Monday, 11 May 2015

:: on swings and roundabouts ::

So much has happened since my last post many months ago! I never meant to leave this little space unattended for so long, but never really found the words to put to any of my thoughts, so kept putting it off until now as we're embarking on a journey that almost requires words to be written down to help process each day.

A week ago today we had a déjà vu experience. I was just over 31 weeks pregnant and couldn't sleep because of uncomfortable tummy tightnings...which hadn't happened during my pregnancy until then. After having a complication-free pregnancy with Théo I was pretty confident that the girls' was just a one-off and they came so early because they were twins. But this 3rd pregnancy ended up being the most complicated and stressful of them all! After a close call at just over 24 weeks and two weeks in hospital, every day passed was a milestone. So it was wonderful to get into the 30's! But a week ago I soon realised that that was as far as we were going to get and our beautiful little girl was delivered by emergency caesarian not much longer after arriving at the hospital for an assessment.

We're thrilled to welcome Eléa Agnès Joy into our family. Her original birth weight was noted as a healthy 1690g, but when she lost 330g within her first few days, the doctors decided there must have been a mistake and put her back at approximately 1500g. That did seem more realistic, given her tiny size! She's perfection in miniature and our only dark-haired baby. We were a little shell-shocked with the quick turn of events that morning, but just so thankful that she was alive given the timing of getting to the hospital that morning and realising I was well and truly in labour with very little time left to spare, and learning of other factors later that could easily have led to stillbirth. I think she was more shell-shocked to have suddenly found herself out of her safe, cosy little home. A few minutes after birth she stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated, which was very scary for Eti who was there with her. Thankfully she recovered and after being put on the ventilator for a few minutes, she was back on the CPAP.

One thing about premature babies in the neonatal world is that it really is a rollercoaster ride. In the first days there are highs but plenty of lows. Eventually, as time passes, the highs continue in increasing frequency, and the lows start to slowly disappear (in our situation - not all unfortunately). With the passing time, and having to learn how to live one day at a time, the scary moments of the past start to fade and, with our girls, I soon got to the point that they were healthy and thriving like other babies their age, that I had very few memories of those early days that held so many doubts, tests and scary unknowns. It's been a bit of a shock to have to revisit those memories in the reality of another precious tiny baby, albeit one who started life at 1500g rather than 700g, which is a more encouraging place to start from.

I find myself longing to hear the word 'normal' as often as I can with any updates on Eléa's progress. 'Abnormal,' on the other hand, is the word that brings with it a lot of fear and it can be very hard to keep my mind from wandering to all the possibilities. Today I've heard 'abnormal' three times and it's been really tough on my emotions. Also being the third day in a row that I haven't been able to go to see her because of sickness doesn't help! What does help is that the Neonatal consultant (the top doctor) and specialist nurse are not too concerned, which rests my overworked mind somewhat, especially because I know from all his very serious questions and investigations that he would not hold back on saying if he was concerned. There are a lot of 'wait and see' situations, so we can't do much but wait and pray for the best outcome for sweet Eléa. And I have to ask myself what I expect and how I would respond if things don't match what my idea of 'good' looks like. We are surrounded by friends all over the world who are praying, as we were with the girls, which is an enormous encouragement. Just knowing we're not alone and that they are holding us up and sending us words of truth and life mean so much.

So, here we are a week into our new journey and so proud of the enormous effort our Eléa has given in her first week of life. She has had a few stable days in a row now, which is wonderful. Her lungs really struggled for the first couple of days but seem to be strengthening, and she has been so brave with all her blood tests, numerous IV lines being put in and taken out, scans, and monitoring. We're thankful she's in the very best place she can be right now and that the medical team are really taking her situation seriously, looking at every possibility. They can't give us any promises or hope in these early days, which is typical in the Neonatal world, but we can trust that they are doing their best, and we can find our hope in a good God who loves each of us beyond our understanding and look for the many things to be thankful for each day to help combat the fears and worries that are quick to move in.


  1. !!!! Sending love and hugs xxx

  2. Thinking of you all, she has a beautiful little face and looks rather like your big girls around the mouth I think. Xxxx blessings and peace xxxx