Carla's Preemie Journey in Honor of March of Dimes

Our community is honoring the stories of our own Mamas within Our Village. Today, we highlight Carla Martin's twin preemie journey with her boys, Leo and Anthony. We are so grateful for Carla to share with us her stories. Please join us on Saturday, April 27th for the Portland March for Babies walk and/or make a donation to our teams fundraising effort here.

Carla's Story:

I had a normal, healthy pregnancy with our twin boys and was able to workout until 32 weeks when an ultra sound revealed one of the twins had restricted blood flow and was not growing. I began to have preterm labor and was put on bed rest.

Doctors did a planned cesarean the day I was 35-weeks pregnant. I had a very extreme reaction to the spinal tap and I don’t remember much about the c-section except fighting to stay present.

Our twins were immediately taken from me to the NICU. I waited seven hours to see them and it seemed like eternity. My husband was able to go with them but it’s still hard for us to talk about what he saw, as they both needed medical interventions and CPap to breathe. The next few weeks in NICU were also brutal, as our babies struggled for breath and needed more interventions as well as feeding tubes. It’s pain I personally still can’t adequately describe. I just wanted to hold, love and comfort them but there were so many short tubes and monitors and Anthony at three-pounds was so especially bony and tiny.

I’m one of the lucky ones because I got to take my babies home. Families in these situations need support. I am so grateful for the FIT4MOM Cedar Mill village. Big thanks to the Instructors, other Mamas in Stroller Strides & Stroller Barre and the owner who sets a tone of sincere support and encouragement. While our twins were in NICU, Mamas brought us very thoughtful gift packages, meals and gift cards. I wish everyone with a baby in the hospital had a village like FIT4MOM Cedar Mill.

To a Mama going through anything like this I say: It’s not your fault so quit beating yourself up. Do the best you can to be present and bond with your baby or babies but also take care of yourself. Ask for help if you think you might need it. It’s okay, no one is going to judge you or think you’re a bad mom or wife because you need help. Most importantly, keep trusting God and knowing it’s going to be okay no matter what happens. Every time I thought I was in a hopeless situation God reminded me He was working through others. It will be hard, really hard- but there is a reason God made you a Mama... you are exactly who that baby needs.

I am so incredibly grateful for help we received from individual people the support from caring groups like FIT4MOM Cedar Mill, St. Anthony’s and Ronald McDonald House of Oregon and Southwest Washington.

  • Baby Anthony
  • Baby Leo
  • Leo (left) & Anthony (right)
  • carlaleoandanthony.JPG