We have just finished packing and getting ready for our big adventure. Tomorrow morning we leave for Sicily, a trip of 1500km and a sea crossing which we will be doing in two days. Although we have made this trip many times, including with a two month old, it is of course the first time that we have done it with two two month old babies, plus a couple of other children. We will be trying to synchronise feeding times and rest stops for everybody, which sounds like a good plan but whether it comes about is another matter entirely. The reason of course is our extended family: they all want to see the twins, and in any case it is 18 months since we have been to Sicily and might be another 18 months before we can go again. As well as this, there will be the wedding of the first of Pinuccia’s niblings to get married, who will be living 500 metres away from us at Trento. After 11 intense days in Sicily, there will be another 2 day trip back, with a rest day before going back to school and the restart of the church activities.
Yesterday we had our first whole day out together. It did not start well, as we forget the babies’ bag with everything they need to survive more than a couple of hours, so I had to go back home to get it before arriving in church almost an hour late. Apart from that, Mattia and Luca went well: when they were not being passed around everyone in the church, they just slept quietly in a corner in their double stroller.
The reason for this long day was the monthly lunch after church, which this time included the Sunday School’s work to raise funds for a school in India – they made and served crepes for everybody, which kept us all busy. Then there was a quick clean up and transformation of the hall, followed by a surprise 50th birthday party for one of the church members. Apart from the long day, there was a lot of eating that day!
An event to pray for this week is the next edition of Kids Club, the children’s evangelistic program, which will be on Saturday afternoon, thinking especially of Christmas.
This morning we made our first appearance in church as enlarged family. We did not do too bad in organising ourselves to go out (just a few minutes behind when we hoped to leave the house) given that we had no system yet, and there was a last minute vomit from one twin and nappy change from the other. So we were able to receive lots of compliments from our friends, but especially present Luca and Mattia to the church to thank God for them and to ask for their continual prayers for us as a family. It was the last Sunday that my in-laws will be with us, and we wanted them to be a part of this moment. So from Friday we will be by ourselves again, which means back to the housework for me after being pampered for a few weeks. The running of the family will also become more difficult as we will not be able to use in-laws when we have to be in three different places at the same time, but we will have to learn to adapt to it.
Finally all together (Mattia on the left, Luca on the right).
Next Saturday there will be a festival in the quarter of Trento in which the church hall is located. We’ll be opening our doors, and putting on various activities for children in the afternoon, a concert in the evening, and following it up with an evangelistic meeting the following week. Pray for the many people that will be around on that day, that they will also come to visit us, and that we will have boldness in taking up the opportunities that come up.
Today I met one of my fans. Someone came to church, having travelled from Rome on the overnight train, just in order to meet me, since he often uses my website for reading and studying the Bible. It was a bit of a strange meeting, but I pray that the Bible will continue to transform his life.
I have not written much about the twins over the last few days, because there has not been much of a change. They are big enough to leave the hospital and have no medical problems. The only thing that is keeping them at the hospital is that they have not learnt to eat and breathe at the same time – five seconds after every time the bottle goes in, the alarm goes off and they turn a nice purple colour. Since nobody knows when they will learn the trick, nobody can say when they will be leaving the hospital. But we all can’t wait! Pinuccia is now spending about 8 hours per day at the hospital, doing the bathing, changing, and feeding in that period, whilst I go for about an hour most days.
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.