Saturday, 12 November 2011


Every now and again, something in my memory gets triggered and I remember very vividly how I felt at that time. It's usually the hours immediately after the birth that I remember. That lost, empty, sad feeling that my babies were gone from inside me, and no idea if they were still fighting or had died already.

Just now I was laying on my bed, November sun streaming through the window and I was reminded of the day David and I went and registered the babies births. I was so sad that day, being away from the babies, and sad to be there knowing that I could very well be back there soon to register a death.

Hmm, David has just arrived and disturbed my train of thought. I'll be back...

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


Just testing if this works....

Sent from my iPhone

Joe's leg. He has a perfect imprint of his brother's teeth in his leg. And a matching set on his arm.

Harry is now known as Gnasher, or Jaws!

Harry on the left, Joe on the right.

Joe after a long, exhausting day shopping.

Into July 2011

So, I think two months have passed since I last managed to update here. The good news is things are pretty wonderful.

Both babies are now mobile,, and boy-oh-boy do they let me know it! I have to say that now they can move and get to where they want to be, they are so, so much happier. They have always been fairly content anyway but now life is easier than ever...well as easy as it can with twins and four other children.

We have had a few tiny accidents with Harry since he starting moving around. He is just so fast, and it took a little while to get into the habit of shutting baby gates, closing doors, and moving things off the floors. Don't tell the mother-in-law, but the worst incident was getting into the bathroom bin with one of David's disposable razors in it. Let's just say Harry looked like he had been garrotted. There was blood over his face, over his clothes and smeared all over the floor. Just as I spotted the carnage there was a knock at the door from a lady down the road, so I scooped him up, opened the door and pretended nothing had happened while chatting to her. God only knows what she must have been thinking. Joe was in the background trying to eat the plug-in air freshener and I just acted cool, like one child being covered in blood and the other eating something toxic is an every day event in the Tibbles house! After a mammoth clean up and wash, it turns out that no surgery was required and Harry actually had a tiny, tiny knick on his thumb. I don't think he ever noticed anything was amiss. Oh, and Joe didn't seem to suffer any consequences from his air freshener snack either, but he smelled pleasant for the rest of the day.

Other regular twin casualties include the bookcase in the hallway, the DVD rack, and the drawers with the wii games in. Top prize though always goes to the cat water dish. Harry can detect the kitchen gate being left open at a hundred paces. He sniffs it out, and before you know it he has bum shuffled up the hallway, across the front room, into the kitchen and will be sat in a puddle of water proudly waving an empty water bowl. We are getting better at reminding everyone to close the gate, but well, you can imagine what it's like with so many people in and out. And anyway, he always looks so pleased with himself once he has upended the water that it must be good for his self esteem - that's what I console myself with anyway, when I am changing his clothes for the third time in a morning, and drying the floor, again.

Health wise the babies are ticking along nicely. We are still dealing with Harry's post RSV wheeze. It comes and goes but doesn't seem to bother him too much and seems to be one of those things that sounds way worse than it is. A few puffs on his inhaler and the is an immediate improvement. Heh, I make that sound so easy don't I? Giving him his inhaler is actually a two man job. He needs one person to pin his body and arms down, and another to hold his head still and deal the the inhaler and mask. He really, really hates it but it's one of life's necessary evils sometimes.

On Friday we have finally got appointments to go back to see the ENT man about both babies chronic ear infections. I thought I was going to have good news about their ears, as for a little while we had no infections, perforations or issues at all. Then suddenly they were back. Harry's as usual were worse, but it was actually Joe who was affected first. This time I opted to treat with antibiotics in hopes we would clear it up quickly but it doesn't seem to have made any difference. I just hope we can get it sorted for them, they are troopers but when their eardrums perforate it really is a sickening, heartbreaking cry.

We aren't being seen any more by the paediatrician at the Child Development Centre. I know this should be seen as a good thing, that he thinks the babies are fine and have no issues...but you know, I just can't help wondering if they have missed something. How can they be so sure that the babies are okay when they were so early? I'm really not happy with how little monitoring they get but I'm supposed to be pleased that my babies are considered normal, right? And I am pleased, but what if....

I will try to post some videos and photos on here. There must be an easier way of doing it than I have worked out. By the way, if you are reading this and would like to know more often how the babies are doing, then I do update my Facebook page with lots of videos and photos. If you want to add me as a friend then feel free.

Friday, 29 April 2011

It's the end of April already?

Where is the year going? I can't believe we are almost into May already.

As you can see from the pictures below the babies are thriving. Since my last update both babies have had repeat hearing tests and been seen by the ENT specialist. Both Joe and Harry have reduced hearing due to fluid in their ears so the next step for them will probably be to have grommets fitted. This is a really minor procedure and they will be in and out of hospital in a day if there are no complications.

Joe has had an eye test as we thought we could see a squint. The person examining him couldn't see him squinting, but did say he may need glasses as he has an astigmatism which basically means his eye is rugby ball shaped instead of round. On the 26th May he will have a more in-depth examination where his pupils will be artificially dilated so the dr can get a clear view of his eyes and we will find out the next step.

Neither baby as yet is crawling. Harry certainly has the capability but is lazy and cries as soon as he is on his tummy but he is starting to shuffle around on his bottom - he mainly goes around and around in circles though! Both babies can now clap their hands when asked, and we are working hard on waving 'bye bye'. Stranger awareness has kicked in too and they aren't too keen on unfamiliar people getting too close to them until they are used to them.

Harry is a total pro in his baby walker. He goes at a hundred miles an hour in it, and God help your ankles if he catches you unawares! David and I are both sporting bruises where he has ran into us. He goes forwards, backwards, can spin around in it and loves the freedom it gives him. Poor Joe can't quite figure out what a baby walker is for and just stands still.

Current weights are around 18-19 pounds, with Harry being about a pound heavier than Joe. Joe eats like the proverbial horse - anything and everything shoved into his mouth as fast as he can. We have recently swapped their carseats for forward facing ones even though they are only just on the weight limit to do so. I was hoping the new carseats would give us a little more room in the back of the car but that hasnt been the case. They seem happy enough to be able to see more, and I find it easier being able to see them by looking in the mirror.

Harry is still needing his inhaler from time to time. He is still quite wheezy and has an irritating dry cough that disturbs him when sleeping. It's not all the time, maybe every two or three weeks he will need to use his inhaler for a few days in a row so I'm hoping this is still a left over Fromm the RSV in January and not something more serious and long term such as asthma.

We ticked off another milestone last weekend when we had a big shuffle around of the bedrooms and moved the twins into their own room and into separate cots. Until then they had shared, one baby at each end of the bed. I was a bit sad at splitting them up but they are just too big and wriggly now to be comfortable together. Harry especially had a habit of turning round and sleeping on top of Joe.

They are so funny and definitely taking more notice of each other now. When one starts babbling away, the other will often join in, particularly in the car. When sitting next to each other in the trolley doing the shopping they pull each others hair, tug ears, poke each other etc etc....hopefully not a sign of things to come, although I suspect I should get used to refereeing. Unfortunately when Joe grabs a handful of Harry's lovely, curly hair he isn't old enough to know he is hurting him and as there is little going on in the hair-growth department on Joe's head, Harry cannot even reap his revenge!

As ever, I count my blessings that they are here, that they are perfect and that they are mine. I don't think a day has yet gone by where I haven't told someone how lucky I am. I feel truly blessed and hope that I can make their lives as happy as they have made mine. Every baby is special, but I am sure you can forgive me for believing that Joe and Harry are just a tiny bit more special than most.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Hemangioma birthmarks

I just wanted to share a video link that I just found. Premature babies are much more likely to have hemangioma birthmarks. Millie, a 34 weeker had/has (it's almost gone) quite a large one on her left thigh, Joe has a big one on his tummy and several small ones dotted around, and Harry probably has around 30 in total, luckily all relatively small and mostly on his body where they can be covered.

This is an amazing, amazing video which shows how quickly they grow and the dramatic effects of having it removed. Stick with it through the talking at the beginning.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

I am such a bad blogger

Despite getting frustrated when checking other blogs and finding them not having been updated for weeks, I am still useless at updating my own.

Since Christmas I don't believe we have had a single complete week free of the babies being ill. It all started of course with Harry's ears, then Joe's ears also got bad, on the night of their birthday Joe started showing signs of bronchiolitis which began two weeks of what can only be described as absolute hell. Although Joe got very wheezy and snotty, poor Harry got incredibly poorly needing breathing treatments and oxygen in hospital. They were both diagnosed with RSV but unfortunately there is no magic cure for this virus apart from time and waiting for it to run it's course.

It took Harry a good two weeks to get back to normal. He stopped drinking, became very dehydrated and refused all food. In ten days he lost over a pound in weight. As a parent I don't think I have ever been so worried about one of my children, I was utterly convinced that he was going to become seriously ill and was very scared about bringing him home. He just seemed too poorly to be sent home without proper monitoring so I took him back to the ward every day for a week to check his SATs which thank goodness, despite how sick he was, remained stable. He came home with an inhaler to use which we are having to do every so often as he has been left with a bit of a wheeze. Thank goodness the RSV season is now almost over.

I am of course kicking myself for not being more pushy for the RSV vaccine that is available. My trouble is that I have a blind faith that my babies will always be fine and just sail through everything. The last few weeks have been a real eye opener about just how fragile they are and how much more vulnerable they can be to illnesses that a 'regular' baby would just shake off. Luck was on our side this time and Harry has made an almost complete recovery but I have certainly learned not to take things for granted again.

Due to Harry being hospitalised, we missed his appointment with the physiotherapist at the beginning of the month. For a while my concernes regarding the stiffness in his arms subsided, but they are back with a vengeance now. I am concerned that he doesn't seem to be able to stretch his arms up past shoulder height. When I put Joe's hands in the air he can do it easily, but Harry just can't. His arms just wont move in that direction and he cries. We cannot get another appointment on the NHS until May and I am sorely tempted to seek a private opinion. David isn't keen but has left it up to me to decide.

Joe has been referred to have his eyes checked as he has a squint in his left eye. It's not too bad and not noticeable all the time. I'm not sure if these things ever resolve on their own but I'm hoping he won't need too much intervention. A little boy of a friend of ours who was also premature had a small operation a few weeks ago to fix a squint but fingers crossed Joe's isn't that serious. We've not had the appointment through yet but hopefully wont have to wait too long.

Next week is the babies appointments about their chronic ear infections. Joe had a hearing test last week which showed moderate hearing loss, probably due to fluid in his ears, so I am really hoping they don't adopt a 'wait and see' approach. I'm not worried about Harry's hearing as he responds to noises much quieter than Joe does, but his ear discharges pus at least once a week which cannot be good.

Apart from the hospital we have been virtually housebound now for about two months. I am hoping for nicer weather and healthy babies so we can catch up with our friends again. I feel like we have lost touch a bit recently.

Benny has just wandered in and told me 'to be honest mum, I think you are wasting your time doing the checks it anymore because you never update it.' Thanks a bunch Benster, but I hope he is wrong!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Friday, 28 January 2011

Not man nor beast was brave enough to come between Joe and his cake!

Harry enjoying his cake. He wasn't too keen at first to get his fingers messy but soon got stuck in.
Big thanks to Auntie Susan who was here at the time to help with the mammoth clean-up and bath afterwards.

A very special cake for two very special little boys. I can highly recommend Hayley who made the cakes for us. She had a very short four days to complete our order as I left it so late to organize. I think everyone can agree what a spectacular job she has done. Her email address is and can be found on Facebook by searching for Sweetcheeks.

One whole year old!

Exactly a year ago I was about to give birth. At just after eight pm my two little boys made their very sudden, but not unexpected, early arrival. To say the last twelve months have been a roller coaster of emotions would be an understatement.

The first three days I was all over the place. Immediately after the birth I was blaming myself, apologising and just wanted the world to stop. After three or four hours NICU had stabilised the babies and we were allowed to see them. Once I saw them I had absolute faith that they would be okay. They didn't look much like babies and were covered in wires and tubes, but they were mine and I loved them right from the beginning. I couldn't touch them, or spend more than a few minutes with them as they needed such intensive care but I was in some kind of post-birth euphoria which lasted until I arrived in Portsmouth with them two days later. When we arrived in Portsmouth we were shown to the parents waiting room and told NICU was closed to parents as the drs were trying to stabilise a very sick baby. We waited in that room for two hours before being told that it wasn't one of my babies that was ill. I cannot describe how sick I felt thinking that my baby was dying across the hallway and I wasn't able to be with him. In the whole of the twelve weeks they were in Portsmouth that never happened again. It was incredibly bad luck that this happened on our first visit when we were so unfamiliar with everything and everyone.

The emotions continued to be honest until I finally got the babies home. Juggling home and hospital life was challenging to say the least. After seventeen long weeks the babies came home and the fun really began :)

I have been both dreading and looking forward to today. Dreading the inevitable emotions that would arise, yet looking forward to celebrating such a special year. It's been such a wonderful day. The babies had their first taste of cake, and have loved all their new toys. Pics coming up in a few minutes.....