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 cuddle...it’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.