It was a long day today. In the morning the hospital told us that also Luca had left the intensive care ward, was out of the incubator and in a heated cot, and that we would be able to pick him up and hold him for the first time. That was wonderful news for us, but then we had to wait the hours until we were going to go to the hospital in the afternoon… When we arrived, it got even better: we could hold Mattia as well. So we had a good time getting to know them. Unfortunately for the other children, Daniele had a fever this morning, so he and Stefania had to stay outside and watch through the viewing window. When we left the hospital, Mattia was transferred to a cot as well, so both of them do not need help breathing from the incubator any more. It can not be much longer before they arrive home.
A few improvements today. Pinuccia is at home now – she is feeling better than before even though still a bit sore, but she left the hospital more because her bed was needed than that she wanted to come home. But the surprise when we went to visit the twins in the afternoon was that Mattia had been moved from the intensive care unit to the neonatal problems unit. That is, he needs less help, even though he is still in an incubator. We might be able to take him and hold him when we visit the hospital tomorrow, which would be great and would make the experience seem more real. At the moment I feel more like a taxi driver than a new father.
Today everyone is a bit better – Pinuccia can now walk around by herself, and Mattia and Luca have less tubes attached and don’t make us cry every time we see them. We still don’t know when they will be leaving intensive care, let alone the hospital, although Pinuccia can come home tomorrow if she wants to, but hasn’t decided yet if she will
The twins are in intensive care, and it seems that they will stay there for a few days – there is no danger, they just need help to breath. At least this morning Pinuccia was physically able (just) to get out of bed so as to be able to go to see them, touch them, and talk to them. They were a few tears from both of us!
Luca (2210g, on the right of the photos) and Mattia (2185g) were born today at 4pm Italian time. They are a bit small, since they were born a month before the due date – there were not any real problems, just a belly getting too large for Pinuccia to carry. They are still getting used to the new environment and need help breathing, so they are still in an incubator, and will remain there until they don’t need it any more, whenever that might be. Pinuccia saw them for only a minute after the birth, but when she has recovered a bit more she will be able to go and see them, as they have been moved to another section of the hospital.
The regular monthly after church lunch was a special one today, with the international group cooking for everybody, instead of the usual bring and share lunch. The point was that everybody made a donation for the food, with the proceeds going towards helping the several refugees from Pakistan that there are in our church. As well as the eating, there was also the opportunity to hear their story, although by that stage Pinuccia had reached her energy limit, and we went home. But it was great to see the Pakistan people beaming as they found a way to serve the church, distributing their food for us.
It was another wonderful afternoon on Sunday, with four baptisms from the church at Trento. This time we went to a park next to a lake, where there was lots of space to mingle with the others and celebrate this time together. In fact there were more than 100 adults, from Trento, the church at Rovereto, a lot of Africans as one of the people baptised is from there, as well as other Christians from around the province and friends and relatives. It was also great that it was the day that the missionary pastor until 1998, and who was my mentor as a young missionary at Trento, visited the church. We could remember all of God’s work in the church over the decades, as we looked forward to the new life in these people as well.
This week Pinuccia spent three days at the hospital. Not because there were any problems, in fact she felt worse after the stay there than before, since sleeping was even harder in a ward with new born babies and women in labour. Instead, the time in hospital was for some more serious check-ups and treatments. The conclusion was that she and the children are still a lot better than they should be, given the size of the belly, so the doctors decided to not even bother with next week’s check-up, but to wait until at least the 9th before dong anything.
The usual activities are getting back to normal, with the first Sunday School lesson last week and the first Bible study this week. At the same time, there are some important events in the church coming up, especially next Sunday afternoon the baptism of four people, who are courageously going to the lake – the water will not be too warm!
Similarly, the family is returning to a rhythm, with school having started, and the after school activities (modern dance, music, and theatre for Stefania; handball and chess for Daniele) starting up in this period. Also there is of course another special event, with Pinuccia having some treatments this week to get prepared for the birth, which could be in early October. Almost there.
In the northern hemisphere, the summer is in the middle of the year, and in September we get back to the normal life. This week is the big week for restarting. School starts on Wednesday for Stefania and Daniele, which means the Sunday School as well on the 14th. Yesterday we started the signing up process for the small groups in the church, and the ones I am involved in will be starting next week or the one after. Back to our regular programming. Although it will not be so normal for us this year, as at the check-up last week Pinuccia and the twins were all well, but Pinuccia is getting rather big (especially with respect to her usual size). So the doctor is thinking of bringing the birth forward a couple of weeks, sometime between the 19th and October 12th. We are getting close.
Our time at the Italian prayer days went well. Firstly as a family – Pinuccia actually felt better there then when she is at home – and secondly as a mission, with a good time of sharing each others’ joys (of which there had been quite a few lately amongst the missionaries) and burdens. The other good news was that as we were in the car, 5 minutes before arriving, Pinuccia got a phone call offering her a few different full-time jobs. We were not expecting it, as usually so gets offered a job later on, being a bit down the list. Usually Pinuccia does not want a full-time job, to leave time for the family and the church, but this year the full-time job will come in handy, as she does not intend to work and will receive a percentage of the pay of the job she accepted whilst she is on maternity leave.
With only a week and a half left of the three months of school holidays, it is time to start thinking about the restart of the church activities. This week I have two meetings to prepare the Sunday School, one with all the teachers (that Pinuccia runs – she will be on maternity leave from the Sunday School as well this year, but will continue to organise it) and one for the three teachers of my class. I will also be working on getting people to enrol in the small groups, which we will be presenting in a new way this year.
My iPhone/iPad Bible app continues to be downloadable, after the initial spurt when it was released a couple of weeks ago, at a rate of about 15-20 copies per day. A couple of days I sent out the third public version, with various improvements. It was good to think, whilst enjoying the fellowship at the prayer days, that I was continuing to distribute God’s Word to Italians, a copy every 90 minutes. And that was just for the iPhone or iPad; there are also the Windows, Mac and Android versions to add to that.