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Posts tagged ‘bliss’

Update

It has been a few months since I wrote my last blog about the boys. Tbh I have been really struggling with my mood and keeping my game face on. Took a while to realise it just isn’t possible to do it all, so prioritising the boys and work I took the spare moments I would usually use for writing my blog to just have 5 mins, Practice my Soothing Rhythm Breathing and attempt to be less critical of myself in the process. I have been using the compassionatemind.co.uk website and I have found it to be a massive tool I have used to help me remain calm and grounded.

The boys have been full of mischief as usual. Out of the 4 places on offer for special education nursery provision in North Lanarkshire my boys were very lucky and were allocated a morning space each. They start Clydeview Nursery in Motherwell in August and will be there for 2 years until they start primary school. I am hoping this will be the game changer in their development progress. Already since May I have seen such a difference in not only Lewis’ speech development but also Logan’s. it is so so cute hearing Lewis shout ‘again’ or ‘my turn’, in the morning waking up to Logan shouting ‘ewis where are you?’

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Twins sharing a cot.

Ok I’m on the hunt. As many of you know my husband completed tough mudder in 2015 and raised £2500 to buy a twin cot for the NICU in wishaw general. This cot was amazing and it has been scientifically proven to improve the health of the sicker twin when Both twins are placed back together.

What I want to know is have any you gorgeous lot had your twins in a shared cot whilst in hospital?

Do you know anyone who has? What are your thoughts on the shared cot?

Please get in touch.

Scottish Twin Mamma.

Memories

Having a look at my Facebook and the memories pop up. Sitting here in tears yet again. Last winter was a particularly brutal winter for my preemie friends. At the time Logan’s chest had also been very bad and all my anxieties were heightened. This winter – touch wood, has been better for our family in regards to chest infections, although I would say Logan has had his fair share of illness earlier on this year with him having RSV, turning blue going limp needing to be 999 rushed to hospital in an ambulance and having nebuliser and oxygen therapy in March. The post I wrote is written below:

I honestly thought wow today was tough with my boys. But I have just learned that a preemie warrior just like them has passed away and grew their angel wings. I would take today’s sickness tantrums and random scream hysterical crying times a million just to make sure my boys stayed here with me. Puts life and our supposed struggles into perspective. There are too many families not spending Christmas with their babies. Some I know personally some have become cyber type friends via preemie support groups. I cried today and felt like I wasn’t coping as well as I should but there are families crying for more serious problems than mine.

“Tonight I came to bed to find my boys snuggled up like this and I cried again. Not because I was sad or stressed but because I realised how extremely lucky I am to have these 2 amazing fighters to kiss and cuddle good night.

I love my boys more than words can ever describe.

Also I should add before any bashing begins that I did move Logan’s leg away from his brothers neck.”

The last few months have been hard for us in other ways. Extreme tantrums due to the boys lack of understanding and social communication skills. The paediatrician putting it in black and white that Logan more than likely is on the autistic spectrum and for tests to begin next year. Yet again however, seeing this post pop up on my memory feed has brought me back down to earth with a bump. At least I still have my boys with me happy, mostly healthy and more importantly alive! Mums of angel babies would give anything to have their gorgeous babies back here on earth and in their arms dealing with whatever life throws at them.

I can’t reiterate enough how lucky I am to have these 2 amazing warriors clinging to my side fighting over who is getting cuddles from me everyday. No matter what life throws at us and how bad we feel we have it, it is important to remember there are people out there who are going through worse. We all have our own journeys to face but remembering those angel babies for me is a priority.

Sending prayers and hugs into the universe for those babies we never got to meet or were taken away from us far too soon. Also, praying for the families here on earth they left behind.

Scottish Twin Mamma.

Xxxx

What you should never say to a twin mum!

I’m not gonna lie. I always wanted twins. It was always something I felt I would do. Be a twin mum. If you look on social media you will see loads of articles directed towards that woman who also wants twins and it gives what they think is helpful hints and tips on how they think the best way to conceive twins is. FYI, there is no science behind claims that different sexual positions or changes in diet will make you more likely to conceive twins. When a stranger approaches you and starts bombarding you with questions you will inevitably get the same questions just worded differently over and over again. To this day, this has never bothered me but by listening to my twin mum peers it seems it can annoy and upset most mums of twins. So it’s probably best just to avoid them all together.

  • ‘I really hope I have twins one day

By saying this it’s just like you are saying that having twins is a breeze or a walk in the park. This was something before having my boys I never considered. I did want twins and I knew it would be difficult. It never came from a bad malicious place so I assume when strangers say it their intentions are also good. Consider this though. That stranger you approached in the supermarket has just had the night from hell. She has had to play swapsies with her children all night to attend to the baby with the most needs at that time. She has had no sleep and no help with the constant round robin of feeding, changing nappies, changing clothes due to wetness or sickness, singing lullaby’s to help settle baby to sleep. She realises first thing in the morning that she has ran out of essential groceries so attempts to nip out to shops still wearing her own clothes that had been peed on and vomited over. All she wants is to get in and out of the shop as quickly as she possibly can and then you innocently make this remark. This will make that physically and emotionally tired mum feel like she is failing. It should be easy. Everyone wants twins so it can’t be the hard option. Can’t it? Why am I not finding it easier?

  • ‘I know what you mean. I have 2 kids a year apart and it’s just like having twins!’

I think out of all the passing comments strangers have made to me, this has been the only one which really got my back up. No it bloody Well isn’t ‘just like having twins’. Unless you have had twins then go on to have 2 singletons 1 year apart then you will never know what it is like having twins. Just as I will never know what having 2 children very close in age feels like. Both come with their own set of bonuses and Both come with their own set of negatives. You will never know the heart wrenching feeling of picking one crying starving child over the other crying starving child. You will never know what it is like to try and juggle 2 colicky babies at the one time. You will never know what it is like to be trapped like a prisoner in your own home for weeks on end because when they become mobile it is near physically impossible to take the twins anywhere on your own, as they will inevitably decide to run in 2 opposite directions at the one time and be of an age where they don’t know what stop means or worse, they are an age where they just choose to ignore you. I can’t say one scenario is harder than the other as I haven’t experienced Both, but do you do what? It isn’t a competition to see who the most hard done by mother is. Although some women seem to thrive on competitive agendas. I will never know what it is like to be pregnant whilst caring for a young child, I will never know what it is like to attempt to entertain 2 children who are a year or so apart in development. Maybe as a community of mothers we could try and support each other rather than tear each other down.

  • Are they natural? / Do Twins run in your family?

Oh dear god! Where to start with this one. I personally don’t have an issue with people asking if twins run in the family but a stranger is pretty much asking you about your sex life and fertility status. The ‘are they natural?’ I always wanted to say ‘no, actually my boys are plastic, but thanks for asking.’ Would you approach a stranger of a singleton and ask if the baby was natural? Or even conceived ‘naturally’? No, you wouldn’t because it would be downright rude. Back in 2015 Elton John called for a boycott of fashion house Dolce & Gabbana after the designers labelled children born via IVF ‘synthetic’. My boys were only around 3 weeks old when this hit the press and to say I was disgusted was an understatement. How dare anyone criticise these miracle babies worldwide. I truly believe the children conceived with the help of fertility treatments are miracles as they most likely would not have been born if it wasn’t for the advances of science. Yet, if it were up to them they would deny millions of people the chance to become families due to them feeling it is synthetic. No pal, I think you will find it is the material you use on the runway that is synthetic, not my children who are very much real flesh and blood.

I have always been very open with family, friends, work colleagues and the odd stranger about my fertility journey but most people are not like me. Most people like to keep their personal business to themselves. So what gives people the right to ask such personal questions? I can understand that twins and higher ordered multiples bring out the curiosity in people, even though there are more multiple births documented now than ever before is partly down to the advances in science and the availability of fertility treatment. However, the rise in multiple births could also to be attributed to older mums. Many women do not have their children now until much later in life, this can be due to many reasons, however, nature likes to throw a curve ball and if your older than 35 you are more likely to conceive twins because your body has produced 2 eggs in the same monthly cycle. In 2006, almost 5% of births in women over the age of 35 were twins and this increases to 20% for women over the age of 45. Comparatively, only 2% of women aged 20-24 had twins without the support of fertility treatments.

“So no more babies for you then?’

As it turns out I personally do not have a choice with this one due to the afore mentioned fertility issues, in saying that, if I could afford private fertility treatment I would go for it. I would love a bigger family. In society nowadays it is assumed if you have 2 children that your automatically done procreating. Especially, if you have 1 boy and 1 girl. Not even a generation ago bigger families were the social norm. My husband is the youngest of 7 kids with both his parents also coming from large families. I don’t know how we got to a point where seeing a family of 3 or more children is now considered large. Who has the right to say how many children any one family should have? Again, I go back to it is no ones damn business other than the couple that is having the family. There is no magic number of children to clock up to to get the perfect family.

“Twins? I couldn’t imagine anything worse/I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy!’

Cant believe I actually had to write this one down. I have had this said to me by strangers on more than one occasion as have the majority of my twin mum friends. Now for the rest of my points above I could say the strangers were genuinely well meaning and didn’t intend for their comment or question to come across as malicious but with this one??? How else am I or any other twin mum supposed to take it? It’s the hardest job I will ever do in my life, but it is the most satisfying job in the world. Just when you think you have reached your breaking point and can’t possibly take anymore crying, sleepless nights, double sickness bugs and the like those 2 wee innocent faces will look up at you with all the love they have in the world and it will melt even the coldest of hearts into a big bowl of mush. Just one look can do this to you. You have no idea how many times a tiny smile or hug has brought me back from the brink of despair. These closed minded folk don’t deserve the love and happiness that twins can bring into your life. They don’t have what it takes to be undercover superheroes. 😂😂😂

Stay cool

Scottish Twin Mamma

Xx

World Prematurity Day 17th November 2017 — Triggering PTSD

Today is a very significant day for parents of premature babies world wide. As with many health issues you can find support groups on social media platforms such as Facebook etc personally I am a member of a few groups aimed towards anxiety, premature birth and multiple birth. It is a well known fact that multiple births are high risk pregnancies and a high percentage end with the babies being born early. Usually the more babies are there, the earlier the babies are born. What isn’t discussed as often is Singleton babies born too soon. According to The World Health Organisation (WHO) there are sub-categories of pre-term birth, based on gestational age.

  • Moderate – late preterm (32 to <37 weeks)
  • Very preterm (28-<32 weeks)
  • Extremely preterm Aka micro preemie (<28 weeks)

My boys were born at 25 weeks gestation. Lewis was 1lb 7ozs. (652grams) Logan was 1lb 11ozs (765grams)

Of the 1 million preterm babies who die every year it has been reported the 3/4 of these babies could have been saved if they had access to proven and usually inexpensive care, such as warmth, breastfeeding support and basic medical care for breathing difficulties and infections. Just let that sink in. 3/4 million babies could be saved every year. That one statistic is enough to prove raising awareness of preterm birth is essential. By raising awareness we are able to raise funding that can go towards research to prevent as many preterm births as possible. Although, as a preemie mum it can be so so difficult to see all the pictures of tiny babies with breathing tubes fighting for their life in incubators I understand the importance of getting those images and stories out there. If you read blogs or articles that take you through someone’s NICU journey you will find most of the mums state that they had very little knowledge of preterm birth and it’s causes.

My case was a bit different however, I grew up knowing that the miracles of science could save a baby born so early. My older brother was born at 26 weeks gestation in 1977. The doctors didn’t give him a real chance of survival. He weighed less than a bag of sugar. He is now 40 years old with his own family. My poor mum then went into labour with me around the same gestation, however, this time they knew that there was a chance of this happening so she had been monitored very closely throughout her pregnancy. So with some medical interventions I lasted until mum was 30 weeks pregnant. It was always thought that spontaneous preterm labour was not heredity, yet recently WHO have stared there could be a family link.

I have tried to speak about my experiences of preterm birth with my boys in this blog but I have successfully managed to avoid my personal feelings and speak more about the facts. This has been one of my biggest personal demons. I’m like an emu. When life is stressful I put the biggest smile on my face, pretend to the world that everything is A-ok and bury my head along with my problems in the sand. I recently discovered this only works for a certain length of time then all those fears, feelings and anxieties rush to the surface and there is no way to hold it all back. The last few months have been like a living hell and I’m sure my family who are my biggest support network will agree it wasn’t pleasant for them either. I went from being a happy bubbly person to someone who took every tiny thing to heart and would explode in a rage to defend herself when in actual fact I wasn’t being threatened in the slightest. Some studies suggest that up to 71% of NICU mums go on to develop PTSD. Is it any wonder though? The body and mind go through such a massive invasion at childbirth and that is when mum and baby are in good health. Now add in additional stressors such as traumatic birth, premature birth, complications to mum and baby.

So today is National Prematurity Awareness Day. Please take some time to pray for and/or send Well wishes for those babies who are still currently riding that NICU rollercoaster.

Think of the babies born too soon who didn’t get to go home from the neonatal unit.

Think of the babies who fight life threatening illness every winter due to their lungs being damaged from Prematurity.

Think of the babies who due to being born early and fighting for life daily in the early stages are now left with physical, cognitive or learning disabilities.

Think of the parents who fight along side their little warriors praying to take their place and not see their little miracle suffer everyday.

Think. Just think. The fight doesn’t end for many parents and babies when they leave the NICU and often this is a time where the parents need more emotional support than before. The fight can continue for years and even be lifelong.

To all the babies born too soon, I salute you.

Stay Cool.

Scottish Twin Mamma.

World Prematurity Day 17th November 2017 — Triggering PTSD

Today is a very significant day for parents of premature babies world wide. As with many health issues you can find support groups on social media platforms such as Facebook etc personally I am a member of a few groups aimed towards anxiety, premature birth and multiple birth. It is a well known fact that multiple births are high risk pregnancies and a high percentage end with the babies being born early. Usually the more babies are there, the earlier the babies are born. What isn’t discussed as often is Singleton babies born too soon. According to The World Health Organisation (WHO) there are sub-categories of pre-term birth, based on gestational age.

  • Moderate – late preterm (32 to <37 weeks)
  • Very preterm (28-<32 weeks)
  • Extremely preterm Aka micro preemie (<28 weeks)

My boys were born at 25 weeks gestation. Lewis was 1lb 7ozs. (652grams) Logan was 1lb 11ozs (765grams)

Of the 1 million preterm babies who die every year it has been reported the 3/4 of these babies could have been saved if they had access to proven and usually inexpensive care, such as warmth, breastfeeding support and basic medical care for breathing difficulties and infections. Just let that sink in. 3/4 million babies could be saved every year. That one statistic is enough to prove raising awareness of preterm birth is essential. By raising awareness we are able to raise funding that can go towards research to prevent as many preterm births as possible. Although, as a preemie mum it can be so so difficult to see all the pictures of tiny babies with breathing tubes fighting for their life in incubators I understand the importance of getting those images and stories out there. If you read blogs or articles that take you through someone’s NICU journey you will find most of the mums state that they had very little knowledge of preterm birth and it’s causes.

My case was a bit different however, I grew up knowing that the miracles of science could save a baby born so early. My older brother was born at 26 weeks gestation in 1977. The doctors didn’t give him a real chance of survival. He weighed less than a bag of sugar. He is now 40 years old with his own family. My poor mum then went into labour with me around the same gestation, however, this time they knew that there was a chance of this happening so she had been monitored very closely throughout her pregnancy. So with some medical interventions I lasted until mum was 30 weeks pregnant. It was always thought that spontaneous preterm labour was not heredity, yet recently WHO have stared there could be a family link.

I have tried to speak about my experiences of preterm birth with my boys in this blog but I have successfully managed to avoid my personal feelings and speak more about the facts. This has been one of my biggest personal demons. I’m like an emu. When life is stressful I put the biggest smile on my face, pretend to the world that everything is A-ok and bury my head along with my problems in the sand. I recently discovered this only works for a certain length of time then all those fears, feelings and anxieties rush to the surface and there is no way to hold it all back. The last few months have been like a living hell and I’m sure my family who are my biggest support network will agree it wasn’t pleasant for them either. I went from being a happy bubbly person to someone who took every tiny thing to heart and would explode in a rage to defend herself when in actual fact I wasn’t being threatened in the slightest. Some studies suggest that up to 71% of NICU mums go on to develop PTSD. Is it any wonder though? The body and mind go through such a massive invasion at childbirth and that is when mum and baby are in good health. Now add in additional stressors such as traumatic birth, premature birth, complications to mum and baby.

So today is National Prematurity Awareness Day. Please take some time to pray for and/or send Well wishes for those babies who are still currently riding that NICU rollercoaster.

Think of the babies born too soon who didn’t get to go home from the neonatal unit.

Think of the babies who fight life threatening illness every winter due to their lungs being damaged from Prematurity.

Think of the babies who due to being born early and fighting for life daily in the early stages are now left with physical, cognitive or learning disabilities.

Think of the parents who fight along side their little warriors praying to take their place and not see their little miracle suffer everyday.

Think. Just think. The fight doesn’t end for many parents and babies when they leave the NICU and often this is a time where the parents need more emotional support than before. The fight can continue for years and even be lifelong.

To all the babies born too soon, I salute you.

Stay Cool.

Scottish Twin Mamma.

World Prematurity Day 17th November 2017

We are coming ever closer to a day that is very close to my heart. National Prematurity Day 17th November 2017. However, in the UK we raise awareness the whole month through. The charity Bliss ( Twitter – @blisscharity ) are this year focusing on Prematurity and what it means to you.

With 1 in 10 babies being born premature worldwide we need people to know what obstacles babies and parents come across each and every single day. Giving birth to a preemie baby has a massive ripple effect that’s not just felt by parents but siblings grandparents friends and even work colleagues. In the UK alone 95,000 babies are born premature or sick. Being born far too soon means the baby is at higher risk of longterm health problems such as Cerebral Palsy and even at a higher risk of requiring special education at school. This fact is particularly true for my boys just now. Logan was stuck on a ventilator and no matter what the medical professionals attempted they couldn’t wean him off it. Everyday spent on a ventilator damaged his lungs further and brought up more health risks. The consultant spoke to my husband and I about giving Logan steroids in order to get him off his vent. Seems a logical solution – go for the treatment that will take away the ventilator, This came with a massive but though. The steroid treatment meant that Logan would be at higher risk of developing cerebral palsy, this was magnified by the fact he had suffered a brain bleed at birth and was at risk of cerebral palsy due to his Prematurity anyway. The discussion we had that night when we got home was just awful. We felt like we were trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea. In any event, we decided to be proactive, charge ahead and deal with the consequences as or if they arose. Logan is now 2 years and 9 months old. This is where we are seeing his cognitive development is not where it should be, even giving him grace for his Prematurity he is no where close. So this has started the discussion between his health visitor, speech therapist and nursery personnel that they feel he may be better suited to a quieter, smaller learning environment with specialist teachers. This is not to say he won’t ever catch up it is just to give him the best chance to catch up and attend a mainstream primary school. I was also worried that even though he was walking that he may have a milder level of cerebral palsy. He walks with his arms flapping about in the air with no purpose. He seems to have hyper mobile joints especially his elbows and shoulders. He also a very clumsy boy and will fall over very big obvious obstacles. The health visitor seems to think this is due to a sensory perception disorder (SPD). So life is very much up in the air with regards to the boys cognitive abilities. All I know is I have a very supportive family and no matter the outcome those 2 little miracle lion cubs will be fully supported and loved more than the world by everyone.

On our first day in the NICU the nurse looking after my boys explained that this is day one of a rollercoaster journey. Whether your journey is days, weeks or months you will be pushed to every physical and emotional limit you have. Just as you feel you couldn’t possibly deal with anymore along comes another dip. Yet everyday you get up, get ready and sit by the side of the incubator of the most precious wee warrior you know. Just knowing that they are fighting hard is what gives you the strength to carry on. This little person who you made and brought into this world yet haven’t been allowed to touch never mind give a cuddle is what gives you the courage you need to continue on.

We spent a heartbreaking 118 days sitting Vigil at the bedside of our little lion cubs. Willing them on, celebrating every gram of weight gained and every ml of milk taken, until we were given the news that we could eventually be a family together at home. I remember rooming in with my boys and being terrified. Even though we were still in hospital I was their sole care giver. My husband was still working away through all of this with the hope of taking his paternity leave when the boys finally made it home. It was like a military style operation organising feeds, medications, nappy changes and oxygen and that was for just one baby never mind the two I actually had.

The thing I didn’t realise is that nearly 3 years later the rollercoaster would still be going up down and roundabout. I thought that ended once you left the NICU. Nope. It certainly doesn’t.

I have many many stories of our time in nicu but for now I will leave it at that. This has taken me quite a few days to write as even though a lot of Time has passed it is still very raw in my heart and I get upset thinking of my wee guys being so ill.

Please feel free to share your experiences of Prematurity or your child being born unwell with me. Together we can bring awareness to an issue no one thinks about unless it happens to them. We need to highlight the issues and get funding for research so other parents and babies don’t need to go through what we have experienced. Even though our journey was man extremely difficult one, my family had a happy outcome. Unfortunately, not every baby who is born early or unwell leaves the NICU. Some babies fight the good fight but the angels take them to a better place than this cruel world. There are also some babies who get to leave the NICU, go home and then due to medical complications of Prematurity become very unwell and pass away months or even years later.

Please keep those babies and parents in your hearts and prayers. Light a candle for them on the 17th November and raise awareness of a cause very close to my heart.

Stay cool.

Scottish Twin Mamma.

Xx

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