Miracle Dad, Mitch shares the story of twins, Angus and Charlie's early arrival into the world.
"My wife Bron and I are currently into Day 72 of our baby boys' (yep - we had twins!) being in Special Care after being born at 26 weeks.
Our boys were born prematurely at 26 weeks gestation due to mum's membranes rupturing prematurely. The boys, Angus & Charlie were thrust into the world via emergency C-Section on Easter Saturday 2020, during peak COVID-19 lockdown.
Coming out at a good size of 1000g each, we would quickly learn about the NICU and its importance over the next few weeks. I remember seeing them for the first time only minutes after their birth whilst Bron was in the recovery ward coming out of general anaesthesia. Both of them were on CPAP, had numerous IVs and cannulas hooked up to their tiny bodies. Beeps and flashes filled the room as did the many nurses, paediatricians, doctors, and other amazing staff. Seeing these tiny little guys was both the most joyous and scariest moment of my life.
Over the coming days and weeks, we would learn about many terms and acronyms that are common in NICU wards. CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), Desats (desaturation), PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus), Bradys (bradycardia), CARES, transfusions, apnoeas, murmurs, intraventricular haemorrhages, and many other terms.
The NICU ward is an enigmatic environment where you never know what kind of day you could be in for. Some days were magical, where nothing happened. Nothing is a good thing in this scenario. No breathing or heart issues. No feeding problems. No scan results.
Other days you would cling to your seat and just watch. Watch the boys breathe. Then stop. Then wait. Then breathe again. This would repeat for hours on end.
We spent a total of 47 days in NICU before the boys were finally "stable" enough to be transferred via the NETS ( team to Special Care at our local hospital. It's here we are counting down the days until we get to take these little fighters home.
They are currently 37 weeks old today. They weigh 2.6kg and are having a combination of breast and bottle feeds.
The preemie baby journey is a long one. It doesn't have a defined path, nor is it predictable.
My wife and I have shed many tears over the past 11 weeks. We've laughed and cried, then cried some more. Waking at 3am to have chats about "if" and "when".
We have given birth to two little miracles during a global pandemic. Our closest friends and family are yet to even see the boys due to the circumstances regarding COVID-19 and social distancing. It's certainly not how we pictured it, but it's the hand we have been dealt, so we will make it work.
The best advice I can give a dad of a preemie is to let your guard down and don't be afraid to show your emotions. Be present when you're with your newborns. Enjoy the skin on skin time and build up that bond that will last a lifetime.
Do the early morning wakeups with your wife while she may be expressing. You can be a bigger help than you realise. Be as hands-on as possible.
You will get there!"
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