Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Waiting and Wanting

Last night i put the kids to bed and snuggled up on the couch to catch up on my soaps. Hubby was working and i was enjoying my free time. One of these soaps was Coronation Street and one of the characters was thrilled to be allowed to hold her premature baby for the first time. Isn’t it strange how something so simple can send you back? For a while last night i was that mother waiting and wanting nothing more than a hug from my child. Not being allowed to pick up your own child is something so horrible that it’s hard to explain.


We were lucky we got to hold Rebecca after she was born , straight after birth she was taken away to special care while i recovered a little but as soon as we got to the SBCU (Special baby care unit) both hubby and i got to have a little shot . She did have some tubes and wires, we had to be careful and i could not feed her but i could hold my baby. I was able to hold her, change her and smell that amazing newborn scent.
She was born on the Wednesday, on the Friday she was moved hospitals. At this point we were still hoping her breathing issues were nothing, we still expected her to be home any day now. On the Friday she was put under and a scope placed down her throat, they discovered then the webbing and blockages and all of a sudden our daughter was seriously ill . No longer could we hold her, no longer could we pick her up and be with her. She had to spend the weekend in the incubator hooked up to wires and tubes while we could only watch , the doctors were worried it may get worse before they could perform surgery on the Monday and everyone was tense .
On the Monday, at just 5 days old she went under major surgery. We were warned that she would more than likely need a tracheotomy and so happy when she came back without one. She was however on a ventilator, her body needed to heal and this was the way to do it. She was kept on it and sedated for a little over 2 long weeks.
You need to understand this was our baby, our first child and we had no idea of this problem. We were expecting a healthy child and these issues were sudden and scary. I was meant to be spending the summer showing off my baby not crying by her bedside. We had no idea when or even if our baby would come home, she would wake from the sedation occasionally and we could do nothing more that stroke her hair and whisper sweet words. We could not hold her, nor bring her in our arms and make us all feel better.
I remember being allowed to hold her again, we had to be careful to not disconnect wires but our baby could be back where she belonged. It was not the sitting for hours with her in my arms i dreamed of (that would come later) but it was something amazing. It was something worth waiting for and it was something that still makes me smile 5 years later.
This was not the end of it, at 3 years old we went through it all again. As traumatic as the first experience seemed is had nothing on the later one. I still feel haunted by the events of that summer and just how close we came to losing her...
We knew something was wrong with her, our vivacious 3 year old was unable to breath and we could see it was getting worse. When we let her leave our arms and go into the surgeon’s room we did not know what the next few weeks would hold.
We waited around for hours beside her empty bedside, waiting for someone to tell us everything would be ok and she was fine. Someone screwed up and we were not filled in properly, we were told she was out and to come and see her. In silence we were led through corridors and lifts arriving at intensive care, we walked through the sterile environment and were taken to our daughter unconscious and on a ventilator. No one told us this, we thought she would be awake and groggy from surgery not unconscious and unaware. I found it hard to talk through the tears and the following weeks were the hardest of my life, i am not sure how many times i said i just wanted a hug . Rebecca was always a child who liked her cuddles and i was lost without her. She would come around from the sedation sometimes and be in pain , you could see her confusion and fear and all i wanted to go was gather her up in my arms and be her mother again.
So twice now i have had to wait . I have had to just sit and watch and do nothing. I have not been able to hold my child when she needed me.

This is the stuff that will stay with me forever...


  1. really hard to find the right words. your post has me in tears. How lucky was I that at least during my youngest's illness I didn't have to let go of her, at least I was able to cuddle her, even until she went under and as she came around. Even if it meant spending 2 nights on a chair, I didn't mind, it was so important.