I’m visited by family and friends who need to come and show their support. The biggest surprise was a visit from the little Scottish midwife on her day off with a small “incubator” sized doll. She is as shocked as I am about the turn of events.
I am not discharged until 6pm. I have not seen my beautiful girl for almost 24hours and the nursing staff is too busy with the mums who have their babies to bother about me hidden away in a room somewhere, forgotten about.
The hoarder is with me and has been in touch with his sister and brother-in-law who are with our daughter in Leicester. He tells me that she still has not had the ECMO we were told she so desperately needed as the staff at Glenfield Hospital were able to suction some of the Meconium from Big Beautiful lungs.
Can we be this lucky?
By 8pm we are packed for a two-week stay in Leicester, our room is waiting for us and so is our daughter. We arrive at the hospital around midnight on the 27thOctober 2007. Our darling girl is not in an incubator but on a bed like “tray”
that is raised slightly to help loosen the remaining Meconium in her lungs. We are permitted a small amount of time before the night staff demand we go to bed.
The next day I feel like I am on hot coals waiting to go in to see Big Beautiful, it seems to take forever to get ready. This is the start of our new routine.
The night staff tell us she has had a good night, we are shown how her machinery works and the diary that the nurses have started to record her stay with them, they take pictures and introduce themselves as well as describe the treatment and how well BBresponds to it all.
The care she received in there was next to none and I am eternally grateful. Wendy is on shift again after breakfast and dresses Big Beautiful in a sleep suit (it’s too big!) I have brought. We are shown how to top and tail her and clean around her tubes
…finally I am caring for my baby and she is getting my expressed milk which I am certain will make her grow strong.
That night we chat to a doctor who tells us he believes the altitude and the vibrations of the helicopter loosened the Meconium enough for them to suction most of it out…she won’t need the ECMO and may be able to return to Newcastle on Monday.
We really are that lucky!
By Monday she is no longer sedated and her oxygen levels are on the up, she returns to the North East by Ambulance and we follow behind.
From here our story gets better and better. She quickly becomes strong enough to move out of the high risk area into the green (one step before home) area. Here we are taught to breast feedso she can come home with us. Pauline is my Angel in a nurse’s uniform. After many unsuccessful attempts at breast feeding Pauline pulls out BB’s feeding tube
“we can always put it back in” she says. We don’t need to, as if she understands my Beautiful girl latches on and we are good to go!
Before we are discharged we have a meeting with her three consultants. Our journey is not over yet. We still have to get through the winter, were warned about chest infections and the wheezing sound she makes when breathing. Were given an emergency number that gets us seen by a Dr whenever we need it. Were told she is likely to have cerebral palsy but to what extent they could not tell us. The hoarder and I agree that having our baby alive and home is all that matters, we can deal with the hurdles as we reach them.
It’s 5th November. Bonfire night. The hoarder, Big Beautiful and I welcome our new tiny family home at last to the sound of crashes and bangs from the local firework display; the night is filled with colour and excitement.
All my life I will know in my heart that the fireworks we watch on the 5th of November will never ever be as beautiful as they were that night in 2007.
Today: Eloise saw her consultant until she was 18 months old
when she was given the all clear. To this day she has not shown any symptoms or problems as a result of her traumatic start in life. As for having cerebral palsy…she proved everyone wrong and continues to amaze us with her intelligence and incredible empathy towards others.
My daughter is here for a reason, we went through all of that so that we know exactly how amazing she is and that she has a special place here in this life. What reason is that?
Watch this space!
Happy 4th Birthday Eloise! My little amazing angel.