The hardest part of it all up until this point was not getting skin to skin with Elijah when he was born, and to this day is something which always brings a tear when I think of it. I found that so incredibly difficult. I just wanted to hold him, to feel him, to let him rest on my chest, let him know it was OK now. Unfortunately though, we just got a quick little peek and wee wave hello before they took him to NICU.
That, that broke my heart.
As they worked away then at fixing me up my mind was so distracted. All I could think about was my baby boy and the need to be with him.
The next few hours are a bit of a blur, I do remember a leg\knee appearing right in front me and me asking,
“WHOSE leg is that??!”
“Ah Karen…..it’s yours!!”
I was taken to recovery then and just remember things feeling so surreal. I don’t think I could quite take in what had just happened. As the midwives helped to freshen me up…(it has never felt so amazing to brush my teeth!)….I felt a real sense of relief. Baby was here. He was doing OK and the best outcome, it seemed had happened. They told us to try to get some rest and they would waken me as soon as we could go to see him. Ben managed a bit of a doze but I just lay wide awake. I think I must have had those poor girls tortured. They rang to see if we could go up, but unfortunately not yet. They tried to give me some good news and found out his weight – he was 5lbs 10 and a half ounces. The wee bird.
Eventually the call came that we could go and see him. It was around 530\6 am. Gosh the excitement. My heart was racing. I could feel that I was grinning like a Cheshire cat. I could not wait.
But, nothing quite prepares you for NICU. It is a wonderful, wonderful place. But gosh, when you see your precious wee man in that little incubator and there’s wires and monitors and beeps and alarms….boy is NICU noisy….it is completely overwhelming.
“Can I touch him?”
“Maybe not just yet.”
Oh gosh…just take me out of here. At that moment I thought, I CANNOT do this.
Lord, why? Why have you done this? This is NOT the plan. I do not deserve this. This is not what I wanted. How dare you! You know how much I wanted another wee baby, another labour, another water birth. You know I couldn’t wait for those first few glorious minutes of skin to skin, the first breast feed. Those moments of staring at their wee toes, examining every little bit of them. And you’re giving me THIS! It’s 5 hours since he was born and I can’t even touch him??!!
As they wheeled me to our room I could feel panic and anxiety build. I could tell my mind was spinning out of control. I closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths, and said in my head, “God. I NEED YOU. You better show up here.”