Thursday 7 July 2011

Day 5 - A Story of Fear and Faith - continued

No matter that we are now in day 6 then next two days have merged into one, and the story continues from yesterday

I awoke at 3am, I could hear a strange noise outside my door, where the Patientline machine was. I popped out and a man was desperately trying to pay for TV for his distressed partner. The machine was temperamental. I opened my drawers and got a heap of change. The man looked startled and apologised profusely. I explained I had my alarm set for 3 to express, so not to worry and proceeded to put the money in the machine for him and got him all sorted. I'm not sure he believed I'd had a baby, and was a little confused as to why I was on antenatal, but I couldn't be bothered explaining!

Once back in my room I paused. I went through my drawers. My wallet was there with over £50 in (I wouldn't suggest taking that much to hospital but I took my handbag with me on the Thursday not really expecting to be admitted), my iPod was there with all our wedding photos, and the camera with all those precious first pictures. The lowlife bastards had only taken the teddy bear. My perspective changed. They needed the bear. They left all my valuables. I relaxed, and expressed.

I padded down the ward in the dead of night to take my milk down. Joseph looked comfortable. I was left alone to talk to him. One of the doctors (who would become my favourite) came and spoke to me, to make sure I understood all that had gone on and to go through his latest results. He had a tiny bit of optimism. I went back to bed.

That day, Joseph annoyed everyone. He was getting better, but it was very difficult to get a long line anywhere near him, and in fact, it failed three times. The consultant, the same one from the previous day, was worried. For the meantime Joseph was receiving basic nutrition with glucose, but it was only enough to keep him alive, not for him to grow. He required TPN in a long line. My milk was being frozen, and being used for comfort.

However, Joseph was a lot better in himself. He was still a very poorly boy, but no longer critical. I felt stronger, and that my faith was being rewarded, and that I just had to keep strong.

That night I went back to the ward. One of the midwives came in with the biggest blue fluffy dog I had ever seen. They had done a bit of a run around and replaced the bear. Then was a knock at my door, one of the men whose baby was on the unit with Joseph came in with his two sons, and a little blue bear. They had heard about what had happened and replaced it with one of their own. I was deeply touched that everyone cared so much about us, and about Joseph. I did find the bear eventually, it was spotted next to a baby boy, whose parents were drug addicts. I felt pleased, in a strange way, that the bear had gone to a baby who needed it. The thieves hadn't taken any of the items in my room that they could have, quite easily, sold for drugs, they'd taken the bear.

The next day, day 7 was a strange day. I went down in the morning for rounds and the consultant was there. He looked at me and said "we have a serious problem, and I need your help". I looked at him, and smiled. "I need to get this long line in, or we will not be able to give Joseph adequate nutrition, what do you suggest?" I said to the consultant "I'll have a word".

Everyone left. I opened the incubator doors, I held Joseph's tiny hand, and I spoke. "Joseph, I know this is hard, your tired, your sick, but you have to help the doctor. You have to be still, and be calm, and don't fight him. He is trying to help you. You need to guide him, show him where this thing needs to go". And then I said a little prayer for him. And then I left.

I went to the chapel and spoke to Sue, my beloved Reverend who became and still is, a dear friend. I went and had lunch, I listened to music, I expressed. I went down to the ward about 2.30. It was quiet. Locked down. I turned to leave and beaming consultant leapt out! "Come here mummy!" and he put his arm around me. He said "I don't know what you did, but you did it, its in. We need a series of x rays, but I think its in." He had a tear.

The radiographer arrived, and set up. He took loads of x rays. He went. He came back half an hour later. He'd missed Joseph. Joseph was the size of a small kitten and was covered in a sheet, and he hadn't got the right pictures. He did it again. Again it failed. He came back a third time. He had ginger curly hair, and was lovely. I grinned and said to one of the trainee staff "he had straight hair before he met Joseph". It must have been stress, because everyone just collapsed in hysterical giggles. This set of films was successful. And, the long line was in, and TPN commenced.

On Friday, I went in as usual, and made it for rounds. The consultant grabbed me in a hug and sat me down. "What do you do?" I cocked my head to one side. "What do you mean?" He went on "You are not like other mothers. You are so positive and so happy, and you are making the difference here, your son is much much better, and in fact is the strongest 27 weeker we have ever seen. What do you do here all day?"

I explained that I read and sung, I massaged, I talked, I prayed, I showed him photos, I told him stories about our family, I mothered him. The consultant took out a prescription pad and wrote "mummy to give massage Rx as required". I grinned from ear to ear. He told me to keep believing and keep strong. And that was the last I saw of him, he went back to where he came from, and we were back under our regular consultant.

And that was the last of our medical emergencies. Joseph got "normal" complications after this - PDA which I will explain in a subsequent post, and bradycardias, and anemia, but our stay was long, but pretty boring in medical terms after this. My faith had paid off.


  1. The dreaded long line. We had the same complication and the same pep talk with Felix (accused of being selfish with his veins). It took the doctors all day and as a result he picked up a staph infection, doh!
    I can't believe your teddy was trafficked!

  2. Kylie, I absolutely love your blog, its bought a tear to my eye and a lump in my throat. When my twins were born one of them developed severe jaundice and was in neonatal ward with tubes and lines, it was a very emotional time but thankfully they are both happy, healthy 2 year olds now. Your positive attitude has to be a determining factor - I truly believe it makes a difference! xxx

  3. The dreaded long line. We had the same complication and the same pep talk with Felix (accused of being selfish with his veins). It took the doctors all day and as a result he picked up a staph infection, doh!
    I can't believe your teddy was trafficked!

  4. Joseph had three different attempts over 2 days and has a lot of scars in his hands. But it did the trick. I noticed Felix's in his head, I think they should have done it that way, but the consultant wasn't experienced enough to do it like that. Isn't it weird to have procedure envy.

    With the passage of time, I have come to believe that we were very blessed that the bear was the only thing they took, and I like to think that this baby had a bear because of me and Joseph.

    The really sad thing, they only had to ask. I would have given it to them.