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Preemie Life Pt4

Sorry. I know it has been a while.

You missed me right? Or did you miss the rest of the story telling? Thats ok, I missed writing too and I just wish I had more time in the day to do more of the things I love...

Talking about love, one thing i definitely did not love while I was in hospital was the constant differences in opinion amongst the consultants and the ever changing notion of events. But lets stop there - do you even recall where we left off? My mind is currently buzzing back and forth between dress deadlines and new bookings for 2019; on top of that my beautiful little boy that is growing ever more like me - quite frankly, I couldn't be happier at this development. He is 100% a Tadmory (yes thats my fathers second name!)

So for my sake *and yours ofcourse* lets do a quick recap to save us all going through a lot of writing and catching up on what happened before.

Wednesday 7th March 2018 - The Face of Reality, my 28 week appointment with my midwife.

Thursday 8th March 2018 - Sent to Solihull hospital, then referred to Heartlands - Admitted.

Friday 9th March 2018 - The morning after 2 steroid injections and the ever growing prospect of meeting baby.

So here we are again, after rambling on about what I had for breakfast, discussing butterflies and becoming hair free, then somehow diverting down a french route that ended up with a story of the lady who was in the bed opposite me watching Ertugrul and awaiting her fate like myself. STOP. Fun Fact: It turns out the lady opposite me is a follower of mine, who after reading my blog post made the link & came forward to make herself known. However little did I know, she was the same lady whom I had shared conversations with on a few occasions prior to writing my story. What a small world we live in, and as we get older it seems to become much smaller. We hadn't once exchanged a single word while we were both on the ward, however I think we silently felt each others struggles. So the moral of the story here is, don't go writing anything bad about people as you never know who will be reading - only joking - but on a serious note, social media has its pro's & cons, and throughout this time I have found great comfort in being able to speak to so many of you and share stories that make our existence more manageable.

***

That very Friday afternoon I had been visited by a tribe of consultants, nurses & even members of the neonatal team. I was bombarded left right and centre with jargon I did not understand, with a brain that was not ready to process anything it was receiving at that time. I had been told that I would be meeting my son today and they were making sure that I was prepared for what was to follow. I don't think anyone would cope well in such a short space of time to go from complete normality to 3 days ahead being told that their baby was to be delivered. I must admit however, I was quite enjoying the food here at Heartlands - breakfast went down well, and lunch came round almost as soon as I'd finished with my first meal of the day - it definitely kept my mind busy for a brief while & my hunger at bay! Which is strange come to think of it as I am one of those people that just can not eat when stressed. The thought of comfort eating never gave me solace, and my stomach would churn with sickness through anxious & sad moments in my life. Im a big fan of food, I love eating and never can say no - unless of course I'm at a buffet and having ate my way through a weeks helpings that usually I find my self slid half way down the chair, the table as my blanket, slumped while clenching myself groaning in sounds that would annoy my parents so much so that they would have to tell me to 'STOP, and SIT UP' ....- have you ever had that feeling? I even wrote myself a note on my phone after visiting a local buffet at the torture I was putting myself through of the heaviness and aches in my stomach, describing every inch of its coma on my body to put me off ever being in that very situation again. I can say I have not stepped back into a buffet ever since that day.

***

I was sat up in bed watching the minutes go by on the ward clock with its loud ticking subdued by the constant murmurs of the ward staff and the rushing in & outs of the doctors to my bedside. Like clockwork, the 5PM food trolley came clattering into the corridor leaving behind a strong smell of gravy & mashed potatoes. It was like being back in the school canteen, however I was reliving those days like an excited 7 year old as back then I was a 'packed lunch kid'. Oh how i hated being one of the few that would have to make do with food from home - but little did i know that it was actually far better for me then the mush back in those days without Jamie Oliver revolutionising school dinners.

'LADIES COME GET YA DIN'NAAA' the nurse shrieked in a uncanny oliver twist style manner. I couldn't help myself but repeat 'DIN'NAA' from under my breath. I wrapped my robe around me and just as I was about to go get my food, Dr.Butterfly walked in, a handsome middle aged man, with floppy hair and slim stature - my notes in hand, he had made his way up from the operating theatre to update me on my status with another doctor in tow. They seemed to be on very different pages when it came to what was going to happen, however it soon surfaced that I would not be having the baby today as unfortunately there was no incubators available. I was delighted at this news, and swiftly made my way to the food trolley.

***

Robe hung up. Hair tied back. Food on tray. Mmmmm... it looked so good. A chicken breast,... with a side of mash,...a smothering of gravy... & a hot apple crumble pie that was oozing with warm custard... Hospital food never looked so good! I doted at it with such love, before taking a picture for snapchat and teasing my family WhatsApp group to see my good fortune. I lifted up my knife & fork,... staring at my hand prepared slow cooked succulent chicken,... with its Lincolnshire braised potato mash,... and side helping of freshly prepared steamed vegetables... - in true M&S fashion, no this wasn't just any roast chicken,...this was a halal certified chicken breast. As my knife carved into the tender breast, there was a frenzy of hands & an eruption of shouting telling me to STOPPP!!! Dr. Butterfly rushed back into the bay, and asked me if I had taken a bite.... The fork was hovering mid air on its journey to my mouth. Timing could not have ruined my romantic moment any better...eyes alarmed I responded saying 'no...not yet'....

"Good! Nurse please take away this tray, *pause*... Rima - you will now be on fast for the next 8 hours as you will be going into surgery tonight! I believe you have already met the team who visited you throughout the day and the neo natal staff who will be looking after baby when he arrives. Get in as much rest for now and I will see you soon"

And off he went, just like that along with my tray of food.

***

The panic was real. So real that if my heart could pace up and down the bay corridor it would have done. My mind was on fire, my thoughts were electric. Nothing would relieve my nerves for the rest of this long evening. I had family members talking to me but their words would not register. I had crumbled and was not in the least bit prepared. All those faces that had visited me throughout the day, mouths were moving and dispensing words that I did not hear. I felt like i was losing myself, having an out of body experience to which I was powerless to fight. The best way to describe the feeling would be to have picked up that little bottle in wonderland which read 'drink me' and instantly shooting down to the size of a pea that would stare up at the enlarged room in shock & helplessness.

Curled up on my bed, hugging my knees to my chest, my eyes glazed over... - I wanted my hard metal bed to collapse & clamp me in like a venus fly trap. I don't know how much time had passed, or how quickly or slowly it was moving but before I knew it, my dear childhood friends had driven up from London - they were sat by my bedside trying to comfort me with a well needed distraction. Within the hysteria of that moment, I can not remember what we discussed, I vividly recall responding however I wasn't fully present in myself to hear what was being said loud enough to recollect it today. My mums close friends (the mama's of my childhood friends) who are very much like aunts to me were also present. I truly felt their love and for that moment alleviated my silent suffering. Funnily enough, I do recall an exchange of a brief conversation with my mum's friends...

"You know Rima you should be happy to be having a C-section, nowadays all the celebrities are getting booked in for caesarean sections to avoid the pain of natural birth..."

"Yes, actually you are quite lucky!"

"You may not be able to drive for 6 weeks, but don't worry" she said, chuckling..." I was back in my car in a matter of 2weeks, you just need to take it easy!"

I remember I was both baffled and amused at what I was hearing *not that it made me any less scared or encouraged to be going ahead with it*, however I must say for that brief exchange I may have just let out a laugh.

***

With my family and friends around me, we were still left in the dark trying to grab information from everyone that came in. I still had no idea why this was happening, what was wrong with baby & what the consequences of this early labour would mean for us. The loud change over of the day staff to the night team was settling down, as neighbouring visitors of the other patients began to leave as did my friends who had made that long journey after work on a Friday night. It meant so much to me to have the people I love most around me. The clock in the bay corridor slowly made its way back into the foreground, ticking away heavily as the hands rotated between the hours. I was slowly coming to the realisation that I still had not made it down to the delivery suite and visiting time was drawing ever closer to an end. Before I had given this much thought, true to their rules the nurse came in to take away my family from my side -a brief uproar took place...

"How can we leave her if she is going down for surgery tonight??"

"I don't want to be left alone, I need them here!"

"We haven't even been told when it has been scheduled.. We don't know anything!?"

The nurse casually replied that they would be informed in due time before I get sent down to make their way back to the hospital. I was mortified. How could they not see my distress?? Where was the staff empathy?? Rules are made to be broken, but clearly there was no bending them here. Before I knew it, I was alone.

Alone, confused, lost & most certainly not found. I was living in a bubble where everything I came to know was displaced and derelict. If ever there was a time while watching a horror movie set in a mental asylum when you wonder how they became so estranged and disconnected from reality, then I think that this would be one of those flashes. An eery metaphor to describe my current situation, I know.. but to me that was all I could visualise when thinking back at that glitch in time.

Then I met Grace. Who was the epitomisation of her name. A poised, gentle and softly spoken trainee midwife who was my blessing of the night - she could not have been appointed to me any sooner then I had met her. As cheesy as this sounds, she was my saving grace.

grace

ɡreɪs/

noun

  1. 1.

smoothness and elegance of movement.

"she moved through the water with effortless grace"

synonyms:elegance, stylishness, poise, finesse, charm; More

  1. 2.

courteous good will.

"he had the good grace to apologize to her afterwards"

synonyms:courtesy, courteousness, politeness, manners, good manners, mannerliness, civility, decorum, decency, propriety, breeding, respect, respectfulness; More...

The account of meaning in the dictionary is her perfectly moulded description - and her presence with me was truly god sent; and for the days to follow I would pray to be in her care. She introduced herself with the utmost charm and prepared me for the CTG machine to check up on baby and his fetal heart rate along with any uterine contractions. As usual he was more then happy to stay inside for longer and his results would effortlessly come back positive drawing beautiful lines that the nurses were always so pleased with. I asked her if she had heard any word from the doctors but still nothing was known on my status.

***

An hour before midnight, drifting in and out of restless slumber I was awoken by the shuffling of papers as a female doctor in scrubs peered over her glasses at me. I remembered her face immediately. This was the very doctor that had given me the initial news when i first got admitted 3days ago, and here she was again ready to present me with some more unexpected news... Lifting up my oversized t-shirt, her cold hands pressing on my stomach in search of babies position- she looked at the CTG notes with a smile and reassured me that all was well and that I would not be getting sent down to the delivery suit tonight. To rest & get some sleep.

WHAT!?

I was put through an evening of suffering, I had my food taken away from me to endure 8 hours of fasting since noon - only to be told so many hours later on the verge of midnight that it was all in vain...