I kept a diary in the hospital when the twins were born, gifted to me by Yasminah’s Gift of Hope (www.ygoh.org.au), so I want to share with you what life in the NICU was like at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH), something I haven’t shared with anyone before.
There’s a need in my soul to tell the world about my experience, to bring infant loss to the surface, and to show you a world most people will never experience, and one that I will never forget. It takes a certain type of person to work as a Doctor or Nurse in the NICU, their dedication and selflessness know no bounds, it’s a truly humbling experience and if you’ve been there, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, I hope this diary will give you some insight into this incredible yet terrifying world.
There are two diaries, once for Oskar and one for Oli, the nurses also kept one for Oskar and gifted it to me when I left the RBWH.
This is my story.
24th of December 2015 – Day 1
OLIWIER (English pronunciation – Olivier, Polish for Oliver, we called you Oli from the start)
You just couldn’t wait to come out and say hello. Impatient like your mama. What an interesting day it was today. What I thought was just a bit of pressure on my back was actually you getting ready to join us.
I drove to the hospital fully dilated, you didn’t even give daddy enough time to get there! I wasn’t prepared for a natural birth, but you didn’t give me a choice. The doctors whisked you away so quickly, I would have done anything to hold you, or even see your beautiful face. You’re so small, so fragile, so amazing!
I cried so hard when I first saw you, the emotions were incredible. Just know how much I love you and can’t wait to hold you in my arms, we’re here for you my little pea.
Your brother charged out and you decided to be a bit different and come out feet first! I can’t say that was very comfortable and I’m sorry about your bruised butt, so now we can call it even!
You’re a bit early dear child, but you arrived on Polish Christmas so daddy said that’s a good sign. Oh how tiny you are! So strong though, I could feel you kicking and punching me in the womb, I knew you were going to be trouble.
The Doctors are amazing and taking the best care of you and your big brother, and we’re by your sides the whole way, just remember how much we love you and can’t wait to take you home with us when you’re big and strong.
I can’t wait to hold you in my arms little pea.
OSKAR’S MEDICAL JOURNAL
- Born at 24+3 weeks gestation after mummy went into pre-term labour. I was born in the breech position. I am twin 2 of DCDA twins (Dichorionic Diamniotic – I had my own placenta and amniotic sac).
- My apgars were 4 at 1 minute of life and 7 and 5 minutes of life.
- I required a breathing tube straight away because my lungs were very immature.
- I was wrapped up in a neowrap to keep me warm.
- My birth weight was 734 grams.
- I was put inside an isolette with high humidity and air temperature to help me keep warm.
- I had umbilical catheters inserted to help access my blood pressure and deliver glucose water.
- Two doses of curosurf medication was administered to me.
- I had a heart ultrasound.
- I was treated with ibruprofen medication.
25th of December 2015 – Day 2
You gave us a big scare today Oli. They needed to give you a blood transfusion, plasma and insulin. There are so many tubes and wires hanging off you everywhere, it’s so scary for me, I can’t imagine what it is like for you.
You have blood in your mouth, the Doctor said you’re bleeding somewhere but they’re not sure where. By the time they’d explained to me as much as they could, you started responding to the treatment.
There are so many people here to help you Oli, it’s amazing what they can do these days. I feel so helpless though, trying to get some milk for you is all I can do, it’s only 1 mil at the moment and there’s no telling when you might be well enough to have it. You’re so strong little pea, keep fighting! We believe in you.
Merry Christmas little guy, all our friends and family send their love, there’s so much of it here for you.
All my love and kisses, your mama bear.
Your brother gave us quite a scare today. You seem to be going well, considering the circumstances. It’s a bit surreal spending Christmas in the hospital, and even more so with two babies!
I discharged myself today, and was given a perfect bill of health from the Doctors. I popped you two out just yesterday and my body has recovered already. It breaks my heart to leave here without you. The hospital staff are taking such good care of you so there is some comfort in that, and you are behaving so well for them.
We haven’t named you yet, so you are still twin two for now. Oli was so easy to name, you however are in a constant debate in our conversations. Daddy has been reminded from Uncle Matteus that he lost a drunken bet to name his first born many years ago, since we weren’t having children it seemed a good idea at the time he said. So rather than you be named Han Solo or Chewbacca, we have had to go into negotiations over this slight hiccup of what to call you, which I’m sure will be decided soon.
Merry Christmas darling. Daddy and I are so glad you’re here with us and we can’t wait to give you the biggest cuddle when you’re strong enough.
All my love and hugs, your mama.
OSKAR’S MEDICAL JOURNAL
- I remain on the ventilator having regular blood gases to access how well I am using my lungs. They also help me monitor my electrolytes and amount of circulating blood.
- I commenced phototherapy today, to help with my jaundice.
- I started 1 mil of expressed breast milk (EBM) every 3 hours.
So there are the first 2 days of my life in the NICU, a strange new world that I was thrown into unexpectedly and a place that I would spend a total of 133 days.
More to come next week, I look forward to sharing my journey with you.