A womb with a view.

‘Barnsley are hoping to discharge some of their patients today’ the nurse explained. 

Mummy took a big breath and asked when we would know more. The nurse told mummy and daddy that they would know at 3 Once the Drs had done their rounds in Barnsley and then once they knew there were beds free, they would need to coordinate with embrace for specialist transport and hopefully make the transition. Mummy and daddy decided that they would stay around all day and night until they knew so that one of them could come with us in the ambulance, or both of us if we travelled separately. It looked like a transfer would be the headline for today! 

When mummy and daddy first arrived, mummy saw Simon Clarke (alongside other Drs) stood by our cot. Mummy felt instant joy. Simon Clarke was the consultant at our birth and he looked after us both when we were born, taking our first pictures because daddy was too emotional and visiting mummy and daddy to explain what was happening with us. Here are our first pictures that he took (mummy was previously too emotional to share with you) look at how much we have grown. 

He is mummy’s favourite because he tells her how it is, quite bluntly and uses similes and metaphors which mummy likes. Mummy didn’t realise at first but he is the big boss, the director, and so we were very lucky to have him at our birth looking after mummy and us and giving us that intensive care we needed in the first month of our life.  He discussed our progress with the Drs including our pulmonary haemorrhage, bleeds on our brain, chronic lung disease and tube feeding. It doesn’t read well does it…..but Simon says we just need time and growth. And at the moment we certainly have that. 

He also explained that we were 8 weeks old today which means we are due our immunisations. Those injections that every new parent dreads. Mummy knew this already because this morning she rang the Drs where we live to explain that we won’t be going there to have them. He explained that it wouldn’t be unusual for us to go backwards on our breathing support following the injections as it is quite traumatic for babies. 

So mummy and daddy did our cares, changed our clothes and our bedding…

The nurse told mummy that Rory could try his first bottle today. How exciting. Mummy and daddy have been trying to teach us how to suck, swallow and breathe all at the same time for weeks now, and because Rory is on low flow, he is allowed to try a bottle. The nurse explained that he would only have enough energy to try a bottle feed for a couple of minutes, once per day until they could build it up. And we have 41ml (1.4 oz) every 3 hours through our tube at the minute so we have to learn to understand hunger as well. The nurse said to try half the feed by bottle and half down his feeding tube. So 20ml by bottle….so off we went. The nurse explained to mummy that it is different to bottle feeding a normal baby at first, and showed her step by step what to do…

In no time at all Rory had mastered the suck….and then the swallow and his machine hadn’t beeped once…which meant he was breathing too. He managed 17ml (0.6 oz) which isn’t much at all to a normal baby, but to us it was a huge step, he had done really really well. Daddy put the rest of the feed down his tube and took the air out of his tummy with a syringe. Mummy said this was much easier than winding him. 

Then they hurried off for some lunch so that they were ready for the expected long haul of a day/night ahead. One of the other mummy’s had recommended The Notty Arms across the road from the hospital for great pies, and mummy loves a good pie, so they went there and it was…AMAZING….or so they said when they returned. Mummy and daddy had gone to sit in the park in the sunshine for a quick ice cream when they saw an embrace ambulance, mummy panicked and they went back to the hospital only to find that Barnsley had confirmed only one bed and rather than send one of us, they sent another baby instead. 

Mummy and daddy got there just as the dr was doing Rory’s injections, so they stayed. Daddy said he was really proud because mummy didn’t even flinch and watched all of our injections whereas before the journey to becoming a mummy she would have been sweaty and possibly fainted at the sight. He said he was proud of us too because we didn’t even fuss about them. No tears or anything. The Dr joked with mummy….it’s an easy day for us compared to the procedures we have endured in our little life so far. We truly are super brave! 

Mummy and daddy tucked us up and left us for the night. 

Mummy gained a new perspective today. As much as she feels like she has been robbed of all of the things a new mum usually experiences, like she is living in an unnatural world, like a science-fiction movie, like she is trapped on an emotional roller coaster where you have no choice to be patient…Separation anxiety, stranger anxiety, helplessness, guilt, fear are all accurate descriptions of her feelings, she realised today that she has been blessed. With a womb with a view. 

She has been able to watch us grow and  develop in our makeshift ‘womb’ created so magically in room 2 of Jessops neonatal unit. 


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