* Author Topic: All Roads lead to Roo  (Read 3855 times)

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Offline Cloudy

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All Roads lead to Roo
« on: 21/05/17, 22:15 »
And so it begins...

I kept a diary through treatment (https://www.fertilityfriends.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=345362.0) and decided I should keep one through this next stage.

I need to do my birth story at some point and then update what's happened so far. Due to the nature of everything that's occurred these last few days I apologise in advance for the wonky nature it is going to be written :)

Xxx

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    Offline Cloudy

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    All Roads lead to Roo
    « Reply #1 on: 21/05/17, 22:41 »
    Birth Story - Part 2!

    I detailed the first part of the labour/birth on my ICSI diary so I won't repeat myself.

    It left off with me saying contractions were happening, my cervix was opening, and things were progressing well.

    Obviously anyone who knows me must have guess that was all too easy!

    As my contractions increased so did the stress to the baby. At first it was just minor, they weren't concerned, it was nothing to worry about and completely normal. Then they realised that my contractions were becoming full and the effects were getting worse.  I would like to take this opportunity to say that despite having full contractions I didn't need any pain relief and managed to cope well breathing through them. I think it must be a perk of having endometriosis - and a massive load of irony - that labour really isn't that bad when you were like your uterus is being ripped out by hand on a monthly basis (oh, ship, I have that joy to look forward to again soon don't I....)

    Very suddenly the Senior Midwife came in and broke the news that I was going to theatre, and I didn't need to worry but we were going now. I wasn't worried, I was flipping petrified!

    I sat on the bed in the theatre in my gown trying to sit in the right way and not managing it and then started crying. Eventually they managed it, but I just couldn't stop the tears. Mr C sat in the corner looking petrified and it was horrible that we couldn't even hold hands. They started to put the screen up and I lay there thinking I wasn't prepared for any of this: I didn't even accept it was a real baby this morning and here I was being cut open for them to find there wasn't even a baby in there!

    "Can you feel this?" The Dr asks spraying my hip with ice cold spray
    "No, but I can move my foot" I reply
    "Really, go on then" They reply with a roll of the eyes  ::)
    I lift my right foot and wiggle my left.
    "Oh. Erm well let's give it a few minutes and see"

    A few minutes pass and a Nurse rushes up to the Dr and whispers something in her ear.
    "Cloudy, can you wiggle your feet for me again please"
    I lift my right foot and wiggle my left.
    "I'm having a general aren't I?"
    "Yes, and we are doing it now, we need to get the baby out now before you have another contraction"

    Off went Mr C looking like he was being dragged in front of the firing squad, and within seconds I was...

    Offline Cloudy

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    All Roads lead to Roo
    « Reply #2 on: 30/11/18, 22:15 »
    So we meet again...

    Oh dear, poor old neglected diary, never even got the final part or your birth story finished, and now I have nearly 19 months to back date (well, not back-date, it would crash the internet, but I might include the odd highlight). Although in my defense it seems things area bit quieter round these parts of late so I don't think I have really let anyone down by not updating them on the dramatics of the last year and a bit!

    I actually wrote loads of diary entries in the weeks after Roo arrived, but it never felt right to post them. I don't know why: maybe because they weren't all the upbeat updates I was hoping I would be able to make. I think despite all my lack of acceptance that I was actually having a baby, I thought once he was in my arms I would just develop this natural 'smug mum' aura and things would be perfect and wonderful and I would moan about messy houses and laugh about drinking gin, and call myself 'unmumsy' whilst covering every wall of my home with plaques saying poop like "bless this mess" and "A recipe for a family: one cup of vomit blah blah blah", and I would finally join the 'Mum Club' and sit around talking about weaning like I gave a toss about which type of carrot pureed the best (spoiler alert: Ella's Kitchen  ;)). But that didn't happen: and over a year and a half later I'm still not liking gin.

    So, where to go from here? I suppose I should tie up my birth story and take it from there and see what happens, and if I have the inclination to actually update all this from now on...

    xxx


    Offline Cloudy

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    All Roads lead to Roo
    « Reply #3 on: 30/11/18, 22:36 »
    THE PAST: Birth Story - Part 3 (final)

    (I don't even need to find my notes for this, I remember it as if it was yesterday)

    And here I am, back in the room I had been in before the csection. I'm half asleep and on my own and not quite sure whats going on. Eventually I realise there is my midwife in the room and I ask what time it is and if i can have some lucozade. From somewhere Mr C appears and deprives me of any fluids.

    "Where's the baby then?" I ask, as I can't see him anywhere in the room. I knew he was going to be small but surely not that small I can't see him. "Erm I don't know, I haven't seen him" he replies confused. "You can't lose a baby we have only just got, go and find him - and WHERES MY MUM?!" I screech! "Erm, I don't know, I haven't seen her either". Seriously, how can this man lose a tiny baby and a full-sized adult in the time I have been asleep??? Fortunately my lovely midwife appears and resolves it all by hunting down my mum (who had been forgotten and left in a waiting room for 2 hours) and arranges for them to both go and see the baby.

    Then I wait. And wait. And wait a bit more. Nearly an hour laying there on my own in a bed in the dark. During this time I convince myself that the baby has died. He has died and they are all looking for a Dr to come and sedate me but they can't find one. I 100% believe this and cannot think of anything else. By the time Mr C and my mum reappear I'm on the verge of going in to catatonic breakdown, until I see a picture of my little alien, laying in an incubator in a nest of blankets and wires.

    There is much discussion about if I am able to go and see him: the midwife unit says I can't go in because I am attached to a bed, but the NICU told Mr C that they had already made room for me to be wheeled in, and given that it is 4am they are quiet enough in there to accommodate me.

    Finally, at 4.30am on the 16th May 2017 I finally saw my baby for the first time. At 4.31am on the 16th May 2017 I finally held by baby for the first time. At 4.32am on the 16th May I cried happy tears over my baby for the first time. 5 minutes later I was wheeled away and put on a ward, but for the whole of the journey I was telling every person I passed "I've had a baby, and he isn't an alien" (I think I may have been suffering side effects from the anesthetic ;) ;D)

    xxx

    Offline Cloudy

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    All Roads lead to Roo
    « Reply #4 on: 30/11/18, 23:17 »
    THE PAST: Cloudy's Guide to Having a Baby in the NICU

    Someone told me that every NICU experience is different, and it certainly is. It's strange, you meet these people in there who for a few days are your best friends, you know everything about them and their babies, but a few days later they move to the ward, another hospital, home, and you move on to the next friend. We were lucky that our time in there was relatively short. The big downside was it feel like forever, especially for the first few days.

    TOP TIP 1: Don't have any expectations.

    I was finally put on a mum and baby ward about 5.30am after having been up for 24 hours, in labour, having a general anesthetic, having a baby, and going slightly mad. I had the worst few hours sleep I have never had: not that you can call it sleep, i was swinging between elation and fear, relief and intense anxiety. One of the worst parts was also the thirst: I hadnt been able to drink for a while before the csection, and not immediately afterwards, and once on the ward I couldn't get out of bed to get any water, and I didn't have anyone there to get me any. I also do not know who thought putting a woman whose baby is in the NICU on a ward with screaming babies was a good idea. It was an horrific experience, and if i had the use of my legs I would have got up and slept in reception on a chair.

    TOP TIP 2: Get ear plugs and an eye mask and a bottle of water in your bag, just in case you are in a ward without your baby (or use of your legs!) for any reason

    At some point a midwife came in to my cubicle and startled me with probably the scariest sentence I have ever heard in my life "we have the NICU on the phone about your baby". For that few seconds I was again transported back to the "your baby has died" scenario, but it wasn't that, it was "how do you want to feed it". Bearing in mind I was dehydrated, exhausted, confused, emotional, the fact I was able to utter "baby food" was a bit of a miracle! I explained I wanted to breastfeed, but beings as I couldn't walk I didn't know if that was possible. "So, what do you want to do?" she asks like I'm a child who hasn't done my homework, and in fact I do feel a bit like I'm in one of those dreams where you have to sit an exam but you don't even know what its about. I just stare at her so she huffs "I will get them to give it formula then". Yep, thats my baby, It  ::)

    TOP TIP 3: If you expect NICU time for your baby, plan ahead for feeding! I wish I had asked about pre-pumping or something, but in all the stress of the days/weeks leading up to birth I hadn't even thought of it.

    Once morning came I was pretty much left, stuck in a chair without the ability to move (because the catheter was attached to the bed) waiting. By the time Mr C had come back, and I had been checked by the Dr, and a wheelchair had been found (which you would think would be prolific in a hospital, but apparently not), it was nearly 2pm before I saw my baby again: and it felt like forever. We spent some time holding him, taking pictures, talking to him, generally feeling overwhelmed. It was amazing. It was also quite surreal to not be changing nappies or feeding him. Although they did explain what I needed to do to express milk (by massaging my boobs and collecting it with a syringe). They also spoke to the ward and they managed to find me a side room so that evening I was given a little bit of peace and quiet away from all the other mum's who I was so jealous of.

    TOP TIP 3: Rest while you can, a baby in NICU is pretty much in the safest place in the world for a baby to be, so rest and recuperate if you can. Absolutely do not shuffle all the way across the hospital at 10.30pm through the hoards of drunks in your PJs when you arent supposed to be walking  to go and see the baby and make sure they are tucked in for the night. Absolutely don't do that.

    We had a few more day's of that while they tried to sort Reggie's various issues out. He had raised infection markers for sepsis and was on antibiotics, he had a feeding tube in his nose (NG feeding tube) because he wasn't strong enough to feed, a blockage in his bowel requiring a contrast x-ray (that caused his bowel to clear, all over the Dr  ;D ;D ;D) and problems maintaining his body temperature meaning he needed to be on a heat pad with about 9 layers of clothes/blanket. They gave us comfort squares so that we could each have one to help him settle and to help me get more milk. They also provided all his clothes, nappies, and food, and were generally brilliant. They supported me with my breast-milk production attempts (I think I will do a separate entry about that!) and helped us changing his clothes and nappies (because he was on wires and drips etc, it looked scary, but wasn't as difficult as it appeared) and doing his observations etc.

    TOP TIP 4: Use the Parent and Family room. We used to sit in there and have a coffee and a chat, often with the other parents in there, or with our own parents. It's a strange experience and there are no visiting hours, so you can go in there at any time, and its nice to have a break. The NICU can be quite a stressful environment, but one thing I really noticed was that everyone was so respectful of everyone elses journeys and their babies. They didn't stare at other babies, or make comments about who was spending all day with their baby, or who wasn't there much, and everyone was really positive and supportive of each other, without being over the top. Most hospitals also have parking passes for people who have NICU babies so ask your nurse about one if you need one.

    I'm very grateful to the staff and the parents in the NICU and it really wasn't as scary as I thought it was going to be, although I'm really glad we had been able to visit before we had him so that we knew a little bit what to expect.

    TOP TIP 5: Wear as little clothing as possible because its fricking boiling in there!  ;D

    xxx