Wednesday 20 November 2013

NaBloPoMo 20 My Post Natal Ward experience

 I thought I'd post something I've been wanting to get done for a while. I also can't think of anything brave enough to share for Vonnie's NaBloPoMo prompt for today!

Wednesday 26th June 2013
After giving birth we spent are few more hours in the delivery suite. I was in my own little zone at this point after a long labour and needing stitches but managed to have a shower and get ready to move down to the post natal ward.
The midwife who'd delivered Eliot took us down to the post natal to settle down for the night. Each bay had four beds in and when we led to the bed I was allocated there was still rubbish and bedding from the previous person. My parents were with us at this point and were fuming to say the least. I'm crap at complaining anyhoo but I had no need worry my parents are experts and said their piece. We received an apology and I was taken to another bay which had a freshly made bed. Once I was as settled as I could be I said my goodbyes and my family left. I don't remember much else about that night. I did ask for help with breastfeeding but I will be writing a separate post about my attempt to breastfeed.

Thursday 27th June 2013
I was looking forward to leaving hospital and settling our son in to his first home. I sent the other half a text reminding him to bring the car seat when he came.
A midwife came and told me I would need an anti d injection (my blood is Rhesus negative) as Eliot had positive blood. She returned a bit later and gave me the injection, I was used to those as I had a few anti d injections whilst pregnant.
Shortly after, my first nightmare as a mother happened. Eliot was in his cot, I heard a strange noise and saw Eliot had brought up some clear liquid. Except he hadn't just brought it up, he was choking. I quickly scooped him up, put him over my shoulder and patted his back firmly. But I could still  hear him choking. I pressed the emergency button next to the bed with tears streaming. A couple of midwives dashed in, took him off me and simply turned him on his front and patted his back. Panic over. They explained it was fluid that Eliot hadn't expelled during delivery and it could happen again so I would need to do what they'd done. That frightened me, I hadn't read or heard about this happening to anyone.
One of the midwives returned and said she thought it would be helpful if I stayed in another night as I'd had a shock and breastfeeding was not established. I was happy with this as I was keen to get more help with breastfeeding.
Eliot later had the usual checks by a paediatrician, all seemed normal apart from one of his testicles. It hadn't fully descended but would hopefully sort out itself and be followed up at the eight week check.
Eliot had a few more episodes of bringing up fluid but I knew what to do so didn't panic.
He pooped meconium during a nappy change which went everywhere as the other half's mum picked him up. He also had his first taste of formula as breastfeeding was proving hard.
My feet and legs were incredibly swollen so I was given a pair of those oh so flattering white stockings to wear.

Some pics from our time on the post natal ward

Friday 29th June 2013
Eliot was still having quite a few 'sicky' episodes and the midwife on duty was not happy to discharge us. They wanted to keep an eye how often he was being sick. I was asked to keep a diary of  this, how much and what colour it was. More phone calls were made to say we wouldn't be coming home again. This is when it started to get me down, however if anything was wrong with Eliot we were in the best place.
The midwife said she'd asked one of the paediatricians to see us so Eliot could be checked over again.
We did not see the paediatrician and Eliot had more formula as I continued to struggle with breastfeeding.
My legs were still very swollen, so a doctor was asked to see me by one of the midwives. By this point the glam stockings were off, they'd been riding down and being a pain. The doctor asked me to make sure I wore them and to keep as mobile as possible. If I experienced any pain I would need to let someone know.

Saturday 30th June 2013
I had my fingers crossed that we would be coming home today. I updated the midwives with Eliot's sickness and was told we'd see a paediatrician today. The hours ticked by but still no sign of a paediatrician. It was coming up to 8pm, the time when partners had to leave. We spoke with the midwife and asked the paediatrician would be coming to us. She said they could still make their way round to us so the OH stuck around for a bit longer, both of us getting frustrated that we hadn't been seen. Still the paediatrician didn't get to us. The longer I stayed in hospital the more desperate I became to get home.

Sunday 1st July 2013
Around lunchtime I was told to take Eliot and wait outside the paediatricians room. It felt like we were waiting forever but eventually it was our turn. I was asked lots of questions as Eliot was checked over. New mum shock number two hit me when the paediatrician said she suspected he might have a hernia. What?! She wanted a second opinion and to take some blood to rule out any other possibilities. So over we went to the Neo-Natal unit, where the really poorly babies were. Very frightening. We were taken in an assessment bay. Eliot was placed under a heat lamp while the paediatrician searched for a vein to put a line in and take blood. I was absolutely dreading this. My poor baby boy only a few days old being prodded and pierced. Shockingly he didn't make a peep, he was too distracted by the heat from the lamp and sucking on my finger. What a relief, he appeared to be totally unaware he had a line in the back of his hand and a splint on to keep it in place.
Another paediatrician checked Eliot over and she agreed that he may have a hernia. But they wanted yet another colleagues opinion who was in theatre. So we waited some more. When he came to look at Eliot he gave the same diagnosis as the previous paediatricians.
In a daze we were walked back to the post natal ward and would need to see a surgeon when one became available.
Later in the day room with the OH and my parents the midwife who had delivered Eliot popped in to see us and wondered why we were still there. I explained the different scenarios that had kept us there and that we were waiting to see a surgeon.
Waiting was what we seemed to do a lot of! Surprisingly, the paediatrician appeared with a surgeon later that evening. The surgeon had a good prod and poke of poor Eliot and then completely surprised us when he said he didn't think it was a hernia.  Really?! After three paediatricians suspected it was! He was pretty certain it wasn't but told us some warning signs to look out for. Thank goodness our little man was not going to need an operation. I was even happier when the paediatrician said we could be discharged but it would have to wait until tomorrow.

Monday 2nd July 2013
I was much happier when I awoke that morning, knowing Eliot was ok and that we would be going home. A midwife came and checked us both over. My stitches were healing ok but my feet and legs were still puffed up so I would need to keep the stockings on for a while longer.
The OH arrived with the car seat and we took our boy home. I couldn't believe I'd been in that hospital for so long and got very emotional on the way home. It felt so strange to be back in the big wide world and not in the confines of a hospital ward. I know it was the best place for Eliot to be if things weren't quite right.
Unfortunately we were back at the hospital a few weeks later but that is another post!

Finally able to go home!!!
Did you have to stay in hospital longer than expected after giving birth?

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