Mama B, Mama to twins W & L born at 36 weeks
Nothing can prepare you for those first little cries it is like music to the ears, a sense of overwhelming excitement, fear, apprehension, relief all rolled into one. For us it was a relief that we all had made it this far and that all were here safely. As a first time mum, after an emotional fertility journey complicated with a high risk pregnancy our fraternal twin boys were finally born at 36 weeks. We finally had a little family of our own.
Those first moments in the operating room are imprinted into my memory forever. Master W born first at 2.7kg rosy pink, alert staring right into my eyes followed very closely by Master L my tiny little boy born at 2kg who was quickly rushed off to the Special Care Unit for further breathing support. Then all of a sudden all those feelings of excitement are overshadowed by the fear of the unknown.
For me the unknown of the SCU was very overwhelming, especially whilst recovering from a C-section and with a hard onset of the classic ‘baby blues’. Knowing this was the best place for our babies to be cared for there were still many tears and at times some feelings of inadequacy. At times it felt unnatural not having your baby by your side, not having private moments as a family or not being able to enjoy visitors basking over your newborn, all of which are things which we feel are just a given when a baby is born. Instead, from the moment my husband and I woke up until the moment we went to bed we spent every minute caring and bonding with our boys in the SCU.
Special Care Unit Routine
The amazing staff assisted us learning and participating in their strict routines of feed, cuddle, sleep etc. Not knowing at the time that this regimented routine which we adapted to very quickly gave us such a sound board for when we all went home. Particularly as a Multi-Mumma ‘routine, routine, routine’ is a lesson learnt for you to survive and manage, especially in those early days with two newborns. So thank you to the SCU for helping us find, establish and continue even to this day a solid routine!
Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself
The SCU is a supportive environment and for my hubby, who had never really held a baby, allowed him to be thrown into the deep end of caring for a newborn. This allowed him to find his feet and confidence as a first time parent and it also allowed us to establish a great sense of teamwork.
Both boys spent a total of 9 days in the special care unit for breathing monitoring, weight gain and learning to suck feed as they were very small and tired easily during feeding. It was also the first time as a mother I had to make a stand on my own with my decision making and be an advocate for my little family. Both boys had tongue ties and feeding was ultimately affected with one of the boys. It was at this point where I requested a second medical opinion which ultimately turned out to be the right decision for us and intervention was required. This I remember clearly as a pivotal point and a huge milestone in parenthood.
Summing up my best advice
The SCU can be a very scary and confronting environment. It can also at times feel like information overload. My advice to other parents, who may find they are travelling a similar journey, is firstly to look after yourself. Your baby will need you so take time to rest, heal, eat properly and let others help or assist in whatever you may need weather that be in hospital or at home. Take time to reflect, ask questions, lots of questions, and don’t forget to celebrate all the small goals and victories.
All the nurses in the SCU are very special, kind and talented people but I guess on reflection I may have felt more at ease or comfort knowing about other resources available to assist myself and our family during our time in the SCU. Nobody can really prepare you for your journey into parenthood or for the unexpected circumstances that may come along.