Lisa's reflective account of Day 2....

Today was a very difficult day for me personally. I think it was a mixture of hormones, exhaustion and being separated from my family. My blood results showed that my Hb was low and I also found out today that I had a urine infection all adding to why I felt so terrible.

I spent the night walking too and from the NICU unit again and I was strictly trying to express milk every 2 hours, it was so frustrating that I was getting so little. I felt so much pressure to provide milk for Theo, he was depending on me to provide for him and again I was letting him down!

I managed my very first 0.5ml that night!!! I took it straight to the unit, it was such an achievement for me. I wanted the nurse to give it to Theo, he could have 0.5ml every 2 hours. I didn’t have any stored milk so she was reluctant and said to use it for mouth care for him, I was totally gutted. She could see it in my face and must have felt sorry for me so agreed to give it to him. It was such a proud moment, I was providing milk for my baby. After that I was getting enough to give him 0.5ml every 2 hours and achieved my first 1ml later on that day.

I was on the NICU unit for 9am, I had been present for every ward round so far, I felt it really important to know exactly what was happening with Theo, he’s my baby!

Whilst waiting for the Drs at Theo’s incubator the nurse received a phone call asking me to go back to the ward as I was being discharged! A rush of panic came over me, no one had mentioned that discharge was even imminent. The last thing the midwife said to me was that the Drs will see me on the ward round that morning about my blood results and how I was feeling. I was furious that they phoned whilst I was sat with Theo and waiting for his Drs, could they not have waited until I went back after the ward round to discuss it in person?? I felt a complete lack of empathy! I phoned Phil and he was on his way thankfully.

I hadn’t had chance to think about discharge yet, going home wasn’t an option. There was no way I was leaving Theo, we’d waited a whole life time for him! You’re not supposed to leave your baby. We are such a close little family, we had only ever spent a handful of nights away from each other in our 17 years together. We are strong together, not apart.

After Theo’s ward round Phil sent me back to my room for a lie down, I was an emotional wreck and completely over exhausted. All of my bags were packed in the room, I felt like I was being evicted and homeless. I had never felt so out of control.

There was so much happening with Theo today too, he needed to have a long line inserted and a blood transfusion. I was too hysterical to be around him and didn’t have the energy reserve to be there for him which was even more upsetting. Phil was with him though which was reassuring, at least he wasn’t on his own.

When I went back to NICU the nurse who was looking after Theo had arranged for me to have a room on the unit for a couple of nights, she was my guardian angel. I broke down crying and gave her the biggest hug. Meanwhile my Drs had also agreed that I should stay on the ward for another night!

Phil was able to help with Theo’s cares today and he held him in his hands for the first time in the incubator. It was such a special moment for us all.

I started taking iron for my low Hb and antibiotics for my water infection, hopefully they would help make me feel a bit better.

Later that day, Theo’s nurse received a phone call from Ronald Mc Donald House, a room had become available for us. It was such a relief! We jumped at the chance. I didn’t want to stay on the postnatal ward another second so discharged myself.

We went across to Ronald Mc Donald House to get the key and look around, I was so overwhelmed with relief, I cried the whole way round. I couldn’t believe that people were kind enough to donate money and fund a place such as this for people like us. We had always given to charity, never before had we needed it ourselves. We were desperate and so grateful it was an amazing place! It meant that Phil, Jack and I could all stay together as a family only a minutes walk away from Theo. It was our new family home.

Phil and my sister moved our things into the room and we all stayed with Theo until late. That night was the first time I’d been with Phil and Jack since I was admitted to hospital almost a week ago. When you go through such a traumatic family experience you need each other more than ever. I had the best few hours sleep I’d had since being in hospital that night!

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