Six weeksPosted: 17/09/2014
It’s been a hell of a couple of months… Anyone glancing at this blog would think it was life as normal, thanks to scheduled posts that I set up over July in preparation for the birth of our daughter. I believed I would have no time for blogging, dealing with sleepless nights and adjusting to life with a newborn.
Well, it’s true I’ve had no time for blogging. Our little BabyGirl took us by surprise and arrived two and a half weeks early. My scheduled c-section went out the window and I ended up having an unexpected (and amazing) VBAC. Week 1 was tough but in the usual way: trying to establish feeding, juggling ToddlerGirl’s needs with a baby.
Week 2 threw a curveball, with BabyGirl needing phototherapy treatment for severe jaundice. We were admitted back to hospital so she could go under the lamps for a couple of days. It was hard to go back, unsettling for ToddlerGirl and I admit to feeling fairly sorry for myself.
Week 3 and it felt like normal life was resumed. BabyGirl turned into a feeding machine. I started to attempt to get back into the swing of things. I struggled with the demands of being a mum of two, feeling guilty that I wasn’t doing enough for ToddlerGirl as sleep deprivation really kicked in.
Week 4 and I started to despair over the feeding issues. How long could I keep breastfeeding when it was such hard work. You don’t have the luxury of camping out on the sofa with baby number two. Issues at ToddlerGirl’s nursery meant we needed to take her out. I felt overwhelmed.
Then came week 5. ToddlerGirl had a temperature, a seeming 24 hour bug. It looked like BabyGirl picked this up as she had a high temperature too. We ended up in A&E overnight, as any temperatures over 38 degrees are treated with caution in newborns. We were admitted to hospital again. Our poor little girl was stuck with needles for a canula and a lumbar puncture. We realised this was going to be more than a quick trip to the hospital as she was placed on 48 hours of IV antibiotics…
We weren’t unduly worried as her temperature was coming down. All test results were clear – meningitis was ruled out. We thought we were heading for discharge.
Then, we were told our BabyGirl had a virus that had been found in her spinal fluid. Suddenly things got a lot more serious. She was put on a course of antiviral medication for 3 weeks. We were in shock. 3 weeks in hospital? I wondered how on earth we would cope. I felt a bit sorry for myself again.
Then I Googled the virus. Then I got very scared. The words ‘life threatening’ and ‘brain damage’ leapt out at me. A cold fear gripped my heart and I felt sick. Our shock and dismay at the 3 week stay disappeared as we realised the necessity of the treatment.
Week six… Well, I’m still adjusting to week six. A near complete lack of sleep so that I worry how I can carry on. Missing my ToddlerGirl hugely and worrying about the impact this is having on her. Trying to get into a routine to see us through. Realising over again what an amazing husband and parents I have. Being so touched by all the messages from friends.
And my BabyGirl? She’s doing OK. It’s heartbreaking watching the doctors putting canulas and long lines into her. I want to take all the pain away and feel it myself. I have to keep reminding myself how important the treatment is. She’s showing no scary symptoms so the doctors are very positive – and also a little baffled as to why this virus has been detected with no other signs. The theory is that it has been picked up super early. We are relieved and on high alert in equal measure.
And she is smiling, right on cue at the six week milestone. She is guzzling milk and, I am sure, continuing to put on weight.
I am taking it a few days at a time, as three weeks is too overwhelming.
We are surviving and doing our best to keep going, to get through these three weeks and get home, back to normality…