The countdown begins. In seventy night's time, I get a night off. Three of them, all in a row, three whole nights when someone else takes care of the girls all night long, and all day too if I like. Ten weeks today I pack up our house and cram it into our van, drive to our local hospice and unload.
First I unload the girls; they are met by trained nursing staff who know them well, and who have found new and exciting things for them to do.
Next I unload the piles of equipment and supplies; this is all checked off by the staff and filed away in bedrooms and drugs cupboards.
And then I unload all my worries and concerns, all the new medical bits and pieces and changes in the girls' conditions, all the minutiae of daily life; I open my mouth and it all tumbles out, someone takes notes and somehow it all transforms itself from a jumble of worries into a workable careplan.
And then I relax. In just ten weeks, just seventy nights, it will be someone else's turn to take the night shift, someone else responsible for mixing medicines and venting tubes and entertaining the toddler.
It isn't that I don't enjoy my girls; it isn't even that I don't enjoy caring for them. Believe me, having them here and caring for them is a LOT better than the alternative. And the girls' needs are a part of them; I wouldn't choose to change that. But three whole nights in a row where I can sink into a deep sleep and not keep one ear out for alarms and apnoeas; that's something worth waiting for.
Bring it on.