Three times a mummy

World Prematurity Day

on November 17, 2012

Today is World Prematurity Day, and for this purpose I have decided to share my story.

My baby was born 8 weeks early by emergency caesarean. I had a pseudocyst on my pancreas (the size of a grapefruit), and it was causing me a lot of pain during my pregnancy. I kept having to go into hospital during my pregnancy for pain relief. I have lost count of the number of times I stayed in during the pregnancy. It was getting to a point where the drugs they were giving me weren’t working. I am not sure if the pain was just getting too severe, or whether my body was just getting used to them.

When I was about 31 weeks and 5 days, the doctors gave me a steroid injection to help build up the baby’s lungs incase they did need deliver it early.

A few days later I was back in hospital, I had had morphine and was on gas and air, and was in a lot of pain. The baby was very distressed too so they decided to deliver to baby then.

It was all very fast and blur to me now. I can remember hearing my baby cry as the baby came out at 8:25am, and then waiting for what felt like a year for them to show me my child. My beautiful baby boy. He was all wrapped up and I could just see his little face poking out of the blankets, then they quickly took him to NICU. I told my husband to go with him, I had said in my first pregnancy and this one that if me and the baby had to be split up for whatever reason I wanted him to go with the baby. But they wouldn’t let David on the unit with him. No parents were allowed in the room when the doctors were doing the rounds, and it generally took them a good couple of hours to do the round.

At about 2pm I was able to be trolleyed down to my baby. He looked quite big for 4lb 4oz. I was so tired and had a whole load of pain killers floating around my system and don’t recall feeling very much. Relief he was alive. Sadness that he had born so early. Guiltily because I couldn’t handle the pain, which caused him to be born early. A big part of me didn’t want to bond with him because I knew it would make the process of the hospital stay harder.

The day after I was able to think more clearly. I cried a lot, and I don’t think it was the hormones. It was hard to be alone in a hospital room, my wasn’t pregnant anymore, I hadn’t been in labour and I hadn’t yet held my baby. This is not the way I had imagined things to be.

I held my baby on his second day in the world. Skin to skin. Felt amazing! The bond came and the tears came. I knew we were in for a rocky ride but I had to keep telling myself to go with, take it a day at time and he would be home with us soon, and everything would be a distant memory.

I am not going to discuss the medical side of him being in hospital. I don’t remember the day he came off oxygen, then day he came out of the incubator or how old he was when he moved to the low dependency ward.

I do remember feeling torn between him and his older brother at home, who had just turned 2, and couldn’t understand why mummy was spending all her time at the hospital with a baby. He actually handled it really well, I just felt guilty.

I would spend all day at the hospital and my husband would go up in the evening. We spent a lot of time with him cuddling him and caring for him. We would be there to tube feed whenever we could. When he was ready to breast feed I make every effort to spend as much time there in case he needed a feed, so that be didn’t have it through the tube.

I missed him so badly when I wasn’t with him. The time he was in hospital it felt like my world had stopped. Nothing else mattered. Nothing else entered my thoughts other than my family and getting them together in our home.

I couldn’t wait to be woken up by him during the night, to wrap him up in our blankets, to have him sleep in the Moses basket next to our bed. And to show him off! Only parents, grandparents and his big brother had been able to visit him. He had Aunties, Uncles and cousins who were dying to meet him.

I felt emotionally on edge the whole time. I could cry at the drop of a hat. I was nervous that something would wrong and set him back on his path to coming home. Even when things were going right, I still felt sick with fear.

After the longest 4 and half weeks he came home.

We live happily ever after.



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