The birth of Darroll and Linda Dimanche's beautiful twin girls changed their lives forever. As new parents, they felt all of the joy, love and excitement that babies create — but because their little ones were born two months premature, there was an added degree of concern.
"Having twins has been the biggest moment of my life," says Linda. "Everything I do is with the thought of making their lives better. It has been quite a struggle since they were born premature, but my husband and I are a great team. We've developed an amazing system with them. They're our greatest blessing."
Born in June at 30 weeks and one day, Zurriyah Rena weighed 2 pounds, 10 ounces, and Xaniya Maelyne was 2 pounds, 10.5 ounces. A full-term pregnancy is between 37 to 40 weeks. The twins were placed in Sharp Grossmont Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The Level III NICU specializes in infants born premature or with complications, and care is given around-the-clock.
"Zurriyah was in for 37 days, and Xaniya was in for 54," says Linda.
For those times when Darroll and Linda couldn't be at the hospital, they stayed connected using the unit's NICView cameras.. The cameras are secure and password-protected, allowing families to see their small wonders anytime or anyplace they have an internet connection.
"We always had our girls pulled up on our computer in the living room or laptop when we were in the bedroom. When we were out for prolonged periods, we'd pull them up on our phones. It was easy and user-friendly. We always had eyes on them," says Linda. "I couldn't imagine not being able to see them anytime I'd like."
In the U.S., 1 in 10 babies are born prematurely. According to Shirley Gardner, the director of women's services at Sharp Grossmont, "Having a baby in the NICU can be very stressful for parents, particularly when some babies have to spend weeks and sometimes months in the hospital."
"The cameras let parents watch their infants no matter where they are. For relatives and loved ones who work or are across the country, they can still be connected," she says.
As a special touch, the NICView cameras have designated names. "Our cameras' names were Brown Deer and Yellow Kangaroo," says Linda. "I've incorporated those two animals in all different design aspects when it comes to the girls. Anytime I see the two animals on television or out and about, it makes me smile, knowing that I have a personal connection to them."
How are the girls doing now? According to Linda, "They're doing great! Their feeding is getting better, their vision and hearing is perfect for their age, and they're strong and spunky."
Both Sharp Grossmont and Sharp Mary Birch hospitals have NICView cameras. Learn more about Neonatal Intensive Care at Sharp.
This story was updated in October 2018.