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View as: GRID LIST

WHEN LIFE HAS YOU ON THE ROPES – FIGHT LIKE A PREEMIE

1
August 25th2018. I was in the back of my parent’s car clinging to my dog in a state of utter surrender; on the radio I could hear Avicii and the words couldn’t have been more relevant.

‘WAKE ME UP WHEN IT’S ALL OVER’

I had just received the text to say that our baby Ruben had reached theatre and they were ready to attempt life saving surgery on him at 8 days old, having been born at 22+6 days gestation the risks were horrendous – I could hardly breath.

Just a couple of hours before we had returned to see the consultant who was in

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charge of our twin boys in the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). He met us at the entrance with a very grave face and asked us to join him in the quiet room. 

For anyone who has spent some time in a NICU, they will know that this is the last thing you want to hear……Something was seriously wrong.

My legs turned to jelly and I could taste the sick in my mouth. I assumed that something had happened to Jenson as he was the smaller of our twin boys and he had been struggling with his oxygen levels for the previous 24hrs.

However, it was

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Ruben that he wanted to discuss. He explained that they had found air in his stomach and a perforation in his intestine if left untreated he would not survive the week.

He was going to need immediate surgery.

There were lots of forms to be filled in and specialists who came to explain the level of risks, For babies weighing 1500g the success rate for surgery was less than 50% and he weighed in at just over a third of that at 550g.  We had about half an hour to be with him before he would need to be prepped and taken for surgery.

I couldn’t

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touch him so I hugged his incubator, with my whole body pressed against the plastic, staring in at him trying stopping myself from saying goodbye. I could see the hospital clock above us, my head was spinning with the memories of 2 years before when our first baby boy was fighting to survive (at the same gestation that Ruben had now reached) The suddenly deafening tick of the hospital clock triggering a cocktail of panic and grief, as I looked at Ruben who looked so much like Little Linnie.

Time seemed to stand still I didn’t have a clue what to do

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with myself, wondering if I should have said goodbye, questioning if he would he be joining his brother in the stars. I felt guilt that I wasn’t with Jenson I just couldn’t be in the unit with Ruben’s space empty next to him.

The call came from my husband to say he was back and in recovery and the initial feedback was that it was a success but would still be critical as to how he responded, they had fitted him with a Stoma having removed 5cm of intestine. I can’t remember the next few hours; I just sat and stared at the clock again. We knew

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that each hour was critical to his recovery and we needed him to get to 12 hours, then 24, then 48 hours without complications.

He fought so incredibly hard and beat all of the odds. We made the long journey to surgery a further three times after that and he and his brother overcame so many life-threatening situations.

On World Prematurity Day itself in 2018, Ruben was really ill with an infection that wasn’t responding to antibiotics. His hat had to be placed over his ventilation mask, it was months on from the operation but he was still

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fighting the after affects and fighting hard.

With children the anxiety never goes away, you can never truly relax, but if you had told me this time last year how well he would be doing I would have welcomed the thought with open arms. For now, those dark days are over and I’m definitely wiser and older.

Thanking my gorgeous boys everyday that they fought like Preemies to be here today.

 

 

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- 17 Nov 19

August 25th2018. I was in the back of my parent’s car clinging to my dog in a state of utter surrender; on the radio I could hear Avicii and the words couldn’t have been more relevant.

‘WAKE ME UP WHEN IT’S ALL OVER’

I had just received the text to say that our baby Ruben had reached theatre and they were ready to attempt life saving surgery on him at 8 days old, having been born at 22+6 days gestation the risks were horrendous – I could hardly breath.

Just a couple of hours before we had returned to see the consultant who was in charge of our twin boys in the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). He met us at the entrance with a very grave face and asked us to join him in the quiet room. 

For anyone who has spent some time in a NICU, they will know that this is the last thing you want to hear……Something was seriously wrong.

My legs turned to jelly and I could taste the sick in my mouth. I assumed that something had happened to Jenson as he was the smaller of our twin boys and he had been struggling with his oxygen levels for the previous 24hrs.

However, it was Ruben that he wanted to discuss. He explained that they had found air in his stomach and a perforation in his intestine if left untreated he would not survive the week.

He was going to need immediate surgery.

There were lots of forms to be filled in and specialists who came to explain the level of risks, For babies weighing 1500g the success rate for surgery was less than 50% and he weighed in at just over a third of that at 550g.  We had about half an hour to be with him before he would need to be prepped and taken for surgery.

I couldn’t touch him so I hugged his incubator, with my whole body pressed against the plastic, staring in at him trying stopping myself from saying goodbye. I could see the hospital clock above us, my head was spinning with the memories of 2 years before when our first baby boy was fighting to survive (at the same gestation that Ruben had now reached) The suddenly deafening tick of the hospital clock triggering a cocktail of panic and grief, as I looked at Ruben who looked so much like Little Linnie.

Time seemed to stand still I didn’t have a clue what to do with myself, wondering if I should have said goodbye, questioning if he would he be joining his brother in the stars. I felt guilt that I wasn’t with Jenson I just couldn’t be in the unit with Ruben’s space empty next to him.

The call came from my husband to say he was back and in recovery and the initial feedback was that it was a success but would still be critical as to how he responded, they had fitted him with a Stoma having removed 5cm of intestine. I can’t remember the next few hours; I just sat and stared at the clock again. We knew that each hour was critical to his recovery and we needed him to get to 12 hours, then 24, then 48 hours without complications.

He fought so incredibly hard and beat all of the odds. We made the long journey to surgery a further three times after that and he and his brother overcame so many life-threatening situations.

On World Prematurity Day itself in 2018, Ruben was really ill with an infection that wasn’t responding to antibiotics. His hat had to be placed over his ventilation mask, it was months on from the operation but he was still fighting the after affects and fighting hard.

With children the anxiety never goes away, you can never truly relax, but if you had told me this time last year how well he would be doing I would have welcomed the thought with open arms. For now, those dark days are over and I’m definitely wiser and older.

Thanking my gorgeous boys everyday that they fought like Preemies to be here today.

 

 

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