** The family of this sweet little girl has given me permission to share their story, with the hopes that Alexandria will always be remembered, and that their story might encourage others **
Kensington Elizabeth was born on August 12th, 2011, at only 31 weeks gestation. Her mom went into labor at 25 weeks with preeclampsia, but was able to keep them inside just a bit longer. She weighed 2 pounds 13 ounces at birth, and she was born just a few minutes before her twin sister Alexandria, who was born at 1 pound 3 ounces. It was discovered that the majority of the nutrients were aiding in the growth of Kensington, but that Alexandria was not getting the nutrients she needed to grow inside the womb, so Alexandria had a severely low birth weight at birth (known as IUGR). Both girls were whisked into our NICU where they would spend the next few months growing and fighting. Because that’s what both of them were- little fighters.
If any of you out there have ever had a child or an experience in a neonatal ICU, you know that it can be a scary, and long, process for a family. There are never any guarantees, and each milestone- whether big or small- is always celebrated because these tiny babies have to overcome immense odds, obstacles, possible infections, and constant setbacks, on their way to a healthy recovery.
And because these babies were with us for so long, we had formed relationships and friendships with the parents, who eventually just became a part of our big NICU family. The girls both had primary nurses, who took care of them the majority of the time, and these nurses became a part of Kensington and Alexandria’s family. Is is the type of bond that really can’t be put into words, because it is so unique and special. I had a the pleasure of being able to take care of the girls a few shifts, and I always enjoyed spending time with Niels and Andrea at the bedside. They were steadfast in their dedication to their tiny babies, and came each day with smiles and excitement to see how each girl had grown.
On November 6th, 2011, Alexandria went home to Heaven.
There will never be a day that she isn’t missed by her mom, dad and twin sister… and she made such a strong impact in the lives of so many during her short time here.
Although we had planned to do pictures of both girls once they were settled in at home- God sometimes has other plans. Perhaps Lexi had already served her purpose that God had laid out for her… perhaps this was the plan after all. And where Lexi is, she has no more oxygen tubes or feeding tubes… she is happy and healthy. And her parents find some peace in knowing that they will all be together again one day. And yes- though the pain is unimaginable, Andrea wrote in an email to me, that- “I’m hoping that in the future, I can help moms or parents during their rough times..” . She is even looking into volunteering in our NICU, simply to be a presence of help and encouragement to the nursing staff and the other families who have sick babies, and are hurting. Wow… talk about amazing. Taking her loss and her pain, and trying to funnel it in a way that will help others.
Andrea~ you are incredible.
Kensington & Alexandria were lucky to be born to you and Niels. And your family story is just beginning….
Thank you for allowing me to share a little bit of your story, and I can’t wait to watch Kensi grow up before my camera!
God’s blessings on your sweet family.