Thursday, January 20, 2011

Four Years On.... It's Not getting Any Easier.

Brendan turns four next month and the lead-up to his early arrival has not gotten any easier to deal with. Last night I was looking through some of the 365 photos and one lady, a midwife, had posted a picture of a resuscitaire (a table used in delivery rooms to resus newborns) and it was the same one Brendan had been resus'd on, exactly the same one. It affected me so much that I couldn't sleep last night. It took me hours to get to sleep and I didn't sleep at all very well.

This year I am going to try and break the cycle. I am annoyed with myself that I can't get through a single day without my eyes filling with tears. I know that what happened in that room was not my fault, I know the lead-up to his arrival was not my fault, however I also know that is was my body that failed him... the very person who is supposed to protect him let him down at the most crucial moment. If his own mother cannot protect him when he is at his most vulnerable stage then what hope does he have?

I always wanted to be a mum and I think I am a good mum, most of the time, but hey at least I'm trying. No-one gave me a manual on how to bring up a child who has needed extra care from before he was even born. Even now no-one has been able to give me guidance on how to cope with the curve balls that are being thrown our way. Sure I know we have it pretty easy considering what could have happened... Brendan was supposed to be a miscarriage... at 16 weeks I was admitted to hospital in severe pain and haemorrhaging pretty severely (forget pads, I was soaking towels) they couldn't find the heartbeat and bluntly told me I was miscarriaging, I discharged myself the next day because I believed had I stayed there that I was agreeing with them and I was losing my baby... I was not going to comply! The earliest they could arrange an ultrasound was one whole week later... back then I thought that week was hard, boy how wrong was I.... the ultrasound showed one very healthy heartbeat and that I was bleeding from between the placenta and uterus wall (not good news, but still hopeful news). For a further 7 weeks I was having weekly/fortnightly appointments between OB's and ultrasounds when finally the bleeding eased off and pretty much stopped. I saw the OB at 27 weeks who concluded that I would probably have another bleed before the pregnancy was over and that it shouldn't be too much more, to not be alarmed. At 27+6 weeks I had my GTT, who knows why they sent me for the 3 hour one.... I was in the low-risk category! But that's what they did... I suffered terrible morning sickness throughout the entire pregnancy, vomiting several times a day bringing up each meal (not sure how I survived...) then they made me fast for this stupid test which only made me feel more ill. The lady doing the test told me if I vomited up the fluid I would have to drink another... oh great thanks a lot!

I never got the results from the GTT, 34 hours after I commenced the GTT my waters broke. I still remember how calm and collected I was, I had gone to the toilet and done my business, upon standing up and taking a few steps I leaked.... nothing unusual (or so I thought) I had been leaking for a few weeks, just put it down to not emptying my bladder properly. I went back to the toilet to change my knickers (and to finish emptying my bladder) yet nothing else came out, (oh well still nothing unusual) I stand up and walk a few steps and it happens again.... now I start to get annoyed, what it going on?! I repeat the process, new knickers, go to toilet and I feel a teeny bit of pressure and then a large *splash* of clear liquid (hmm that's not wee!) still I change my knickers placing in a pad and I head back out to where my mum and my grandparents are (6.30pm). My grandparents were just about to leave so I pack up the coffee cups and then see them out the door. My mum comes back in about 5-10 mins later and I tell her what had happened in the toilet and how strange it was, because I was only 28 weeks I wasn't expecting anything. My birthing classes were booked to start when I was 31 weeks (and run for 5 weeks) so I had absolutely no idea what had happened.

My mum started freaking out a bit, she told me it was my waters breaking to which I replied that it couldn't be because of how early I was. She convinced me that we had better head into the hospital to be checked on anyway because it was something out of the ordinary. We rang the hospital I was booked into and the lady on the other end freaked out as well, she was rushing about with her voice and you could really pick the panic, she told us that they wouldn't be able to see me there because I was too early and that I only had the choice of one hospital and to get there ASAP. Suppose I better pack a few things, by this time it was 6:45pm, I threw in a bag that I had been living out of at mums house (luckily I was staying with her while I had appointments as my house was another 4.5 hours away!). 7pm and we are 10mins up the road when the phone rings, it's the lady from the hospital I am booked into and she is panicky "you aren't in any pain are you?" "no" "if you start having pains come straight here and we will put you in an ambulance to KEMH" "ok" *hangs up* Hmmm maybe this is really serious? Ambulance, only one hospital in the state that will take me now??

On the trip down I was getting excited, maybe I was going to meet my baby soon? How cool is this! I'm going to meet my baby. I knew nothing of premature babies and obviously not a whole lot about pregnancy either :lol:

We arrive at KEMH at approx 8:15pm and mum and I walk into emergency, mum speaks to the lady at the desk and says only a few words "SDH were transferring us, waters broken 28 weeks". Doors fly open, one lady brings a wheelchair another is carrying files, I'm made to sit in the chair and we are taken up stairs for monitoring. That's the moment I start to think, crap this is serious.

We arrive at MFAU and are taken straight in, past a few women in the waiting area, they already had a bed for me. I'm hooked up to a few machines and a nurse comes in and takes my BP while another one does a doppler check on bub. An OB comes in soon after and tells me he needs to 'take a look' (well there goes all my dignity!) he explained that he won't be doing an internal because of the risk of infection and the fact I'm not contracting means they have a good chance to keep bub in longer. He takes a few swabs and orders an IV drip and a needle.... some antibiotics, magnesium, nefedapine (sp?) and steroids.

Sometime around 10pm a neonatologist comes in and explains the chances of survival and the complications which may occur if my baby was born tonight. This was not happening, I'm supposed to give birth and hold my baby and we are supposed to breastfeed and then go home together, what this Dr was telling me was far from that. My baby had 80% chance of survival, 1 in 5 babies die... that's all I could focus on... my baby is dead, I'm never going to get a cuddle, it's going to be taken away from me and put in a plastic box where I have to ask permission to even open the little door on the side and if it does survive it's going to have a severe disability and not have a good quality of life.

I now understand that they have to tell you these things, but at the time it makes it so hard to focus on the positives. At about 1am I am finally taken up to the ward and to my room without my mum. My mum gets let out of the hospital and sleeps in her car (a 2-door hyundai getz of all things) (To Be Continued... at a later point)

This morning I rang the hospital to request my birth notes, Brendan's NICU/SCN notes and Tristan's NICU/SCN notes. I want to know why things happened the way they did and I want to be more at peace with what happened. I couldn't get through today, but I will keep trying. This year I am going to get help, this year I have had enough of sleepless nights and crying over a birth that went wrong; a baby born so sick which I feel could have been prevented. This is the year that I become stronger and face my emotions head on, because I can do this, I have to do this, if not for me then the two precious little people who call me mum.

Thanks for reading x


Kaylee said...

*huge hugs*
Nothing I can say to make you feel better except that I am here. I hope receiving your birth notes makes things a little easier

Parenting Premmies said...

Thanks Kaylee xx

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