Colleen & Karl Heubaum and Their Daughter Trinity

Colleen and Karl Heubaum, both Helping Hand peer mentors with Hand to Hold, describe their family’s experience with prematurity after the birth of their second child and why they want to support other parents who have been down this path.

Our youngest daughter, Trinity, was born at 26 weeks, weighing 1 pound, 12 ounces. Trinity spent 110 days in the NICU with a Grade 1 IVH, BPD, a PDA and ROP, but thankfully no surgeries. Our first daughter was born healthy after an uncomplicated pregnancy, so ending up in the NICU was quite a surprise – something for which we were completely unprepared.  And the “surprises” kept coming – just about the time we learned how to navigate and deal with one aspect of the NICU,  some new situation would present itself and we would be faced with a new set of expectations or fears.  Even Trinity’s homecoming was not the “finish line” we expected, as we faced months dealing with medication schedules, monitors, feeding problems, developmental delays and therapies. Trinity is now a healthy four year old, with only minor developmental delays and sensory issues. We are thrilled – and surprised?! – that she will be starting kindergarten “on time” in the fall. We want to support other families as they cope with all the surprises a preterm baby brings.

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