It’s a bit of a blur when we think about when our twin boys were born.
I was in hospital for four weeks before they arrived as I had pre-eclampsia and the doctors weren’t sure when they’d need to deliver the twins, but we all managed to hold on until 36 weeks which was our goal. They were delivered at The Rosie Hospital, not too far from our home which meant my husband Giles could pop over as soon as needed – which was great as there were a couple of times we thought they would have to be delivered earlier than expected!
When Max and Oscar arrived, we were prepared for them to be taken into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as we knew they would be early, but actually at first it looked like this wasn’t going to be necessary.
But not long after their birth, the doctors noticed Max was struggling to breathe and so he was separated from his brother and taken to NICU. Soon after Oscar was taken away to NICU too due to low blood sugar levels and jaundice which both boys were battling against.
After this things seemed to happen very quickly. Max and Oscar had been delivered by caesarean and I was losing a lot of blood. I’d lost two litres by the time I was taken back into theatre and once I came out of theatre I had an eclamptic seizure and stopped breathing. I was put on a ventilator and transferred to the main Intensive Care Unit.
Poor Giles had to cope with all three of us being in different Intensive Care Units. The Sick Children’s Trust’s Chestnut House gave Giles a room at the hospital, just a life ride away from the wards.
Without Chestnut House Giles wouldn’t have been able to support all three of us. We were all in a critical condition and Chestnut House meant he could be there at my bedside while I was unconscious, and afterwards during my recovery, and he could also be there to see how our boys were doing, discuss their progress with the doctors and feeding and changing them. There is no way this would have been possible without The Sick Children’s Trust.
I didn't see Max and Oscar for two days after they were born as I was too ill to go to NICU and they were too ill to be brought to me. I met Oscar again first as he was a little better than Max. I remember Giles and a nurse bringing him to my bedside and it was an extremely emotional reunion. Later the nurses managed to get me into a wheelchair so I could go and see my other baby, Max.
Would we have been able to do all this as a family without having the base at Chestnut House? No we wouldn’t. Giles wouldn’t have been able to give me the support I needed as I began my recovery.
The twins were on a three hourly feeding schedule and Giles was going backwards and forwards between my bedside and NICU - reporting back with news and photos while I was too ill to move, and he would catch a couple of hours sleep as and when he could. Once I was well enough to visit the boys in NICU, Giles wheeled me there each day as often as was possible.
Giles stayed at Chestnut House for five days, but they were five of the most important days in our lives and we can’t thank The Sick Children’s Trust enough for the support they gave us.
We are all back home now – celebrating the boys' first Christmas – we’ve been through a lot this year, so we are going to make sure we treasure every single moment.