Not that I stop writing up review and stuff but just that both of my hands (in fact, arms) are fully occupied by my twins, elder daughter Annabelle and younger son Ashton. As this is my new blog about them, I will back date my experience from the day my wife entered the hospital.
Having found out that I was becoming a father was probably the happiest news in 2012. In fact, 2012 was a big year for many things, especially in London. We had the Olympic Games, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee but more importantly, my wife’s pregnancy and eventually the birth of our twins.
Being a Chinese also means that we believe in our traditions too. Our babies are born in the year of Dragon, supposedly a good thing, then they are also born prematurely at 7-month, which means they are cleverer and better (so the Chinese says). Anyway, as they were born early, all we thought about was their health and safety.
Back to my blog, the day my wife, Susan, was admitted to the hospital was no more than a normal check up. London has some of the best hospitals around and being the mother of twins, Susan was given special care all through her pregnancy. Special department, calling number, midwife and doctors. That was good. She also got scanned every couple of weeks to make sure the babies are fine too. So, when Sue discovered some traces of bleeding, she called the hospital. The midwife asked her to come in for a routine check just to ensure that everything is still in order.
I went with her the next day and guess what? I was there for the next week with my wife. University College Hospital (UCH) had a new policy that the father/husband/partner can stay with his pregnant partner/wife in the hospital. That was a big relief for Sue. I could imagine just how scary it could be. I wouldn’t go into details but that was an exciting week of waiting in the hospital, waiting for our twins to arrive.
On 3rd of December, 2012, Annabelle was born and Ashton followed only a few minutes later. I was in the labour ward witnessing the entire process. It was an experience that I simply couldn’t put into words. I was overjoyed, excited and scared at the same time. I was also worry about my Sue and the babies. Both babies were born naturally but Ashton was delivered breached, means legs out first. Well, that was the scariest bit. The doctor had to twist his body in order to get him into position for delivery. I couldn’t say anything but really it was painful to watch my son being twisted by a stranger. But after a few minutes, he came out safe and sound and what a sound it was. He was the only baby who cried. Annabelle was very gentle and slept after she got out but Ashton was being himself and cried so loud that the entire room was filled with his cute baby cry!
There they were, nice and healthy, but a little small. The nurses put them into separate incubators and wheeled them out straight away. We weren’t impressed but they told us that was the procedure for premature babies. Ok, I followed that but the next thing I heard was that the hospital ran out of incubator spaces so they both got to transfer to another hospital. What??? My wife was in tears and I was furious but there was nothing we could do but to let them took the babies away. That was a tough night to remember.
The next day, Sue got discharged from the ward and we rushed to another hospital just to see the babies. As soon as we arrived, both of us got very emotional, we gently opened the door and quickly asked the nurse where were our twins. They were separated still but at least in the same room. We sat down and properly saw and touched them for the very first time! A tearful but joyful moment indeed. Something that we would never forget.
The following day we got there earlier and we were given a chance to hug them. That’s called ‘skin to skin’ connection. A bonding exercise for the babies and parents. We were nervous as bum because seeing the babies were attached to so many tubes and sensors were one thing but they both still looked very fragile and small. However, once they are on our chests, everything changed. It was the first time that we could smell them, felt their heartbeat, breath and warmth. It was very… soothing.
We practically continued this daily routine for the next two months. Annabelle and Ashton both got transferred again to another hospital in North London just 6 weeks before they returned home. We spent Christmas and New Year day in the hospital with them. But we were happy.
Annabelle and Ashton were finally home at the end of January. All of us were over the moon and welcomed the babies home. Even though our twins were born two months before they were home, it was the first time we had to take care of them ourselves. It was weird.
My next blog will catch up with time and I will be writing more about me being a dad with them at home. Until then, have a good day and thanks for reading my blog.
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