Twin Dad birth story.
There are some moments in your life you never forget.
Here is the story of how Lucy and Luke came into the world – as seen from Daddy’s eye’s.
At around 6 months I’d been relegated to the sofa league as the “bed wasn’t big enough for the both of us”. This meant on the big night I was downstairs fast asleep on the sofa. Twin1 and Twin2 as they were called at the time were not due until the 22nd October. You can imagine why my heart was racing when, on the 21st August Sarah (my wife) shouts down the stairs “you’d better come up here my waters have broken”.
The first thing that went through my mind was “they can’t the nursery isn’t finished yet” but that was quickly replaced by “Aggh light speed to the hospital”.
We called ahead to the hospital and set off. By some miracle of self control I didn’t break the sound barrier on the way to the hospital. Sarah had delivered Jessica (our first child) in 45 minutes and the thought of delivering premature twins at the side of the road left me needing a change of trousers.
We made it to the hospital and Sarah was quickly put on monitoring equipment and given a drip of steroids. After a couple of hours the doctor told us that the babies were fine, it was unlikely we would see them tonight, Sarah should get some rest and I should go home. I was a bit relieved at this point as I thought the longer they stayed in there growing the better.
I made it down the stairs into the entrance to the car park when I heard somebody shouting. After a couple of seconds I realised it was Sarah shouting me out of the window from the ward upstairs “CHRIS DON’T GO I’M GETTING THAT NEED TO POO FEELING”. I don’t get embarrassed easily but this was one of those moments.
I went back into the hospital and Sarah had already been moved into a delivery suite. The suite was completely packed with, one doctor and two special care teams including some heated portable incubators for the babies.
Sarah only had gas and air and delivered on a bed.
Twin 1 was born in 44 minutes weighing 4lbs 7oz. We called her Lucy.
I was a bit surprised at this point because the radiographer has accidentally said “camera shy little boy” at our last scan and we had both got it into our heads that we were having boys. At the end of the day we both didn’t care what sex they were as long as they were OK.
Twin 2 was born at 55 minutes (ten minutes later) weighing 4lbs 2oz. We called him Luke.
They both looked so small I thought they would break if I touched them. We only saw them for a couple of minutes each before they were whisked away to Intensive Care in SCBU.
For the next couple of hours we sat there together with no babies and Sarah on a drip. During this time the nurses were making sure Lucy and Luke were made comfortable and all the monitors were attached.
Then one of the Nurses came back to collect me to see Lucy and Luke. Sarah couldn’t go as she was still in bed on the drip.
The Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) is one of those places which was skimmed over on the hospital tour, you can’t go in and it’s very complicated to try and explain. As Sarah is an Intensive Care Nurse I can usually take a back seat at this point and pick up with her afterwards. I didn’t have that luxury this time.
About half way down the corridor towards SCBU I stopped the Nurse and asked her what I could expect in there. All I knew at this point was Lucy and Luke were in Intensive Care and I didn’t really know what that meant.
When I entered SCBU the first thing that struck me was it was very warm and not a brightly lit as the rest of the hospital. I was led to a small room which was where the intensive care ward was.
Seeing Lucy and Luke properly for the first time was wonderful. They were so small and delicate. They were both in Incubators with a few monitors attached which measured things like heart rate, oxygen saturation as well as a drip. It made me feel very helpless seeing them there. When Jessica was born, I could pick her up and cuddle her to stop her crying. But with Luke and Lucy the incubators prevented that.
All of a sudden a machine went BEEP BEEP and my heart sank as my only experience of machines going beep in hospital was on TV and I expected the crash team any second. I relaxed when a nurse explained to me that it was an oxygen saturation monitor and didn’t mean they were dying on me only that something needed adjusting.
I sat down and took a closer look. Lucy seemed quite happy sleeping away with her little fluffy hat on to keep the heat in. Luke however was struggling with Respiratory Distress Syndrome which meant his lungs were struggling to help him breathe. His chest was going flat every time he took a breath and he was on CPAP, it was upsetting to watch but he was in good hands.
We couldn’t cuddle Lucy or Luke for a week outside their incubators but we were shown the best way to cuddle them while they were in there.
After a few days in SCBU you soon pick up what the machines do and what the alarms mean and get into the routine of feeding through an “NG Tube” and changing nappies through the “holes”.
After Lucy and Luke were moved into a cot and were breast feeding we were allowed to take them home. This took about three and a half weeks.
I’m now a very proud Daddy to Jessica, Luke & Lucy (twins born August 2004) and I love every minute of it.