I was strangely calm as we drove to the hospital – maybe blissfully ignorant would be more accurate. It was way too early to think that the baby could be coming; we hadn’t even been to any pre-natal classes yet! The mood changed and reality set in once I had been examined at the hospital.
Suddenly we were caught up in a frenzy of tests, needles, examinations, and scans. My pregnancy was no longer textbook. Our long journey had started……
Charlie was delivered by emergency caesarian, post 14hr labour on 4th October 2012, after 4 days in hospital trying to stop it. He weighed 910 grams at 26+6 weeks gestation. It was not a time of celebration for us. Rather it was filled with anxiety, stress, worry and uncertainty. These feelings were not to leave us for the entire 88 days
Our NICU and SCN stay were probably fairly standard. CPAP, feeding tubes, suctioning, monitors, tests, weigh-ins, expressing, and kangaroo cuddles – the daily grind. It is a strange, insular world made bearable only by the supportive and caring staff. Charlie spent in NICU and the Special Care Nursery (SCN).
It seemed at times that we would never get to the end – that we would never leave the hospital. In the end it becomes a co-dependency. That final day, those final moments in hospital were a blur. We celebrated with champagne! Finally we had our moment.
Charlie continues to meet all his developmental milestones. He is doing “well” they say. People often refer to premmie babies as ‘little miracles’. Maybe they are. But Charlie is just Charlie to us. He is our little boy who came a bit early, just wanting to see what the world has to offer.