Kate and Adam
When we found out we were pregnant with identical twin boys, we were unprepared to say the least. We were told they could come early but we never expected them to arrive so early -- exactly 3 months. Naively, we clung to the idea that we would give birth and they would come home with us soon after.
Our first days in the NICU certainly shattered that idea. We had to quickly piece together a new normal; one that was very foreign to anything we'd experienced before. James and Fraser had a 'home' and we made it as much ours as we could.
Four days into our NICU experience both our boys became very ill. We were scared and anxious in an unfamiliar place. We had two sick babies in hospital and one confused two-year-old at home. We spent weeks travelling between the boys' incubators and our daughter's bed trying to spend time with everyone.
After 3.5 weeks James died. After 3.5 weeks I finally got my first cuddle with Fraser.
One hundred and twenty-three days after James and Fraser were born we took Fraser home. For over 4 months we juggled NICU life with the needs of our toddler, Evie. We got through it by celebrating milestones (at home and in hospital) -- by baking kilo cakes and painting pictures. We got through it because we had support from family, from friends and from all of the incredible NICU staff.
Life outside the hospital walls is life -- beautiful, chaotic, full of love and laughter. With each day that passes since we brought Fraser home, we are more thankful for the care and kindness shown by the NICU staff. We watch Fraser growing into a very determined, funny little boy and think about how far he has come.
And we think about everyone who has babies in the NICU and how we can help them; how we can make their new normal a better normal.