Home with our premature twins
At last, after months in hospital, family life can begin. But with premature twins, nothing is simple.
After a traumatic premature birth and months in the hospital, both twins were home. Eventually, after all the waiting and praying, we were a family.
We decided that although they were prem babies with all the hang-ups that they would be treated like normal babies. Or at least we would not be too over-protective. Among the challenges were a tendency to stop breathing because of apnea, gaining weight (still an issue), Caitlin with lung issue issues, and CJ with spastic diplegia.
Things that for normal babies would be run-of-the-mill we took a bit more seriously. Careful attention was paid to the development of the nervous system, including the achievement of motor skills like smiling, sitting, and walking, as well as the positioning and tone of the muscles. Speech and behavioral development are also important areas during follow-up.
Fortunately for CJ and Caitlin, their mommy was now a stay-at-home mom. Priceless.
Caitlin was stubborn and with tenacity to boot as well. If we swaddled her, she would wiggle and wiggle to be free. Just to be sure (and fortunately we still had medical aid) they'd visit paediatrician regularly as well as do the ear and eye tests, especially because they were preemies .Trips to the clinic for routine injections were heart-wrenching, but after what they had been through it didn't seem so bad.
Milk and nappies were always stocked, as well as enough medicines to stock a small cabinet - the fridge door belonged to the kids’ stuff.
Ongoing health challenges
Caitlin was (and still is) susceptible to infections - especially the ear and throat variety - because of respiratory distress syndrome and bronchopulmonary dysplasia she suffered while in NICU. Christopher has spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy that is a neuromuscular condition of hypertonia and spasticity in the muscles of the lower extremities (his is his legs) - he is constantly tense.
We have got better at sometimes self-medicating with regard to Caitlin (CJ as well on occassions), but until 2008 CJ saw a physiotherapist to assist with his muscle tone and spasticity. He also had twice yearly botox injections to relax the tendon, as well as an operation at 6 when the tendon was cut. He still walks on his toe... it's mind over matter now .
They stayed home till they turned 3 and started their educational journey. Their Mom had them prepared as best she could, but it's a big and scary world out there.
Read about the twins’ birth and their first few months in hospital.
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