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!


  1. Hi Chris
    I want to answer this first before commenting on the last post. I was kept in the dark that Jasmine was in the neonatal ICU (I was a mess and only half conscious) but when I did find out it hurt immensely to know. However, she was well and in my arms by then. I think it takes awhile to forgive that your child was taken away so quickly from you after birth. This is bonding time, its not natural to be apart.
    You were there for Peter and that is what matters the most.-believe me.
    My family was there for Jasmine and actually I remember tossing a huge fit when I asked to see her and the nurses made one more excuse to avoid telling me! They finally started to bring her to me in her incubator and I asked the lactation nurses to help me touch her. They complied and I was able to cuddle and bond with her-after three or four days.

    I can imagine how you feel but you have a wonderful blessing. Just know those feelings do fade as you come to terms with them. It took me awhile so be patient.

    I am so happy to see him! He looks very robust from the photos! Gorgeous as expected to be coming from you! And you look great too.

  2. Thanks for sharing your story. I've read of another who had a premature baby unexpectedly, and she spoke of having to mourn the imperfect birth experience she wasn't expecting. I can relate. It's not that you want a picture perfect birth experience, it's just that nothing prepares you for that empty space that is meant to be filled with bonding time.

    It's invisible, so no-one can tell you about it, yet it's constantly emploring you to be with your child. It's something you definitely have to come to terms with, and mourn if that's what you need to do. I know we were lucky. I met a mother who had to wait another six weeks before her premmie baby could come home with her. I met several mothers who were coming and going from the SCN - literally for weeks.

    It's not impossible to get over, but it's tough nonetheless. So thanks again for sharing. And yes, he is very robust. A strong little communicator with his hands already. When he wants something he'll grab it and not let go. If he doesn't want it, he'll push it away. Strong, for such a little guy, lol.

  3. Chris, sorry it took so long to get back here. I have to catch up on other posts but I didn't want to leave this one without saying that I am sending you virtual hugs. I didn't speak to the moms with preemies but I watched them from my window-parking cars and getting out to visit. My mom had met some so pointed them out. We are indeed lucky.

  4. Some of the premmie mum's I met, lived many, many hours away. They had to find temporary accommodation in town, so they could have that daily contact with their babies. Whenever I thought my run was tough, I just had to think of them and realise I had a lot to be grateful for. Living 30 minutes out of town wasn't easy for us, but in comparison, negligible. :)


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