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    Neonatal Journey

    Part 9 – Coming Home

    After spending 10 weeks in the Royal Bolton Neonatal Unit, we were told that my son would finally be able to come home. There aren’t enough words to describe the overwhelming feelings that are experienced when you hear this as a parent. It’s a mixture of shock, pure joy, anxiety and unbelievable relief. Following this burst of emotion, my mind went into over-drive. We had everything prepared for his arrival but was it perfect? Was it safe? Could we do this? Bruce had lived for 10 weeks surrounded by a huge team of doctors and nurses. Every time his monitors had beeped, they were there. Now that responsibility lay with…

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    Neonatal Journey

    Part 8 – Hospital Stay Over

    After spending so much time in the neonatal unit, I felt that I knew some of the staff like they were members of my family. Every single individual had so much passion for what they did. I learnt that quite a few started in their roles after experiencing the same thing I was. Some had spent weeks in the neonatal unit as a parent. Some had supported friends or family going through their neonatal journey. Some had lost a child. Though I knew that Bruce was in such safe hands, it didn’t stop me missing him. Every minute spent away from the hospital carried some pain and the guilt that…

  • Neonatal Journey

    Part 7 – Hospital Tests and Getting Dressed

    On 28th September 2012, after nearly 7 weeks in an incubator, Bruce was moved to a hospital cot. When your a parent of a NICU baby, this is definitely one of the biggest milestones. My first thought….”we’re almost home.” I knew we still had a way to go but in my eyes, this definitely took us over the half way mark. He looked so peaceful. More than that, I felt closer to him than ever. There was no incubator surrounding him, no plastic wall between us. He was right there, and I could pick him up without asking a nurse for help. That may seem like a strange thing to…

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    Neonatal Journey

    Part 6 – The Merging Weeks in Neonatal

    On 21st August 2012, I was discharged from hospital. Still heavily medicated, with daily hospital check ups needed, but I was getting there. This should have been a happy time, I was in my own home, away from noisy wards and the 6 hourly blood tests (3am was one of my regular slots). That wasn’t the case though. Going home meant that I was no longer in the same building as my little boy. The distance felt painful. The first few days were a blur. To get through, I set myself the same routine everyday, mainly to try and stop myself from feeling lost. Things were still difficult though. I…

  • Neonatal Journey

    Part 5 – Week 1 in Neonatal

    Wow! I haven’t written in so long. When I started this blog, my aim was to share with the world the journey that me and my tiny toed boy went through in the Neonatal unit. What I never expected was how close it would bring me to those emotions that I experienced 6 years ago. On 21st August 2012, my little boy had been in the Neonatal Unit for a total of 8 days. Over that first week I’d learnt how bright purple lights in an incubator actually treat jaundice, that a CPAP machine supports to expand those tiny little air sacs in our lungs and that most babies (no…

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    Neonatal Journey

    Part 4 – My First Touch

    At 9.12pm on Monday 13th August 2012, I became a mum. There’s no feeling quite like it. All I wanted to do was hold my boy; to comfort him and tell him how much I loved him. I couldn’t. I lay awake all night thinking about him. After surgery I’d been taken straight to the High Dependency Unit, whilst Bruce was taken to the Neonatal Unit. He was placed on a ventilator within minutes of being born and now lay in a special incubator. Each hour that I lay awake felt like a whole day. I couldn’t sleep, and didn’t sleep, all night. I couldn’t shake the thought of my…

  • Neonatal Journey

    Part 3 – The Birth

    The hospital room was huge! It even had its own private bathroom. The nurse behind me closed the door and the midwife passed me a hospital robe. As I looked at it puzzled, she asked me if I could change into it. I did. I felt like they had the wrong patient. I didn’t need to be here. What was going on? I asked if I could ring Amy. Amy’s my best friend and has been since we were 13 years old. She was and still is, like a sister to me. I’d been exchanging messages with her since I’d arrived at the hospital and needed someone to help me…

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    Neonatal Journey

    Part 2 – The Day Everything Changed

    I arrived at the Royal Bolton Hospital around 11am. I’d driven myself there, as all round, I felt pretty much ok. Something was niggling at the back of my mind though. So after parking up, I took a video of where my car was. In my mind, this was just in case I needed to stay overnight and my John (my husband), needed to take my car home. I made my way straight to the maternity unit for my ‘further tests’. I sat in a small waiting room with 4 other ladies. First, was the pee test. Now normally this would be a breeze for any lady at the end…

  • Neonatal Journey

    Part 1 – The Bump

    I found out I was pregnant on 2nd March 2012. I did 2 tests just to double check, as I was convinced the first one had to be wrong. But no, there it was, the blue line appeared! Whoo! I was over the moon. It was all planned and we had even moved into a larger house just 2 weeks before, so the timing couldn’t be more perfect. The first trimester went pretty smoothly. I had a bit of nausea but nothing major. No extreme sickness, crazy food cravings or any other complications (very lucky!) The second semester was a little different. I wasn’t exactly the ‘glowing’ pregnant woman. I…