NICU Delivers Lifesaving Care

81 days. The number of days between Julian and Mason’s due date and the date they were born.

The twins were to be delivered on or around August 12th, 2021, at Ascension Seton Williamson, but instead they came rushing into this world on May 23rd, more than 2.5 months early. There was no reason for them to arrive so soon—their mother, Morgan, had zero pregnancy complications until then. But at just shy of 28 weeks, Morgan started having contractions and severe pain while at work. Morgan was rushed to Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin to ensure the boys would be delivered with immediate access to a high-acuity NICU. “The doctor was talking to me like I was going to have them and I remember saying, “No, no, no, this can’t happen!” The Ascension Seton staff did everything they could to help prevent Morgan from delivering, but three days later, Julian and Mason were born—one by vaginal birth and the other by emergency C-section.

Though the boys were premature, born at 28 weeks, they each weighed three pounds at birth. “I was so naïve and thought they’d come home in a week. 95 days later, we were still in NICU.” The months ahead for the Barringer Family were challenging—the boys were initially considered at-risk with feeding complications and a brain bleed for Julian, and a rhinovirus scare for Mason—but the NICU doctors and nurses rallied around the family. “Dr. Gross took the time to sit with us and pull up Julian’s scans and go through everything with us. Talk about putting our minds at ease! For new parents, it was huge!”

Morgan spent every day at the NICU, often alone while her husband worked. “The community aspect helped a lot,” Morgan says. “The nurses and other parents truly became my friends, support, encouragement, and shoulders to cry on. I wouldn’t have survived it without them. Even having mundane conversations with me—they made me laugh. It was beautiful. They made a really bad situation enjoyable, which is crazy because it was the worst situation. I feel like so much positivity came out of it.”

Today, Mason and Julian are 16-months-old and out of the NICU. They’re each 20 pounds of fun and personality. Julian no longer needs a G-Tube for feeding and completed a full year of physical therapy because his doctors were worried he might have cerebral palsy. Mason recently graduated from the follow-up feeding program both boys have been in, and the boys have regular appointments to ensure they’re on-track with development. Morgan is thankful for the high-quality, empathetic care she and her boys have received starting all the way back to the day she went into preterm labor. “I don’t think my boys would have gotten that level of care anywhere else. I just knew they were going to be ok because of Seton.”

Published: April 18th, 2023