Special Care Baby Sam
Here goes- not much of a writer...
I have a disorder of my liver which was first diagnosed in my first pregnancy -the day Henry was born 2 weeks early. I went into labour naturally and at the time I was so delighted with Henry that I did not think much about it! Henry needed a lot of resucitation at birth but was then fine although now has aspergers syndrome and severe dyslexia, Then I got pregnant with Charlie 3 years later, this was still before we had the internet at home and I understood very little about the disorder, I became unwell at about 32 weeks and Charlie was born at 35 weeks weighing 4lbs 12oz, although he was small he did not need to go to SCBU and fed well from the start, apart from mild jaundice he was fine
My husband and I split a couple of years ago although we have remained friends I thought my childbearing days were over. However last year we all went on holiday to Portugal and due to too much sun and alcohol and I came home pregnant! (only I could do the naughty deed once in two years and get preggers!!!) After the initial shock I was delighted , however my thoughts soon turned to the birth and my liver. As we live in a remote corner of scotland it soon became apparent that I would not be able to give birth in our local hospital and I arranged to go down to Edinburgh where my parents live for the big event.
I worked until 32 weeks until I could go on no longer and then me and my boys decamped to my Mum's house. I saw the midwife the next day and by the following day was in the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh having numerous tests, I was put on 2 sorts of medication and had to go to the hospital 2-3 times a week for bloods, monitoring and scans. As you can imagine this was a very worring time as I was told I was at risk of stillbirth, and there would be very few warning signs.
Everthing was going fine until i got to about 35 weeks when my blood tests spiralled out of control. I was admitted at 36 weeks exactly to be induced- much to my great relief! I was given a pessary in the morning and nothing much happened then at 2.30 they broke my waters and like last time things progressed very quickly. As I had got further along the pregnancy than with Charlie I was expecting everything to be fine and was just releived it would soon all be over and we would be home! At 3.21 after a great labour Sam was born and delivered onto my stomach- it was magical I felt in control and it was the birth of my dreams- despite the pain
Initially everything seemed fine and I cuddled him while the midwife did the bussiness down below, but after a few minutes Sam became floppy, was struggling to breath and not pink any longer. The midwife very calmly said she needed help quickly and pulled the emergency buzzer. In seconds the room was full of people and Sam was whisked off. I was left on my own wondering what was going on, eventually the midwife came back and said he needed help with his breathing and had been taken to SCBU but was doing fine. Due to my condition I was kept on labour ward for 8 hours monitoring and eventually taken to the post natal ward, by this time I WAS WONDERING IF I HAD DREAMT HAVING A BABY! But i was taken around to SCBU to see him- he was attached to all sorts of monitors and was grunting loudly, he also has 2 drips in, it all felt very unreal and he was to unstable to do anything other than look. I was taken back to my room on the ward and although i was in my own room could hear all the babies crying and felt very lonely, also saw another lady being wheeled in with her baby in her arms and couldn't help crying.
I knew I wanted to breast feed so the nurses on the ward helped me start the slow process of trying to express, and i was only able to get a few drops at a time at first which was so frustrating! The next day I went to see him again and all i wanted to do was get him out and cuddle him but couldn't all I could do was stroke his head through the incubator. The next few days were the hardest of my life Sam was improving but he was very unsettled and screamed a lot but he wasn't stable enough to get out and cuddle- i felt so helpless, also i was trying to express which i found painful. Part of me wanted to spend every minute with him and part of me dreaded going as I felf so useless- the nurses seemed to be better at caring for him than me! He didn't feel like my baby He was also covered in needle marks as he kept needing blood tests- I felt so sorry for him his first few days involved nothing but pain!
One morning when i came on the ward he was surrounded by doctors- my heart stopped- but they were just doing their ward round and were pleased with his progress. Later I had my first nappy changing experience- and changing a nappy through incubator doors with a baby hooked up to monitors and drips is not easy! his drip came out and he needed a new one I felt so useless i couldn't even change his nappy right.
Over the next week he slowly improved and started being fed down a tube with my precious breast milk, then eventually he was able to come out of the incubator and I was able to cuddle him for the first time . My best moment came when he started snuggling around the breast and then latched on and took a few sucks! After a week he was "promoted" to the nursey from the high dependancy unit and got clothes on!Eventually we built up the breast feeding and decreased the tube feeds and were reunited properly on a transitional care ward where I was able to care for him by myself and fully. Although by now I was exhausted! There were also other mums there who had babies on SCBU who were a great support and many been through much more tham me! A few days later we were discharged.
It was not plain sailing from there- with poor weight gain and reflux but I had my baby and we were home! All three boys united as a family. Then the fun with the cloth nappies started but that is a different story!
Thanks for reading sorry so long!!
And I would like to express my thanks to all the staff on the SCBU in Edinburgh.
Sarah and Samxxxx