Writing about your first week of life is heart breaking, because it was probably the hardest week of my life and here is why….
When you came out you were silent, you couldn’t cry and were grunting which apparently isn’t uncommon. The midwife tried to put you on me as that helps, you let out one cry but that wasn’t enough. The alarm was sounded & in came a doctor, she took you off to the special care unit. I wasn’t really sure what was happening, as it was all happening behind me as I was giving birth to your placenta, so wasn’t allowed to move. Then in comes another doctor, I remember trying to concentrate but I wasn’t really taking it in . It was like a film when everything is in slow motion. He said you had an infection, fluid on the lungs & you weren’t breathing properly. He was saying all this when my legs were up in stirrups being sewn up. I remember telling your Dad to go with you, but the doctors wouldn’t allow it. My baby was all alone & I hadn’t even got to hold you properly.
Eventually Dan was allowed to see you and I followed after my stitches had been done & showered the blood off. You were in an incubator with 100 tubes going in and out of you. The Doctors said they had done some X-rays that showed you had a shadow on your lungs, which they thought was because of the fluid. They were putting you on antibiotics for an infection but they didn’t know any more at this stage. You were on a CPAP machine to help you breath & clear your lungs. I wasn’t allowed to stay with you, I was shipped off to another ward with 7 screaming babies at about 2am. Your Dad slept on the floor. I didn’t really sleep and at 4am I was walking the corridors of the ward crying because I wanted to be with you. One of the nurses let me in the special care unit, I wasn’t allowed to touch you but I just sat next to you watching you. I thought labour might be tough but nothing prepared me for seeing my little baby like that.
The next day – When we had a chat with the doctors they said they were going to try and take you off the CPAP machine and give you air instead, they did and for a few hours you seemed ok. We were so excited , but your little lungs couldn’t cope and you had to go back on it. Our emotions were like a yoyo. I still don’t think we really knew what was going on. Your dad asked one of the nurses ‘Is she going to die’, I remember looking at him thinking what the hell, you dying hadn’t crossed my mind. It had obviously been playing on his mind, but he didn’t want to worry me. Thankfully the nurse said no, that wasn’t going to happen. Plus you were my little fighter.
Day 2 – They still couldn’t find out what the infection was, then they said they wanted to test you for ‘meningitis’ ! My eyes started welling up, they would need to put a big needle in your spine and it’s very traumatic so best we weren’t around. I just wanted to get out of there as I started to uncontrollably cry. The doctor kept asking do we have any questions, we never did and waited until the doctor left and then asked the nurse 100 questions because they translated everything into simple terms for us. I was finally allowed to hold you, but I was so worried about pulling a tube out. Things were looking up, you were off the CPAP machine and onto air.
Day 3 – You were finally being taken off the air machine, and taken out of the incubator. Writing this I can’t believe this happened on the 3rd day because it seemed like this took forever. I was allowed to try and start breast feeding you, before this you had been on a glucose drip. Previously me and your dad had been manually pumping the colostrum for you. I include your dad because he was massaging my boob and syringing it up, we were so excited about getting 0.5ml :).
Day 4 – You were moved rooms, and we were told we would only have another day because you were making such good improvements. The meningitis tests they did had a bit of blood in, so weren’t 100% but pretty sure that all was ok. They still weren’t sure what the infection was but the antibiotics had cleared it all up (still a mystery to me).
Day 5 – At 7am the nurses from the special care unit wheeled you into me, it was a surprise as I didn’t know you were being released so early. I was so appreciative and thankful to the nurses, again the tears started flowing. We were finally going to start our life with you, and get you home.
So your first 5 days we had a lot of help from the fantastic nurses at Worthing hospital, however I would have given anything to do it all my self. Sleeping on a ward with about 7 other babies whilst your baby is on another ward is heart wrenching, all I could think about was you.
The next few days were prepping for and having Christmas. We didn’t get much sleep, and we were totally knackered but we didn’t care our baby was finally home!