When our sextuplets were born in February 2004 at 28-1/2 weeks, we were overwhelmed and worried for their future. They were all so tiny: little Sophia was only 1 lb. 9 oz. and dropped 3 ounces before she started gaining weight back. Our biggest, Isabella, tipped the scales at 2 lb. 10 oz.
We were so thankful that we had Akron Children’s Hospital right in our back yard to care for our fragile little babies. They had everything all planned before the birth and offered tours and information to ease our fears. After the babies were born and transferred to the NICU, we realized how truly fortunate we were to have such a world-class resource at our fingertips. Every doctor and nurse that cared for our kids really DID care, and took the time to answer any of our questions, at all hours of the day or night.
We had the typical roller-coaster ride in the NICU—one day making progress, and then falling back a bit the next day. Each child had different needs and issues, and we struggled to find enough hours in the day to spend holding and bonding with them. The staff was incredible, and showed us everything we needed to know about caring for preemies. They comforted us on the bad days and gave us assurance that we could face this challenge.
When Isabella, Sophia, Kyle, Logan, Alex and Lucy finally all came home, still tiny but so healthy that no monitors were required, the staff celebrated right along with us as though the babies were their own. Our kids have grown and now are typical 6-year-olds, running and playing like any other child. We have had our challenges, but are fortunate to have physically healthy kids who amaze us every day.
We will be forever grateful for the excellent care our kids received and the support we were given during a very stressful time in our lives. Thank you Akron Children’s Hospital!
Jennifer and Keith Hanselman