Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jacob and Maddie's Story...Part 1

Many of you know my little guy Jacob and how he suffers from a life threatening illness...some of you may know about Maddie...I feature her in many scrappy pages, she suffers from deafness...Here are Jacob and Maddie, they were born 10 weeks early, Maddie weighed 3lb 8oz and Jacob weighed 4lb 3 oz...They were tiny as I usually had big, healthy babies.....I was very upset and found the NICU quite scary, but soon got used to it....




I will now begin the story....


Precious Miracles


Jacob and Maddie are lying on their beautifully patchworked Noah's Ark quilt, with it's rich creams, reds, blues , yellows and greens. It pillows around their bodies, their matching pink and blue teddies, and their lime-washed cot that they share. A vast contrast to the harsh metals, plastic and sterile whites that surrounded them only months ago.

Jacob and Maddie were born on the 4th May, 2001, weighing only 4lb 3oz and 3lb 8oz. They were born ten weeks early. That in itself was a difficult time to live through. You have an expectation of how your baby, or babies, should look, and the motions you should go through when they are born. When something unplanned happens, and you need to deliver your babies early, the confusion and subsequent loss that you feel is overwhelming. The loss of ther ime in the womb. The loss of "normal sized" babies. The loss of the labour and birth. The loss of that perfect time in your life that you have been looking forward to since discovering the pregnancy.

My babies are usually big, beefy, bouncy babies. Not thin, scrawny, tiny things that resemble skinned rabbits. They didn't feel like they were mine. It was like they belonged to the hospital. Immediately after the birth, they were rushed to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). It was days before I actually got to hold my babies.

When I first saw them in the Unit, after they had been taken away from me, I was in shock. They were surrounded by tubes, monitors and machines, all of which my husband and I grew to rely on for the survival of our twins, but which seemed so scary and forieng at the time.

Alarms constantly going off became routine. You eventually got to know each sound, and knew when you needed to worry, or when you needed to tickle their feet to remind them to breathe. Oxygen saturation levels (sats), bradicardiacs, apneas, C-pap, long lines, canulas and catheters all became part of our language...part of our lives.

I didn't want to leave the post-natal ward of the hospital. A type of grief was lingering because I knew I would have to leave my babies behind. If you speak to any woman who has had a child, she will tell you that one of her most euphoric times is when her newborn baby is lying beside her in its crib, and she is adoringly lookin at it in wonderment and overwhelming love. Or, when she is wheeling her newborn through the doors of the hospital and on her way home.

I was to have none of that. I was sore from the caesar. I made my husband take the celebratory flowers, cards and gifts home a day prior, as there was no way I was walking out of the hospital with them, and no babies.

I did leave. I actually made it to the car with out crying. Once in the car I sobbed...for 4 hours. My husband stopped in the chemist on the way home to get a breastpump and other sterilising equipment. I couldn't do much for my babies, and I felt so guilty because of that. But the one thing I could do was supply my babies with the goodness of breastmilk.

This took a huge effort on my part, having to express for twins meant being at the breastpump every two to three hours ( feeling like a cow), for about half an hour. Then I would pour it into a small plastic container, then time and date the sometimes pitiful amount, add my name with 2 smiling faces, and place it into the fridge. Then twice a day would take the "preciuos cargo" , in its winnie the pooh wetpack, to the hospital and place it in the NICU fridge.

To keep this supply was extremely difficult, with so many stresses, and with them not being with me, but I persisted. They hardly ever needed a supplimentary feed of formula. Something I am quite proud of now.

The weeks went by, and my husband and I began to care more and more for the twins. Doing their cares was a routine that occured every 4 hours., an hour apart, to allow time for their feeding.

You would methodically get a wad of cotton wool and wet it with warm water from the tap, set that beside their crib, with sterile cotton wool buds soaked in sterile water, cotton balls soaked in saline and a nappy. You would start at the top of the baby, wiping their eyes with the balls, from the inside out. You would then clean their mouth, tongue and gums with the cotton bud, refesh their bottom with the cotton wool and put on their new nappy. Finally, you would change the site of their sats probe, as the bandage that held the probe in place would dig into their delicate skin( it was paper thin), and sometimes give incorrect readings. I always gave the old site a little massage, as i would have like someone do that for me. My babies were tiny. It didn't mean they felt no pain.

Handwashing became a necessity that you would perform like someone who had repetitive compulsive disorder. Cross infection was something you wanted to avoid. I washed my hands so often, that after a week, I developed dermatitis, which became infected...I still have brown scarring.

Maddie and Jacob became less and less dependent on oxygen, and the various drugs that helped them breath, digest their food, and keep their hearts beating. They made the progression from BAY 1, where the sickest babies go, to BAY 4, which is where the babies go to finish their growing and master feeding.

Before I knew it, there was mention of the twins going home. At this time I was warned not to take them to public places, and to make sure people washed their hands before handling them, for fear of germs and illness.fter a much hurried preparation on the eve of their departure from hospital, everything was ready. It seemed surreal at the time, as 5 full weeks had passed. It didn't seem like I had given birth to these babies, even though I was still sore from the caesar, let alone actually getting to take them home.

It was Friday morning when my daughter, Jess, and I walked the double pram throughthe doors of the hospital. I nestled the babies into their pram Seeing such a normal piece of equipment like a pram near them made me realise how tiny they really were. They looked like dolls lost in a giant pram.

I began to cry. From realisation. From grief. From fear. For the loss of the machines that told me my babies were ok. For the loss of the nurses who answered my every question and helped my babies finish their growth and development they needed outside the womb. For all the mums and dads that lost their little ones while we were in there. The NUM gave me a comforting hug. I cried even more.

I had made friendships with other mums of premmie babies. Those type of "situation" frindships you form throughout your life. I assume most people get over them. But, I find it emotional to get over them.

I cried because I would never see the obstetrician that saved my babies' lives...and my own. Nor the neonatalists, who kept my babies alive those few crucial weeks. I just wanted to hug them all and tell them how much I truly appreciated everything they did. I will for the rest of my life.

So. I cried for everything. For the loss of that particular part of my life that was over. Don't get me wrong. I was over the moon my babies were doing ok and that we could all have some sort of normal life together as a family. It was just the end of a part of my life. I'm hopeless with endings....that's all!!!

This is enough for now ...I will continue the story tomorrow....

Until then, take care

Mandy

xxx

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kraft it up and a thankyou...

Hi there...this is my kraft it up entry for this month...I haven't really scrapped for a while, s a huge thankyou goes out to NICOLE AUSTIN...she sent me this amazing rainbow packets full of wonderful art and scrappy stuff...this really inspired me...thanks Nicole..
I love my beautiful mum...she suffers from alzhiemers...its not much fun for her at all, so I wanted to do a lovely page of her and I together...i just threw all this blue stuff together...even used a kaisercraft bit of packaging from the flowers I used on this page...
Until next time
lots of it
Mandy
xxx

Monday, March 21, 2011

Time Out

My little guy is sick which means I have my hands full with caring for him, my heart filled with sadness because he has to go through the fear, and my brain is on "so full of information I can't cope mode"
so please forgive me for not reading your blogs, or posting on mine...just until he gets better..
until next time
lots of it
Mandy
xxx

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A little birdie told me its my besties birthday...

 I have a friend...her name is Karla...she is an amazing friend to have...everybody needs a friend like her...she is my rock...we try and catch up once a week, sometimes its tricky because we have very crazy lives...she has a little guy with special needs, just as we do....so, we understand that sometimes it's tough...our coffee gettogethers are the BEST!!!!!! We always laugh so hard we cry and then sometimes we just cry...we vent to each other...we love love love quiches and greek salad, and that is what i am making her for lunch tomorrow when she comes over....I also have some gifts to give her....
I made her this, I look at these little birdies and smile...they are bright
and colourful and so quick and easy to do....its on a thick canvas, I made the sides the blue with the writing stamp around it...

I made these little boxes...they were just cheap little brown boxes that i prettied up with co ordinating paints, kaisercraft writing stamp...
my new fav...and my little birdies on the top with the words, hope, joy and peace...hope being her word and peace being mine...lol...
top view with ribbon blocking it...lol...
also, I got her a little book of quotes of hope...she will like this!!!!
finally I got her a pandora bracelet......you know the ones you put the little charms on...so cute.....
until next time
lots of it
Mandy
xxx

Monday, March 14, 2011

Blackbird singing in the dead of night...

So, here is a little painting I did....one of the little birdie paintings...they are quick and fun to do...

blackbird singing in the dead of night

I did this in my moleskine journal..its a4 sized, using water suluable crayons again....
I hav always been a beatles fan...the very first album I bought as a teen with my very own money was a beatles album...believe me, back when I was a teen the beatles were not very cool at all!!!!
but i have always loved them, along with so much other music, and always will....

If anyone wants to be in my pay it forward, just visit ny last entry,GO HERE,
I promise it will be nice, I have only 2 people joined up...please join in the gift ofgiving, it makes you feel so good...
until next time...
lots of it
mandy
xxx

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pay It Forward


I heard this from...Sassy...who heard it from lumpkin and me
The first five people to comment on this blog post will receive a treat from MEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!within the next three months.



1. In return, you must first write a blog post explaining Pay It Forward 2011 and be willing to then do the same for five others that post to your blog.



2. You must spread the love and joy by sending out five handmade (by me)things.





Isn’t that simple? Easy?

What a way to have your heart runneth over!



The size, cost, amount or color of your handmade item matters none.





It is the SPIRIT of Paying It Forward.



You can choose to send your handmade item in a week, month, six months, or by the end of the year. That is entirely up to you.



Leave me your email address in your comment so I know how to contact you.





Tag.

You’re It.

Pass it On.

Share.

Tell your Friends and Family.

Make someone smile.





Pay It Forward 2011

so...what will you get...mmm...i have a lovely bought thing to go with whatever else i make for one lucky person...it will be a surprise...lol...
and i'll make you a surprise too...
hee hee hee
love this sort of stuff
until next time
lots of it
Mandy
xxx



Monday, March 7, 2011

and mamma said, "stay close little ones"



...since a couple of you said you liked my little birdie, i thought i'd do another one...

I was going to title it "twins" but I really like the new title instead because i used to say that to my twins all the time, especially when we were out shopping, I even say it now to them, even though they are 9!!!!

and mamma said 'stay close little ones!'



hope you like it..the first shot is the finished picture, the next shot is how it looks before you add a little h2o....love both looks really...did i ever tell you i love my water soluable crayons...lol...only all the time...hee hee hee

i quite liked the dappled sunlight through the picture...hope you don't find it too distracting!!!





I love to juggle!!!

I am learning...i try to do it every day, it only takes 5 to ten minutes, sometimes even less!!!

i am up to three balls at a time...let me know if you like juggling!!!

(or is that just me!!!!!)

lol


okies beautiful people

until next time

lots of it

Mandy

xxx













And Mamma said 'Stay close little ones!'.

...since a couple of you said you liked my little birdie, i thought i'd do another one...
I was going to title it "twins" but I really like the new title instead because i used to say that to my twisn all the time, especially when we were out shopping, I even say it now to them, even though they are 9!!!!


and mamma bird said 'stay close little ones!'

hope you like it..the first shot is the finished picture, the next shot is how it looks before you add a little h2o....love both looks really...did i ever tell you i love my water soluable crayons...lol...only all the time...hee hee hee



so..here is the before water shot...


i quite liked the dappled sunlight through the picture...hope you don't find it too distracting!!!

I love to juggle!!!
I am learning...i try to do it every day, it only takes 5 to ten minutes, sometimes even less!!!
i am up to three balls at a time...let me know if you like juggling!!!
(or is that just me!!!!!)
lol



okies beautiful people
until next time
lots of it
Mandy
xxx


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bits and Bobs

Here is a little birdie I drew and painted using weater soluable crayons....simple but cute...lol...
So, I have recently been into doing bits and bobs in my journal...I love to have it on hand because I do get restless if I don't create, and my journal allows me to just grab something simple without taking a million bits out...I like to draw and use water colours and my water soluable crayons...what fun art is...I love that I am passing on this love to my three little ones...they are always drawing, painting too...heres a few things I have been up to....the first I will show you is a page inspired by Leslie...she has a challenge for 31 days over her blog...go check it out ....this is day 3 challenge...using the word...smile...


Here are some other things I've been having fun with...



Jennifer sent me this amazing parcel, with loads of wonderful old labels in it...i didn't want to open the parcel it was so beautiful, but what amazing labels..just perfect to use in all my crafting and arting expeditions!!!
Go check out her blog, it's full of mixed media bits and bobs as well as some lovely family happenings and bits and bobs....thanks so much again, I can't wait to use them...xxx
 I was a lucky winner times 2 in the last owoh..lucky me...my second win was from a very talented artist, she makes gorgeous jewellry and her latest is an amazing sculpture...thanks Wanda for my gorgeous necklace..I have worn it nearly every day...xxx



And here is where I created today...don't you love these little flowers...my daughter Jess gave them to me last night...I was wondering what she wanted, but they were just because she loves me...they do surprise you sometimes...lol...
Okies...enough babbling from me...have a great weekend everyone, until next time...
lots of it
Mandy
xxx


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mel has an amazing Giveaway

Hi there...I don't always enter giveaways, i do sometimes...but this one has particularly taken me...not only is it an amazing giveaway, but MEL is just an amazing strong, wonderful lady...go visit her blog and check it out!!!!
Ok...go on...you know you want to...lol...
Until next time
lots of it
Mandy
xxx