Hip Hip Hooray….1st HertsPrems Guest Blogger – Sheri
Hello all!!! My name is Sheri and I have 4 children Bethany 10, Lilly 5 and twins Owen and Florence 11 months old (8 months corrective)
My Twins Owen and Florence were born on the 27th July 2012 the evening of the Olympic Opening Ceremony. They were born premature at only 28 weeks weighing 2.5lbs and 2.8lbs.
Florence like her name’s meaning is “Flourishing” after coming home from Watford SCBU 6 weeks after her birth date. She was and is my little ray of sunshine on the darkest days. Owen like his name’s meaning “Little Warrior” has had (and still has) his fair few battles to fight before coming home at 13 weeks old. Owen was the sicker of the two and has Chronic Lung Disease. Owen left hospital on oxygen to be weaned off completely in January 2013. Unfortunately after a routine head scan Owen was diagnosed with Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) this was just 2 weeks before his homecoming. He is severely delayed but making slow progress and is becoming such a character, his smile can melt even the coldest of hearts. His determination and spirit is a real inspiration.
As I am writing this, I start the emotional countdown to the Twins first birthday. I have mixed feelings about this major milestone. It brings to the fore front vivid memories of their traumatic start and when they were so sick. It reminds me the that the birth of a child should be a time for happiness and joy, but all we felt were feelings of fear and uncertainty. A birth is an occasion to bring people together, but nobody dared to celebrate, “Congratulations” were whispered, only a trickle of cards sent. We felt isolated and lonely. Instead of leaving hospital with babies and balloons, I left alone with only my feelings of sadness and guilt to carry out with me.
We often find ourselves reflecting on our time in Watford SCBU and how the staff always displayed such expertise, dedication and care. Watford SCBU pulled us through the hardest challenge of our lives. We will forever be thankful for giving our beautiful babies the best fighting start in life.
My husband and I always talked while in SCBU about “giving something back” We thought that the Twins 1st Birthday seemed like the perfect opportunity to raise a little money for the unit. With the help from Audrey from Hertsprems we joined the Hertsprems team and set up a just giving page. http://www.justgiving.com/owen-florence
We would love as many people as possible to join us and celebrate Owen’s and Florence’s 1st Birthday by thanking Watford SCBU. Sometimes the word “Thank You” just doesn’t seem enough.
Looking back over the year we have had some truly dark times. But looking beyond that we hope to focus on how far they have come. We want their 1st Birthday to be a day of Happiness, a day to rejoice. I am organising a big 1st Birthday Party so together we can all celebrate my precious, strong little miracles, to shout birthday well wishes and bring balloons. Reaching their 1st birthday is a day of victory!!!!