“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning”. Winston Churchill
For this my third and hopefully final blog, we are slowly settling back to the mediocrity of normal life. I am sat here in my office, drinking a brew whilst Lilly and Jo watch crap telly in the front room. When I have finished I will make some hot beef barms for tea and then…
…we will drive the 6.9 miles up to the Neo-natal unit at Bolton hospital to visit our teeny tiny precious babies, Thomas and Mia, for the second time today. This journey through 6 sets of lights, will take us approx 20 mins which in twintime ™, measured at 160BPM, is 6,400 tiny heartbeats away.
As I type both children are doing well. Mia has opened her eyes, is beginning to feed and will soon come off her ventilator. Thomas lags behind and has had a few knock backs but that stubborn Scouse streak is taking him forward step by tiny step. I have already witnessed several impressive erections.
What does this normality mean for you?
Well unless there are any major setbacks, there will hopefully be no more dramatic Facebook status updates or tearful tweets. There will probably be no more emotional blogs were I reveal myself to have a soft exposed underbelly. There will just be normal life with its usual ups and downs and the added complication that our 2 youngest children are not at home with us, available for cuddles and kisses on tap.
Perhaps we should count ourselves lucky? Jo never got to a size where life became utterly unbearable. She didn’t have to worry too much about her ‘pelvic floors’. We won’t have to suffer from sleepless night unless brought on by anxiety and hopefully when we bring Thomas and Mia home, they will be in a cast iron clockwork routine.
It is certainly odd going elsewhere to visit your newborn children as a family. We have nailed the hand washing routine and are beginning to form friendships built out of familiarity with the our children’s carers. We no longer see the tubes and wires. I barely hear the bleeps in fact this afternoon I fell asleep whilst overseeing Thomas. It is becoming more ‘The Aphex Twins’ ambient phase than Orbital.
With fingers firmly crossed, I might mention that the ever reassuring doctors say “We are over the worst”. When there are small setbacks they are usually wrapped in the comfort of, “Thats not unusual” and “We can do something about that”. They increasingly talk in weeks and months when it comes to further procedures or scans. All of this gives us a large deal of hope that the outcome can be little other than positive. We no longer panic when we see the Sonologist, the Radiologist or a group of student doctors peering into the incubators.
If you have ever had the pleasure of watching me online your program you will have noticed a green tinged tiny TV screen position within my eye line. This is called a scope, it gives us information about video signals and can be very useful in investigative processes. The NNICU has many variations on the same idea and we are becoming deft experts at reading them. Everyday the signals are becoming better, stronger and most importantly more consistent.
And when the visits are over we travel the 6,400 teeny heartbeats home. This is still the point when one us is prone to tears but we are comforted knowing our babies couldn’t be better cared for. Just as when it brought Jo’s mum Ann back from the brink, the weight of the NHS is behind us. Indebted doesn’t even begin to cover it.
So that’s it really, although I am sorry to be telling you there is an ever decreasing lack of excitement in our lives. As a parent I am overjoyed that hopefully we will soon become stubbornly boring and yesterdays news.
Only 47 million, 1 Thousand & 600 heartbeats (Twintime™) until we can bring Thomas & Mia home for good. Here are 9,600 of those heartbeats captured in timelapse.
Thank you all again, you have been magnificent when we needed you most, we genuinely could not have got through this with our sanity intact without all your love. I hope we do not need to draw on your collective strength in such a manner for a very long time to come.
Best wishes and kind regards, Ian, Jo, James, Lilly, Thomas & Mia x x x