Thursday, 14 November 2013

A Hug Without Permission

I'm linking this post up with Kylie at Not Even a Bag of Sugar.  It's a blog that I've read since the twins were tiny and it has given me great comfort particularly during the twins first year when their prematurity was more of an issue for us.  The 17th of November is World Prematurity Day and Bliss, along with organisations worldwide, are running the campaign #giveahug to raise awareness of pre term birth.

My twins were born seven weeks early.  We had expected them to arrive a little early as twins often do.  I had a scheduled Caesarian Section booked for when I was 38 weeks, in fact the day it was booked my consultant had seen me, I'd had a scan and been told everything was fine.  However, my waters broke that night and due to the fact that our local hospital had a full Special Care Baby Unit the decision was made to transfer me from there to a hospital 50 miles from home, which had space in their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

I spent the next three days on bed rest while the consultant there tried to stave off my labour.  He thought he'd been successful but on the 4th of October 2009 at about 1.00 pm I was declared to be in full labour, 7 cm dilated with twins who were now both breech!  What followed was quite a blur.  No theatre and not enough staff, no anaesthetist either.  The twins delivery wasn't anything like I had planned for.  I had imagined being proudly wheeled out of theatre with a baby in the crook of each arm - that first hug with them both that proclaimed me a mother of twins.  Instead I was separated from them for more than a day. Neither dh or I got a cuddle with our babies for the best part of a week. 

Then, slowly the hugs came.  Despite having three older children and a lot of experience of looking after small babies, caring for the twins was completely different.  I couldn't pick them up when I felt like it or even change them without permission.  Hugs were scheduled as part of a routine.  I remember our first cuddle together very well.  I enjoyed it so much that dh had to remind me, an hour later that we had to go and pick up the other children from school and so we needed to leave the unit.  Begrudgingly I let the nurse put our babies back in their cots.  Most visits were like that, there never seemed to be enough time.

First hug together - not how I'd imagined

Something most parents of premature babies experience is that they don't feel like mum or dad until they are allowed to leave hospital with their child.  My twins were 18 days old when I finally got to be in charge, to hug them without asking permission first.  I get lots of hugs now of course, sometimes almost more than I can cope with in one go!  I appreciate them all because I remember how long I waited for them.  Every single one of them is special to me.


  1. Thank you so much for your lovely words and your beautiful post.

    Those first hugs are so precious aren't they? And its so totally different to holding a term baby.

    People pass me their termies to hug and I have no idea what to do with them!

    1. Thanks for your comment. Even though I've got the pictures to prove it, it felt so strange holding the twins for the first time - like it was a dream. I was so envious of all the mums with term babies because that was so normal to me, I felt I'd been cheated out of the right ending to my pregnancy. So very glad it's behind us both now xx.


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