Time for a change

 

I guess this is a bit of an update, a message to introduce the next chapter so here it is…

Today is the first day of the summer holidays and for those of you who have read the blog or know me well, you’ll know this is generally my least favourite time of year! Why? I hear all the non-teachers out there scream! Well because as I explained in Apparently times a healer, school holidays are usually the time when you’re home alone, with too much time on your hands and somehow those ‘black hole’ emotions find a way of creeping back into your life and take you back to a place you don’t want to go. But not this holiday. See I’ve made a conscious decision – one that I think needed to be made – I’ve said time and time again that aside from Mark and my need to lift heavy weights at the gym and punish my body with all sorts of physical workouts! The only other thing that truly got me through last year and mentally helped me to rebuild myself was this little blog. In a strange way, writing things down meant they were no longer floating around my head. As much as both Mark and I have an extremely supportive network of family and friends, sometimes, you can’t say things as well as you could if you were to write them down and if there’s any proof in that, it’s the number of people who have spoken to me after reading a post and said ‘I had no idea you felt like that’. But that’s the point, I didn’t want people to carry the burden of my emotions as well as their own, so Home of The Little Something carried them for me and together we’ve made it through this far.

But back to this year’s holiday plan – so I’ve got 6 empty weeks ahead of me, we’re not going away as we’ve got a few bits left to do with the house before the baby arrives in November, I didn’t want to fly or leave the country (yes I’m a crazy pregnant lady) plus Mark’s new job means annual leave is pretty much non-existent over the next couple of months. But for the first time in what feels like forever, I’m ok with that. The thought of being at home for 6 weeks is actually alright. I plan to write, finally launch The Little Something Company, write some more, eat carrot cake, meet up with friends and family, drink decaf coffee and make the most of what could be the last ever summer holiday on my own. And with this change of mindset comes a change of tone for Home of the Little Something too. Both Mark and I have come a long way since I started this blog, we’ve started our next chapter and with everything else in life, I think the blog needs to start the next chapter as well, evolve a bit and catch up with where life is at now. The story of the twins will still very much be a part of my writing – there’s still so much of their story to tell but so will this pregnancy, where we’re at now and what got us through.

If I were to update you with where things are as of today – mentally I still have my moments, only last weekend pregnancy anxiety crept in, negative thoughts and freaky dreams took up most of our Saturday! But Mark and I are the strongest we’ve been, we have more of an understanding of each other, we’re supporting each other through this pregnancy and we’re together, a team and whatever life intends to throw at us we’ll tackle it head on and work our way through it. We will forever be the twins parents and they will forever be a part of our family, our hearts and our story but it’s time to start focusing on what’s to come for our little family. The twins will have a baby brother in a matter of months and right now focusing on him and his pregnancy story feels like the right thing to do and I’ve already got the title of my next post ready to go.

Lots of love as always,

A xx

I promised myself I wouldn’t do this

I promised myself I wouldn’t do this, and honestly I never meant to but when I turned the page and saw the words ‘parents evening’ on the school calendar, I realised it has been almost a year since we went to THAT appointment.

The night before said appointment, I was sat in the school hall wearing the baggiest dress I could find trying to hide my growing bump. Even though we were well past the 12 week ‘danger zone’ I still didn’t want to share the news with everyone at school. The teachers and the school staff knew but the 200 children and their parents? Not yet. With the last appointment of the night done, I slid my parents evening notes into my mark book and headed for the door. When I left the building that night, it was the last time I would leave school pregnant with our twins, the last time I would set foot in the building for months and the last time I would feel like ‘me’ for almost a year.

Ok so THAT appointment – Thursday 9th March 2017. We’d spent 40 minutes in an ultrasound scan, the sonographer barely spoke, called in a second person and politely shut down just about every question Mark and I dared to ask. Actually there was one question she did answer – “Is everything ok?”… “We need to get the Consultant to speak to you”. With Mark and I sat one side of the bed, the Consultant and the sonographer on the other, the words that left her mouth went a bit like this…

“As you know with monochoronic twins* there is a risk of TTTS and today we have seen clear signs of severe TTTS. Twin 1 is significantly smaller than Twin 2, there is virtually no amniotic fluid surrounding Twin 1, there are signs of IUGR** and we can see from the scan that Twin 2 has a severe cleft lip and palate.”

While both of us sat there trying to digest the words that had just smacked us in the face, I realised she wasn’t quite finished – brace yourself…

“We can laser the placenta to try and save them although there is only a 10% chance Twin 1 will survive and 70% chance Twin 2 will survive. If we don’t do the surgery today, both your babies will die.”

Now you know when people talk about an out of body experience?  Well that is the only way I can describe what I felt at that precise moment in time. I felt like I was in the corner of the room looking at these 2 people sitting, holding hands, staring at a woman moving her lips and communicating something they couldn’t quite comprehend.  Who the bloody hell was she talking to? It was then I realised she was talking to us. Our babies were going to die, my body had failed them, the two little ones I should have been protecting were at the mercy of a deadly disease and my body had let it happen – what kind of Mother was I?

The surgery itself was horrific, seeing one of their tiny hands on the screen in front of us as they lasered the twins separate from one another was an image that will never escape my mind – no matter how hard I try. Maybe one day I’ll write about the surgery, maybe not, but either way the scars it left were more than physical.

With the surgery complete, we headed home hand in hand with an appointment to return the following week – Thursday 16th March, which just so happens to be my birthday. Then exactly one week after I turned 32, we delivered our twins.

As much as I used to dread parents evening, this year I’m dreading the month of March even more. As much as I’m trying not to make an anniversary out of everything, the next few weeks are going to be an achievement to get through. But if the last year has taught me anything, it’s that one step at a time, I can get through whatever the world throws at me – so come on March let’s do this.

As always thanks for sticking with another one of my offloads.

Love and hugs,

Amanda xx

* Identical twins who share one placenta.

**Intrauterine Growth Restriction