Our surgery went fairly normal, except that the room was exceedingly cold, and this, added to the stress of surgery, made me very, very cold.
|Daddy wasn't impressed with the scrubs they gave him to|
wear, but Our Man was worth it!
It was just as I opened my eyes that our paediatrician told us Our Man was having trouble breathing and needed to be taken away for help. Our rule is that our new baby is never left without a parent with them, so Christian, whilst deeply concerned about me, left to watch over the care of Our Man. Meanwhile I left for recovery ward where they had to put a hot air blanket over me for more than 45 minutes to bring my temperature up. It took me a good 20 minutes to stop shivering!
|Clearly Granny and I look pretty worried here at |
First thing Day 2, just on 12 hours after major abdominal surgery, a nurse came in to insist that I get out of bed. This was the best thing for me, as it got me moving earlier than normal, which starts up the healing processes. Next was to visit my baby.
We visited Our Man in the Special Care Baby Nursery. He had an oxygen box over his head, and he was crying desperately. I still didn't have a good report on him, I was certain that if they would just let me hold him and try to feed him it would all be okay.
|First Night at the Women's And Children's Hospital|
The paediatrician came and explained that he thought Our Man had Hyaline Membrane Disease. This is basically premature lungs, and whilst it is not common in a 37 week big baby, it does happen. To have proper treatment Our Man needed to be transferred to a hospital with a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Our paeds worked hard to ensure that we were transferred to the Womens and Children's Hospital, as it was just down the road from our home at Sem. When the ambulance came to transfer him in the evening I asked to be the one to pick up my baby and put him in the intensive care cot. Because I had been steady on my feet all day I was able to do this special job and hold my little Man. I wouldn't get to hold him for the next four long days.
|It takes a lot of strength not to hold him.|
Thus we were all transferred over to the Women's And Children's. My Obstetrician saw to it that I had a private room, and insisted that I take a wheel chair down to the NICU every single time. Best advice!! This meant that I was still focused on recovery, whilst I could also be focused on my baby. The walking would have done me in because I spent most of my time in the NICU.
The Man was put into an induced coma and intubated so that a machine could breathe for him. I still did not understand how sick he was.
The next few days are a blur. I tried to be there to change his nappies and bedding, because if someone was going to touch my baby it was sure going to be me! I was devastated that I was not allowed to hold him, all I wanted to do was cuddle him close. But I touched him as much as I was able, talked to him, sang to him, prayed for him. I clung to Psalms...lots of them.
Initially, we were told that the coma would only be for a day, because he was such a big baby he would recover quickly. But Our Man did not improve. They struggled to stabilise him at one point. A lumbar puncture was done to find an infection, but it was negative. His little body swelled till his face looked like he had been in a bad fight. We prayed.
|The first hold since birth.|
Then, just as it was inexplicable that he was so sick, he started to get better quickly. His bed was needed just as he started to take milk so he was moved to the Special Care Baby Unit (one level down from NICU care). And so the feeding game began.
|All the machines attached. The thing that upset me the|
most was that he wasn't wrapped. I was sure it wasn't good
We were called into the office of the professor, where he proceeded to tell us just how sick our little boy was. He went on about Our Man being put in a coma (no one had put it in those terms till now, so I was a bit shocked), then he talked about infection and our need to be isolated at home, The Man and I would have to be in a separate room to the rest of the children for three months. The children were not to touch or hold him. And he MUST put on weight by the next weigh in (tomorrow morning at home) or he would go back to hospital!
Did I say I was desperate for Our Man to come home? I would have agreed to nearly anything!! Although, I was not going to follow through with much of it. I did ensure that Our Man was kept away from everyone except family.
|Tiger was pretty pleased to have a baby boy!|
The Man had just been moved to SCBU.
|7 Days old and he started to open his eyes.|
|I am grateful to have had so many willing helpers with |
feeding and caring for Our Man. This was our first day home.
|Princess helps feed Our Man|
But then at 2 and a half months he got sick. I went to him in the wee hours and his breathing was bad. Dr Daddy got out his stethoscope and then sent me to the hospital. We were in hospital with our little Man on oxygen for two days, and again, you can't leave hospital until they are off oxygen for 24 hours. I sought help for the breastfeeding here again, but to no avail.
|Our smiling Man...the beginning of |
what was to come!
And the feeding? Well, at three months, just before that paediatrician appointment, I decided it was time to go just to breast. We had a day of trying, and screaming, and praying, and crying and trying. By the end of the day he had barely wet a nappy, and Daddy said we should try again in three days, so he gave The Man a bottle. The next morning I went to The Man and offered the breast whilst Daddy went to warm up a bottle...The Man sucked like he would never get off! And he never had a bottle again!
And the screaming? Well once the medication started we had a New Man! He stopped crying altogether. Smiling started in ernest, and if he was hungry he would whimper. Smiling became his automatic response to anything, including a bonk on the head, which after smiling first he would cry. Our Man became the smiling Man! Oh! What a smile!! He is still our smiling Man!