The last post I wrote about baby boys birth and how surreal it all was. To be honest, it still is. Most days I feel like a stranger watching my life as it unfolds. I feel so detached from everything. I am grateful for what I have but it really feels like it isnt my life most days and its just a case of getting through the day and achieving as much as possible.
My first night was nothing special really. Apart from the fact that I finally had my beautiful baby that is. I remember being HUNGRY! I was eventually taken from the recovery area to my room at about 9pm and I was so hungry. I was told I could have a sandwich at midnight and all I could do from then on was look at my baby and then at my watch.
The baby…he was just so small and beautiful and he laid on my chest looking up at me with these big eyes and it really felt like I was looking into the eyes of an old soul. He had all his fingers, all his toes and his left ear was folded in. The older generation would call it a cauliflower ear or boxers ear but I call it his elf ear as he looked like an adorable little baby elf to me. He didnt cry and was happy to just lie and sleep on my chest the whole night. The nurses came in eventually and tried to get me to feed him but he was having a problem latching and I noticed he was spitting alot of bubbles. Thanks to me doing the pre-natal class, I knew this was more than likely a side effect of him being a ceasarian baby. They tend to have alot more fluid than natural childbirth babies, so even though I wasnt too concerned, I did inform the nurses. We eventually realised that the reason he couldnt latch was because his pallette was extremely high. It was fully formed though so I didnt have to worry that he would have a hair lip. That started the fun of squeezing my breasts and sucking up every drop of collostrum that I could with a syringe. This was hell to be honest as I was only getting 1ml at a time but every drop counts so I carried on with it as often as I could.
About 11pm my painkillers wore off and I was in the worst pain of my life! I remember this part clearly and will dread it forever. I pushed that call button like I wanted to break it and didnt care that I was getting a pill shoved up my pooper..anything to get rid of the pain. I learnt my lesson though and only ONCE afterwards did I not take my meds in time. Midnight I got given a dry cheese sandwich and while it was terrible, it was the best meal I have ever had.
The next morning I was taken off the drip and catheter and told to start walking..I thought my doctor was joking but I guess not. I walked more the next few days than I ever have before but it did help me recover much faster. The nurses came to take baby boy to see the paediatrician and I had my first shower.
After about an hour or so I started to wonder when I would get my baby back and when I asked I was told he was in the NICU as he had had a choking incident.
Yes, no one thought telling me might be a good idea.
And so began baby boy’s hospital history. While their not listening to me about the fluid meant they had left him on his back, which is the reason he choked, luckily it didnt cause any brain damage. It did mean that he ended up being kept in NICU for the next 3 days. 3 Days of tests and scans and walking up and down to be with him and feed him. Of not knowing what was going on and being told to expect him to be autistic and being given a list of possible problems he would have in life. Im not going to go into too much detail but needless to say I was terrified. I told my friends not to visit and my mother had been pushing for my sister to come and visit. I didnt want her there as we hadnt seen each other or spoken to each other in months and she was 6 months pregnant and the last thing I wanted was for her to see my baby all connected up to a breathing tube etc. I didnt want her being scared of what can happen. She did come in the end and it was the start of us healing our relationship and only one of my friends came to visit but it was a lonely time and I wish I had opened up more and asked my friends and loved ones for help.
Baby was kept as long as he was as they wanted to make sure that he didnt have any syndromes, something that is common with children who are born with micro ears (improperly formed ears). He then went on to confuse the doctors as his heart rate fell extremely low while he slept. I keep trying to tell them that he was just a deep sleeper like me and his daddy but it was also the start of doctors ignoring the “hysterical mother”. I have since learned my lesson and now make sure I am heard.Finally a cardiologist told the paediatrician that there was nothing wrong with our boy and to let us go home already.
It was hard. I had spent years preparing to be a mother. I battled to fall pregnant. I like to think I did everything right and looked after myself and did the courses and followed all the rules. I tried my very best and now I had a baby with possible medical problems and possibly one of the most extreme types of autism there is. I didnt bond with him for 2 months till we met with a geneticist who finally told us not to worry. We were eventually released after being in hospital from the Thursday to the following tuesday morning and once we got home I couldnt stop staring at him. I still cant even now that he is an active, happy little boy through all the nightmares that we have gone through. We got sent home with a long list of probable problems that could happen at any time but once we were out of there, it was like a huge rock had been lifted off us and we could go home and be a family. Even though there was the bad thoughts in the back of our minds, we got to be new parents and enjoy our time together. It was also the start of a long journey for me and my baby boy but one that we are only now starting to enjoy together.