Monday 19 July 2010

Rooming in

When you have a premature baby in hospital, one of the rites of passage before you go home is the process of rooming in. Hospitals have a little hotel room, in our case there are two, in the corridor right outside the unit. These rooms have a tv, a little kitchenette (well a fridge and a kettle) and an ensuite bathroom. Your little baby comes and joins you in their crib for a night or two.

This helps the mum (and in some lucky units the dad too!) get used to the day to day care of the baby, the little noises, and to build confidence ready for the next big step, the H word.

This time last year was my first night rooming in. I was taken to the room with Joseph at about 3 pm. Joseph and I sat on the bed and just gazed at each other. We cuddled for ages, and then I put him down to nap. And I did things that I hadn't done in 10 weeks. I watched television. I read a newspaper. I had a cup of tea, with a tea bag, not some powdered rubbish out of a machine. And I smiled.

My husband was not able to room in, as our hospital only has a single bed, but he decided to come in at 7am to check on us before he went to work. He had an anxious night, waiting for me to ring, to say how nervous I was, or how I didn't know what I was doing with Joseph.

In the morning I was woken by my husband leaning over me yelling "Kylie!!!!" I had had the best night's sleep, better than I had had in eight months. I hadn't slept well in pregnancy, and I missed Joseph so much at night that I couldn't sleep whilst he was in hospital.

That first night, I started to heal. I had my baby back with me, and we would be fine, he would be home, and we would start our life together properly as a family without the stress and inconvenience of hospital.

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