Well, I say ‘life after hospital’…
We had a lovely first Christmas as a family of four. I really wanted us to be at home on Christmas day, so we had my parents, my sister and her two children and Richard’s mum over for the day – in hindsight it was a bit much with two little babies too! But we had fun and the two Nanny’s got stuck in with feeding and changing nappies – one of the many positives of having twins means that both Nanny’s get to have cuddles, feed and do nappies at the same time! Richard cooked up a brilliant Christmas dinner and we had, compared to previous years, a rather sober Christmas! New Years we hosted again and had my sister and her two children round, along with the bestie and her gang – we had a right laugh and again had more than enough help with feeding and nappies!
Going into 2016 we had a big appointment for Jack to go to. His first developmental assessment with Dr Atkinson, his paediatric consultant. The four of us turned up at Crawley hospital with plenty of time to go till the appointment – a rare occasion for me, especially now I am a mother of twins (my constant excuse for anything I struggle to do!). We trotted into the appointment and there was a panel of people to see us… occupational therapist, physiotherapist, speech & language therapist and Dr Atkinson. In my usual nervous style I immediately commented that I felt like we were auditioning for X Factor, I was met with the panel giving me false laughs (I thought it was quite funny!).
Dr Atkinson introduced everyone and the part they would potentially play in Jack’s development as he grew. It seemed very strange to be talking about his speech, going to nursery and school when he was 10 weeks old – but it was just the start of all and some of the support would kick in till he went to school. Dr Atkinson did a general check of Jack’s health and we filled her in on his recent stay in hospital. She was happy that his chest and breathing seemed clear that day – I was forever worrying about it now, checking his breathing rate daily (well, probably more like hourly on some days!). I showed them our feeding book – I am sure I told you about my obsession with how much they fed and if they had poo’d or not – well the book was still in use! Dr Atkinson was highly impressed with it and agreed it was a good idea to keep a record, as we were constantly asked how much Jack was feeding so at least I could look organised in some aspect of my life! They explained that Jack would have a hearing test, eye test, he had a specialist health visitor assigned to him (the lovely Audrey), be referred to have regular physio sessions and would see Dr Atkinson on a 6 monthly basis. Few dates for our diaries! There wasn’t much else to say at this stage, as you can imagine. We were both really impressed with how the NHS were so on top on ensuring Jack has the best start possible.
The twins had their first swimming lesson in January too – busy old month eh? My Mum came along and went in with Jack, whilst I took Jessica. Charlie (the twins friend) joined too and we had such a great time splashing around in the pool. This was the start of weekly lessons, which continued until I went back to work.
In January the twins had another first, their first overnight stay away from us. It was Richard’s birthday and Lisa (bestie) had suggested we have a night away and the twins could stay at hers. I was of course nervous about leaving them but knew they were in safe hands. The amount of stuff required for them to have a night away was ridiculous – two travel cots, steriliser, bottles, bedding, spare clothes, nappies, wipes, Jack’s nose drops (he had and still has to have saline nose drops to help clear his snot. Jack has a very small nasal passage and combined with not being able to blow his nose needs help getting the snot moving) and of course our trusty book! After dropping the little ones off we headed to Bills in Reigate for lunch – I had a big glass of wine and started to relax. Lisa text me pictures of the twins having fun and I soon got into the swing of only having to think about myself! Richard had a massage and I had my nails done, then we chilled out in our hotel room – I did feel a bit lost, but made the most of it by drinking more wine! Best thing we ever did! Really made me realise that the babies would be ok without me and that it was good for Richard and I to have some quality time together. Thanks Lisa, Dan, Sid, Cal & Cars xxxxx
We had more hospital appointments booked in for February, Jack had to go for a full heart scan and the twins had to go to get checked over to be signed off from Brighton Hospital baby care unit. Will tell you more about those events (yes, there are more dramas to come) in my next blog!