A letter to my NICU mums.

When we were planning our families we didn’t even know each other existed.

We had our own groups of best friends who were amazing and whom we loved (and still do very much). But little did we know that when our babies were born, we would be thrown together in the most horrendous of circumstances, and we would end up with, and need, an entire new set of best friends.

New friends whose bonds would prove to be stronger than anything life with children could throw at us!

Having babies so severely prematurely is a rollercoaster of grand proportions.

And the intensity bit of Neonatal Intensive Care is nothing short of bizarre and petrifying - exaggerating every emotion you can imagine.

But those shared worries, fears and medical procedures.

Those sleepless nights when you don’t know when or if you will see your babies again.

Those tears of frustration and joy and a hundred-odd breast pump jokes.

Watching for each other’s apnoea and SATS alarms when we popped to the loo.

Discussing milk, poo and reflux meds until you can’t talk about it anymore.

This ‘out of world’ experience is what sealed our bonds forever more and is what gives us an understanding that goes unsaid.

Like a secret nod that only we understand, that says: "I get it, I’m here. I’ve got your back."

I am so lucky. During the time my twins were in NICU I met lots of people who were incredible, but the three ladies that this is about are special.

I now literally cannot live without them.

They have given me support and love and unquestioned understanding that nobody else on the planet could give me.

If they cannot stop my fall, they always pick me up off the floor. Even at times when they barely have the energy and ability to get through their own day. 

They would answer the phone at 2am to me if I were in need. And I to them. 

These friendships have grown to become even more invaluable as time has gone on.

Not least because all of our children have long-standing health concerns due to their prematurity.

Yet another reason I’m convinced we were meant to meet. It’s another tightly twisted tie that keeps us all together, knowing that we are not alone.

That every operation, treatment and therapy we have to watch our children endure is felt not only by us as their parent, but by each other.

We all go through it together. 

Even when I lose my temper for no reason, they never judge.

They understand the stress and pressure that is on my shoulders like nobody else can. Because they feel it too.

It’s pushing down on them all the time as well.

Yet, despite everything we have going on in our lives, we still manage to have fun! 

To make time to see each other and enjoy life in-between the madness. 

We eat cake (there is lots of cake) and our children adore each other as much as we adore each other. It’s like having three sisters!

Katie, Rach and Lu, this one is for you guys.

Whilst I truly wish our children did not have to endure the challenges and issues that they cope with way better than I ever would, I’m so grateful that the universe decided to throw us together.

We probably would have never met had we not had these little people at the same time and even if we did, who knows if we would have become so close.

But the one thing I know is that when I win the lottery, we’re going to have one hell of a lot of fun on that island.

I love you all loads. Thank you for keeping me together.

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