When you come across 3-year-old twins Marcos and Mateo Rodriguez, you’d never know about their difficult start in life.
“At 25 weeks and four days they sent me in for monitoring to the hospital and within three hours the boys were born,” said mom, Cathy Rodriguez.
Cathy said her son Marcos was born with a small umbilical cord and doctors told her he needed to come out and so did his brother. The twins were born on March 20, 2014.
“We didn’t even know what the chances of survival were,” said dad, Adan Rodriguez.
Born at just more than 1 lb. each, now the twins are looked at as baby miracles. They were named as the Greenville County March for Babies Ambassador Family for 2017.
After May’s event, the boys will share their story across the country. Cathy said she’s not sure exactly what it will entail yet, but she’s so excited the boys were asked to be part of the March of Dimes national campaign for next year.
“Being able to talk about the boys and their successes and the struggles that they’ve been through and hopefully give some help to other families that are either going through it right now, or know that they have a pregnancy that could result in something, it’s awesome for me to be able to do that,” said Cathy.
Once they got home after spending several months in the Neonatal ICU, Cathy and Adan said the ensuing months were difficult.
“You want to come home, you want to lay on the carpet with them do everything you normally would do with them but we had strict feeding schedules… Mateo was on a tank, Marcos came home on a machine,” said Adan.
The boys slept on monitors past year one.
“You get through the whole NICU experience and it’s almost like taking the training wheels off times ten, going downhill,” said Adan.
Cathy also said she suffered from post partum and PTSD from the NICU. She said she now encourages other parents to reach out for help like she did.
“I know I didn’t do it and cause this to happen to them but the guilt that’s there has been tough for a couple of years, and so to have them finally normal, so to speak, is phenomenal and it’s just so, it makes me so proud that they’re stronger than I am, much stronger,” said Cathy.
“Team Rodriguez“, as they call themselves, said they couldn’t have gotten through their journey without the March of Dimes and the doctors and nurses at the NICU.
“The research that they’ve done in the past has benefited these boys. They received surfactant which is the synthetic chemical that goes into the lungs to help lung development – we could see a massive difference almost instantly on x-rays once they gave them that,” said Cathy.
“The most impactful thing to me was just the people, just coming around and checking in on us, telling us about themselves and what they do and just being friends to our boys,” said Adan.
At this time, Cathy said the boys still attend therapy and Marcos is legally blind. She said he’ll have to undergo cataract surgery at some point, but she said it’s incredible to see how much progress they’ve made.
“There are some other things that we are still waiting for a diagnosis to rule out as a possibility, but overall we’re so happy and proud and so excited that they’re doing as well as they are because they truly are miracles,” said Cathy.
The 2017 Greenville March for Babies in on Saturday, May 6th. There is still time to register for the event, click here for more information.
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