26plus 2!

To all whom have liked and shared Tomorrow for Tomás, from Shane and Ann-Marie a sincere thank you!

For any parent to bury their child before them goes against the circle of life. Baby Seán, Tomás’s identical twin brother, ‘the stronger twin’ as described by the nurses and doctors decided to leave us after 30 days. It broke our hearts as it was unexpected in so many ways.

On the 7th of March, 2010 Seán ‘tiny toes’ and Tomás ‘happy feet’ were born unexpectedly at 26 weeks and 2 days gestation. That afternoon Ann-Marie had been transferred from Galway to the Coombe in preparation for the twin’s early delivery. Within minutes of Ann-Marie receiving a bed in the Coombe her placenta ruptured and Shane and Ann-Marie’s lives changed forever.

Noticing a flow of blood, Ann-Marie rang the emergency bell for help and then her husband to come back quickly as he had just left the hospital a few minutes earlier. The Registrar on duty that day happened to be signing off for the night at the nurses’ station when Ann-Marie’s bell started ringing. A bedside scan by the Registrar showed Tomás’s heart beat was slowing drastically. It was described to them as being akin to the gills of a fish out of water.

Ann-Marie was immediately transferred to theatre. There was no time to wait for a porter to assist this transfer. The “Crash Section Alarm” had sounded. Doctors and nurses grabbed her bed and wheeled it to the lift without delay. The Doctor informed the crash team that twin 2 would not make it and that Ann-Marie’s bleeding had to be stopped immediately.

Ann-Marie recalls how her night clothes were cut off her with a scissors while being urged not to move.  Just as the trolley bed was whisked out of the lift for theatre, Shane appeared at the door.  Ann-Marie begged him to mind the twins when they were born in the event that anything  might happen to her own life. As the nurses questioned her food diary for that evening she thought ‘Will I wake up alive from this?, Will the twins survive?’ ‘Why did I have those jelly babies earlier?”  With such thoughts mulling around her head she remembers a large tube being put into her mouth as the general anaesthetic was taking effect.

In what might have seemed an eternity for the hall walking expecting father, Baby Seán and Tomás were delivered within minutes of each other. Exactly 11.21pm and 11.23pm saw these two little fighters arrive weighing less than a pound each. A bag of sugar! Shane observed both boys being rushed out of theatre on route to NICU, where both boys where in ‘sandwich like bags’ within two separate incubators. Little did he know at that point that Tomás had already been resuscitated twice in theatre and would need a third in the NICU within the next hour. He stood there in disbelief as to what he had just witnessed. These two tiny human beings were their new family.

He was also overcome with fear as Ann-Marie would remain in surgery for another two and a half hours before he could see her and tell her how much he loved her and how beautiful her two sons looked When Ann-Marie awoke from her ordeal her first question in a whisper was ‘are the twins alive?’ That night Shane paid vigil to Ann-Marie’s bed side and at 6am Shane was allowed to visit the NICU to see their two fragile little sons hooked up to what seemed hundreds of leads, wires and machines within their incubators.

Ann-Marie & Shane