Monthly Archives: February 2015

Keep Breathing

The third birthday. 
The morning of her birth, I never expected it, she was given 2 weeks, not 3 days. 
A three minute warning from hoping I could eat, to be told I was going to theatre. 
It was meant to be 2 weeks. 
John had to let go of my tightly gripped hand to get scrubs.
I had to keep breathing. 
People around me, paper flying in front of my face for a signature or two.
A syringe here, tablets there. 
Eye brow bar removal.
All I had wanted was some toast. 
I was helped into the wheelchair, 
Where was John?
He arrived just in time.
The theatre was full, a sea of blue, I could barely see the equipment.
I sat upon the trolley bed. 
Shaking, terrified. What would come next?
A midwife checked the heartbeat, could hear it faintly.
She soon made her way to stand near my head.
“Please don’t tell me the baby is sleeping” 
I begged over and over. 
I had to keep breathing.

She entered kicking and squeaking.
A girl.
670g. 1lb 5oz of baby girl.
They asked us her name.
Melody.
After what seemed like a life time (5/10 minutes),
they brought her over to us, for a brief view. 
She was tightly wrapped in a towel, to keep her snug. 
Only seeing her little face. 
Then she was gone again. 
Into her incubator, off she went.
Would I see her again alive?
All I could do was keep breathing.

I was stitched back together, although I didn’t feel very whole. 
I needed to see her, but I was too numb and sore to move.
John was allowed to see her, but I had to patiently wait for a photo, some news. 
I needed to know she was still with us. 
Daddy still in his scrubs. 
Proud Dadders! Was one thing I forgot to do (of course) was to photograph Mr Scrubs.
Beaming from ear to ear he returned with photos, and a video.
She was stable.

And so incredibly tiny. 
I couldn’t wait to see her face, I knew there was to be at least a 10 day wait.
But she was stable. For now.
We had two visitors. 
One of my oldest friends, he was planning on a visit that afternoon to cheer me up.
Only we were showing off photos of our new baby. 
He was keen to look. And I felt proud.
My other visitor, a family member however point blank refused to look at her.
This hurt terribly. She’s a baby.
He turned away from her.
My beautiful new baby and he turned his head
“Nah, you’re alright”
Why? I do not know.
I met her many hours later. I couldn’t really touch her, as I was wheel chaired,
and had wires everywhere.
I was terrified to touch her. 
What if my touch broke her? Or scared her?
I’d already had a daughter in NICU, but nothing prepared me for being a micro preemie’s mum.
I cried.
Remembering to breathe.

I was now a mummy to three children.
Three Years later.
I never got to watch her open a present.
Or watch her take a step.
She never made a sandy footprint. 
Or splashed mud into her hair.
Today I have to speak about her. 
Just as I would my other children. 
She was here and not a dream.
I wish I could give her an actual kiss today, 
not some latex full of air. 
I wish I could have a day with her,
a day off from missing her, 
you know the type of day when you want a baby sitter? 
A break, you want to do something.
Well, I’d like someone to hold the shitty bereaved torch so I can have a day off. 
To be with our should have been 3 year old daughter.
But of course, I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone.
Mine and her dad’s pain is no one else’s 
it is how we hold on to her, how we keep her with us.
So instead of wrapping paper and dresses.
She’s getting cement for her garden.
Just what a three year old wants.
All we can do on her third birthday
Is to keep breathing. 

Happy Third Birthday 
Melody.

The Waiting Game

I’d had my second lot of steroid injections. We were to have a tour of the neonatal unit. In preparation for when the baby arrives in 2 weeks. But John had yet to arrive. 
Baby was becoming less active, but I could still feel it. 
I was put on the CTG machine, which after a while it was decided I would need a scan.
Baby didn’t seem overly happy.
The scanner took a long time to turn on. It wasn’t the usual scanners as it was the weekend. This to me meant something really was up.
The Dr tried to reassure me it was just sleeping, having a rest.
It was soon time for our tour. 
The place looked huge.
I’d already had one baby in NICU, but her gestation was nothing compared to what this baby would be. 28 weeks compared to 36/37 no comparison.
I felt like an inch big. 
So many questionsquestions, yet nothing came out.
We were told baby had 80% of survival. 
Baby would be on a ventilator for at least 10 days.
Amazing odds. I hoped.
The tour soon ended, was good they took the time to talk to us.
Baby’s movements had a significant drop.
Again I was hooked up to a CTG, two hours this time.
John had gotten a lift sorted. 
But there was something not quite right.
I felt out of sorts but no idea why.
My head hurt, my stomach felt strange, dizzy my eyes fuzzed.
I was beginning to feel scared.
The baby also hadn’t moved for an hour, not even with a cheeky Turkish delight.
I had no idea what was happening.
The decision was soon made for me to have one to one care.
Even John was allowed to stay, this in itself had me worried.
In fact I was terrified.
On the CTG again, BP done hourly. 
This was going to be a long night. 
Would our baby last the night? 

A Valentine’s Day

One of those days.
It was in 2012, our first valentine’s day as a married couple, I was pregnant with my third child and our first baby together. All I had on my mind was how to make the night special. 
The best bit was we would be having our wedding album today too, life just couldn’t have gotten better.
I went shopping that day, I needed some last minute presents for my husband, I wanted to spoil him.
Stopping for a bite to eat, that in itself felt like a luxury, as I had been suffering with hyperemesis, severe nausea and vomiting.
I sat down to eat, when my hands hurt, my face felt hot and fuzzy. 
I looked down at my hands, they were swollen,to the point of splitting,they were painful.
I knew I had to phone for advice, so I managed to get a Midwife appointment.
Returned home, I received my much awaited wedding album, but it was pushed to the back of my mind, I felt worried.
I made my way to the Midwife and was greeted by a locum, not my usual one.
I explained I had swelling, and I didn’t feel right. 
In which she replied with, “You do not get pre-eclampsia before 28 weeks, you’re only 24 weeks, it is almost extremely rare to get it before 28 weeks”
She wanted to send me on my way, I explained I didn’t feel right, I’d had pre-eclampsia in my first pregnancy and I wanted to be sure, with a reply “it’s too early for that”
So I asked if she could just dip my urine sample, where I had 2plus protein in, only then she did my blood pressure.
” Well YOU must be an exception” muttering, far too early, under her breath.
She phoned ante-natal, where I needed to go immediately, then listened in briefly.
“Baby’s fine, sounds like a girl”
I felt so guilty, silly for being an exception. I wanted to be told it was pregnancy chub.
I wanted my perfect Valentine’s night with my husband, I wanted to look at our wedding album.
That album remained closed for several weeks.
That Valentine’s I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia.
Our final normal day, before being hit by the shattering news, we wouldn’t get to full term…..

I don’t like Valentine’s Day, I love my husband everyday and more.
To be continued…