At that point, (if you’re just reading for the first time you need to see the previous 2 posts!!) the tears started. Silent tears ran down my cheeks – I didn’t want Ben to know how disappointed I was. The thing is, I’m not a cry-er. If I cry Ben knows things are bad. But, from that point 8pm on 19th June I’ve cried every single day. At least once.
You see, while I had peace, I didn’t like the situation. I definitely wouldn’t have chosen it. I couldn’t believe it was happening. I hated everything about it. But I did have peace. Deep down I was OK with it. I knew it was just the way it had to be. It was part of the plan.
The next few hours were, honestly, not great. The lady said, “this baby will be delivered tonight, most likely within the next hour, I’ll be back in a minute to take you up.” And with that she left Ben and I behind the blue curtain. Ben grabbed my hand, gave it a squeeze and told me, “it’s gonna be OK.” After what felt like AGES, the lady reappeared.
“We can’t take you here. We’ve never seen this before and to be quite honest aren’t too sure what will happen on delivery. We are going to send you over to The Royal – they have a great team over there and have much more experience in this area.”
And off she went to phone The Royal.
Now. The next 3 hours were a bit of a pantomime. Bearing in mind our little babies heart was still racing at 300 and quite clearly had been for a considerable time. The wee man was punctured and had nothing left within him to even try to move! Well for 3 hours there was a rather heated discussion just beyond the blue curtain. To be fair, the poor nurse had left open part of the blue curtain and I do have pretty sharp hearing, and I’m sure they were unaware that I could HEAR EVERY WORD! But still, it was extremely stressful and disconcerting to say the least.
‘The Royal have no beds, they can’t take her.’
Back the nurse comes to tell me, “We will de delivering your baby here, is that OK? It’s just The Royal have no beds.”
Just outside the blue curtain….
Well, we can’t take her, I’ve never seen that in utero before, I wouldn’t know what to do with the baby when it was born. Phone them back and tell them they must take her.
Cue arguing over telephone, offers to send over necessary bed for baby, doctors getting very angry, phrases like, ‘they HAVE to take her’, ‘I refuse to take her here’……
At 1130pm the lady finally reappears, smiling, clearly completely unaware that we have just heard EVERYTHING, and says, “The ambulance is waiting outside to take you to The Royal, we have phoned one of the top neonatal cardiac consultants in Northern Ireland and he will meet you there. Now. Are you OK to walk?”
And off we went. I do not say any of that to undermine or dismiss the wonderful work that our hospital staff do. I know that they work under extremely stressful and limited conditions, due to money constraints. I say it to point to Gods grace and goodness in ensuring that what seemed against all odds – we got a bed in The Royal Children’s Hospital. That our baby boy kept going – we now know that 30minutes of a heart rate of 300 in a baby that size is the equivalent of us running a marathon. And to think that he had been in that state for at least 12, maybe 24 hours….well it’s quite amazing that he didn’t give up. We thank God for being in that. For giving us peace, for keeping us calm and for reminding us to cling to hope.
I’ll maybe talk more about my caesarean at another time but for now all I want to do is give thanks to one guy in particular from that night – our anesthetist. He was truly remarkable and I will never forget him. I had thought all the anesthetist did was stick a needle in – 10 mins job done. But from the moment we arrived at The Royal, approximately 1220am …. until I got transferred to recovery around 2am…that guy was amazing. God sent him to help us. He never left my side, he was extremely kind and caring, reassuring. He held my hand in that room until Ben was allowed in. As we chatted we discovered we had friends in common, Northern Ireland eh!? I truly believe God used him as part of our story that night.
It had been explained to us on arrival, by that consultant who was to meet us, that one of three things could happen at birth –
1. Baby’s heart would sort itself out and get back into a normal rhythm.
2. Baby would need help to get it’s heart back into a normal rhythm.
3. Baby would be born dead.
I’ve come to realise hospitals like a bit of brutal honesty!
He said, that if he was being honest, he too hadn’t seen this many times before. Yes, it was common enough in babies, just not so much in mum’s tummy. So, he said, again if he was honest, he had no idea which of the 3 possibilities was most likely! But that he didn’t think number 1 was being realistic. He too was a lovely, gentle man. His eyes showed he cared and he was sorry.
I know which one we were praying for!
At 1.09am on 20th June our precious wee man – Elijah was born….and you know what…..
Immediately at birth his wee heart sorted itself out and got back into a normal rhythm.
GOD IS GOOD. He is in control. He always has a plan. He always has a purpose.