The hospital was crazy, crazy busy. But sometimes, you feel most alone in a crowd. This was the case for me. Even though the maternity base was extremely busy, I was completely by myself. Most women on the base has their babies or we’re going to have them soon. I found that my situation didn’t really match with anyone else’s.
The noise. Oh dear lord, the noise! People taking at the top of their voices all day and night, beds and cots being pushed down the hollow corridors, sound ricocheting off every surface, alarms alerting the whole hospital that a someone has tried to take a baby from the ward, forcing the whole hospital into lockdown. 99% of the time this was because someone had not deactivated the tag in order for the baby to be moved wards. An amazing safety feature, but I can assure you when you don’t know what the hell it is at 3.17am on your second night and you’re standing at the door to your room in a strange hospital, knowing absolutely no one, glancing around hoping for reassurance or someone to evacuate you, it feels anything but that!
Ear plugs and an eye mask, the work of Angels! Literally blocking our the entire world around you. Sound asleep, only to be woken every morning by the familiar chirp, “Doyawannacuppatealuuuuuuuuvvvvv?” Which became such a comforting, friendly sound.
I was asked by the ward sister if I would have liked to move into one of the rooms with four beds in, so I wasn’t lonely. I understood her point, but seriously, being put in the very room where the noise was coming from with women who had their healthy babies when I was unsure mine would survive. Honestly? No, thank you.
The days actually passed fairly quickly to be honest. Routine was key, routine and counting the days till my next visitors. That made things slightly more bearable.
8am: breakfast/monitoring baby
8.30: FaceTime Day/Alfie before school
9.30-10.30: drs rounds/jezza Kyle/colouring/baby monitoring ctg machine
10.30-12.30: drs rounds/ watch This Morning
Afternoon: walk to the front entrance, read book, magazine, write, colour, draw
Evening: Netflix series
7pm: FaceTime Day, read Alfie bedtime story
Speaking to Alfie and Day back home was hard, but comforting at the same time. I was still able to be part of their daily routine too, checking Alfie had everything ready for school and being able to ask him how his day had gone and to read him his bedtime story as I usually did.
The thing I found the hardest were the doctors rounds on my own. The first doctor I had point blank refused to give me any form of treatment until I showed signs of labour. I used my question and I quizzed him on whether I should be given steroids for baby’s lung development now that we had reached 24 weeks. He said not and that was the new way of thinking. I asked if I would get antibiotics to ward off any infection. He told me no because I couldn’t prove to him I was leaking fluids. Even though the scans has proved the membranes of the water sack were floppy and I had felt small leaks, but I I was adamant most of my waters were coming out when I was going to the toilet. (Sorry for too much information! But I feel it’s important!) Eventually, I did what I had to do to prove to one of the midwives that I was leaking fluid! And the next day he begrudgingly started me on broad spectrum antibiotics for 10 days. It was like he had no hope, my baby wasn’t going to survive and there was little point in any proactive treatment.
I felt a little bit like I was trying to tread water in treacle! Coping with being away from home and my family, whilst dealing with my diabetes, an extremely troublesome pregnancy, the niggling thought that our baby may be too sick to survive and now, once again, the blatant opinion of one doctor who doesn’t believe in you or your baby!
It was like being thrown into a pool of ice, I’d come all this way because the care we had received in the foetal medicine unit was so incredible and gave us that spark of hope. Now I got the vibe that spark was to be dampened.
Surely hope is better than nothing. I agree false hope can have a negative impact, but i wasn’t going to stop fighting for our baby because of the opinion and blatant refusal of one doctor. No way! We’d already battled through this once with ‘Mr Doom and Gloom,’ if we needed to do it again then that’s what we would do.
The thing is, we weren’t naive, we fully understood our situation, the treatment I was asking for wasn’t going to have any form of detrimental consequence it would ignite that dampened spark once again and and make our baby stronger.
Once again this is why I am so grateful for Ciara and Little Heartbeats or else I would have no idea what I was doing and how to challenge these professionals standing up for what is going to give your baby the best chance possible.
I’m not questioning the job the doctors do, but we’re more than what is written on a piece of paper. Doctors are amazing, with so much experience and knowledge, but we are too, we have been armed with the knowledge and we are prepared to fight, especially when we’d got this far, we’d made via-bloody-bility and we weren’t going to give up here! When a mother and her baby are doing all they can to fight for that smallest chance, they deserve to be supported in that decision.
There’s a case in the news at the moment about a baby boy and his parents fighting for his right to try some treatment to save him. My heart absolutely goes out to them. I’ve been there as a pregnant mum and as a mum feeling you are standing on the sidelines of your child’s care. I know there are many ins and outs and this differs from ours, a lot, but the principles are the same. No parent, no matter what they are told is going to give up on their child. Not one. You will fight to the bitter end.
Thankfully, I was woken one morning with,
A fresh cuppa, a fresh faced doctor and the whole of our treatment plan changed!