Around the Nest: Edition 5 – McCanns make local hospital brighter this Christmas

In December 2017, James McCann, who was recently traded from the Mets to the Orioles, and his wife Jessica would be in a situation any parent doesn’t want to experience.

Pregnant with twins, Jessica would deliver her babies seven weeks ahead of schedule, making the twins’ birth more than a joyous occasion.

In June of 2017, the McCann’s found out they were going to have twins, but her pregnancy would be considered high-risk. On December 4, Jessica would be hospitalized and delivered by C-section two days later.

Christian and Kane McCann were both born weighing under three pounds. Being born as early as the boys were, James and Jessica were only able to hold the babies for short periods of time.

“A typical thing you want to do with a baby is hold them and rock them and rub their back. But because they were born so early and their nervous systems not having been fully developed, you’re not supposed to do that because it could cause issues with their development.”

– James McCann on the early complications of the birth of his twins

One of the hardest things for the McCanns was spending the holidays in the hospital, anxiously waiting to take their twins home. Machines, doctors and nurses were replacements for Christmas lights, trees and family bonding.

“Being stuck in the hospital with babies wrapped in cords and being pricked and prodded is not really your definition of the holidays.”

– James McCann on spending the holidays in the hospital

While there, country music legends Tim McGraw and his wife Faith Hill donated gift cards to the rooms on the floor, the McCann’s being one of them. It was this small gesture that helped James and Jessica decide that this was something they would like to do themselves.

“That’s something my wife Jessica and I decided to do for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and Christmas, is just to let families know there are people that are thinking of them.”

– James McCann on wanting to give back during the holidays

For the last five years, the McCann’s have visited various NICU units, passing out gift cards to families and nurses. They have also partnered with the Jingle Toy Drive, which provides children in hospitals with a special gift.

 “We know what the nurses go through. We know what the patients and the families of the patients go through. Our goal is just to be available and help however we can. [It’s] really neat to see just how grateful they are.”

– James McCann on giving back during the holidays

The McCann boys are old enough to know of their experience in the NICU and have seen pictures of themselves, including one with Santa Claus.

“It was a special moment for us because it’s the first time since they were born where they were actually next to each other. Up until that point, they had been in separate isolettes, so when Santa got to visit, they actually were put together again.”

– James McCann on his twin boys meeting Santa Claus

Recently, McCann was nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award for his contributions. The 32-year-old is now planning to work with NICU Kangaroo Programs, which help facilitate skin-to-skin contact for premature babies.

There are also plans to have Christian and Kane McCann visit families in the NICU and share their own experience. Their growth offers hope and encouragement for families who are experiencing similar situations.

“Using my platform as a Major League Baseball player, that’s what we feel God intended for us to do. Hopefully, our story can help strengthen people in times of need.”

– James McCann on helping those who have had similar experiences

For the McCanns, their journey began in 2017, but their experience is something that will live on going forward.

“There’s nothing better than being a father, especially in this game of baseball where you live and you die by your results. You go home to two little boys that could care less if you’re 0-for-4 or 4-for-4. You see the smiles on their faces, and it’s a different perspective on life.

– James McCann on the joys of fatherhood

It’s a different perspective on life, not only for James but for the families and staff they touch along the way.

What do you think of the work done from the McCann family? Let us know in the comments below! And make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!

Like Stephen’s content? Follow him on Twitter – @SRJHeckman

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