Handle with (Special) Care.

8 Apr

Inglorious Baby #2 arrived on Sunday, after much drama. As expected, he’s a big lad, weighing a healthy 9lb 8oz. But unfortunately, healthy isn’t fully accurate.

Now for the science bit. My son has a pneumothorax, which is where air becomes trapped inside the chest cavity, preventing the lungs from working properly. He’s in SCBU, in an incubator, covered in wires, hooked up to monitors and being fed via a glucose drip. Thank god he’s a chunky monkey. He looks twice the size of most of the other teeny tiny babies in the ITU.

The staff in SCBU have all been lovely. A good mix of practical, no-nonsense efficiency and caring emotional support. I’ve needed lots of both.

Being on a post natal ward when you have no baby at your bedside is tough to say the least. It’s heartbreaking. And as my husband is caring for Inglorious Toddler, I’m mostly on my own. I can handle it, mostly. I have the occasional wobble where I sit in the bathroom and cry. Thankfully the ward is quiet so I’m not sharing my room with any mums and babies. This could change at any time. I’ll jump off the bridge when I come to it. For now, at least I have a little bit of peace (and windows that open, therefore winning the hospital bed lottery).

The worst bit by far is not having the close. He’s 2 locked doors, a lift and a corridor away. Not being able to pick him up when he cries wrenches at my soul. Instinct yells at you to comfort your newborn and hold him tight, but all I can do is stroke his soft skin through a little window in his incubator. He grips my finger like a vice.

I’m hoping he’ll be well enough to spend a little longer our of his oxygen tank today. Trying to establish breastfeeding was hard enough for me last time without the added obstacles of an emergency c-section and SCBU standing in our way. I will do my best. That’s all I can do.

Positives are coming though. Baby is now wearing clothes! Well a vest, but that’s progress. The tube into his tummy to remove the mucus and gunk has been removed (as he kept removing it himself anyway) and he made a much more concerted effort to latch on this morning.

Of course I’m hoping for steady improvements but I’m also trying to chase away any dark thoughts of a rapid decline or some other unforeseen crisis.

It’s a difficult time, but as I said in my last post, you cope because you have to.

More soon.

Oh, and chin up.

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