Caleb & River Vulinovic's story
On 21st October 2010 I was admitted into hospital after getting contractions, the problem was I wasn’t even 24 weeks pregnant. The doctors at the QA hospital in Portsmouth managed to hold off me going into labour for a whole week but on 27th October they faced no other option but to deliver our twin babies due to the babies being exposed to infection.
So, at 3.56pm and 3.57pm on the 27th October 2010 our tiny baby boys were born. This wasn’t how becoming a parent was meant to be, I was only 24+5 weeks pregnant.
We had been advised that due to it being a twin pregnancy with high infection markers, that the twins’ chances of survival would be so small. I can remember laying in my hospital bed looking at books from the unit of success stories and thank you letters from parents whose babies didn’t make it. I think I was trying to prepare myself for what I might be faced with, but everyone’s journey was different.
Caleb and River were born by emergency c section weighing 1lb5oz and 1lb6oz. When I got to go and see them for the first time, I can remember looking at their fragile scraps of a body all red and their heart jumping in their chest. Tubes and wires everywhere. In my head I was thinking there is no way they can survive this. The nurses kept on saying touch them, change a nappy. I kept saying no it’s ok I’m not ready to yet. It all helps with the milk supply and your bond they would tell me. That was it though I didn’t want to bond with them. I was thinking if I fall in love with these little people and they die it’s going to hurt so much more. Daddy however got stuck straight in and knew what he had to do. He was amazing! After a few days one nurse asked why I didn’t want to touch them, and I explained. She replied I understand that but what if they do survive and your missing out on all these precious moments. They are alive now and they need their mummy. From that moment on I threw everything in to doing what I could for them.
River had multiple surgeries along the journey, and there were days even leading up to getting them home where we were faced with setbacks. It was hard very to watch. Little things that don’t mean much to most are massive to you. Arriving for weighing day and getting so excited when your child reaches a milestone. The little cards we would receive with footprints on made such a difference and always picked us up.
After a lengthy wait but with the amazing support from the doctors and nurses at QA hospital we got to bring our two tiny miracles home. We cannot thank them enough for all the hard work and love they put into keeping our boys alive. We owe everything to them.