICU was also the first time Hector and I were called, Nikoh and Noah’s “mom” and “dad.” I can’t describe how beautiful it felt to finally have those titles, because we had prayed for our babies for so long. Just hearing “Hi Mom and Hi Dad,” from the NICU nurses made us both feel so special and made “parenthood” feel so real. Especially because at night when it was time for us to go home without Noah and Nikoh, our hands and hearts felt so empty.

Noah and Nikoh were born two months premature, and weighed 3.6 pounds (Noah) and 3.9 pounds (Nikoh) at birth. They had a lot of developing and growing to do before they were discharged from the NICU and went through a month of uncomfortable procedures, pokes, transfusions and surgeries. They also battled infections before, and after, they came home.

Prayers from our family and friends helped us and the babies through the saddest moments, like when Noah was discharged and we had to leave Nikoh for 10 more days in the NICU, watching Noah’s circumcision, seeing Nikoh struggle to tolerate his feedings and gain weight, and when left on discharge day and had to trust our precious babies in the hands of the NICU nurses while we went home for the night.

I have so many NICU memories with Noah and Nikoh, and look forward to blogging about more of them soon.


XO, Noah & Nikoh’s Mommy

Baby Boy Names… Times 2!


(**These are pictures of Noah and Nikoh’s cribs that showcase the name tags made for them by the NICU nurses. In these photos the boys are in cribs, which they “graduated” into after being held in their incubators for several weeks. More on this in future blogs! )

Picking out names for our twin boys was something my husband and I put a lot of thought into. Truthfully speaking, when I went into labor we hadn’t yet decided whole-heartedly on what their names would be when they were born, but somehow they ended up being perfect.

I always knew the names of my children wouldn’t be too common (mostly because my name, Nisha, is unique) and would definitely have to carry a special meaning.

When Hector and I started dating in 2006, we would sometimes talk about having kids and getting married (a very light-hearted, nonchalant type of conversation that many people who are dating tend to have from time to time.) I always loved the name Noah, and when I realized it began with an “N” and ended in an “H” I knew I would name our son that if we ever had one. I loved that it began with my initial, and ended in his.

So when we found out we were blessed with twin boys, we knew Noah was definitely a top pick for Baby A, or the baby who was born first. We wanted our twins to have names which began with the same letter, so we knew the second name would also have to begin with “N.” We also thought it would be special if Baby B’s name would also begin and end with our initials, “N” and “H.” The name Niko came up in our baby name research and we both really liked it. Niko wasn’t too common and sounded strong just like Noah. So we decided if we chose Niko, we would add the “H” at the end that way they would both start with “N” and end with “H.”

Something about our initials encompassing the names of our sons, made it special to Hector and I.

When our twins were born we hadn’t yet agreed 100% that they would be Noah and Nikoh, although those two names were at the top of our baby names list. But because things moved so fast during the babies’ premature delivery, we didn’t have time to debate other names. So we stuck with our frontrunners, and used our second favorite names as Noah and Nikoh’s middle names. Jeremy was chosen as Noah’s middle name. My mom loved the name Jeremy and after mentioning it to me, I loved it too. Jude was another name I love because it sounds beautiful and too is very unique.

If you’ve ever met Noah Jeremy Jaime and Nikoh Jude Jaime, you know that their names fit them absolutely perfect. Baby A, or Noah, is such a peaceful, calm baby with light skin and a round, cherub-esque face (characteristics which remain true to the “peaceful, restful” meaning of “Noah,”). Baby B, or Nikoh, has a lot more hair than Noah, darker, more exotic features and a feisty, little personality which in our minds coincides with the strong meaning of Nikoh, “victory of the people.”

A lot of people asked how we determined who would be Noah and who would be Nikoh, and I tell them Baby A was always Noah since we chose that name first, and Baby B would always be Nikoh. I can’t tell you how many people tell us, “Their names suit them so well!”

I completely agree…twice as special!

XO~Noah & Nikoh’s Mommy