COVINGTON — A Newton County couple whose twin daughters were born prematurely is spreading the word about the love and care shown to them and their babies at Piedmont Rockdale Hospital.
Jenna and Nick Smith of Mansfield became parents with the birth of Caroline Jane and Harper Grace on March 26 at Piedmont Rockdale. Each baby girl weighed less than 2 pounds and spent weeks in the NICU. Harper was able to come home after 11 weeks in the NICU; Caroline is making progress and is expected to be able to join her mom, dad and sister at their home in Mansfield soon.
After so much time with the staff at the NICU, Jenna Smith said she wanted to do something to recognize the extraordinary care they received and that Caroline continues to receive. She nominated the NICU team for the 104.7 The Fish radio Acts of Love campaign. The radio station responded with a pizza dinner for both shifts at the NICU along with a swing, sound machines, swaddles and other supplies.
“They’ve been like our family, honestly,” said Jenna of the NICU team. “They’ve made sure we are taken care of and that we understand everything. They have just been wonderful all the way around. I wouldn’t change a single thing about it.”
Jenna and Nick’s journey to becoming parents has not been without challenges. Upon learning that they were unlikely to conceive a child naturally, they elected to pursue in vitro fertilization, which is described by the Mayo Clinic as “a complex series of procedures used to help with fertility … “
Jenna and Nick began that series of procedures in February 2020. Although the emergence of a worldwide pandemic complicated the process, the couple forged ahead and learned in October that Jenna was pregnant and in November that they were expecting twins.
Doctors told the couple that the babies would likely be born between 32 and 34 weeks of gestation, but the girls had other plans.
Jenna experienced pre-term labor at 23 weeks and was admitted to Piedmont Rockdale. Three weeks later, the girls were born on March 26. Caroline weighed 1 pound, 11 ounces and Harper weighed 1 pound, 15 ounces.
Both girls are now in the 8-pound range and, other than some reflux issues that Caroline is experiencing, they are doing well.
Jenna said the Acts of Love nomination was a small way for her to recognize the NICU team for all their care and support.
“Obviously, they’ve taken super great care of the girls,” she said. “Harper came home prior to her due date, which is considered rare. (The babies) were considered micro preemies. The staff has been wonderful from the day I was admitted three weeks before they were born.”
Both Jenna and Nick are Newton County natives who met through Eastridge Church. Harper and Caroline are the first grandchildren for both sets of grandparents, Karen and Steve Wagner and Todd and Yoli Smith.