Maggie and Brian Schmidt with their twins in the OMC NICU

Level II NICU Cares for Tiniest Patients

Baby Grant spent a week in OMC's NICU after he was born. Parents Maggie and Brian and sister Lydia stayed with Grant in a NICU single-family room.

The moment Brian and Maggie Schmidt learned they were expecting twins, the couple prepared themselves for a wild, unexpected ride.

“Brian’s eyes were bigger than I have ever seen them,” Maggie said. “There was a lot of nervous laughter!”

The Ottawa couple has a six-year-old son named Corbin, but this was Maggie’s first pregnancy. Brian and Maggie chose Dr. Logan Kracht, OB/GYN, with the Women’s Clinic of Johnson County and planned to deliver at Olathe Medical Center (OMC).

“I always knew I wanted to deliver at Olathe Medical Center,” Maggie said. “We were excited about the new Birth Place and encouraged by the fact that they supported breastfeeding."

Maggie’s pregnancy went smoothly. She stayed active, ate healthy and only suffered from morning sickness in the early months. The twins grew well, and passed all of their biophysical sonograms throughout the pregnancy. At 33 weeks, Maggie began experiencing high blood pressure, swelling and pre-term contractions. She went to OMC for three days of monitoring, and then Dr. Kracht sent her home to be on bedrest.

Two weeks later, on June 1, Maggie's water broke. Her labor progressed quickly at OMC. Son, Grant, arrived first and enjoyed a few snuggles with his parents. When it was time to push for daughter, Lydia, nurses took Grant to a warming bed to get cleaned up. Maggie and Brian were able to watch Grant on an overhead video monitor the entire time. Lydia arrived 30 minutes after her big brother. Grant weighed 4 lbs, 7 oz., and Lydia weighed 5 lbs, 13 oz.

Born five weeks early, the babies were generally healthy, but Grant faced a few hurdles at first. He had trouble regulating his blood sugars when he wasn’t eating and his respirations were a little too fast. Grant was admitted to OMC’s new Level II neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), where he was given IV fluids and a feeding tube.

“I can’t say enough about the NICU," Maggie said. "Being able to stay with Grant in his room really made our experience at OMC. We didn't plan on having a child in the NICU, and it truly became a second home to us. Our room was comfortable. We were very well taken care of by the staff, who provided everything we needed.”

A secure webcam in the single family NICU room even allowed their family to peek in on Grant and Lydia during their stay.

“We had family clear in Alabama watching the twins’ live feed, along with our siblings and parents,” Maggie said.

Maggie breastfed both babies, and she and Brian spent many hours providing skin-to-skin contact with the twins. With the support of lactation consultants, doctors and nurses, Grant grew strong enough to eat and regulate his breathing. Seven days later, the Schmidt family headed home for the first time as a family of five.

Maggie and Brian thought the new Birth Place and NICU were amazing.

"The labor room was spacious and bright, and you could tell the staff was excited to be there," Maggie said. "The surgical room was really big, and thank goodness, because we had nurses for both babies, NICU nurses, Dr. Kracht, two nurses beside me, anesthesia and surgical team on standby.”

Maggie and Brian admit that having their babies in the NICU was one of the toughest experiences in their lives, but they are eager to share some advice with other expectant parents whose babies may need to spend some time in the NICU.

“Lean on the NICU nurses, ask for help, and don’t be afraid to ask them to help get you on a schedule,” Maggie recommends. “When Grant was in the NICU and I was in the recovery room, I had a hard time with ‘mom guilt’ when I couldn’t be with him, nurse my daughter Lydia, and get checked out myself all at the same time. My nurses let me know when I needed to be there with Grant and how long I should stay, and it made it so much easier on me. Rely on the staff, they know what’s best for your baby and YOU!”

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