Life can take some strange turns. Gemma* was in her early forties, had two children and her youngest was approaching 18. She ran her own business and her partner was in steady employment. They had bought their home and were busy trying to make improvements to their home. Then unexpectedly, Gemma became pregnant with twins.
The twins, Sally and Lamara, were born early and while they were doing well, they weren’t putting on weight. They didn’t feed well, were always being sick and were very unsettled. Gemma became anxious and more and more tired and their dad had to work away from home a lot. There were lots of hospital appointments and lots of ways to try to manage the babies. Eventually they began to put on weight but feeding was constant. Life became bottle, nappy change, put baby in cot, next one bottle, nappy change, put baby on cot – time for the first one again and on and on.
Gemma’s health visitor was concerned that Gemma looked shattered and referred her on to Safe Families for Children. Gemma tidied up the house and dressed the girls in lovely dresses for the visit from Safe Families. She told her story – how she loved her girls but it is hard work, with little support and all the extra feeding and work was exhausting. When asked what she would love to do she answered – have a shower and have some sleep.
Jane and Lois were two volunteers who came on different days to help out. They tidied up a bit, held the babies, played with them, brought a meal over occasionally. Over the months the girls became more responsive, more settled and Gemma less stressed. She was buddied along to the local toddler group, to a mum’s discussion group and proudly took the girls along to church a couple of Sundays. She loves these groups and is a lively member of them, meeting new people and making friends.
For Gemma, life is getting back on track again.
*names changed to protect identity