SNOO Was a ‘Massive Blessing’ for This Twin Mom Who Battled a Brain Tumor
When Stephanie Krier found out she was pregnant with twins in 2017, she realized she’d need some extra help.
“I knew that while one baby was getting my attention, the other needed to be an independent sleeper,” she says. Fortunately, help came in the form of two SNOOs, which Stephanie received as part of the beta testing program.
Then came the next surprise in Stephanie’s motherhood journey. She happened to be in the hospital for a non-stress test, when the doctor discovered a placental abruption that had caused a huge hemorrhage. “They told me I was going to meet my babies today and wheeled me three doors down for a C-section,” Stephanie says.
During the surgery, Stephanie lost a lot of blood, resulting in two blood transfusions. Little did she know that there was a bigger issue lurking.
“I was sitting in the hospital on my first full day with the twins, and all of a sudden, I went blind in left peripheral vision,” Stephanie recalls. “I thought maybe they gave me weird drugs.” The labor and delivery nurses assured her that this wasn’t a normal side effect and urged her to see a doctor if kept happening.
Despite the twins’ dramatic debut, once they were home, they adapted to SNOO immediately, sleeping in 4-hour stretches before they were even a week old.
“They would wake to eat and then sleep another 4 hours. Even though it was broken for me, I still felt like I was getting 8 hours of sleep, which was incredible,” Stephanie says. “If one baby woke, I would feed that baby and encourage the other to keep sleeping. Some twin moms advise feeding at same time, but because they slept so well, I had energy to do it twice if I had to.”
But juggling twins wasn’t the only trial Stephanie would face in the first year of her children’s lives. Following the birth of her babies, Stephanie continued to have episodes where she’d lose peripheral vision or feel like she was going to pass out.
To get to the bottom of her symptoms, she made appointments to see an optometrist and ophthalmologist and to get an MRI. Stephanie’s ophthalmologist dismissed her symptoms as a mere ocular migraine and suggested she cancel her MRI. She decided to go forward with the MRI…just in case.
“I came out of the MRI and saw a brain and a tumor on the screen, but I didn’t know it was me,” she remembers. “The techs went from being warm and chatty to, ‘good luck with everything.’ They can’t tell you results. Only the doctor can.”
Later that day, during an unrelated appointment, her doctor noticed new test results in her medical record and offered to give her the results. It wasn’t the good news he’d hoped to deliver. Stephanie had a brain tumor.
“I sat there in shock for a minute. I’m talking to this hernia surgeon about a brain tumor,” Stephanie remembers. She learned that she had a meningioma, which the doctor told her was the “best type of brain tumor you can have.” It was isolated and could be successfully removed.
Still, it would require brain surgery.
While Stephanie’s diagnosis, surgery, and recovery were part of an already-challenging season of her life, she says SNOO helped provide at least one tiny piece of normalcy.
“SNOO was huge, not only for my rest, but for all the caregivers responsible for the twins when I was recovering,” she says. “When I found out about my tumor, I had to give up a lot of control. I had to let everyone help and let the babies get to know all of our close family even more who would be taking care of them.”
Stephanie remembers feeling relieved that her babies didn’t need to be rocked or cuddled by her in order to sleep. “A lot of moms may not want that, but for me, it was a big gift, knowing the twins were happy going down in their SNOOs and that it was a consistent thing for them.”
The parade of caretakers that came by to lend a hand were also impressed by SNOO. “I ended up with four friends getting SNOO because they were so amazed by it!” Stephanie says.
Stephanie’s recovery took about 3 months, but fortunately, her surgery was successful! Follow-up MRIs have shown no signs of the tumor growing back.
As for the twins…they continue being great sleepers, which Stephanie attributes to their stints in SNOO. Stephanie says they held out as long as they could before moving to a crib—but when they did, it was a smooth transition. “It was really seamless, and they’re still amazing about going to sleep.”
Looking back, Stephanie considers SNOO the most amazing gift her family received during that difficult time.
“We were so grateful that SNOO provided that embraced feeling of being in someone’s arms when in reality they were in this machine,” she says. “It was a really big deal.”
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