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Saturday, October 23, 2010

From small acorns grow mighty oaks...Three years ago today

This inscription written by a midwife
gave us much hope during an
uncertain few days for Rory
Three years ago today our youngest two children, identical twin boys, were born at Cork University Maternity Hospital at 32 weeks gestation. The weeks leading up to their birth were a time of anxiety as week by week it became clearer that they would need to be delivered for their own safety. And so at 14:53 & 14:54 on Tuesday 23 October they were delivered by C- Section.

I was thinking of them a lot last night as I was back amongst former parishioners at Holy Trinity Church, Crosshaven for the dedication of their new Pipe Organ. Heather and I will never forget the extraordinary love and kindness shown to us at that time of great uncertainty for us as we spent time with our two little men in the Neonatal Intensive Care unit. (Little did I know that I would be working in this area in pastoral care a few years later!) The picture opposite shows a very thoughtful drawing on the cover of a bag of TPN (liquid intravenous food) which we were greeted with one day in the neonatal unit. It was a difficult few days where one of the boys had been very ill with septicaemia. This thoughtful gesture by Ann, one of the midwives meant so much to us and gave us an inkling that things might just be OK.


EVERY day for 6 and a half months the parishioners of Templebreedy fed us and our family. This came without asking. Every day a main meal arrived at the rectory for us.
No words can begin to describe what this meant during what was an incredibly stressful time for us as a family. We had three other children, the youngest at the time was only 13 months and they too had needs. Our families were four hours away. When the boys eventually came home I was trying to continue my work which mercifully was from home and Heather literally spent the whole time breastfeeding the boys. It was a full time occupation! Breastfeeding sick, premature twins is a vocation. Our family, friends and in this case our parish family gave us so much love and support and literally held us through the first six months as we got these little men on the path to growth and development. We also always felt that they shared in our joy. We had many dinner parties for up to 50 people (madness when we think back!) where the twins simply slept in the corner of the room or were cuddled by various people. At the end of one such gathering one of the boys had an apnoeic attack and needed to be resuscitated and brought back to hospital and ended back in the neonatal unit for another sojourn. Scary stuff!

The boys will of course never remember this part of their life and will probably never remember this role I had in the community and in the parish. I miss being around them as I work and being able to see the children at various stages during the day whether it was fleetingly as I was in school, or assembly, teaching in school or simply working from the parish office which was attached to our home. Now I go to work in the morning and return in the evening.
So last night being back in Holy Trinity Church, Crosshaven on the eve of their birthdays this all came back to me and what a testament to a hardworking, caring, faithful and inspiring parish community who gave us so much and who this weekend celebrate the completion of the restoration and conservation of their parish church and the dedication of their new pipe organ.

So to our youngest, today is a milestone we are so proud to have reached with you. You are a handful and a heartful and you have brought out the best in so many people: keep it up! To all who have given us so much: Thank you!

9 comments:

ValérieM said...

Great text Daniel! Thanks for putting words on this time of your life.

Daniel Nuzum said...

Thanks Valérie. :-)

ChristineF said...

Beautiful Story. I've tears flowing down my face. I'm so happy for you all, I just wish i had a little of that support when my two came home. I now realize how important family and communities are. Best of luck in the future.

Daniel Nuzum said...

Thanks Christine. Quite simply the support kept us sane! And also caring for us was the best gift that folks gave to the babies. Anyone can buy a babygrow. Feeding and caring for us, especially for Heather enabled her to be able to breastfeed the boys which was a full time job in itself.

Helen C said...

Lovely account of a very difficult time. I know a bit of what you went through as my twins were born at 29 weeks gestation and spent 7 weeks in hospital. Thankfully both are healthy and strong and give us lots of happiness. Best wishes to all of your family, Helen Carpenter

Daniel Nuzum said...

Thank you Helen. Glad all is well. Lovely to hear from you.
best wishes, Daniel

Caitriona said...

That is a lovely piece Daniel. My twin Goddaughters were born prem at 30 weeks. They are seven now ! Birthday wishes to Rory and Killian x

Yvonne said...

Have a wonderful day. It gets better and more exciting everyday. Lovely words that will someday mean the world to Rory and Killian.

Daniel Nuzum said...

Thanks Caitriona & Yvonne