Do you know what it’s like to suddenly have the world moved slightly from under you? You are at work one minute, pregnant with a special and eagerly anticipated child. Off you trot to your regular 32 week midwife checkup and the midwife just says, how about we do a little bit more monitoring at the hospital… only to realise that you aren’t leaving the hospital anytime soon. Calling into work the next morning, because you hadn’t quite trained anyone to replace you and you were in the middle of a thousand little jobs and it was likely you wouldn’t be back.
Three days later your child that was supposed to be snuggled up inside your belly, safe and warm is in fact in another ward (Special Care Baby Unit) without you. Over the next 3 weeks, you cannot leave the hospital grounds (due to high blood pressure). You haven’t done the final preparations for this baby. Every day it is a roller coaster ride. Even touching him at the wrong time can reduce his chance to survive. Because you’ve been taken on an unexpected detour you haven’t paid the bills, washed the babies clothes (or even have clothes to fit this tiny baby), are isolated from the world and stuck eating hospital food. You watch many other mums and dads come in and leave with their healthy full-term bubs. At that 3 week point you are asked to go home without your child – as they need the bed for someone else. You try, but cry the whole time and because it’s all just sinking in. It’s an emotional and stressful journey at the very least, heartbreaking for some and one that you learn to take every day moment by moment.
I do – because that is my story. My precious boy was born at 32weeks and 4 days and weighed a little 1510gms. I got to take him home the day after mothers day 2010 after being in hospital for 4 weeks. He is a healthy 3 year old now. He’s confident and has no side affects from his early arrival. I know I’m a lucky mum, because I got to finally take my child home. Without my midwife reading the early signs of Pre-eclampsia, Kane and I wouldn’t necessarily still be here. We were so grateful to our midwife that our next bub (overdue by 6 days) was named after her.
Did you know you could help a mum/family that is currently going through this journey? Right now from your own home.
Raspberry Jelly has teamed up with Early Buds.
Early buds provides families in SCBU/NICU gift boxes filled with all sorts of goodies, premature clothes and many other items. Now Raspberry Jelly Vouchers are also in that box.
Part of the healing process of going through this ordeal is to remember. For me there are some important details and numbers… 32w4d (when my baby was taken from my belly), 1510gms (how much he weighed ~ 3.32lb), 2 (days from birth to when I saw him for the first time), 5 (the number of days until I held him for the first time), 6 (weeks of lost income having to leave work early), 4 (weeks of being away from my family at home). These are numbers I will never forget… these are numbers that mean something to me about our journey. I need to cherish them, so I can bring myself to understand not why I went through this… but how I got through it.
For more information about Early Buds, please visit their website here: http://www.earlybuds.org.nz/