How I survived being a single mum of premature twins.

This hasn’t been easy for me to write but I felt the need to share espeically as we are all very much focusing on mental health at the moment. 

The twins came into the world very early. I went into shock labour at 28 weeks. I was still young had moved away from all my friends and family to build a life living in Newcastle with HIM.. we won’t mention his name his not worthy of a mention on my blog!

Due to shame after I had found out what he did I didn’t tell anyone, how do you go and start a conversation like this? I felt disgusting and couldn’t understand how I didn’t spot the signs.  He was taken away by the police and then moved into his parents house whilst the investigation was going on and I just blocked it out and tried to focus as normal.  I had social services and child protection as my only support.

I was at the hospital having my weekly check up and when I stood up from the chair my waters broke.Luckily I was sat with a midwife when this happened, 5 minutes later and I would have been driving home.

Within minutes I was on a ward and was given tablets and injections to try to stop my labour but they didn’t work. The contractions had fully started and I was in a state of panic. I had no friends and no family anywhere close and my babies were coming early.

Due to no  space in neonatal care at the Royal Victoria hospital in Newcastle I was told I was being transported by air ambulance to Dundee. I saw the helicopter land from the window but I refused to go the thought of going even further away from home was awful. I had only been living in Newcastle 2 months and had only made one friend. My time there wasn’t good and it holds such bad memories for me. But I wasn’t going even further away on my own in a helicopter where I was at risk of delivering my babies in mid-air.

After my breakdown I was allowed to stay put. My parents were holidaying in Cornwall and would never of made it in time and it was the days before Facebook so I couldn’t update my status to let the world know.

They managed to stop my labour at 4cm for 10 hours and I laid in a side room all alone strapped up to monitors. I wasn’t allowed to eat and was only allowed the odd sip of water. These babies wanted out and my labour started again with a force. Mollie was born at 1.16am weighing 2lb 6oz she was breach and wasn’t easy to deliver. She was blue and didn’t cry. She was took away straight away and was taken by helicopter to Edinburgh I didn’t even get a glimpse of her. I had no idea if she was alive it was awful.

I was in a surgical room with a big team of people. Radio 2 was playing in the back ground and the head midwife was dancing away without a care in the world whilst I lay on a table legs in the air waiting for Olivia to be delivered. She didn’t want to come they had to push my bump and start her off. 1 hour 2 mins later leg first Liv was born. Tiny at 2lb 1oz  with see-through skin and blue. She was crying and I was told she was a miracle and would be a real fighter. I was allowed a quick look and then off she went to Edinburgh but by road not air as she wasn’t deemed to be an emergency. I was taken off to a ward to recover everything was a blur and I was exhausted.

When I woke a nurse showed me two photos of my girls . They had both got to Edinburgh safely and were incubated but had a long way to go.

Still no one came to me I was still alone. I couldn’t find the words to tell people what was happening. I was discharged the following day and with a catheter I drove alone to Edinburgh hospital where a room was waiting for me . At the time I just wanted to see my babies and get off the ward where there were new mums all cuddling their babies. When I look back I can’t believe I was allowed to travel alone in the state I was.  I was physically exhausted and mentally drained.

Driving to Edinburgh was hard work I am a London girl and I hardly ever been up north ((living in Peterborough was bad enough) I didn’t know where I was going on the radio I had heard that Jade Goody from big brother had given birth the same day as me it was big news at the time and it brought me to tears I was driving to the unknown with a catheter pulling at me. I had no choose but to stop at the side of the road and empty it. I was weak and very tired and it was such a long journey. I eventually arrived parked my car and burst into tears at the reception area. I was put in a wheelchair and  taken to my room.

The 3 of together for the first time

Mollie

First experince of my babies

Later on that day I was told I could see my babies. The walk to neonatal was long and when I went through those doors I didn’t know what I was going to see or find. Due to Mollie being very ill she was in intensive care and had so many tubes and wires she was tiny and looked so unwell. I will never forget this first encounter of my first-born. Such a scary time she was like a little doll. Her machines kept beeping and she kept having Apnea’s The nurses would come along when her SATS dropped and literally pick her up and let her drop in her incubator. She needed shock to regain herself.

Olivia was in a different ward and she had on the  tiniest little stripe hat which I had seen before in a dream weeks earlier. She was smaller than Mollie and did fit in my hand. I was allowed to put my finger into Olivia’s incubator but that was all I was allowed to do.

The weeks went by and after 2 weeks staying in Edinburgh ,myself and my girls were sent back to Newcastle. I drove and the girls were transported by ambulance together in one incubator and this was their first time together since being inside me.  Once back I picked up my phone and called one of my closest friends within days she was at my side along with another friend and they were shocked at what had been going on.

My main concern now was my babies, I spent ever hour I could on the Special care baby ward and I made a few friends who were in similar situations so it really helped. My parents eventually came up after 4 weeks, I think it was too much for them to handle and they kept putting it off.

Olivia was allowed home after 6.5 weeks, she was tiny but other than that perfectly fine. She had reached 4lb and was feeding sufficiently.  She was far to small for the car seat so she had to sit on a few towels so she fitted in safely.  I took her back to my empty shell I now had to call my home and started to get into a routine.  I couldn’t go home back to Peterborough as Mollie was still very unwell so we made the best of it. I had no income so was living off my savings and daily Olivia and I went to see Mollie.

Having premature babies means complete sterilisation.  There are very prone to infections so everything has to be clean.  This is where my obsession for cleaning started along with the other mess I was dealing with.  I scrubbed and scrubbed every hour I could including my skin.  I did wash after wash and filled my time cleaning in-between hospital visits.

Mollie was allowed to come home at 10 weeks, she had reached 6lb and was off her feeding tube. But she needed home oxygen and a canister that I had to carry around with me. The panic if she pulled out the little tubes under her nose caused me.

The moment I stepped in the door with both my babies I called my Dad and told him to come and get me.  He hired a removal lorry and traveled through the night to get my and my girls.  We loaded up as much stuff as we could and left Newcastle behind.  I have never been back and don’t think I ever could.

I moved into my parents house for a few weeks where we had to have oxygen fitted in most rooms and after a month I had enough and rented a flat on a new estate with the helpp of my parents and was ready to go alone.

Its all about routine

Two babies, a brand new rented flat and mentally a mess.  I could have easily gave up and lived in a pig sty but I didn’t I took to cleaning and built up a routine with myself and the babies.
Luckily SCBU had the twins in a routine with feeding so we were down to just one night feed when they were both at home and this was around 2am.

I got the twins up at 6.30am even if they were still asleep.
Nappy change.
I had special milk which was all ready so I had to just put this into a bottle. So I would feed them quite quickly. I put them both in there bouncing baby chairs and sat in between them with a bottle in each of their mouths.  It would be a few ounces and then I winded them. This took me around 40 mins.
I would leave them on their backs on their special blanket and make my breakfast.
I put them back in their cot for me to make my bed and use the bathroom and have a general tidy around.
Cot bedding all in the wash daily
9 am no matter what the weather and after the school run mums where in we would do an hours walk to the shops buy any essentials and then walk home.  I did this one day in thick snow but I never broke my routine.
10.30am was a bottle feed again and I would put This Morning on and watch this whilst feeding.
12 noon always made my lunch.

My afternoon was pretty much a repeat of the morning but with no trip to the shops. Instead I went for an hours walk.

This doesn’t look like much but getting two babies ready to go out for a walk and ensuring the oxygen supply was sufficient took time. I had to keep them extra warm as they were so small so it wasn’t a 5 minute job. But this all kept me busy and my mind occupied.

I washed everything they wore daily and started my hovering obsession, they spent a lot of time on the floor so it had to be clean.

Come the evening the babies were settled into their shared cot by 6pm, nice and early and I would then sterilise all their bottles ready for the next day and have a good tidy up cleaning all surfaces and any toys they touched.

As they got older I added more into my routine but this is where it’s all started for me.  Routine kept me going and gave me a purpose to get up everyday. I was like this daily for a good 6 months and then I finally found the strength to start to meet other mums with the help of my health visitor.  I still maintained routine but added a few mummy classes into the mix.

I didn’t want to be on benefits so by the time the twins were around 9 months I had set up a speed dating business and dating agency. I could do this in the evening when the babies were a sleep and it only meant I needed to be out hosting events twice a month and this is where my dad stepped in and looked after the babies.

I was under police protection at the time as things had got really nasty, he had broken in one day whilst I was there and grabbed Olivia and run off with her. The twins were on the child protection register up until they were 7 years old. I had to go on courses and learn about protection as part of the programme. I didn’t want to go through all this but I was forced to but I suppose that was the consequence of marrying a child sex offender.

I didnt;t continue with my business for long as I didn’t like going out at night much and I had met some right weirdo’s. So I stopped this and got a part-time job working for a doctor’s surgery, nice hours and my mum gave up her job to look after the twins for me. I met Rob when the twins where 20 months, he was a medical rep and used to come into the surgery. I took the plunge and asked him on a date with the added sentence via text of. By the way I am 25, going through a very messy divorce and have very special twins.  It didn’t put him off and look at how far we have all come.

 

The moral of this is routine,  structure and cleaning can really help pull you out of a dark hole. Don’t rely on other people do it for yourself.  Find your inner strength and fight for a happy and fulfilled life.  I was not going to let that monster ruin me and my girls and he certainly hasn’t. 

A little insight into me which hopefully explains why I am the way I am and why I am really on a mission to help others.

My Home cleaning Schedule could really help you if your struggling. CLICK HERE

Lots of Love

Lynsey Queen of Clean xoxo

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4 comments

  1. Yvette gliddon says:

    You may not have felt like it at the time but your are one amazing, strong, curagious women. You should be very proud of what you have achieved. It’s hard in normal circumstances (what ever normal is) being a single parent. I myself bought my two oldest ones up most of there younget years till I got with my now husband. We have to fight. Xx

  2. Denise Matthew says:

    What an amazing and inspiring story. You may not have felt it at the time, but you were so strong to even carry on, let alone do it as well as you did. I’m sure your family are rightfully so proud of you, you are a great example. I love following your accounts, and knew some, but not all, of your story. It’s nice to know that bit more about you.

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