Friday, November 23, 2007

A very special Xmas party

Yesterday we were fortunate to go to the Women's & Children's Hospital Premature Bay Xmas Party...

Fortunate to catch up with the staff who helped make our journey through NICU a little less traumatic...

Fortunate to spend time with the friends we made whilst the boys were in hospital...

And fortunate to have the opportunity to celebrate Xmas with Mitch & Harry after such a difficult start to their lives...

BUT I suppose most of all I felt fortunate when I looked around at so many children and realised that Mitch & Harry could have had it so much worse. There were children with permanent feeding tubes, with oxygen, in wheelchairs, and with obvious lifelong problems.
And yet amongst all the families who had gathered to celebrate Xmas there was a feeling that somehow we had survived.
As I listened to the excited chatter of the children waiting for Father Xmas to arrive I realised how much this journey over the past three and a half years has changed me...
I celebrate the small things, rather than longing for the big things. Harry now dresses himself with just a little help. And Mitch loves to help around the house. These may seem small things to others, but to me they are a precious reminder of just how far both boys have come from the fragile beings desperately clinging to life in NICU.
I try not to sweat the small stuff (although sometimes I still do). So what if the boys have food on themselves, the table and the floor. They love to eat and for many parents of prem babies this is a dream come true. How fortunate are we that both boys eat without any pressure from us!
Most of all I treasure the special relationships in my life. There are so many people I would have never known if not for the boys' premature birth. Caring doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. And dear friends who came into my life just when I needed them. I nurture those relationships to the best of my ability and hope that those special people realise what a gift they have been in my life.
Life has a funny way of teaching us the lessons we need to know :-)
Sending lots of love to my family and friends,

Monday, November 12, 2007

The continuing adventures of Mitch & Harry

So much is happening at our house at the moment...
Mitch & Harry have finally graduated to big boy beds and their own rooms. The original plan was to have them in the same room - but due to the space limitations of both bedrooms it worked out easier to have them in different rooms. They are still next to each other and we often find them climbing into bed together for a cuddle. We invested in some Ikea shelving units for their toys and they love to play with their toys in their room. Fortunately they are fairly good at packing up with a bit of help. Anyone who visits our house is immediately dragged into the boys' rooms to be shown around.
Our next bit of exciting news is that both boys are now enjoying having tea with Mummy and Daddy at the big table. Up until now they always had tea before we did, because they were ready to eat at around 5pm and Kev often was only getting home at that time. Now they enjoy going outside to play and then coming in to sit at the table. Kev & I have both been surprised at how well they have taken to sitting on their booster seats and remaining seated until we have all finished our meals. An added benefit is that they are now trying new foods much more easily - Harry's new favourite is "eellaclado" (avocado) and Mitch's is "dinosaur lettuce" (because Mummy told him that dinosaurs eat lettuce).
And yesterday we visited the CP Specialist and he has cleared the boys of Cerebral Palsy. He believes that it would have manifested by now and that they are exhibiting none of the classic signs. So we are just to follow up with our Paediatrician. This was a tremendous relief, although even if they had been diagnosed we would have dealt with it. The boys are also getting a great deal of benefit from two special playgroups they are attending a week - both are about 30 mins from home and it seems to take forever to organise ourselves, but the boys are learning and growing, so that's all that matters.
So I suppose that's about it for my update. Life is very busy, but also very happy. Some days Kev and I are exhausted, but one look at our precious little boys and we realise just how lucky we are and just how far we have come.
Lisa xx