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OK, Apologies first methinks

Yes, I am a dreadful blogger, I haven’t blogged about Bertie since November last year! Scandalous! What a bad bad blogger I am.

Lets do a catch up.

We had our first Christmas and our first Easter,which involved lots of presents and fuss over Bertie, and Mummy eating his chocolate Easter Eggs as he’s far too young to indulge! You gotta help the little ones.

We have had three episodes of bronchiolitis, two quite serious, one ride in an ambulance (a first for me) and a week long stay in hospital getting Bertie stabilised again. That coupled with over-exposure to the quite dreadful cafeteria food and the poor sick people of Dorset being subjected to mummy sans makeup, it was a bad January and February all round.

We have had a bad rash develop over Bertie’s face, and as yet do not know what the cause is, although its looking likely to be something he’s touched not what he’s eaten.

We have cut our first two front teeth and boy have we known about that!

We have had appointments to see the ENT Consultant a few times now since November regarding Bertie’s vocal chords, and the verdict is that the left chord has remained paralysed. However the right chord is overcompensating very nicely, and whilst she thinks he may have quite a husky voice,  which none of us are overly concerned about as I think it could be a winner with the girlies when he’s like 30 and starts to date nice girls only, we do need to stay vigilant regarding chest infections, as the vocal chord lays open it can mean easier access for food and liquid to fly down into his lungs and cause problems, so we are on a heightened state of alert for any sort of chest infections. ( Man down as I write, lets hope its not a bad bout)

Bertie does struggle to drink water as its thinner than milk and he chokes and splutters lots, so following a visit to the dietician she has prescribed us something to add to the milk to thicken it so he can drink it without struggling.

Bertie has been somewhat slower than most hitting his milestones, but then we must remember he was three months premature, I’m not expecting him to sit his GCSE’S right now.

We had a six month check up with Bertie’s consultant some time ago, and they were concerned that Bertie wasnt using his left hand and that his legs were quite floppy. He hadn’t rolled over and he hated being on his tummy. They mentioned Cerebral palsy, and in truth it hit me for six. I don’t know why really, given everything we have gone through, but I soon got over myself and remembered the deal I made with God in the early hours when I was lying in that hospital bed, praying I didn’t lose my babies. I just wanted them to live and I stand by that, I never got specific on what career they were to forge themselves or anything like that, because I didn’t care, i just wanted them to be alive, and I would take care of them and love them regardless.

So we now see a physiotherapist every three weeks who monitors Bertie, and gives us exercises homework.

Bertie’s Daddy think he’s putting it all on,and Im slightly inclined to agree, as rumour has it there is a rogue gene on my side of the family that has a tendency for the old theatricals, so I think a little bit of the amateur dramatics are at play here, with Bertie giving a rather rousing performance to his audience just for kicks.

He is rolling over now, he’s happy on his tummy although not crawling (far too much hard work darling) and he is able to sit up but not quite unaided yet. Oh, and he’s using that left hand they were concerned about, ALOT!

And so, we are nearly at his first birthday. I don’t quite know where the last year has gone, at times I don’t know how we have got through it.

I feel nervous as although its the happiest day of my life, its also one of the saddest as my darling daughter is not here to celebrate with us as a family, like it should be.

Rest assured she is always remembered, I am having a birthday cake made out of flowers for her grave, and a few girly pink balloons as its her day too after all.

Her headstone is ready, it has been for a while. But every time I sit down to write her epitaph, her final words to mark her footprint in this world, I get rather upset and just can’t seem to finish it. Maybe its a closure thing…

So, with a big smile I will carry on.

Here’s to the next twelve months and all they bring

Bertie, I love you so very much and I am so proud of you. You are quite simply my world.

Love Olive xx


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Bert and Olive – A Bertie update with a nod to Delphine

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Its been a while peeps, so I thought it was high time for a catch up on our favourite little boy.

Bertie had a 24 hour SATS monitor in October to see how his saturation levels were doing with his oxygen. The monitor drove me up the wall all night, I actually had flashbacks and thought I was in hospital again. I was half expecting the hubby to take my blood pressure and fluff up my pillows (Definitely dreaming).

The consultant reviewed Bertie’s numbers and agreed that he could come off the oxygen in the daytime but when he was in a deep sleep he dipped below a certain threshold that they have, and decided we needed to keep the oxygen on at night. Its been fantastic to finally see that little face without the prongs and ted stickers, and at night-time we have good old fashioned fisticuffs to grapple the prongs back on the little munchkin again, but as I type, we are doing a 48 hour monitor to see if we can finally take the O2 away at night too, so lets keep our fingers crossed.

Bertie also saw the Cardiologist who looked at Berties heart to check if the murmur was still there, and we were over the moon when we were told its all perfect! They think the murmur might of been his heart settling down and adjusting from the previous heart surgery, but everything is now as it should be, and that was just the best news ever.

The one area of concern for me is Bertie’s vocal chords. Whilst we are treated to his very soft dulcet tones he’s no Soprano ( Singer not Mafioso).  Also, I have not had any giggles yet, but I could be plumping a bit early for them, I have to remember that Bertie’s corrected age is only 3 and a half months.

The Health Visitor is pretty chuffed with Berties progress too, he’s weighing in at 13lb 4oz! We are finally filling out the 3-6 months clothes, although some are still a little loose! She even said he was starting to look a little “chubby” which is not a word we would of associated with Bertie a few months ago.

We took our first little trip away as a family and headed up North, staying with family so Bertie could meet his cousin Ethan, and spend some time getting freaked out by Auntie Claudine. He also met his Great Granny for the first time in Oldham and she was treated to lots of smiles, I think he’s a sucker for the Northern twang.

We have more appointments for Bertie coming up with the dietician to talk about his feeding and specifically weaning, and also with the consultant about his vocal chords, so really hoping for in-depth conversations at these.

As the seasons change, and winter creeps in, whilst Bertie and I snuggle up in front of the wood burner, my mind has been drifting to Delphine. She is in my thoughts daily but lately more so as I plan celebrations such as Christmas and Bertie’s Christening.

There is a dull ache in my chest that started the moment she died. I think my heart actually broke that day in May as no matter what I do, I can’t shake this little pain that resides there tormenting me.

I long for her to be here, she has missed so much and we are only six months into our little adventure.

I am quite resolute that she always be included and remembered in everything we do as a family. She will be the brightest star at the top of our tree this year, and for every year after, having purchased a lovely star engraved in her memory and also personalised baubles for her and Bertie. I also bought her a little Christmas tree to place on her grave, so she doesn’t miss out on the festivities.

Sometimes I think being so fright-fully British we are completely naff at talking about our feelings, especially grief. I know it must be hard for people to talk to me about the twin I lost, but at the same time people,  I had two babies. I don’t want her to be forgotten, her name brushed under the carpet like she didn’t exist. She fought for so long to stay alive in my womb when the odds were completely stacked against her, and then gave me nine precious days in this world to spend with her, I want to shout her name from the roof tops! She was amazing! She was a real little trooper! She showed me more bravery in nine days than some people show in a lifetime. She was my daughter…

Someone told me she was a little angel, sent from heaven to protect Bertie as he grew inside me, so I am honoured that I got to meet a real living angel here on Earth.

So don’t shy away from talking to me, don’t treat me any differently, don’t think you can’t talk about certain subjects, Im still ME, I’m still that ever so slightly deranged, clumsy, ditzy bird from Kent, albeit a somewhat bashed and bruised version of me.

As always, I will maintain composure and a British stiff upper lip, and then probably go and sob my heart out alone when no one else can see

Olive xx

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