For Brandon Gore, an Army veteran, “bringing the boys home” usually meant a return from a tour overseas. Now, however, it has a whole new meaning.
In October, he and his wife, Tiffany, doubled the size of their family in one fell swoop — and experienced first-hand how important it can be to have advanced medical services close to home. The Bowdon couple recently welcomed their first children, fraternal twin boys Weston and Wyatt, at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton. The twin boys were born early — at 33 weeks — and became the first babies admitted to the Sally and John Francis Tanner Neonatal ICU, a new Level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) located at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton.
The unit, which was showcased during Tanner’s Hey, Baby! mom and baby fair in August, formally opened to receive patients earlier in October.
Wyatt was born Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 11:26 a.m., and his brother Weston followed hot on his heels at 11:27 a.m. Weston was born weighing 4 pounds, 5 ounces, and Wyatt was born weighing 3 pounds, 14 ounces. Both boys measured at 17 inches long. The babies were delivered by Megan Grilliot, MD, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist with West Georgia OB/GYN.
“Our plan was to go to 38 weeks, but they were ready to come out, so we had them early at 33 weeks,” said Tiffany. “We got here on Thursday and I had the twins that Tuesday. They’ve been here just a few days, but it feels like it’s been a lot longer. We’re all doing well. They’re getting stronger, and soon enough, we’ll all be home.”
There are few moments as precious as having a baby and getting a first glimpse at those tiny toes and tiny fingers, but sometimes complications arise that require a special level of care. Experiencing this can be tough for families who have to struggle with the joy of having a newborn child and the distressing emotions of caring for a baby in the hospital.
“Everything here at Tanner has been great,” said Brandon. “All of our nurses and doctors have been great with letting us know what’s going on. We knew that we were having twins, and we knew that Tanner had a good maternity center and the new NICU. I work in this area, so it just made it easier to have everything we needed in the same area. As far as the twins, it’s kind of day-by-day right now. Weston will probably come home sooner than Wyatt because his complications are starting to resolve sooner. Wyatt’s homecoming will just depend on how fast he can recover and start playing catch-up with his brother.”
The NICU is no place a family wants to be — but it’s a Godsend when they need it. The Sally and John Francis Tanner Neonatal ICU was built so the community’s tiniest and most fragile babies, like Weston and Wyatt, can receive advanced treatment and specialized care close to home, which means the most for parents like the Gores and their loved ones. Without the NICU in Carrollton, Weston and Wyatt would have to receive care beyond Carrollton, meaning long, frequent commutes for the Gores to Atlanta, Columbus or beyond — including the time and expense of travel and feeling distant from their newborns.
The NICU is designed to provide advanced care for newborns who need it, including those born prematurely, those with physical issues at birth that require medical intervention, and for multiple births, such as twins and triplets.
The care is already helping the Gore twins get ready for that short ride home.
“They’re doing a lot better,” said Tiffany. “Weston is breathing and eating on his own now. Wyatt is breathing on his own as well. He’s just starting to take the bottle now, but he’s getting stronger every day. The main thing for me is being able to see them whenever I want. And I am thankful that we live just a few minutes away so I know getting here to see them won’t be a problem.”
Having the babies at the Sally and John Francis Tanner Neonatal ICU has allowed Tiffany and Brandon to visit with Weston and Wyatt every day and build that precious family bond. But the day they look forward to the most is when they’ll finally be able to bring their boys home.
More information about the specialized maternity services available at Tanner is available online at TannerMaternityCare.org.