From Surviving the NICU to Helping Other Families

From Surviving the NICU to Helping Other Families


Dallas mom and breathwork facilitator, Shelsea is currently donating her extra breastmilk after her premature twins, Cielo and Sol, spent five months in the NICU

She says, “Sol and Cielo faced a challenging journey as they were diagnosed with level 3 Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS).” TTTS is a serious condition that occurs when twins share one placenta and a network of blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients. Because blood passes unequally between the babies, multiple life-threatening complications can occur.

Sol and Cielo defied the odds thanks to emergency fetal surgery at 16 weeks. However, at 26 weeks and 2 days, another hurdle emerged when an emergency c-section became necessary due to preeclampsia, a dangerous condition that causes high blood pressure and potential organ failure. 

Shelsea explains, “Throughout their NICU stay, Sol and Cielo faced the challenges of breathing support and the uphill battle to gain weight, considering they only tipped the scales at one pound each at birth. The road was long, but their strength and progress were beacons of hope, illuminating the path to their eventual triumph over adversity.”

Amidst several nerve-wracking experiences of her own, Shelsea observed other mothers and babies facing multiple challenges, many related to breastfeeding and having an adequate milk supply. When Shelsea ended up producing an abundant supply of breastmilk, NICU nurses suggested donating it to a milk bank to help other families.

Shelsea found the screening process at Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas to be easy and convenient. She says, “They came to my house to do labs and came to my house to pick up the breastmilk, which I’m so grateful for because my hands are full with the twins.

Throughout our NICU journey, there were numerous uncertain moments when the fate of our babies hung in the balance. Experiencing the fear, pain and constant worry during that time was overwhelming. Having emerged from that challenging experience with a deep appreciation for the difference donor milk can make in the lives of fragile infants, I felt compelled to contribute. Knowing that my donated breastmilk could potentially ease another family’s journey in the NICU, I was motivated to take action. I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the well-being of these precious little ones.”

Shelsea's family
Shelsea with her twins.
Twins, Sol and Cielo
Getting stronger
Sol and Cielo