Now it gets tough. The twins are premature. They’re in incubators with tubes and pipes and it all looks so very EINA!
Looking back it all seems so surreal - like it was someone else, like it happened to other people...
With twins being in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) we were told of the procedures and things happening in ICU. Years later I don't recall much, you seem to be in a zone... all you think about is 'Please grow... please grow.'
That seems to be the most important thing – or one of them - before discharge. There was the occasional relapse by either of them, saturation (breathing without additional oxygen) not quite right or not gaining weight, but they were brave throughout.
They have to be 2kg or over before they'll even consider discharging them, as well as obviously breathing OK.
My wife J stayed at hospital during the day, we also did the whole kangaroo thing and counted the grams and days till their 'release' . All this time we were still staying at J's sister, so we started looking for a place of our own, planning our move to Cape Town.
In the interim I had gone back to Pretoria. I fetched the dogs (they were in kennels while we were on holiday) and the car, sold the house and moved the furniture back to Cape Town into storage. All this took place over a weekend. My employers were great. I got transferred to our Cape Town office, so at least that was sorted, but unfortunately J was now unemployed as well.
Caitlin was always the difficult one it seems. She didn't quite take to the breast and J had to express at home and I had to do the almost nightly deliveries of milk and nappies. I think at one stage we owned about 12 of those small bottles as we had to exchange the full milk bottles for empty ones to fill-up again.
After 3 months Christopher eventually bulked up enough (2.1kg) to make it out. Now we had to get a sensor (apnea monitor) to put under him or blanket to monitor if he stops breathing, as this was still a concern - it happened a couple of times.
A week or so after Christopher’s discharge we moved into our own place (thank you sister-in-law H for having us so long) and patiently waited for his sister to join us. She was eventually discharged after 5 months in NICU at Panorama Medi-Clinic. Thanks again to all who gave them and us such great care.
Read the first part of the twins’ story: Born at 26 weeks
Share your story with us below or email us at Chatback@parent24.com.