Friday, 16 October 2009

Paul (Shannon's first post)

I know this blog is meant to be about updates, and more specifically about Maggie and Alice, but my first post is going to be a bit of a backdate, and it’s going to be mainly about Paul. Sorry girls, but I’ll no doubt be wittering on here about every little aspect of your start in life soon enough and thought your lovely daddy deserved a bit of credit and bigging-up before it all gets underway. (And yes, this really is me writing this and not Paul trying to pass himself off as me!)

In short, he’s been amazing. We’ve cried and cried and cried but he’s also done the unimaginable and made me laugh despite all of this. He keeps single-handedly raising our spirits when I don’t have the strength to, and yet he seems to know when I just need to cry and be overwhelmed and supports me through that too. He was my fierce protector when I was in the hospital – so much so that I think I gained the reputation of being a bit of a princess while I was there. He stayed with me every night, and the mornings would have been truly unbearable had he not been there, feeling the same as I did and comforting me. And yet at the same time he has leaned on me and made me feel needed and strong – which is exactly how I’ve needed to feel. That I can handle this, that we can do this, whatever ‘this’ turns out to be.

He wrote the first heartbreaking text/message that we sent and encouraged me to do the same when I was just turning inwards from pain, fear and sadness. He said it would help, and it did. Damnably, he is still always right, even now. He set up this blog so that I, we, could take strength from everyone’s love and support and well wishes - and so it would be easier for me to update people without feeling overwhelmed (knowing that I’m rubbish at it in the best of times, let alone the worst).

And now I’m home and he’s been running round for me, after me, waiting on me hand and foot and reminding me constantly about all the things I need to be doing to look after myself. He’s even cooked dinner twice in a row and didn’t moan about it at all, people – this is unheard of stuff.

He’s my Paul, and he’s smashing. And for reasons that will become clear later on, I need to add that he’s my number one boy.


And so, on to Maggie and Alice. It was another day of ups and downs – the first day of the home/hospital balance was always going to be difficult. But we had a nasty shock when we went to the hospital to see Maggie back on a breathing apparatus, this time attached to her nose – she hasn’t been able to clear her lungs completely on her own so she’s basically pooling saliva in the bottom of her throat and there’s also a concern that she hasn’t yet developed a gag/choke reflex. It’s something they’re watching but again, always, it’s a matter of time to see how she does. I knew holding her for the first time would be hard but this made it much, much more so – she’s so fragile with all of the tubes and wires and then having to watch them suction her little mouth while I’m having a’s an image I’m having difficulty shaking.

But I have another image too...Alice, alert and curious, as I give her her first little bottle (and it’s breast milk, yeah!). And as soon as it was finished she got cute little hiccups, and then fell fast asleep. Bless.


  1. Good to hear from you, Shannon. I never doubted that Paul could make you laugh, even in tough times. (I think the first post here was a solid example of his strong sense of humour)

    Love from abroad to you, Paul, the girls and the rest of the family,


  2. Congrats on the babies! Now I can get started on the presents b/c I know the sexes! So sorry to hear about baby Maggie. I will be sending lots of positive thoughts your way. If you need to talk, let me know. I went through lots of medical child issues when Maddie had cancer at 2 1/2, so I have probably felt almost everything you are feeling. Staying positive is the best advice I can give. There is no reason for these kinds of things and no one to blame. You do what you need to do to get through the days and savor every minute b/c time goes so fast. Talk to little Maggie and touch her as much as you can so she knows she is not alone. She spent so much time with her sister in the womb and is probably missing her so much. I will keep checking in on you and hoping for the best of news. Lots of love. Jen

  3. Awhhh Shannon I have got problems with my mascara after reading your post, namely its running down my face mixed in with the tears....

    You guys are being so strong and I can't imagine what you are going through, but what is great to read is that your family unit is so so strong.

    Anyway I am rubbish at this writing lark, however just want you to know I am thinking of you all and to thank you for these updates.

    Lots of love to you all.

    Lou (big)


  4. I know you mean well, Shannon, but talk like this simply goes to his head. As you know full well, Paul needs a firm hand to keep him on track, he'll be lost without it... Hope today is okay so far, see you guys soon. Matthew x

  5. I agree with Matthew, be careful, he'll be getting you to plug his book on here next! :)

    Seriously though, this was a loverly post to read. No doubt you guys can get through anything.

    Thinking of you all

    Ben x

  6. Hi Shannon

    Great to read your first post and a relief to hear from you. Everyone here has been massively concerned about you all, but all eager for news. So this blog is a good idea. Love the pics.

    Glad to hear that you're home and Paul is taking care of you.

    How about challenging Paul to cook you a Jamie Oliver/Louisiana gumbo?! Good comfort food.

    Much love from Darren x

  7. That was very moving to read Shannon. We've been thinking about you loads and sending you all our love.

    I'm hopeless at writing but good at knitting so be expecting a parcel soon for Maggie and Alice,the needles have been click, click, clicking away.

    Finally I have time on my hands and if you'd like some company any time I would be happy to pop up, just say the word.

    Take care of each other, it sounds like you are.

    Lots of love to you all, Maria xxxx

  8. Hey Sis....don't you feel bad now for all those horrible things you ever told me about Paul....those things he may now always wonder about but being the true sister I am....I would never, ever disclose....:) Ponder that, Paul...:P

    But really, Paul.....Thank you for being amazing for my big sister. It's comforting know that while we're so far away she has a good man there to hold and comfort her when need be.

    Love you all....Mary and Bob

  9. hey shannon!!

    i love reading your words. you are a mom now. you are a strong Yankee and you have good people around you. although mary and i cant be there next to you at this moment to hug you... but mary will be there soon and at some point in the future i will make my way over to see you and the family and enjoy some breakfast at People's Palace.

    like i say... smile and laugh every day. listen to music. music that moves you. read a good book. write something meaningful. look at the sky. breathe deep.

    bob and mary

  10. Not written anything on the blog for a while and since I came over to Norwich to charm and entertain you all, I can see from your blogs that each day brings 'changes'...

    I suppose when you're at the centre of a maelstrom you don't have any choice other than to react. We, out here, have the luxury of looking in, in supporting and sympathizing, but how can we really, truly understand?

    Maggie and Alice are beautiful babies and you're both bursting with pride and love for them. They need you both, whether you're angry or sad or happy, whatever state you find yourselves in...

    We're your support, your punchbag, your shoulder-to-cry-on, your port-in-a-storm. 'We' are every single person who posts blogs, comes and visits, drops you a text, sends you an email or a card or thinks about you every single day of our life.

    The grammar might not be right but you know what I'm trying to say.

    A day at a time... all our love and thoughts.


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