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Twins arrived at 28 weeks

(102 Posts)
Tinkerbell Mon 30-Sep-02 12:35:07

My twin dds arrived big time early two weeks ago, at only 28 weeks. I refused to admit that I was in labour and kept thinking that the contractions would go away, so by the time the ambulance got me to hospital dd1 was on her way out. dd2 was an emergency c-section. They weigh under 2lbs each.

They are in intensive care, although I did get to hold them both for the first time yesterday which was magical (all their tubes etc were mainly hidden by blankets so the photos look almost normal!!) and will be there, if all goes well, for 10 weeksm or so.

I need help. Who else has been through this? Some days I feel amazing, others when things aren't going so well are awful. Today's a good day. What do you sing to them? Sing a song of sixpence is driving me mad already! Any good books to read? Good websites? Is TAMBA any help?

They are soooo beautiful and the thought of maybe losing one or both of them is heartbreaking. I want to do as much as I can to help them. There is so little that I can do though. But we stay positive because we have heard so many positive stories and also because they have been doing much better over the last few days.

If anyone has any ideas/advice I would love to hear it. Thanks.

anais Mon 30-Sep-02 22:28:27

Congratulations Tinkerbell, and best wishes to your family.

I don't have any experience of similar situations, but I would second what Berta said about handling. Touch has been shown to make a dramatic difference in how babies - particularly prem babies - develop and progress. So take every opportunity to touch and hold your beautiful daughters. Also take care of yourself, as you will need to be at your best when you bring the two of them home!

Thinking of you, keep us informed

Snugs Tue 01-Oct-02 11:36:32

Congratulations Tinkerbell, best wishes to you and yours. Will be thinking of you.

Bozza Tue 01-Oct-02 12:44:26

On the carols front I used to sing "Away in a manger" to my DS. Also Twinkle twinkle little star went down well.

tigermoth Tue 01-Oct-02 13:14:45

tinkerbell, hope the next ten weeks bring lots of good news for you all.

Min Tue 01-Oct-02 13:15:22

Congratulations on your twins. I hope they carry on doing well. I also had premature twins although they were born at 32 weeks and were a good size. They spent their first 4 weeks in the Baby Unit (first in intensive care, then high dependency and then special care) and I felt very torn between spending as much time as possible with them and also with my 3 year old at home. I found I got used to all the wires and tubes after a while although it was difficult initially. My hospital had folders with good information on holding, bonding, kangaroo care etc. Now my twins are 7 months it does seem a long time ago and certainly hasn't affecting my bonding with them.

jemw Tue 01-Oct-02 13:33:25

Congratulations Tinkerbell,

My ds was a premmie baby at 34weeks and in intensive care and scbu for about 2 weeks, (We were at Kings and they were great, where are you?)

As others said, it is a strange time, I opted to stay in hospital but in the antenatal ward where I got a room on my own which was nice for some time away. The nurses were great, v positive and caring without being intrusive.
I expressed milk and spent lots of time talking to the scbu nurses and other parents which I found helpful. Also was not able to hold him for first 3 days due to all the wires which I found difficult. Spent lot of time holding ds hands through the port holes, stroking him etc. Nurses encouraged us to get involved such as nappy changing (through port holes in incubator), washing him, cleaning his mouth out where the tubes were etc, which all helped us to feel we were helping him.

It was definitly days of ups and down, dp found the first few days worse especially as I was not allowed off the ward due to epidural and cathater and he had to go to scbu on his own and be told our ds was seriously ill, it was a terrible shock and he then had to come up to the ward and tell me.

The pressure of it hit me about 4 or 5 days later when he took a turn for the worse and I had a good old cry and the cleaner on the ward came rushing up to see if I was okay!

My advice is sing or say anything, they are used to the sound of your voice and will like hearing it, touching them will also help, find out if there is a support group of other parents.

DS is now 3 and healthy and happy - I look back on the photos of him in his incubator or look at his tiny hat he was given to wear and can hardly believe it was the same child.

WIll be thinking of you and your beautiful girls, let us know how you are all doing and if you want any more info.

jemw xxx

bundle Tue 01-Oct-02 13:40:04

Tinkerbell, congratulations on the birth of your girls..there's some good advice on here re:prem babies - kids songs drove me mad too - and I ended up singing just nice tunes to dd (eg Beatles) - and how cheesy is this: Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong was playing on the radio as she was delivered! I hope the wait for them to be strong enough to come home isn't too long and agonising for you - we're all thinking about you

Lil Tue 01-Oct-02 14:08:51

Oh wow, Tinkerbell, you must feel like you are living in a magic little bubble, out of touch with the world. Its stressful watching them all the time isn't it? my only words of wisdom are to look after yourself, its too easy to forget to eat and as for sleeping??too much worrying to do! Good luck and remember in a few months it'll be like this all never happened.

Kathleen Wed 02-Oct-02 09:36:58

Tinkerbell, my heart goes out to you and I hope you're coping as best you can. My own story had a sad ending but perhaps some hope for you in it. My first little daughter was born at full term 8 years ago weighing 7lbs but was deprived of oxygen during labour. As a result, she was critically ill for two days before she died. I remember sitting by her bedside for every minute of that time hoping against hope for a miracle. The baby unit was full of tiny premature babies, some smaller than your own and I remember saying to one of the nurses that surely she had a better chance of survival than some of them. She replied that no, the premature babies were tiny but all their little organs were working whereas my baby's organs, although fully developed, had been damaged beyond repair. I kept in touch with one of the mums who had a baby born at just 26 weeks and he is now a big strong lad who loves to hear stories of how he came into the world. Good luck xx

Willow2 Wed 02-Oct-02 21:19:57

Tinkerbell - my neighbour was pregnant with twins and then was diagnosed with twin to twin syndrome. Sadly one little girl died in the womb, but the other little one was born early at less than 28 weeks (can't remember exactly how much earlier). She too weighed 2lbs and had to remain in the neonatal unit for several months, although did so well that she came home at least a month earlier than originally expected. She recently celebrated her first birthday and is absolutely gorgeous. The point I am trying to make is that you must not worry too much. Your babies are in good hands and are probably way stronger than you imagine. The most important thing is that you do what is right for you now - keep a constant vigil if that is what you want, but don't feel bad about taking time out to rest at home or enjoy yourself doing non baby things. You and your dp must be under a lot of stress and it is important that you look after each other as well as the babies!! Here endeth the lesson.

musica Wed 02-Oct-02 23:10:57

Congratulations Tinkerbell - I hope everything is going well with the twins, and that you are getting some rest too. How are the twins doing now?

Tinkerbell Mon 07-Oct-02 11:37:58

I thought I would take five minutes today to see if anyone had replied to my original message!!!!!!!! THANK YOU everyone for such lovely thoughts and words. It really has made me feel so much better and very smiley. I will go into the unit today (St Mary's, Paddington) armed with new songs to sing and with positive vibes radiating into their incubators. I can't believe that they are already 3 1/2 weeks old.

We named them Saskia and Imogen. They are both still in intensive care and no bigger than at birth. Saskia is riddled with infection after infection so is not really on my milk properly yet. They have done repeated lumbar punctures (the thought is so awful I just refuse to imagine them doing it to such a tiny little thing) and antibiotics and antibodies are coursing through her veins, so we take each day and each infection level reading as it comes. Good news on her is that she is breathing, for short periods, without any help at all, not even an oxygen prong. Clever girl!

Imogen still needs alot of help with her breathing as her lungs are still very underdeveloped but otherwise seems to be doing well. It's strange that she was the one that gave us so much worry during the first 14 days and how things have dovetailed since.

I have bonded well with the breast pump. I feel that it is one of the few ways I can actually help them, although the hormones kick in every time I start and I get quite upset that I am attached to the mains rather than my beautiful girls.

My dh is being incredible and we are taking a huge amount of strength from our ds who is only 17 months old but is being an angel. We pass him round from friend to relative to friend and he always smiles and waves bye bye as we leave and never seems angry with us when we return.

Timing is so open so we have no idea when (if) they will be coming home. If we get them back here before Christmas then that would be the best present anyone could ever give us.

You've all been so kind - thank you.

sobernow Mon 07-Oct-02 11:48:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PamT Mon 07-Oct-02 12:02:34

Tinkerbell, I'm glad that you are able to talk so positively about the girls. I always found it such hard work when my boys were in neo-natal as it all seemed to be 2 steps forward, one step back. The good news is that they are in good hands and will have more people looking after them now than they will ever have in their future years. I hope they continue to make good progress. I was always told that girls are so much more determined and stronger than boys in the same position, my midwives said that the little girls in the unit progressed a lot faster and recovered a lot quicker. I'm sure that the girls will be home by christmas as they will have gone beyond their EDD then and most prem babies have recovered enough by that point. Good luck and keep up the good work.

ionesmum Mon 07-Oct-02 12:02:45

Sending loads of love and prayers, Tinkerbell.

bundle Mon 07-Oct-02 12:03:27

Tinkerbell, you sound so strong! lots of love to you and your family x

Batters Mon 07-Oct-02 12:17:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tigermoth Mon 07-Oct-02 12:25:40

Tinkerbell, it is heartwarming to read your update on Saskia and Imogen, and sorry I had to laugh about you bonding with the breastpump.

I hope your girls keep that fighting spirit and soon pile on the weight.

Best wishes for the next few weeks.

bayleaf Mon 07-Oct-02 12:35:45

Lovely, lovely names - you sound like you're coping amazingly well in the circumstances...

Marina Mon 07-Oct-02 13:14:41

They sound as though they have inherited their mum's positive and determined outlook on life! Hope they continue to hold their own and thank you so much for giving us all an update. Beautiful names too!

ariel Mon 07-Oct-02 13:22:58

Tinkerbell , many congrats to you both. I recently had my son 11 wks prem(i say recently he is 7 months now!!!), it is such a worrying time and im sure you will come through so much stronger, i know when you have such a premmie it seems you will never get them home, that your whole life revolves around nicu, but there is plenty of light at the end of the tunnel, and well thats just the start of so much happieness(x 2 in your case), all the very best to you and your family.

SueDonim Mon 07-Oct-02 15:55:01

Thank you for taking the time to update us, Tinkerbell, and I'm so glad the news about Saskia and Imogen is mainly positive. If good thoughts count for anything, then your babies wil be home with you in no time at all. I chuckled at your bonding with the breast pump - does it have a name?? Your milk is a priceless gift to your babies and the best thing you can give them. Wishing you all the best. Sue

ScummyMummy Mon 07-Oct-02 17:19:03

Loads of congratulations, Tinkerbell. It sounds like you and your gorgeous babies are doing fantastically. Nice names. I admire your pumping and coping and love for them so much. xx

anais Mon 07-Oct-02 19:45:31

It's great to hear such a positive update. If your little girls have half their mum's strength they'll be home in no time! Beautiful names. Thinking of you all, best wishes xxx

janh Mon 07-Oct-02 20:17:47

I also loved your breast-pump bonding, Tinkerbell, it is good to hear you sounding so upbeat (I was getting worried by your absence) and I am glad that you and DH and DS are getting so much support all round.

Fingers and toes still tightly crossed, lots of luck to all of you, especially the tiny girls, love xxx

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