It’s Mikes birthday the day I get discharged, I get to go home. I’m half happy because I want to be back in my own bed but also nervous because I’m further away from my little boy.
When I get home and walk in the door I feel sick, my head hurts and I feel claustrophobic. The house is a mess and there’s dust everywhere (we’re also having a porch built at the same time but we hadn’t anticipated William turning up 12 weeks early!). I go upstairs to use the loo and the bathroom is dirty and it smells musty.
To say I am a bit OCD is an understatement but my hormones are taking over my body and I break down, I feel awful for getting upset about a dirty house because there are more important things going on and I can imagine Mike hasn’t had the chance to clean because every day he’s been going to work, coming straight to the hospital and then not getting home till late just in time for bed!
I can’t drive because of my stitches so I have to rely on friends and family taking me to the hospital every day and some days I don’t get there till lunch time because I’m so tired and still aching from the cesarean but I really try to push myself to recover because I now have a responsibility to William.
I start to focus on getting mobile and getting to the hospital every day, we have family and friends visit almost every day and one day a week we have an evening free where it’s just the 3 of us in the hospital.
We move from room 3 to room 2, then to room 1 in a couple of weeks. Then the nurses discover William can’t breathe by himself so he has to go back into room 2 with oxygen. I’ve got the room direct phone numbers saved in my phone under ‘William’ and I’m phoning every morning first thing telling the nurse how much milk I have and asking how he’s been and every day they’ve been telling me he’s getting better and better and every day I’m texting mike just after the phone call to let him know that things are going well.
One day I come in and there’s purple butterflies stuck up everywhere, they look pretty but I don’t know where they’ve come from and why they’re there. I later discover that the purple butterflies are displayed when a baby is really unwell and it’s serious, I feel sick that no one told me this. The reason I find out is because my nephew reads everything and one of the things being a poster in the family room that explains the history of the purple butterfly.
There’s a baby in room 3 really unwell, I don’t know the parents but I just keep myself to myself too scared to talk to anyone in case they’re a relative of the baby. I never did find out what was wrong with the baby, but part of me just wanted to hold William even closer to me.
In the unit there is an expressing room, this is where I met some of the other mums. So holding a pump named ‘Daisy’ or `Madonna’ is normality whilst eating a chocolate bourbon and a couple of times we’ve managed to smuggled in hot drinks to have with them. I meet two mums from Basingstoke, and fellow mums from Jersey, Southampton and Poole as well as the girls I’d already met in the ward. I try to keep in with the conversation, but it’s hard and I run out of positive things to say when all we want to do it take our babies home. We all try and send positive vibes to each other but also worrying about what to say. I want to shout out when William improves but don’t say a word because I don’t know how the other babies are doing.
The mum from Yeovil has her baby moved to Dorchester, which is great for her so that she can be nearer to home. She was staying in the McDonald house which is on the hospital grounds mainly aimed at families that need to stay close to their children. Then the mum from Jersey is moved back to Jersey, it’s sad to see the mums go as I’ll miss them but it means the babies are getting healthier and stronger.
Slowly the babies left are moving closer to room 1 and on week 5 William has started to breathe by himself without Oxygen or CPAP, the only tube he has left is his feeding tube. He’s moved from an incubator to a cot and the unit are talking about me starting to feed him myself and I’m really looking forward to breastfeeding him as we are now able to get him out for a cuddle whenever we want. Mike and I are able to change his nappy (the smallest nappy ever), feed him by tube and carefully get him out of his cot for a Kangaroo cuddle (skin to skin contact is the best way and helps them bond with us.)
On week 7 William is moved up to the end of room 1 (closest to the door) and I’m told that the further up they go the closer they are to discharge, which makes me excited and nervous! I’ve been bumping into a mum that had her baby at 23 weeks and weighed 1lb, and I’ve seen her and she’s told me that her baby is being discharged! She is on gas still and her mum will need to carry the tank around with her (they can be worn like a ruck sack) but she’s still excited, she looks so happy and positive and I wonder if I’ll be like that when William gets discharged as the Unit have just started to talk of discharge!