Friday, May 31, 2013

Peter's Story - day 2

Day two of Peter's entry into life, would have been the hardest for me as a mother. I had given birth under traumatic circumstances, and just as my body and mind had a chance to clear from the blur, I'm faced with the reality there are babies crying in the maternity ward all around me, but none of them were mine.

My little boy was in the Special Care Nursery, with a feeding tube in his nose. Others were looking after him, and I had to press a buzzer to be allowed in to see him.  But see him we did.

Proud parents

David was as proud as punch, but I was still a cocktail of conflicting emotions. Here was our baby and I loved him immensely, but he hated the tube up his nose and I couldn't take it away from him.

Sweet siblings

Sarah got to meet her new brother for the first time in the Special Care Nursery, and she even got to hold him. We didn't get a photo because visiting hours were coming to an end.

A loving glance from Nan

There was still enough time for Nan (my mum) to have a cuddle though. If Peter's head looks a little blue, it was from the bruising he received during birth. It took a while for his normal colour to return.

I wasn't sure how much I should share about that day, as it was particularly difficult. Not only because I was mourning something I didn't entirely understand, but I realised the conflicting advice/communication with staff in the Special Care Nursery added to my woes.

Everything hinged on who was on the next shift. If they were all about "procedure", that is what happened to my son, regardless of what I had to say about it. If they were about working with the parents, then they worked your requests into the treatment plan. It was the kind of unnecessary confusion I didn't need.

As much as we could though, we tried to be there for Peter. David spent all day with me at the hospital, and even brought me food from home! He asked for two weeks off work, which was an absolute Godsend. I really appreciated his support. One of his female work colleagues has even offered us the use of her electric breast pump, as she's between children at the moment and wouldn't need it until the next one comes along.

So it's been somewhat of a mixed blessing time for us. Unfortunately, Peter wasn't discharged from hospital until five days later - I was discharged after four. But home he did come eventually, so the next entry for Peter's Story will be day five.

Coming home!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Peter's Story - day 1

It has been over a week since my "planned" induction date, but our son had other ideas of when to make his appearance. I was due to arrive at the hospital at 7.30am for the scheduled induction, but I woke that morning at 2am. There was mild cramping, but nothing which said labour was eminent. By 3.30am however, David was racing me to the hospital and they took me straight into the birthing suite.

37 weeks and 2 days gestation

This was the last photo taken of my baby bump, the night before. I wore this nightie, simply because both my suitable ones were already packed in my hospital bag. There was literally no time to change in the wee hours of the next morning. So imagine how embarrassed I was, when the midwife helped remove my robe at the birthing suite, and said: "now that's a raunchy outfit to wear for birth."

Believe me, I wanted to laugh along with her - she had no idea of the strange turn of events that had befallen me. I won't go into them, but it was like I knew he was coming (even though I was completely clueless) and things just "happened" to get us to hospital on time. Speaking of which, little Peter arrived just 40 short minutes after we got into the birth suite.

Peter William Riley, with Dad
a few minutes old

There was somewhat of a drama to his entry though. They couldn't find his heartbeat at first. I had one of those undignified births, where you're flat on your back and your legs are (well) kept out of the way, for want of a better description. But they had to place a sensor on his head to get a heartbeat. I kind of knew he was still with us, but the collective room breathed a sigh of relief when the machine started registering his pulse. There were quite a few medical people in the room by that stage too.

Meconium was found in the fluid, which was a sign he was in distress. Then when his heartbeat started dropping again, they wanted to get him out quickly. I was told to push, and when his head finally emerged, they pulled the rest of him out rather forcefully. I knew he would be okay (just as I always have - there's more to this story) and I still wonder if the medical intervention would have been necessary, had I arrived earlier and they were able to monitor him sooner. It's about their procedures and being able to document how labour progresses.

There was very little warning with Peter's birth though. Three hours passed between the first mild twinge, until he was born - and 30 minutes was spent driving to hospital, parking and getting to the birth suite!

A few hours old, dressed in my hand knits

He was average size though (nearly 4kgs) or 8 pounds, 6 ounces. I tried to breastfeed him in the birth suite. My poor muscles were shaking though and it was all a bit of a blur. The midwives conducted several heel-prick blood tests, and after 4 hours his blood-glucose level, hadn't managed to go over the 2.6 they like for newborns. So the Paediatric doctor came to our birth suite, and proposed taking him to the Special Care Nursery.

That is another story to tell about Peter's arrival though. He had quite an eventful first week of life...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The countdown!

So we have been booked for an induction at the hospital, next Thursday 16 May!

Free pattern, here

There is so much to do in the meantime. I'm not sure if I will finish knitting the blanket I have started, in amongst the other "to do's" on our list. I had to make it slightly bigger than the original pattern, didn't I? At least it may give me something to complete in the hospital after the birth. I hope we don't have to stay too long.

I am happy and scared. Come next Thursday though, we will know who this little bump has been in my ever expanding waistline. Every time he kicks, I think about Sarah and the days which led up to her birth. I asked the same thing - who will this little person be?


She is ten years old now and just had her birthday. She is pretty awesome and has her own mind. We chatted about this after school today, and she enjoyed hearing how I thought of her as a bump too, and wondered what she would end up liking and disliking. She is happily her own person, and knows the answer to my question, more than I. So who will her brother be next?

We will get to know, soon enough I hope. I can't wait to hold him to my cheek and inhale that sweet new baby smell.