* This is just the first post of this blog - to see all the updates you need the main page.
The point of this blog is to keep people out there updated with what's going on with our two girls. With Maggie especially. Sometimes it'll be sad, sometimes it'll be funny (maybe) and sometimes it'll probably be quite boring and pointless.
It's all been a bit of a rollercoaster. And all a bit unreal. The mornings are the worst, when we wake and want to go straight back to sleep as soon as we remember that all isn't well. It's like you'd imagine: really fucking horrible.
But then there's the good stuff. Namely, that Alice is fine and will be coming home soon. Of course, even that's double-edged because there's bound to be times when we remember that everything we do with her should have also been done with her sister. (See, when I started this paragraph I had every intention of talking about Alice and being positive. Rollercoaster, like I said.)
Obviously, what's happened isn't fair or right. I find it hard sometimes to resist the temptation to curse some nameless thingy - fate or whatever - but then I catch myself and start to behave like a rational human being. One of the things that does upset me is that there might be people out there who somehow think that this is all part of some big cosmic thing and that it was either meant to happen or that this same cosmic thing will also be responsible for whatever might happen in the future. Really, I don't mean any disrespect or anything - but if you want to start talking about fate or someone looking out for us, then please keep it to yourself. That applies to all manner of mystical, superstitious bullshit. It really doesn't help.
If Maggie does recover, it'll have fuck all to do with fate or anything mysterious. It'll be to do with, quite simply (but not so simply), the human brain's remarkable capacity to do brilliant, amazing things. Such as repairing itself. And it's there, with science and medicine and proper treatment, and with what we know about the human brain, that my faith lies.
Of course, that doesn't mean that I always think about this in a rational way. Far from it, in fact.
The other point of this blog, I've just realised, is that it'll be a bit cathartic. Which is why it's possible, and highly likely, that I may blah, blah, blah like a twat and come across as a real self-indulgent wanker. But if it helps me, who cares? And it is helping me - I'm starting to feel better already.
But don't worry - Shannon will also be writing updates. Something I'd like her to do because I really think it'll help her. Of course, I'll be on hand to assist with spelling and grammar.
Right. Maggie has suffered what Dr Dyke (a consultant at the hospital) aptly called "an insult to the brain". She was starved of oxygen for a long time - possibly up to twenty minutes. At some point during Shannon's labour, her heart dropped and then stopped. Why, we don't know. But we do know that it had nothing to do with infection, or umbilical strangulation, or anything to do with the placenta. Whatever the reason, she stopped breathing.
We were told that evening that she would probably die, so severe were her injuries. So that night, in between howling like babies, we prepared ourselves to say goodbye. That same evening we also went to the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to see Alice. She was fine, although also on a drip (or whatever) and being heavily monitored. I'd previously held her when, shortly after she was whipped out, an idiot midwife ran into the room somehow forgetting that I might be wondering where the other one was. So we had our moment with Alice and left. We didn't see Maggie because we were told that she was in such an appalling state.
By the following morning, after all the crying and worrying and pain, we decided we really wanted to see Maggie. The consultant, Dr Roy, informed us that while she was still in an extremely bad way, she would probably live. But it would probably be a life not worth living, so extreme would her disabilities be. We went to see her, all alone in her little plastic box, and watched as she jerked around in obvious physical discomfort (as a result of seizures).
It was after this that I started to contact people.
Since then, things have improved. I was going to write 'greatly improved' - but we don't know what that means yet. She's breathing on her own, she's settled and - best of all - the two brain scans she had showed no real signs of abnormal behaviour. As we keep being told, however, this doesn't mean that she'll be okay. She is still very severely ill.
Shannon and I had a good day yesterday because we allowed ourselves to be extremely optimistic. It was good for us to do that simply because it cheered us up a bit. Today, however, we've been down again. Partly because it's a new day and partly because we were reminded that she's still in a bad state and that it's highly unlikely she'll make a full recovery. And also because Shannon spoke to a consultant who went over the day's events with her, bringing back awful memories and lots of 'what if?s'.
The positives, today, were outweighed by the negatives.
Here's the good news: Alice is doing well. She had digestive trouble yesterday but there doesn't seem to be any cause for concern there. She's taking Shannon's milk and she's feeding and sleeping well. And she's being very well cared for by the people over at NICU. If all goes to plan - not that there is a plan - she'll be home, what, sometime during the next couple of weeks (they want to get her safely up to 38 weeks). Hurrah for Alice!
Shannon is also doing well, recovering from the rapid butchery that was inflicted upon her on Friday. She's expressing milk too, which is great. She is, of course, desperate to get on with the business of being a mum but accepts, at the same time, that Alice is better off where she is for the moment.
Shannon should be home this evening. Hurrah! Which means I'll have to do the dinner. Damn.
Please feel free to make comments and say nice, encouraging things to Shannon. She'll like that.
Tomorrow - or later - some pictures of the girls. Stay tuned.