Caring for the tiniest patients
When Charlotte Wilhelm, 36, visited Sentara-EVMS Fetal Care Center in the 26th week of her pregnancy with twin babies, the doctor noticed an issue with the blood flow to her placenta.
“The staff sent us immediately to Sentara Princess Anne Hospital for additional monitoring. We thought we’d go home the next day,” Charlotte says of herself and her husband, Steve.
Within 24 hours, Charlotte delivered her babies.
Hours before an emergency C-section became necessary, “Baby B” had shown signs of distress and “Baby A” struggled with a dropping heart rate.
Charlotte and Steve were frightened: At 26 weeks old, the babies hadn’t grown enough.
“The nurses saw that we were scared and anxious,” Charlotte says. “They took time to talk with us. They told us about everything.”
The nurses reassured her as the C-section began, explaining the next step and when to expect it.
Feeling at home
Richard, first known as “Baby B,” was only 1 pound, 5 ounces when he arrived. John, “Baby A,” was 1 pound, 14 ounces. They stayed at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital for almost four months.
Charlotte worried only once: When Richard transferred out of the hospital briefly to another facility outside the Sentara system for an eye surgery.
“When he was back at Sentara Princess Anne, I felt like he was ‘home,’” she says.
Fast and friendly
Days after Baby John was released from the hospital, Charlotte scheduled a checkup with Sentara Pediatric Physicians.
As a preemie, John could be more susceptible to catching a cold. Charlotte hoped to minimize his exposure to other children.
“I was relieved I didn’t have to stay in the waiting area. The nurse got us to a room fast,” she says. “She was kind and helpful during the check-up.”
Within a few days of John’s first office check-up, Richard was finally home. The Wilhelm family was once again sleeping under the same roof – even if that sleeping was a bit hard to come by.
The twin boys are like all babies: Sometimes they’ll sleep, and sometimes they won’t.
Charlotte doesn’t mind; all that matters to her is the boys’ continued good health.
“They’re about the size we expected,” the busy mom shares, “and they are doing well!”