Ohmygodohmygod we’re movinggggggggggg!!!
Came in today (Thursday) expecting news of a transfer tomorrow or Monday and at 12, mid cuddle with Alexander, they tell me we’re off to West Mid at 2pm! I barely had time to pump, eat lunch, get the deposit back on my parents room card and go down the Edgware Rd to take an overpriced lamp fitting back! (yes, coz that’s what normal people do in an emergency Angela. Well, I am getting old and eccentric and like to stick with my plans).
Come 2pm I was told the ambulance was delayed. I found myself incredibly nervous. Every parent I’ve met on the unit so far has had a horror story about how their baby suffered either clinically or just stress-wise from transfer and I felt like the immensely reassuring safety net of a high-tech hospital with real expertise was being whipped away like a rug from under my feet. I had heard a few negative things about the special care baby unit at West Mid too, not least from a doctor who worked there as an obstetrician who had her baby prematurely and jumped in a taxi with no money to deliver at St Mary’s rather than her own hospital (although to be fair she was only 26 weeks -‘two weeks under the age they take them).
I wasn’t going to be allowed in the ambulance because a nurse and a doctor travel with them. They would be ‘blue-lighted’ all the way and on oxygen just in case. I decided I would finally allow myself a black cab so I could meet them at the other end and help A and B settle in if they were stressed. I can at least be the one bit of continuity for them if nothing else.
As they put them both into the travel incubator there was a beautiful moment of reunion – the first time the twins had been together since they left my womb. They were both wide-eyed wondering what was going on but seemed instantly calmed by each other’s presence. On joining Alexander Bea reached out her spiny hand and held onto him. They were both incredibly still. I am told they slept all the way.
Somehow my taxi sped me along. I even stopped at home to get the car and managed to arrive at the door of the hospital as they were bringing them in. Transferring them out into their new unit was a bit more stressful. They had to be naked and weighed which they didn’t like. Bea had a particularly gutsy shout. She likes being in clothes. Once they were in their new incubators (separately again, sadly) they settled quickly and I was glad I was there to reassure them, talk to them and sing. The unit is much more relaxed and at the moment spacious as our twins are the only two in a room for 5 or 6 with a few more rooms partitioned from ours by glass dotted about. Their next step, the nursery, where they will be able to share a cot, is right next door.
The nurses almost all seem to be Chinese and remind me comfortingly of my aunties. The senior nurse showed me around and I felt much better once we were orientated. They did have the little nests and the covers for the cots, contrary to what I’d been told a St Mary’s, although it is much brighter there. Darkness is supposed to be preferable at this gestational age until 34 weeks when the womb gets so stretched they can sense the difference between day and night. They put B in such a pretty outfit with pink hearts and frills round the sleeves. The feminist in me felt ashamed at how I melted at the sight! Maybe she will be allowed to wear a tiny bit of pink when she’s home.
I had to go fairly quickly to pick up Lucas but when Gerard got home we all went together and Lucas got to meet his baby brother and sister again. This time close up as Bea came out for a cuddle with daddy. He was quite into it and stood on a stool to get a closer look. He patted her ever so gently on the head and then wanted me to go next door to the visitors room and play. I definitely think we will have to go gently with him seeing me cuddle them. G felt very relaxed there he said afterwards. There is certainly less of an urgent air as there are simply less sick babies around and less stress. So far so good. Let’s hope there is no backwards slide. The irregularities
of heart rate continue but I am assured they will grow out of them. I hope so as they scare the sh*t out of me when I’m there and they simply seem to stop breathing.
I am really relieved to have them closer to home. A few doctors and midwives recognised me from my various long stays and congratulated me and asked me what happened. It feels a bit like coming home. At least I can drive in without an hour’s journey and pop out for lunch or to the shops to get things. And I get the husband home sooner at night with the option of going together or as a family. One step closer to really coming home. It won’t be long. Maybe four weeks at best. Got to be patient. Today I hired a cleaner and contacted a maternity nurse for help when they get home. I’m not quite sold on having someone stay overnight but we’ll see. I have to get better at admitting I need help and break the habit of a lifetime.
Thanks to all the kind souls sending wonderful presents and flowers and the awesome mummies cooking up a storm in response to my plea. My freezer is already rammed…but there’ll be space in a week!
Thank you thank you thank you. I am humbled by all of your kindness and support.