My granddad is currently in Intensive Care after a bad fall (he broke 10 ribs) with serious complications.
I went up to Derby from Surrey to see him at the weekend, leaving my husband Matt looking after Sofia (aged 4) and the twins (18 months). It was great that I had no qualms about leaving them in his sole care and that he was confident looking after them without drafting in extra help. It was also good that I didn’t have lots of upset children making my departure for something unpleasant much harder. Actually, perhaps everyone coped a little too well…
When I saw my granddad at the hospital looking so vulnerable with tubes everywhere and machines bleeping I couldn’t help but think about how lucky I was that my twins didn’t have to spend any time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or even in the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU), especially when the NHS reports that just under half of all mothers of twins saw at least one of their babies spend time in neonatal care.
When I was around 30 weeks pregnant, it was recommended that we had a tour of both facilities at St. Thomas’ so that we could prepare and familiarise ourselves with them should either or both twins need special care. This is a great idea and I would urge other parents-to-be of multiples to do the same. It didn’t quash my fears, but I did have a better understanding of how everything operated, and this would have been beneficial if the situation had arisen.
I know I would not have coped well and I can’t imagine how parents with babies in the units do manage to hold it together. With my granddad I was on high alert with every twitch on the monitors. I don’t know how I’d deal with it for an extended period for my own child. I certainly counted my lucky stars that I hadn’t had to find out.
It’s very early days, but my granddad does appear to be showing some promising signs. Meanwhile, the children seemed to love their time with daddy, and even managed to fit in a visit to ExCeL as Matt had to show his face at a work conference. Three children at a stock market investing show and a three-hour roundtrip; that’s no mean feat!