NICU a blessing for entire Kallio family

Wayne and Kristin Kallio welcomed their first children into the world on May 20, 2008, but the couple had to wait 12 long days before they could bring their twins home.

Kristin gave birth nearly a month early to Emily, who weighed 4 pounds, 3 ounces, and Grace, who checked in at 4 pounds, 5 ounces. Because of the premature delivery, the twins spent 10 days in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Aspirus Women’s Health Birthing Center.

“When we found out we were having twins, I switched OBs (obstetricians) because I knew Aspirus had a NICU,” Kristin said. “With twins, we figured they would probably be delivered early, but we didn’t know it would be that early.”

Kristin went home after just two days, but the proud parents had to wait nearly two weeks to bring the girls to their new home. With the twins in the NICU, the Kallios and their family made a lot of trips between the hospital and their home in Wausau.

“It meant a lot to be able to stay in Wausau and not have to be far from home,” Wayne said. “Our family could come to town and stay at our house between visits, and being close to home made it easier for them to be supportive. If we had to travel out of the area it would have been more expensive.”

The Kallios were told that the twins could spend anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks or as much as 4 to 6 weeks in the hospital. The new parents attributed the fact that the twins went home in just 12 days to the involvement they were able to have with them and the convenience of having a NICU close to home.

“We were very involved in their care and as a new mother, I wanted to feel like I was taking care of my kids, rather than some strangers,” Kristin said. “We wanted to be with them as much as possible, and even when we weren’t able to be with them, I think they received excellent care.”

During the numerous visits to the NICU each day, Wayne and Kristin were actively involved in the twins’ care from the very beginning. They participated in all the feedings and were allowed to change their diapers, cuddle and interact with their daughters. The last two nights, Emily and Grace stayed with their parents in a hospitality room at Aspirus Wausau Hospital before going home.  

“It is so great to have a NICU in our area,” Kristin said. “The whole experience would have been a lot harder emotionally if we weren’t able to stay close to home. Since they were born earlier than anticipated, we still had things to get done around the house, so having a NICU here made all that more feasible.”