The triplets are three weeks old today and what a three weeks it has been. It feels like we live in a bubble and our world revolves around the Coombe hospital and three tiny human beings who continue to amaze us every day.
Hannah was first out and seems to be the leader of the pack so far. She was the heaviest and since day 1 has had no complications. She was on some breathing assistance initially but is now breathing on her own and really beginning to fill out. All three are fed through a tube as premature babies are generally unable to drink from a bottle before approx. 34 weeks.
Hannah was also the first of the three that I got to hold. She nestled into my chest and both of us treasured those 60 minutes. She kept glancing up at me struggling to keep her eyes open for more than a few seconds and I couldn’t help but wonder what she was thinking or what she could see. In Intensive Care, I spend a lot of time wondering about what they are like and how they will turn out, what type of personality each one will have. It feels like Hannah is the sensible one, she knows the score and for some reason, I can see her helping Harry and Pippa with their homework in a few years or helping me to keep the show on the road. There is definitely some wisdom in those tiny eyes. Her name really suits her, it’s a solid name but also a palindrome and Hannah seems like a well-rounded kinda gal!!
Harry has already established his status as a Mammy’s boy and poor Har has probably had the hardest time over the last three weeks. A few days after his birth, it was identified that there was some air leaking from his lungs which was trapped between his lung and the chest wall. His lungs hadn’t developed quite as well and seemingly this is more common among male premature babies. He required a ventilator and also had drains placed on each side to drain the air that was trapped. He was given morphine to ease the pain and also extra steroids to assist in strengthening the lungs. The problem persisted for longer than initially anticipated and the drains were removed only to be replaced a few days later but thankfully early last week, they were removed and Harry has thrived ever since. He is still on some breathing assistance via a CPAP machine which applies mild pressure to keep the airways open but the doctors are hopeful that he will no longer require this in the next few days. He now weighs more than Hannah and it seems that Harry may be the dark horse who despite a bad start is cruising along nicely and clearing plenty of hurdles in his stride now…
There have been moments in the past weeks when we have seen Harry in real discomfort and it would absolutely break your heart. I’ve no doubt that Harry will continue to break his mother’s heart as time goes on as now I see him as the sensitive soul and when I held him on Sunday for the first time 18 days after his birth, I never wanted to let him go.
Pippa is the smallest of the three still and is a teeny little thing (fondly known as Pip squeak). Pippa is also on the CPAP breathing assistance but yesterday was off for a few hours as a trial run and did very well. She loves lying on her tummy and kicks up a fuss when on her back. She assumes the jockey position 90% of the time with her bum in the air and her legs tucked neatly under. The name Pippa means ‘lover of horses’ and our Pip could well be the next Nina Carbery!! I see Pippa as a feisty little one who will always be up for a bit of mischief. Pippa was eager to enter this world and this lady is here for a good time, hopefully Hannah will knock a bit of sense into her or we could have our hands full with this one!
John and I still can’t fully believe that we own all three of them and we can’t quite believe our luck that they are doing so well. However, as my Dad would say, it is a long road that has no turning and in Intensive care sometimes there are often two steps forward and one step back. We must be prepared for another few tough weeks but it is so much easier when you can see progress and now we get to hold them more regularly and tell them all about the world that awaits them outside this bubble…