At just 34 weeks gestation, I went to the twin clinic on Tuesday afternoon. I had severe back pain, rib flare, and problems with my hips meaning I could hardly walk. On top of that I had heartburn and was still being really sick. I practically begged the consultant to at least consider booking me in early. No way was the answer until you are at least 36 weeks.
Thankfully things began to happen naturally. By Thursday at 11am I was already fully dilated, but waiting on previous notes to arrive. Waters still hadn’t broken fully – which effectively took me back to 8cm dilated. Finally at 10pm Thursday 24th March the decision to give me an emergency C section was taken.
Twin 1 – now named Katie was born at 10.43pm Thursday 24th March, followed a minute later by twin 2 – Abbie. Instantly we could hear cries, and we thought everything was ok. Katie was brought over and Neil got a cuddle. Just then Abbie was brought past, in incubator and Neil was told she was heading to Neo Natal.
The Doctor finished with me, and pretty soon I was getting transferred to the recovery ward. Now my head was a little clearer, I asked after Abbie. She was having a little trouble breathing so was going to Neo Natal High Dependency. She was to be put on a Cpap – a mask over her nose and head for oxygen.
The following day Katie was doing well, and I was up and about. On Neil’s arrival we made our way along to Neo Natal to see Abbie. After just 12 hours or so she was already off the oxygen. She continued to make progress in leaps and bounds. Within just 3 days Abbie was moved from high dependency to transitional care ward beside Katie and myself – any bizarre thoughts of clinical negligence now completely washed from my mind. The 3 of us were allowed home on the 29th March – just 5 days after being born.
Unfortunately, neither girl coped too well with feeding at home. We ran out of the wee glass bottles and teats used in the hospital, and began to use powder formula with Avent bottles. Feeding times became laboured, and as a precaution Neil rushed to Mothercare to buy Mam bottles and teats spending almost £50. It was still a struggle and eventually, after speaking to our midwife, we took both girls into be checked over on the 31st March. Abbie was re-admitted and instantly treated with a cocktail of antibiotics aimed at hitting any possible infection that may be lurking in her wee body. Now here we are on 5th April and Abbie is still in hospital. Things are looking great and are hoping she will be home by the weekend.
I should point out some wonderful stars during this saga. The midwifes assigned to me from ward 22 at Wishaw General were fantastic. Elaine was with me for a full 12 hours on Thursday and to be honest was reluctant to leave me
at the end of her shift. A student Julie Ann was in the same boat, as was Stephanie who eventually helped deliver the twins. All 3 came rushing along to see me on their next shift. Also a huge thanks to the staff at the daybed assessment unit. I was getting weekly check ups from them with my blood pressure being so high, so became on first name terms with them all. Again as soon as they heard I was in, they all came along to meet Katie and Abbie and to congratulate me.
The real stars of this story however are the staff on Transitional care unit and Neo Natal. TCU is a ward that offers loads more support than a normal ward, but not as many monitors etc as neo natal. It has only been opened a year. The staff came into the room in time for every feed to help us, bathed the girls, and generally helped in every way they could. Neo Natal is truly an inspirational place also. They give all babies the best chance possible. We were lucky, Abbie needed only a little support. But being in high dependency it was clear to see many others required their expertise much more than us. It is really scary to walk in to the ward and hear / see all the machines connected to every baby. Some babies were so tiny and requiring not just 1 but often 2 or 3 nurses and doctors around them at all times. Despite this, the staff do everything they can to make you feel at ease. They truly are wonderful people in this department.
So now we have the twins with us – wont be too long till all 3 girls under the one roof. And the fun will begin – a constant battle against bottles, nappies and tantrums. Wish us luck……