If it wasn’t for the UCLH Neonatal Unit, Arthur and Ivo wouldn’t be here. They were born ten weeks premature - they weren’t just early, they were upsettingly tiny. Arthur weighed 3 pounds and Ivo weighed 1 pound 11.
What followed was 9 weeks of overwhelming stress and anxiety but also incredible hope and joy. The twins spent much of their time in incubators. We had to ask nurses to help take them out and hold them. They were so fragile - that first magical cuddle a new parent has with their newborn didn’t happen for me until Arthur was two days old and Ivo was five days old.
It’s hard to describe the impact of not being able to hold your new baby and instead watching them fight for survival inside an incubator. Wires, monitors, drips and machines keeping them alive. I’m not sure the beep of the machines will ever leave us!
Nothing was straightforward. How could we decide on their names, when the eye mask to protect their sight, tubes and plasters meant it was difficult to see their faces.
Even though we were petrified about what each day and night would bring - over the next couple of months the UCLH Neonatal Unit were there to keep our boys alive and to support us. We will forever be grateful for the care and world-class expertise of the staff at UCLH.
Arthur and Ivo are now 2 and a half - they are so happy and healthy! They make us laugh everyday and we feel incredibly lucky. We are so proud of how far they’ve come. How easy it is to forget how close we came to things being very different.
This is one story - there are many others and right now there will be babies and parents in the midst of their own UCLH journey. The staff are still there saving lives and helping other parents bond with their new babies despite the difficulties of not being a happy family at home.
Thank you will never be enough, which is why I’m raising money for Early Lives. It brings together doctors, nurses, therapists and veteran parents. They support all aspects of life on the UCLH neonatal unit including the babies, families and staff. By paying for things like specialist equipment, family facilities, staff training and neonatal research, Early Lives enhances the care provided by the neonatal team and covers costs for things that are not funded through the NHS.
Thank you for your support x