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Room to Grow
Bigger, better, brighter--good for hospital rooms and children.
By Kris Cambra
Photographs by Kathleen Dooher
Five sticks of butter. Imagine holding them in your palm. Feel their weight, approximately 600 grams. That’s how much each of Amy Marchand Collins’s babies weighed when they were born prematurely.
“Their due date was June 20,” Marchand Collins, 42, recalls. “And they were born February 28, 2003.”
At 24 weeks, the twins – a girl and a boy – had just barely reached the age of viability.
Amy and her husband, David, had been warned that multiples can often be premature, but still they were slow to grasp what was actually happening when Amy went into labor. She was admitted to Women & Infants Hospital, where doctors tried to stave off delivery. After a long night, it was clear the babies were not waiting.
“I took my cues from the professionals around me. They weren’t panicking, so I decided that it wouldn’t help things for me to panic,” Marchand Collins says. “I knew the situation was perilous, but I felt that I was in good hands.”
The twins were delivered via C-section and quickly placed in incubators. The Collinses hastily agreed to the names they’d only just begun discussing – Elyssa and David. The babies were wheeled past Marchand Collins, and she was struck, she says in a voice choked with emotion, “that they were so beautiful. They were small, but they were beautiful.”
Apgar Score: Prematurity by the Numbers
Alpert Medical School