Monday 7 May 2012

The Post I Wasn't Going to Write

Three years ago today I was sitting in a waiting room. Next to me were several very excited women going for their 12 and 20 week scans, and there was me. I had my husband and my own midwife. I was terrified. I had an emergency scan to find if all was ok, whether the pre eclampsia was affecting the baby. Joseph.

We were terrified. As the scan commenced it was clear. He was not ok. Not only was he tiny, he had stopped growing. I couldn't understand what was being said, I felt confused.

I hope Bliss don't mind me using this again, but that is what happened. The world as we knew it got turned up side down and shaken. Everything I held dear felt like it was going to be snatched away. For the first time in 9 years I wished like hell that I was at home in Australia with my parents around the corner.

And the hours that followed were awful. Just a rollercoaster of emotion, and feeling sick, and scared. Everyone, every doctor, every nurse treated me with kindness and respect, but you could see their concern, even fear. I was very sick.

I remember making a doctor cry. I was being worked on. I don't know if you've ever had intensive medical treatment, but its horrible. They have to work so fast in a concerted effort and no one has time to talk to you through it. I had two nurses between my legs putting a catheter in, two nurses on the other side putting the magnesium sulphate in and a doctor doing the hartman's solution. My recall is so clear of those hours.

Anyway, I had huge silent tears and was shaking as they worked on me. I was so swollen my veins were hard to find. I felt so sick, and like I was looking from outside at what was happening. The doctor left the room, he looked a bit shaken too, he was a junior doctor. Later he came back in, he took my hand, and I apologised to him for being so scared, and thanked him for working so hard to make sure I was ok. Huge tears filled his eyes, and he left. Two midwives ran in to find out what I said, they thought I'd been abusive, as he was incapable of speech.

I will never ever ever forget the kindness of everyone who helped me that day. I will never ever be anything other than extremely grateful for NHS care. When the chips are down, there is no better system I don't think.

Sometimes I wish, like This is Your Life, or the Reunion, I could bring all these people together, show them Joseph, show them my blog, show them how grateful I am for all of them, and their care of me, and the following day, Joseph.

Having had a premature baby does not define me, I don't think of his start every day or look at his baby pictures. Joseph has a massive personality that doesn't allow it anyway, he reminds you every minute that he is a strong, hilarious, brave little guy much bigger than his story.

We are so very lucky. 


  1. This just made me cry too!

    I think the NHS is absolutely amazing. I'd like to find the nurse who just reached out and gave me a hug when I'd had a miscarriage and show her my gorgeous baby girl and thank her for her kindness and tell her that my daughter was worth going through that other stuff to get to.

    I'm glad that your boy is such a character and doesn't let you dwell on the hard times too much.

  2. Beautiful post. My sister is a doctor in an NHS hospital and I know she'd be really touched by reading this. x

  3. It means so much to nurses & doctors to know they're appreciated. All my life my mom (a labor & delivery nurse) has told me about those moments. The scary moments, too, she'd come home & hug us a little tighter. Beautifully written post.

  4. Wow, thanks for that post, lovely post. It's the first time a post about PE has really affected me. I know I was lucky (well as lucky as you can be to get PE) in that I got severe onset PE at 40 weeks so the risk to my baby was much much smaller, but I've never really thought much about the risk to me! Reading your post about all the doctors and nurses working on you to stabilise you, all sounds exactly the sameas my experience. The midwife putting a catheter in, whilst the doctors rushed to get the magnesium sulphate in me etc. They were all so wonderful and calm and if it weren't for them who knows what would have happened to me.

    Like I said, my baby was term and very healthy, I can't imagine what it must have been like for you, you are very strong.

    Thank you again for the post, it's really made me think about how lucky I was and how wonderful indeed those doctors were that day. I am thankful for the support I was given in my 2nd pregnancy too and fortunately I remained PE free

  5. Great post and you are allowed to feel like this. I would love to get all the docs and nurses together so they could see how well gemma has done. I pop into the nicu occasionally but would love to see the midwife who insisted on the growth scan. Without her gemma wouldn't b here (her name was gemma!).
    He has come so far and it does no harm to remember that x

  6. Tears running down my face. I know moments similar to this from both sides. Joseph is amazing. x

  7. Kylie thank you for this a hard sometimes uncaring world your posts such as this act as beacons for humanity...

  8. Michellethemonica7 May 2012 at 20:41

    Tears runing down my face, As iv had a simler experiance twice, Joseph is amazing,

  9. Aw honey, as I write this we are currently guests of the nhs on night four, the nurses have been exceptional, caring for my daughter and throwing a hug my way when I need it.

    Happy birthday again Joseph.

    J x

  10. Oh god I welled up reading that. A doctor being that worried must have been so scary. But A massive Happy Birthday to Joseph and congrats on being mummy for three whole years. And, again, that cake is AMAZING!!

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