Mum Heather shared her story of the arrival of her twin daughters, and why the neonatal unit here at East Surrey Hospital matters to them.
Our twin daughters spent the first six weeks of their lives in East Surrey Neonatal Unit after being born 9 weeks prematurely. They received the most wonderful care there and it is thanks to them that they are now lively, healthy six year olds.
The girls were born by c-section under GA, weighing 3lb 1oz and 2lb 14oz, after my waters went at 30 +6 weeks. They spent six weeks in the neonatal unit, with support for breathing, feeding and growing. The staff there were amazing. From the paediatrician who came to see me when I woke up to tell me they were healthy and really not that small! The nurses who taught us not to panic every time an alarm went off, or who took our midnight phone calls when we rang to check nothing had changed since we’d left at 10pm. The nurse who let me hold them together for the first time and watched their heartbeats synchronise immediately. The staff who looked after me, as I spent day after day at their bedside. The outreach worker who visited us regularly at home after they were discharged, just to check everything was OK. All of them played a vital part in caring for our girls.
Thankfully, the girls were discharged after six weeks, weighing 4lbs, and never looked back. We won’t ever get over the experience, but we are eternally grateful for all the care they received.
East Surrey Hospital (recently rated Outstanding by the CQC) is now fundraising in order to expand the unit, so that it can care for even more babies. This is so important, because we later found out that the night our girls were born (two hours after another set of premature twins), staff rearranged the entire unit, so they could fit them into the intensive care room. The lady who went into labour prematurely after me had to go to Brighton Hospital, as there simply wasn’t enough space for all the babies that needed it that night. Despite being pregnant with twins, it never really occurred to us that we would need the neonatal unit. I’m running Run Reigate to raise money for the unit, so it can be there when other parents suddenly find they need it too.
Donations will help with the expansion of the unit and provide additional equipment including top of the range neonatal incubators, which enhance the comfort of babies, and allow easier contact between mums and dads and the baby, alongside helping to create comfortable family rooms which provide vital rest for those who stay in the unit. Thank you for supporting my running, and our local hospital.