Because of the strict rules due to the seriously poorly babies back in Calderdale Halifax, children were not allowed on the NICU. So although Wriggler had visited me, he had had never seen his little brother who was by now 12 days old. He had relied on photos and videos. But I still dont think it had seemed real to him.
Back home in our local hospital Bruiser was settled in his new incubator. It was time to meet his big brother Wriggler. We went to collect Wriggler from nursery together. It was overwhelming seeing him and he wasnt expecting to see me that evening because the excitement when he came running across the room to me said it all.
These moving pictures of my boys together for the first time speak for them selves. Wriggler couldn’t get close enough to him. It was so lovely to spend that night as a family together.
The 7th February was Bruiser’s last day in his incubator… when we arrived the following morning, he was in the SCBU nursery in a cot. 🙂 The hard bit was over, he’d won his fight. He just needed to get stronger now!
From this moment on, Bruiser got even stronger. He started rooting around and crying when he was hungry. At 20 days old, he successfully fed from me for the first time and within a few days was demand breastfeeding during the day while we were at the hospital. It was such an amazing thing to be able to do. Something I didn’t think would ever happen. (I had visions of being hooked up to a breast pump for the foreseeable future) But the staff were so very supportive in my wish to do this and helped every step of the way.
He then started crying for me in the night too not wanting to be cup or tube fed (I absolutely refused to let the nurses bottle-feed or give him a dummy). This was when the nurses decided it was time to let me live on the unit in a parent room so I could demand feed him day and night. This was just the best time ever. We had our own space where we could be a family away from everyone else. I even dared to believe that we would soon be home.
On the 21st February, the nurse and his Dr came to check on Bruiser and did his weight, the usual daily round. Although he hadn’t gained any (he had in fact lost some weight) she announced that I should call Hubby and ask him to fetch the baby carrier…. We could take him home!
WHAT??!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
This was totally unexpected after everything he had been through, he was only 28 days old, he was still 5 weeks short of what should have been his due date. But, he was going in the right direction and he was demand breast feeding round the clock. There wasn’t actually anything they were doing for him anymore. As scary as the prospect was, I didn’t argue. We had nothing prepared at home. We didn’t have any clothes to fit him. We didn’t even have a mattress for the Moses basket. But none of that mattered. We could take him home and I wanted nothing more than to be at home with my family.
Thank you to everyone involved in Bruiser’s care.
The Neonatal team at the Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax, you saved his life. We are forever in your debt.
The Neonatal team at Barnsley Hospital who provided Bruiser’s continued care after he was transferred.
Thank you also to…
Our families for all your love and support through what was the worst time of our lives.
My Mum and Dad for coming to us on the day Bruiser was born and being our pillars of support.
Hubby’s Brother and Sister-in-law, for looking after Wriggler in the very early days when we both needed to be at the hospital. It meant to world to us knowing that he was safe and happy, while we concentrated our efforts with Bruiser.
My Brother and sister-in-law for looking after Wriggler and helping him maintain his normal nursery routine before Me and Bruiser came back to Barnsley.
To all our friends for your messages of love and support.
Everyone that contacted me via social networking and texts to talk to me. This kept me sane during the those first 12 days when I was with Bruiser in Halifax and Hubby had gone back home for the night.
Thank you also to Bliss for all that you do to support the families and the babies in the NICU and SCBU. Without everything that you do, so many babies wouldn’t survive and I certainly wouldn’t be writing this post today