Lifeline from the NICU
At 34 weeks pregnant with twins, Sara went to the doctor for what she thought would be a routine prenatal check. Instead, she learned that one of her babies had a condition called intrauterine growth restriction. This meant he wasn’t developing at a healthy enough rate.
The following day, Sara gave birth via emergency cesarean section and both twins went straight to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
“I was desperate to see the twins after surgery but became physically ill every time I tried to sit up,” Sara remembers. “I just couldn’t get to them. So my husband got the idea of sending me Polos from the NICU.”
A surge of love from the outside
For much of that second day, Sara’s husband sat and talked to their sons in the NICU, sending Sara Polos as she lay in her hospital bed desperately waiting to meet them. Watching through him.
“I had no idea Marco Polo would create a lifeline to my babies,” she says.
Meanwhile, an affirming yet overwhelming surge of love came in from the outside. People wanted updates. So Sara and her husband created a private Marco Polo group that helped them get the word out to everyone in real time with minimal stress or effort on their part. Sara even shared a Polo of the first time she got to meet her children.
Our group became a one-stop shop where people who cared about us could see the boys, watch this process unfold, and send love. We didn’t have to repeat ourselves. We could just say, 'Watch the Polos!'
A bridge between home and the NICU
The boys stayed in the NICU together for 13 days before the bigger twin – Sara calls him Little B – was discharged. Little A remained for another week. “I’d cry on the drive to the hospital because I felt like I should be home taking care of Little B,” Sara says. “I’d cry on the way home because I had to leave Little A back at the hospital. On top of this, I was pumping eight times a day for 20 minutes at a time. I had zero bandwidth, and there was no right place to be.”
Marco Polo didn’t make her routine less grueling, but it did create a bridge between home and the NICU.
“At a time when every choice felt wrong, it was comforting to watch Polos of my husband reading stories or playing music to Little A,” she says. “It reminded me that even though the baby wasn’t with me, he wasn’t being neglected.”
Growing up, together
When the boys were finally home together, Sara adjusted to life as a stay-at-home mom. She began re-watching the NICU Polos to help process the experience there, which had been such an intense blur. She also stayed connected to friends and family, sharing her world with the original Marco Polo group, now 50 members strong.