If you looked at my Silent Sunday post this week you will have seen the most amazing lady. That lady is my Grandma. She celebrated her 80th birthday and we all had a cream tea birthday party during the day with lashings of pimms and a Chinese meal supper, also with lashings of pimms. For her present she asked for a helicopter ride. Not your average 80 year old birthday wish, but then I don’t see my Grandma as your average lady.
I thought it would be really interesting to show you how much things have changed from when my Grandma had children to now.When I found out I was having twins everyone asked whether it was in the family. I never knew it was until my Mum told me that my Grandma had given birth to twins, two girls. So I will tell you the story now.
My Grandma’s twins were delivered prematurely by nearly three months. My Grandma went into labour two days after having an X-ray to check on the babies. Yes, you read correctly an X-ray, not a scan. The poor woman was mauled about on an x-ray table at 6 months pregnant, exposed to X-ray radiation and you wonder why she went into labour early? At this point they also did not know she was expecting twins, just thought she had a large bump!
In comparison to me, I was scanned every month to check on twin growth and knew I was expecting twins by 11 weeks. I went into premature labour at 34 weeks, but medicine is so incredible now, they could put me on a drip and stop it, to give me enough time to administer steroid injections so that my babies lungs could develop and be stronger.
My Grandma’s delivery was traumatic. Both twins were born at 3lb 1oz and 3lb 3oz. The special care team were brilliant but were just not as knowledgeable and the equipment was not as advanced back then. Tragically one of the twins died 44 hours after delivery. She was a very poorly little girl. The other twin fought on.
I was very lucky that my twins stayed put until 36 weeks and they were delivered at spectacular weights of 5lb 3oz and 5lb 14.5oz. They did not require any intervention and came straight up to the ward with me. However I knew that the SCBU unit at my hospital was great and was confident in the knowledge that they were there with their expertise.
The other twin that continued her little fight and survived is my Auntie. Now 53. She was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and they thought that she would be very disabled and actually not walk.
Well boy did she prove those doctors wrong. She is one of the most independent, strong and confident woman I know. She walks unaided, and lives in a very trendy city, working and enjoying life like the rest of us. This is not a result of misdiagnosis, no she has undergone lots of surgery in her time but she has been strong willed enough to push forward. Her disability is more of an accessory to her than what defines her. She has never let it impact on her choices. When I asked her if it was ok to mention it here she said ’Kerry, I have had it for over 50 years, it’s not going to change now.’ As a child the only thing I remember of my auntie in terms of her disability is that my sister and I use to bicker over which hand we held as one side has a slightly stronger grip than the other! (My auntie will confirm that this had it’s benefits when trying to contain naughty nieces and nephews!) Other than that she was an auntie that helped us make Halloween costumes, played every game that was asked of her and who is queen of all things Disney!
My Grandma also went on to have another two daughters, one of them obviously being my Mum.
Both daughters have gone on to have their own families and I am eldest Grandchild and the first (and only currently) with great grandchildren. My Grandma has been incredible. She drives over 70 miles once a month to come and see me and the children. She always pops things in the post saying ‘saw this and thought of you,’ she sends BBa postcard every trip she goes on and has done since he was born. She really is a GREAT Grandma in the truest sense of the phrase. They say that twins particularly non-identical are carried on the mother’s side. What a fantastic gene to inherit. I am so thrilled and proud of my twin bundle and feel so fortunate that medicine has progressed so much that mine were given the best chance right from the beginning.
My Grandma says her story is fact. It happened. She is not worried about me writing about it. I tell you what I think is fact. That my grandma is an incredible now 80 year old, with a heart of gold, who gave me the twin gift. Thank you Grandma.