Parenthood – Birth & NICU

The Last Year

The long gap between this and the last blog of just over a year is down to its taken this long to really process what happened to us as a family. It’s a long a twisty ride so strap in and grab a brew and a biscuit or 2!

The Birth

The delivery date was brought forward to perform an emergency caesarean due to increasing pre-eclampsia markers in my wife.

Hindsight is always 20/20 and we were not prepared at all for what happened in the next few hours….

1st sign was my wife was huge not just twin pregnant huge but huuuuuge.

2nd Sign was the water breaking and a tsunami being released.

3rd sign was Twin 2 didn’t cough up his fluid and had to be helped.

I’ll skip the more gory bits for the delicate of mind but if you’ve been at a birth you’ll know.

So back in the recovery room and Twin 1 fed straight away and well, but when we came to feed Twin 2, he very quickly turned blue and started choking.
This was diagnosed by the neonatal paediatrician as a TOF (Tracheo-Oesophageal Fistula) and Twin 2 was taken from us and rushed down the M6 to St Mary’s specialist Neonatal unit in Manchester.

I followed him down straight away in my car just stopping to grab a wash bag and a t shirt / underwear, but Mrs S was suffering various effects from the trauma and needed blood transfusions and close monitoring so wasn’t able to come down with twin 1 for 2 more days.


When in Manchester the team at further diagnosed his problem as a TOF/OA (Tracheo-Oesophageal Fistula, Oesophageal Atresia). To put this simply his stomach was attached to his windpipe & his throat was a dead end. This meant as he was feeding it would just fill the dead end and overflow into his windpipe & lungs.

NB: So going back to Signs 1 & 2 he wasn’t recycling his pre birth waste it was just topping up the bag because he couldn’t swallow. Sign 3 was he couldn’t cough up the liquid in his throat.

The surgical team in Manchester worked miracles and managed to reconnect them together (just). They had to paralyse him for a further 48 hours to prevent him moving and tearing the repair. However it had torn slightly and he was under further observations and interventions that kept him alive while his body tried to heal the tear. Meaning all his breathing and feeding was being done by machines / specialist nursing staff.
Once the leak had self-repaired they were able to start feeding him properly and build his strength up enough to come home 2 months after he went in.



(Father of 3 with no hair / sanity left)