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Confident Care: Mom Grateful During Twins' Finley NICU Experience

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Twins Teagan and Isla Ramler.

Ashley Ramler delivered her first baby, Cohen, in August 2018 at UnityPoint Health – Finley Hospital. 

But, her second pregnancy was double the trouble, as her and her husband Craig were expecting twins, who were delivered on May 18th, 2021 – five weeks early. 

“After my first, I wouldn’t have chosen to go anywhere else, because we had such a good experience,” Ashley said. “Everything was how you would want it to be – organized and clean.” 

After going into labor naturally, it wasn’t too long before baby girls Teagan and Isla came into the world. 

Due to being born early, the girls were admitted into Finley’s Level II neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Isla stayed for 16 days, while Teagan stayed for 12 days. 

As a worrying mom, Ashley was thankful for the reassurance she received from NICU staff throughout her babies’ stays in the hospital. 

“It’s scary seeing them hooked up to everything,” Ashley said. “Everyone was good at explaining everything and why they were doing the things they were doing. It just made you feel a lot better. I’m concerned they were in the NICU, but I was confident with the care they were getting.”

Having high-level NICU care right here in Dubuque was a blessing for Ashley and her family. 

It made their new journey a little bit easier. 

“It was huge to have them here,” Ashley said. “I can’t even imagine having to travel, especially with a two-year old at home already. That would’ve been really hard on everybody. I don’t think you can even explain how much it makes life easier. If anything did go wrong, we were right here and not over an hour away.”

During their NICU experience, Ashley and Craig participated in care conferences – a chance to bring everyone on the babies’ care teams together to discuss care plans and the progress being made. 

Ashley enjoyed those meetings for many reasons, but especially to get a better idea of where the girls were at health-wise. 

“It was a way to update everybody on how the week went and was a good way to confirm that everyone was on the same page with how they were doing and being cared for,” Ashley said. 

Aside from the care conferences and as a new mom of twins, Ashley had many questions when her baby girls were in the NICU. 

The NICU and Family Birthing Suites staff were there every step of the way to answer her questions or give her tips on things to try.

“Even if I didn’t know what to ask, they were very good at explaining things and giving me suggestions on how to do things or things they’ve figured out by caring for other twins throughout the hospital,” Ashley said. “They were very good at sharing information with me and giving me things to try that might work for me and my babies.”

During the girls’ NICU journey, Ashley and Craig got to watch their twins achieve numerous milestones with their growth and development. 

One milestone that Ashley remembers fondly is the babies taking a full bottle.

“The biggest thing was if we could get them to take a full bottle, we would be ecstatic,” Ashley said. “They would get so tired and couldn’t take a full bottle. We would hear from a lot of the nurses that they got them to take a full bottle, so the babies were kind of night owls. It was the small things.”

With a young toddler at home and two babies in the hospital, Ashley often found herself splitting time between Cohen and the twins. 

Sometimes, it was hard to decide where to be without feeling guilty – a feeling that quickly went away after receiving support from staff members. 

“It was tough, especially having another little one,” Ashley said. “It’s hard to split your time and the mom guilt was crazy. Everyone made me feel good about how I was doing things and how I devoted my time. If I couldn’t be there, I still felt good about everything and didn’t have to worry.”

Throughout her birthing experiences at Finley Hospital, Ashley continued to be impressed with the Family Birthing Suites unit and its staff. 

It’s something she won’t soon forget as a new mom of three. 

“The care all around from the nurses to the doctors and anesthesiologist was very nice,” Ashley said. “They are so good at explaining everything. They always made sure I was fine and even my husband. They just cared for us all and did it so well.”

To learn more about birth care at Finley Hospital, click here.

Cohen and his twin sisters, Tegan and Isla