Born at 33 weeks my little ladies weighed 4lbs and 4lbs 3. They were delivered by cesarean section due to me having pre-eclampsia from a very early stage of my pregnancy. At 33 weeks I went into a fit and my husband was told we had to deliver as my liver was starting to fail. I can only imagine how he must have felt. Scared and excited. Scared for his wife (me) but excited to meet the new additions.
It wasn’t a straight forward c-section as at the last minute we were told there were no cots in Stepping Hill Neonatals department. So I was rushed via ambulance to Wythenshawe hospital as they had just had 2 spaces become available.
At 18.27 and 18.28pm that night my little miracles entered the world. It was almost 24 hours later when I myself got to meet them. I was too poorly and not allowed to the ward until my blood pressure stabilised. Any parent will tell you not being with your new born is one of the hardest things ever.
For me, the hardest part was my older child (then 20 months) Layla Nicole coming to visit the hospital. She was so tiny herself still and so excited to meet her sisters. So Daddy took her to the neonatal department without me to meet them. She came back so excited… telling me about lights and tubes and her tiny babies. She showed me pictures of my girls in the incubators with the blue lights, oxygen and cannulas. It was heart breaking yet my proudest moment in life too watching her beam with pride. I finally got to meet my girls 24 hours later and it was incredible. But for me the hardest part was only being able to touch through a little hole in the glass. Any new parent will tell you they just want that cuddle their baby. They want to feel like Mummy.
For me, the hardest part was my older child (then 20 months) Layla Nicole coming to visit the hospital. She was so tiny herself still and so excited to meet her sisters. So Daddy took her to the neonatal department without me to meet them.
It was a long 8 weeks. Ups and downs. Beeps from machines that frighten you at first, but you soon learn to know what they all mean. Alarms set for in the night to pump milk that can then be tube fed to your babies. Learning to tube feed. Being allowed to change the first nappy while they are in the incubators. Being told today they can try on a vest, then a few days later a baby grow. Moving them to a cot… this made me cry. All the little things most parents take for granted.
I made some amazing friendships on neonatal. Only someone that has been through this experience can ever truly understand. So I keep my friends I met there close. We have a bond like no other. After 5 days my girls were moved back to our local hospital. This made juggling 2 newborns in neonatal and a 20 month old back at home a little easier. Me and my husband took shifts of who went where. 1 of us at the hospital with Sienna and Freya, 1 at home or my mum’s with Layla.
My Mum was my rock and a superstar with my eldest Layla just taking the lead with her while I had to be away. I was discharged after 6 days so had to leave my girls alone in neonatal. You can only imagine how this feels. Most people moan about night feeds, I was wishing I was doing them. Finally my girls came home after 8 weeks and I was over the moon. ” Just in time for my birthday ” I told my husband. Only to be heartbroken when they both picked up bronchitis and ended up back in hospital. Both of my girls got this really bad. They spent 2 weeks in HDU on c-pap and by-pap.
The hardest moment of my life was asking a Dr if my little Freya was going to be ok? Only to be told to have hope and that he couldn’t answer me. No parent wants to hear this. But guess what… My little miracles are now 6. In fact we celebrated it only last week with a gymnastics birthday party. They are happy and most importantly healthy.
The bond between my eldest and her twin sisters is lovely to watch. Yes they bicker, yes they are sometimes monkeys, but they are my little fighters. I will always be truly grateful for what the neonatal departments did for me and my family. They gave me our happily ever after. To say thank you I’ve currently raised over £3000 for our local neonatal unit at Stepping Hill. It will never be a big enough thank you but I hope it helps to give at least 1 other family a happily ever after too. My moto on life now is even miracles take a little time… and my girls are the living proof of this.