After a long run of sad stories – we have a happy one to tell!
Part 1 of this story is over on the Falconer’s blog – I’m going to take off where Bek finished so maybe head there first of all – Twins (Part 1).
The day after Bek had taken the twins the hospital, we heard from our friend (the babies’ uncle) that they weren’t really feeding at all and the boy had been having seizures throughout the night. We had already started doing school but decided that visiting sooner rather than later was more important, so Tilly and I walked into town to see how they were going.
We arrived to a rather sombre scene… the house was quiet, the babies not waking for anything, the Mum looked defeated… it felt pretty hopeless. Tilly and I stayed almost all day, trying to get the twins to take some formula and encourage Mum to feed them, but by the time the afternoon came around, it was looking pretty grim. The little boy had taken maybe 20mL of formula all day and was so sleepy. The little girl was feeding a bit but maybe only just hanging on.
Throughout the day we’d had a four way Whatsap conversation going with Cam, Scott, Bek and myself… giving updates, trying to work out a way forward. We’d talk the few days before about taking them home for a little while (the whole family, not just the babies) and trying to help them out but it just felt so cringey (Barbie Savior-esque) and like a massive intrusion.
But after sitting there all day seemingly just waiting for the babies to die, we couldn’t take it anymore and so we invited them to come and stay in our guesthouse. Before we knew it, the uncle (who was with Cam & Scott) had accepted the invitation on their behalf, called the Mum & aunty and things were being packed up around me.
That night Bek and I had a baby feeding sleepover with the Mum in the guesthouse. We spent most of the night battling to get the babies to feed, it wasn’t terribly successful. The next night they did marginally better and we encouraged the Mum to feed as much as possible. The following night, the grandma came to stay and we just visited every few hours to help them out. The night after that, we left them to it, just checking in before we went to sleep and first thing in the morning.
Little by little they started to improve. The little girl was breastfeeding well. The little boy not so much, but he’d started taking a bit more formula and his Mum was still trying. His little cheeks even looked as though they were getting the tweenciest bit fatter.
On Monday morning they returned home to stay with the uncle & his wife. We heard some reports on Tuesday morning that they had picked up a fair bit since going home even and so we were anxious to go last night, kitchen scales in hand, to see if it was indeed true.
It was amazing! The little boy was awake, crying, looking for food and letting people know of his presence in the world. The little girl was sleeping soundly. They had both put on 60 grams since we’d weighed them two days before. Their Mum looked in better spirits and the oppressive hopelessness that hung over the house from the week before had disappeared. Hallelujah!
If you’re anything like me, parts of this story raise BIG questions and set alarm bells ringing in your head. Like – sorry, why we were all sitting around just waiting for the babies to die? I don’t really know the answer to that. I have some ideas… maybe I’ll write more about them next week. Maybe one day we’ll understand better, or maybe not. Maybe I’ll be able to explain some parts to you so it makes a bit more sense, or maybe not.
The whole thing reminded me of a time when Sydney was a tiny little baby and I had a killer mastitis infection. I kept swearing black and blue to my sisters that I would be ok… but I wasn’t going to be. They insisted I go to the Dr, I had a fever of 41 and it was just going up… she sent me straight to the hospital… I got admitted for almost a week of IV antibiotics… people loved me and taught me and took care of me… they told me, “You can do this!”
Sometimes no matter how much we know, or how capable we are, we need someone to come alongside and take charge, to give us some rest and hope, to tell us “You’ve got this!”
Please keep praying for the twins, their Mum & their extended family!