25th Feb 2015. The day my world changed
On the 25/2/15 my world was turned upside down when we had the very early unexpected arrival of my twin boys Lewis and Logan. I was 25+5 weeks pregnant and have never been so scared in all my life. Recently I was asked by the NICU to right a short story about the arrival of my boys and the events that had occurred. This has what has spurred me on to begin this blog. I have wanted to do it for a long time but just never seemed to have the time. If I’m not looking after my boys then I’m pretty much exhausted and want to sleep. Lol. However, over the coming weeks we will be celebrating the boys 1st birthday and I will be preparing to return to work after my maternity leave. So I think there are some exciting time ahead and I’d like to document it. Especially since I have recently fallen and broken my right humorous So I’m struggling just now as I can do physically very little for the boys – thank the heavens for supportive husbands and families
I would love to hear your stories of all your gorgeous miracle babies too and maybe we can all be a support to each other. Let’s face it no one knows even a fraction of the journey we have all went through. Below I will attach the short – well as short as I could!! Story about my boys journey in the NICU. As you will have guessed there are loads of details I have missed out but in time I hope to cover it all here.
Love your Scottish twin preemie mamma
After 9 years of fertility treatments my husband and I were thrilled to find out we were eventually expecting our first baby. At the scan when we found out it was twins we were over the moon and couldn’t be any happier. However, the pregnancy was not without its complications and my boys arrived at 25+5 weeks gestation. The NICU were well prepared for their arrival and had 2 sets of teams ready for when my boys made their arrival into the world weighing just 1lb 7oz and 1lb 11oz on 25 Feb 2015. This was when our rollercoaster ride – as the NICU put it truly began.
It was a few hours before Tony and I got to see our boys as the staff were busy setting them up in what would be their womb with a view for the next 21 weeks. On arrival to NICU we were met by the nurses who would be caring for our boys and we were taken over the hand hygiene protocol. When we did see our boys it was very overwhelming. To see their tiny bodies wrapped in plastic bags and covered with IV lines not to mention the tubes that were breathing for them was terrifying. We requested our boys were baptised as it was very much touch and go, this was organised and carried out within 2 hours of request with even the staff taking part. This meant so much to us as it showed us that our babies were important to them as they were to us. These girls weren’t just doing a “job”. They were doing what they loved and cared about. Then came what the nurses would call the honeymoon period. You don’t believe them when they tell you to prepare for this and the rollercoaster ride buts it’s true it does happen. For the next 7-10 days the boys got better and better and I truly believe we would be home in no time, although this was not to be. Soon the complications that had been explained to us at the very start began to happen. Logan was discovered to have a grade 1 bleed on the brain. Both boys had PDA’s. Lewis’. PDA. was successfully closed with medication however, Logan was experiencing gut issues and had his feed stopped frequently due to ? NEC. At 4 weeks old the decision was his PDA was causing severe breathing issues as he was unable to be extubated potentially causing long term lung issues. Medication therapy did not work so he was transferred via ambulance to the old yorkhill hospital for heart surgery. This was successful and he was back home in Wishaw in a matter of days. The team were unable to extubate him so steroid therapy was discussed and given the go ahead. Within 2 weeks Logan was coping well on biPap.
At 6 weeks old I got the first cuddle with both of my boys together. This was such a big deal to us as it was the first time my boys had been back together since they were born. The nurses even had tears in their eyes. Or so I was told as I was too busy crying and kissing and cuddling my boys to notice. Still to this day this moment warms my heart and makes me smile.
One week later Lewis became seriously unwell. His infection markers were going up and up. The antibiotics weren’t working he was reintubated as he was struggling to breathe. My poor boy was eventually discovered to be septic due to a chest infection. He had E.coli in his gut and to top it off he had meningitis. He deteriorated very quickly and was on more antibiotics than I can remember. He only had 2 access lines and staff were unable to get more even though it was warranted. His oxygen requirements got higher til they were 100%. Eventually he was put onto a high frequency ventilator which gives the baby 600-1000 breaths per minute but to me in the outside world it just looked as if it was vibrating my baby who was now unrecognisable. He was pale and bloated with fluid. The doctors explained that from a medical stand point there was nothing else that could be done. It was all on Lewis now and whatever entity I believed in. The staff bent over backwards to help myself, Tony and our family and to make us as comfortable as possible. I roomed in for 4 days as it was felt that any more bad turns were taken it would be drastic and quick. The doctors did not leave his side during this time day or night. Then by some miracle he began to improve and after 7 days he was well enough to be put onto cpap. Of course Logan couldn’t have all the attention on his big brother so also became unwell with sepsis. Again this was treated quickly and successfully.
At 17 weeks my boys were moved into scbu. Now this took more adjustment from Tony and I than it did for the boys. To be allowed to touch and cuddle my boys whenever I wanted was not only a foreign concept but a scary one. Did I mention how terrified i was? I thought that the light at the end of the tunnel was in sight and time would fly in before we got home. I was wrong. Scbu for my boys was a time to sleep and grow. They were lucky enough to be the first occupants of the twin cot so got some well earned brother cuddles and this seemed to spur them on to get bigger and healthier. Both boys had successful surgery on their eyes for ROP.
Then at 21 weeks the time came that I seriously thought would never happen. I roomed in for 3 days in preparation for the boys homecoming. Tired and scared are not the words. Delighted and exhilarated aren’t the words. But if you find somewhere that includes all 4 you might be close to what was felt. Logan came home on 25th June and Lewis followed closely on 29th June 2015 after he had visited the new sick kids hospital to have his bilateral inguinal hernias repaired. Both came home on oxygen.
At time of writing this my boys are quickly approaching their first birthday. To look at them you would never know what they have went through. They are happy healthy and very cheeky as every boy should be. For my husband and I we will never forget but will be forever grateful to all of the staff who saved our boys lives more than once. The friends I made during the boys NICU stay will be in our lives forever. There is no better support network than from the other mums in the unit going through everything you are experiencing. Your are not alone and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Good luck on your journey.
Love Hugs and well wishes.