Erin Fardshisheh says her pregnancy with twins was totally normal…until suddenly one day it wasn’t because her blood pressure and liver enzymes became elevated and her blood platelets dropped. These circumstances didn’t put her babies in danger, but did present great risk to Erin’s health and at 34 weeks, she learned she would require an emergency delivery. It was shocking news for Erin and her husband Ali who hadn’t even named their twins yet.
“We thought we had more time. It was all very unexpected,” Erin says. “My overwhelming feeling having the twins in such a dramatic, stressful fashion was fear. But we did always feel we were in good hands with the incredible physicians and nurses at Georgetown.”
The Fardshisheh twins were delivered January 18, 2016 at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and immediately taken to the NICU because they were premature and having difficulty breathing. “I was trying to stay calm but they didn’t sound like robust screaming babies and that is when I started to get nervous,” Erin says.
“If your pregnancy is high-risk, our Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is the best, safest place for you and your child,” explains Siva N. Subramanian, MD, Neonatology Division Chief. “Our doctors, nurses, therapists and support staff specialize in taking care of the most complicated, fragile, critically ill mothers and babies right after birth and we have the most advanced treatment capabilities to handle whatever medical emergencies develop.”
Erin says the NICU also has extraordinary staff who helped her and Ali every step of the way. “Those doctors and nurses in the NICU - it’s not just about medicine for them. Their care is deeply personal,” Erin says.
The Bethesda resident says that was especially obvious for her family at the three-week mark when Farrah was struggling to eat so a nurse moved the twins together into the same incubator bed for the first time.
“It was this incredible warm and fuzzy moment. They were facing each other, snuggled up and sleeping. The nurse walked over and said – ‘Erin, they are stronger together. I hope you always remember that truth.’ I ended up writing that on the first page of their baby book because it moved me so much,” she says.
Finn and Farrah both spent about a month in the NICU. They were sent home on breathing monitors and were slightly delayed in their milestones for a while. But they regularly saw doctors through MedStar Georgetown NICU’s transitional services and by the age of 2, the children had both completely caught up.
“This whole experience does give you a unique appreciation and gratitude for every milestone. Our children are happy and healthy and we don’t take anything for granted,” Erin says. “We’re so grateful to the doctors and nurses in the NICU. They taught us to be parents and got us through one of the hardest times of our lives. It’s something we will never forget.”