From survival mode to renewed gift of hope for parents of premature twins

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Matt Humphreys pictured with daughter Ellie in May. Photo: Giovanni Portelli
Matt Humphreys pictured with daughter Ellie in May. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

Matt and Deb Humphreys’ twin daughters Hannah Rose and Ellie Grace were born in March at just 26 weeks’. While Hannah was released from hospital in June, Ellie remains in the care of the Newborn Care Centre at the Royal Hospital for Women. After a series of complications, Ellie appears to have turned a corner and Matt and Deb have a renewed sense of hope…

It was so nice seeing Ellie today for my first visit with her in almost a week.

So much has changed since last week and I got to witness how much happier she is without a breathing mask strapped over her face.

When I arrived she had just woken up from a big nap and I got just over an hour’s worth of chats, story time and general playing before she fell asleep again. She was very attentive for the whole time and even looked like she was trying to smile at one stage.

Her high flow levels came down another small notch this morning and other than that she was granted a day of rest by the consultant (appropriate for a Sunday).

It’s a common element of faith that it is a gift to be unwrapped rather than a skill to be earned.

My experience of hope this week has been similar.

It was only two weeks ago that we were travelling in to the hospital on a Thursday night due to yet another decline in Ellie’s stats.

On the way in we were having conversations such as: “What if she never gets better?” “How would we cope with losing her?” “What would her funeral look like?”

In my mind I was even thinking about where I would get her name tattooed so as to always remember her and be inspired by her (and if you know me, I am not the tattoo kind of person).

That week, we were very low on hope and we were just in survival mode.

Now, Ellie has yet again turned a corner and the hope we had misplaced has been gifted to us again.

Matt bathing baby Ellie this week. Photo: Supplied
Matt bathing baby Ellie this week. Photo: Supplied

Seeing Ellie act less like a critically sick baby and more like her big sister Hannah is so refreshing and we are very much looking forward to seeing the girls play together at home in the not too distant future.

This week should hold more answers such as what her upcoming operation will look like and when we will move to Westmead Children’s Hospital.

We may start sounding like a broken record, but thank you so much to the family, friends and hospital staff who all held us through another couple of tough weeks.

Collectively, you truly are the wave of grace that has carried us through this.

Read more at Matt and Deb’s blog: hannahroseelliegrace.wordpress.com

Support Ellie by giving blood: donateblood.com.au/red25