Some of our days out!

We love getting out and about as a family when we get the chance. We have joined the National Trust again recently as we have amazing properties such as Stourhead just down the road from us and walking around their beautiful lake is so relaxing. Being a very technology driven family it can be nice to get away from it all for an hour or so!

The boys LOVE animals and there was a new petting zoo type farm open up nearby, so I planned to take the boys along but due to the awful weather the opening launch had to be postponed until later in the week, which unfortunatly conincided with our relauch of Semi Precious Beads website so as Daddy couldn’t come with us my sister otherwise known as Auntie Pippa came with us. The weather for our day out at Little Lambs in Buckhorn Western was great and the boys loved it. They had their first ever go on a swing and met lots of different animals! We must have taken hundreds of photos! I don’t think that you can ever take to many photos ๐Ÿ™‚

2013-08-01 10.30.51 Ethan on the swing!

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Theo with Auntie Pippa driving a tractor!

2013-08-01 10.46.56 Ethan and Auntie Pippa!

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Theo and Mummy!2013-08-01 10.58.14

My beautiful boys driving their tractors! (Theo left, Ethan right)

2013-08-01 11.22.32-1Auntie Pippa made a friend!

I love our days out as a family and Mark and I both working from home means that we can to some extent pick and choose our hours to fit our life! We have so many more days out planned!

Nicola x

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ECG….

After Theo was found to have some cardiac irregularities on his monitoring during his recent surgery he has had a 24 hour ECG carried out. I have to confess I was amazed that he kept the pads on but as usual he was a star!

We have now had confirmation that the ectopic heartbeat is benign!

Nicola x

 

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Cake catastrophe :(

Wow! Ethan and Theo have turned 1!

I had planned the most amazing birthday cake with Peppa Pig on for them and as time got nearer I realised that I had left it magnificently too late to make such a masterpiece…….. As you can imagine such a realisation signals the end of the world in Mummy terms and I can recall suggesting that people gauge how good a mother you are by the cake as I sobbed into a mixing bowl to make a sponge cake on the morning of their party.
I now feel in hindsight that the cake really didn’t matter, the boys had a lovely birthday even if the cake just had buttercream icing ๐Ÿ™‚

There is always next year for the perfect cake!

Nicola x

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Theo’s big op……

The day that we had been dreading finally arrived. We had known for some time that Theo needed to have a hernia operation and although we were assured that it was a simple procedure we did not look forward to the prospect of one of our little babies being cut open ๐Ÿ™

Although we are now under a team of pediatricians in Salisbury now since we have moved house they are unable to operate on Theo there so we were booked in at the Royal Devon and Exeter where they were born!

As Theo is still classed as having chronic lung disease where the op would normally be just day surgery the hospital preferred him to stay in overnight. With the boys being twins and us now living an hour and a half away we asked if it would be possible for us all to stay…. expecting of course that the response would be a no as their policy is one parent can stay. The hospital however said that this should not be a problem, much to our surprise ๐Ÿ™‚

We arrived at the hospital and got Theo changed into his gown!

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I took Theo through to the anesthetic room where he was quickly asleep and handed over to the experts. Meanwhile Ethan was making the most of the cot to himself! (below)

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After the op our brave little bear looking at some of his toys.

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Feeling a bit better so having some toast with his brother! Of course they acquired quite a fan club!

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Mark and I had expected to be sleeping in chairs beside Theo and Ethan’s cot for the night and were grateful for that as they were kind enough to let us all stay. However we were given the whole of the day case ward!

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The following day Theo seemed as if nothing has been done! Our brave little bear is amazing ๐Ÿ™‚ The anesthetist who was looking after Theo during the surgery noticed what she referred to as Ectopic heart beats on her monitoring equipment which she would have expected to see in an elderly patient rather than a baby so we had an ECG done before being discharged and have been referred for some more extensive tests back at Salisbury so we will wait and see what they find…….

Nicola x

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First Tooth!

Ethan has his first tooth! From my previous life as a dental nurse it is the LLA, after what seems like forever that both boys have been teething it is lovely to have something to show for it!!

Theo has almost finished his month of being completely O2 support free which is amazing, he is such a happy boy ๐Ÿ™‚

The weaning is going well, it is certainly a messy business, little fingers manage to get their food everywhere! The boys love the different flavour combinations.

We have been going to the library at least once a week getting lots of exciting books to read which they is great, there are so many amazing childrens books to choose from so I don’t think we will be running out any time soon.

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For Good Friday Mark and I took the boys to the New Forest Wildlife Park which was a lovely day out, the boys enjoyed a well earned nap for most of our visit but we took photos for them and I’m sure we will take them there again!

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A photo of Daddy Bear trying to evict a deer from the pockets of our buggy, from the look of the deers waistline he is well trained at being fed snacks by visitors!

Nicola x

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Mothering Sunday!

Today was my first Mothers Day as a Mummy! I got a lovely card and breakfast from my gorgeous boys (thank you Daddy bear)! But the best present of all is them!

I hope all other Mummies had a great day ๐Ÿ™‚

Nicola x

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A busy week!

Last week was manic, we had hospital appointments in Salisbury with our new consultant since moving house. He was pleased with the boys progress and has decided that Theo can have a months trial of oxygen at night only which is brilliant! He hates having the cannulas taped to his little face and already seems much happier! It means when we go out and about we still take a cylinder with us in case we need it but we don’t look like we belong on the set of Ghostbusters! Also we have the go ahead to start weaning both boys! We have stocked up on baby rice, Ella’s kitchen first tastes, rusks………. let the fun begin!

Our appointment at Exeter hospital was regarding Theo’s hernia, which they are planning on operating on in the next month – scary stuff, although the surgeon is happy to operate and feels that it is very safe.

Next week we are going to go to our local children’s centre and join some parent and baby groups which is quite exciting. So we are looking forward to meeting some other mummy’s, daddy’s and babies!

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A New Year!

Since my last post we have moved house and had Christmas in close succession!

We all had a wonderful Christmas with family, but I can’t wait until next year when Ethan and Theo are a little older and can rip the paper off of their presents!

Mark and I decided to have a ‘Festive’ promotion which was insanely busy but so much fun seeing the orders pouring in! This year we have so many plans for the business – my to do list just gets longer and longer! I have so many new products for the website to photograph and list which alongside choosing new products is one of the best parts of my job. (Of course the best part is being able to work from home with my gorgeous boys!) It is so exciting seeing people browsing and buying the new items. Lots of the recent new additions have been in the hypo-allergenic metal range which include the cutest animal charms! I just love the owl ones!

Theo just has 2 more palivizumab injections for this years RSV season and we meet our new consultant in a few weeks so will hopefully discuss coming off of the Oxygen! Since our time began in NNU we have read lots of blogs of other peoples experiences , one of the most amazing that I think I have read about recently was a baby called Kenna that was born at 24 weeks weighing just 272 grams! I thought Theo weighing 815 grams at birth was tiny!

We have a great childrens centre in our new town (according to everyone we have spoken to!) that offers courses in baby massage which we think looks really beneficial and enjoyable for all of us so when the snow disappears we are going to go and sign up.

I can’t wait to make some extra time each week to make jewellery again – seeing as I own the biggest bead box in the world hahaha I should make use of it! I am hoping to improve my wire wrapping skills and have a go with PMC! So watch this space for updates ๐Ÿ™‚

Nicola x

 

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Back to ‘normal’!

After 100 days exactly in Royal Devon & Exeter Neonatal Unit our identical twin boys, Ethan and Theo, were discharged!

Our journey through the NNU has been a long and difficult one with many moments – especially in the early days – where we felt we had taken one step forward and about 10 back.ย  It is difficult to describe what life on the unit is like; everything is meticulously measured, monitored and recorded by teams of people with combined knowledge and experience of probably hundreds of years. For the first few weeks of their life we could just touch them through the ‘port holes’ of their incubators, making sure not to have them open too long and lose the humidity and temperature that protects their delicate immature skin. The alarms on the monitoring equipment which once haunted us, cutting through the otherwise quiet room like a knife, surprisingly quickly became the norm as we learned more about interpreting the readings. After 2 weeks we were able to start kangaroo care with Ethan most days which we found amazing. Poor Theo had a rockier start so it was nearly 6 weeks before we could have our first cuddle, but in both instances it was worth every second of the wait and we have since made up for lost time.

Now the boys have graduated NNU we are a proper family of 4. Our sleepless nights are now getting up to do night time feeds rather than worrying about if and when our beautiful babies would make it home.ย  We have been on a few outings with the boys and being identical twins they attract a lot of attention; there is no such thing as quickly popping to the shops anymore!

Theo still has an oxygen requirement so he has cylinders that we have him attached to both at home and when we are out and about. Hopefully it won’t be for long and then at long last we will be tube and wire free!

We are so pleased to be home with Ethan and Theo and look forward to the next chapter of our lives, but will always be eternally grateful to the team at the RD&E NNU as without them our gorgeous boys would not be here.

Nicola x

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Since the last post……

My last post seems like a lifetime ago! Mark and I were about to have our Babybond 4D scan, which was amazing! We got to see our little boys, Ethan and Theo, on screen and had a DVD made to keep forever ๐Ÿ™‚ The day was not all smiles though; the sonographer was concerned with her findings of the blood flow through the smaller twins umbilical cord. She recommended we contacted the hospital and read to them her report. This was the beginning of the worst few weeks of my life ๐Ÿ™ The hospital asked that we went in on the Monday morning for an extra scan, I had hoped that the sonographer had just over reacted but our consultant was not happy with what he saw. Mark and I were referred to another consultant in Bristol who specialises in complications with twins. We were given lots of options to consider; delivering the twins at 24 weeks, terminating our smaller twin (Theo) to protect the bigger twin (Ethan), terminating both twins or waiting a hoping we got to 28 weeks to deliver…….. We opted for waiting to 28 weeks. The following month felt like it went on forever, we had scans twice a week with our consultant to check everything was still ok. Then our scan at 27 weeks arrived and we were booked in for our c-section! Our twins would be delivered at 28+3, within no time at all the little scanning room was filled with people swabbing us for MRSA, waving consent forms around, arranging our steroid injections – it was all happening.

The day of our c-section, July 9th, quickly came around, we arrived at the hospital bright and early hoping that there would be enough space in the neonatal intensive care for us to have the babies there and not be sent to another hospital. A lovely midwife showed us to our room and got us ready for theatre, me in a very fetching gown and the anti DVT stockings and Mark in a set of scrubs and off we went to theatre.

I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to have a spinal block or that it wouldn’t work and I would have to have a GA meaning Mark wouldn’t be allowed to be there but within no time at all I was numb. A few minutes later our twins were delivered – Theo at 11.03 and Ethan at 11.05. We had been warned that due to their prematurity they would need to be ventilated straight away; but the most amazing thing happened – they cried! They were both handed over to the two teams of neonatal doctors and nurses that had been awaiting their arrival and were quickly whisked off to ITU with their Daddy!

I was stitched up and put in ‘recovery’ to regain sensation in my legs, waiting for news of my two beautiful babies. Had it not been for the nurse hovering I would have attempted to crawl to ITU to get a glimpse of them, soon enough their daddy came with photos and a hat that Theo had been wearing. Mark stayed with me then as the doctors were having toย stabilise the twins and thought it best that he didn’t stay and watch tubes and lines going in to our precious babies. The rest of the day felt like it lasted a lifetime until we got the ok to go and see them. But that evening I was pushed through on my bed to meet my children for the first time. I looked a mess; half drugged from morphine, in an unflattering hospital gown and my hair stuck out at all angles. At the time I didn’t care, however there is photographic evidence of me in said state which will haunt me forever! Our little boys looked perfect, so tiny but so so perfect. I felt an overwhelming sense of contentment looking at the amazing babies that Mark and I for so long had worried we wouldn’t get the chance to meet.

And so our life as a neonatal mummy and daddy had begun ๐Ÿ™‚

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