On April 16th 2005 Oliver (twin1) was born. His brother Noah (twin2) sadly passed away on 17th April 2005. I sat by his crib after saying goodbye to his brother, looking at my child, still not quite believing this was happening to me. He was so little, that even now as he stands taller than me, Í still can’t comprehend how small he was. He looked like a skinned rabbit, I really couldn’t see his face due to the beanie and this special machine keeping him alive.
I told him it was just him and I now and all I need you to do is keep breathing. It was a sentence I repeated so many times over the next three months.
Each day I sat and watched my little sunshine boy, I watched his tummy go up and go down. I watched his machines, heart rate-tick, oxygen levels good-tick, breathing-tick. Each day was a milestone….day 1-tick, day 2- tick etc.
Within these days, were the special relationships being made with my son’s carers and the other families around us. Supportive, encouraging and empathetic our new family for this journey we were on.
Touch your baby, they said. Oh my God, he’s so little, so fragile… But touching him made him real. His was ticklish and the only place I could touch him, without him getting grumpy, was his forehead. To this day it is still my go to place, when he is not feeling well.
Each day of our NICU/Special Care Nursery stay was and is still a monumental moment. Mothers Day 2005 was the first day he was strong enough to come out for kangaroo cuddles. Each time his weight increased and his intake of milk increased, when we moved from NICU to Special Care, I came closer to believing that I will be bringing my boy home.
July 21st 2005, with my son in the transport vehicle, I left behind my support team to take my son back to Geelong. I was so happy and scared at the same time, but they had prepared me well. We spent another week at St John of God, before I could officially bring him home.
I separate the hospital journey from the life journey in my head all the time.
It was now time to start again. I now have a baby that is three months old, alert and I know him so well, yet to others he looks new born. Coming home brought many challenges and new fears, I needed to learn to trust my instincts, stay strong because I knew Oliver and I would be fine.
It is through all the wonderful people who touched Oliver’s life at the Royal Women’s before and after his birth, that he is here with us today. It is also due to Oliver’s will and strength to survive that I am blessed on a daily basis. I have always told him, “the hardest thing you have had to overcome in your life, you already have achieved. It was to LIVE. Anything after that, is a piece of cake.”
So, how would I describe my “Sunshine Boy”? He is a gentle soul. Soft and kind hearted. He is as healthy as ox, tall for his age, and I am so proud of everything about him.
He loves to sing and act, fencing is one of his main hobbies that he shares with his brother Aidan who is 8. We talk about Noah all the time, he is a large part of this family and in my boys’ eyes, is growing up right along side of them.