Not long after giving birth to Dylan, this was the view I was greeted with. I did get the birth that I wanted, it was at home, and it was pretty much straightforward. Woke up with contractions at around 3 am and then Dylan came into the world at 7.20am. Sadly come 9 am, we arrived at the hospital. Not what I had planned or what I wanted, but it was for the best as Dylan wasn’t very well. It was nothing serious as I was reassured, but he needed to go to be checked over. For all of the 10minutes, after I had given birth, I thought something had gone right for me with this pregnancy, after all those 9 months really were not smooth sailing with me what with crazy sickness, crazy hormones and a crazy amount of things going wrong for me. My midwife got me comfortable on the sofa with Dylan in my arms and the man next to me, all cuddled up as a family. She said she was going to run me a bath and get me into bed. This I thought was bliss and exactly why I wanted a home birth.
The other midwife who was present was next to me filling out paperwork when the other midwife came back down and they gave each other this look. I got to know my midwife well enough over the last few weeks to know that something was up. They both said it wasn’t something they ignore and explained to me how he was grunting and that he needed to be checked over at hospital. I could tell myself something was up, he hadn’t stop crying since he arrived and was doing nothing but bubbling at the mouth. We attempted to introduce him to the boob, but he wasn’t having anything. The man went and stopped my bath from running whilst the midwives out the wheels in motion with getting a ambulance out to us. I was in shock still from just having delivered a baby, something I experienced with Oli. I think you can clearly see the shock in my face in the photo I posted over in my birth story. To hear that we had to go to hospital and in ambulance just made that shock stick a little longer. I remember falling into some daze and I just led on the sofa trying to take the mornings events in.
The man had got someone to come round to take him to the hospital, he was as just as tired as us and wasn’t safe for him to drive. I was upset because I wanted him to come into the ambulance with us but he wasn’t allowed, the midwife has to come with us. Dylan was past on to his aunty whilst the man packed a day pack for me and I remember standing, trying to help but in my glazed shock state I just stood against the wall before going to lay back down on the sofa. That’s when I took those 2 photos above, my living room was starting to fill up with paramedics. One lot which came in a car as the fast response and then two more from a ambulance. They did there stuff. I continued to be in that state, I guess it just couldn’t be helped looking back and thinking back to how I felt.I just went through that whole trauma of delivering a baby and now my poor baby needed to be checked over in hospital. I knew it was for the best and of course I trusted my midwives and knew they were looking after my son.
I guessed when it came to going out to the ambulance I perked up a little, well enough to hear the paramedic saying how he would have to strap and restrain Dylan in. This unleashed my inner beast; I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, and as the paramedic said, he could have worded that better. They explained that new rules had come in which meant babies couldn’t be on laps anymore and that he had to be strapped into the bed. This upset me, my little newborn about to put on to this bed all by himself. I couldn’t stop crying; I cried as I watched them strap this tiny body into these harnesses which put him in the bed. Again, for Dylan’s best which I understood but at the time you still cant help but to want to put up a fight against this and have that bit of denial. I was nervous as the paramedic chatted to the midwife and said how it was the first time they had used them, he had an audience as the other paramedics who had arrived watched as he did this.
That ambulance ride felt like it lasted forever, it was painful for me. Not only was I in pain watching my newborn experience his first hours like this but I was in pain with every bump we went over, I may have had a straight forward labour, but I had just delivered a baby, and my insides were all over the place. He had to have oxygen at one point, watching this just made me cry more then I was already crying. Since becoming a mother, I’ve become such an emotional person and I can turn into such an emotional wreck at the slightest thing, seeing all happen was enough to open the flood stream.
The midwives had already phoned ahead and told the midwives on the ward that we were coming in; they were already in contact with them as they had to phone when Dylan was born giving them his weight and requesting an NHS number for him. When we arrived we were taken to a room, I went straight into bed and curled myself up into a ball – I think I kept asking myself if this was really happening, it was only a couple of hours ago that I was looking forward to a bath and my bed. Everything from here on until the day we left it much of a blur but I’ll try and recap as much as I can remember.
I remember the midwives trying to put Dylan to the boob again, he didn’t want to know. This again upset me and I feared the same would happen as it did with Oli, who didn’t want to know my boob not even after a week of trying. They instead put him on my chest before the pediatric doctors came to see Dylan and took him away to NICU. Oh the tears, I hated this. Being separated from my newborn, not really being able to chat to the man about the fact our beautiful son was in the world, not really being able to think straight. I felt terrible, I was given painkillers for the after pain. I was helped me to the toilet, I didn’t really get chance to do anything and clean myself up at home. I had all that afterness, that wasn’t very nice. I changed and went straight back to bed. Before leaving our friends bought us some snacks, it didn’t dawn on me until then that I had been up for 12 hours and not eaten anything yet. I wasn’t overly hungry, I think I only had a couple of bites of cereal bar. I felt sick to the stomach.
Dylan was returned to us with a cannula in his left hand; he sounded much better then he did before he went, the grunting seemed to of stopped and he seemed calm. The doctor explained that he had an infection and needed a course of antibiotics and that we were to stay in until Tuesday. I was heartbroken at this, I know, and I know that this was for Dylan’s sake but oh I really didn’t want to stay. Another reason I wanted a home birth was so that I could spend that first night together as a family and that I just don’t like hospitals, especially staying in them. I had enough of hospitals during pregnancy to last me a lifetime. The man left me to go get more stuff for us and to sort out Oli, who was shipped off to his Godmothers for a couple of days.
A nursery nurse came along to help with trying to feed him again, she was lovely and had a gentle way to her which helped to put me at ease. Dylan was sleepy and still not wanting to latch on. She helped me to hand express, and we managed to get 0.3ml of colostrum which was given to him via syringe. We set a plan in motion where we were to try again, she went and then, later on, I had a midwife come and try with me. She encouraged me to sit in the chair instead of the bed, and we tried to put Dylan to the boob when it seemed that he was going to latch on he just wouldn’t suck and seemed rather uninterested. I hand expressed again and this time gave him o.2mls of colostrum and got him settled.
But he never seemed settled or if he was settled I cant remember, I only got a couple of hours sleep all together in those first few days. Being in hospital was a nightmare when it comes to trying to sleep, I know I cant normally sleep in hospital as it is, throw in a newborn, a few wards of newborns and a busy hospital environment and you have a recipe for no sleep at all. The amount of people I had coming in and out of my room was unbelievable. I wanted to scratch that cleaning lady’s eyes out after the first day as all she repeatedly did was barge in, make lots of noise and then always leave the door open. I’m surprised I didn’t shout at her. In my lack of sleep and the moods that was various I did become the incredible hulk at times, the woman on the third day who got funny with me because I had Dylan in my arms whilst I went to get ‘evening supper’ found this out. She was quick to shout at me that Dylan shouldn’t be out there at food time. I didn’t know this and went back to my room. She followed a minute or so later and was rather in my face, I said I didn’t want anything and that my partner would be back soon and he’ll get me something. She was so snarky and just wouldn’t stop even though I clearly wasn’t interested and just needed her out of my room. She wouldn’t go even though I asked, I had to literally shout at her to get out of my room and leave me alone. I’m not sorry, even now with a clear head. She should of known when to leave things be.
The husband had to put up a sign after a few days after being constantly disturbed by the same woman from Bounty who came in constantly asking if I wanted photos and trying to sign me up so I could get a bounty pack. I didn’t want a bounty pack; I wanted nothing. I shouldn’t have been there. This made me resent being in the hospital even more so than I already did. I was there because my baby was ill and needed medicine. And to add insult to injury, she would repeatably say ‘oh you’re still here’ every time she came into my room. Yes, I was still there. Still trying to sleep, still trying to get to know my baby without strangers coming in the room every minute, still trying to get some privacy, still getting disturbed despite making my wishes clear that I just wanted to be left alone with my family and those who actually mattered at this important time.