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 couldn’t drive for 6 weeks which meant arranging lifts to and from the hospital every day. When I arrived, I’d have to ask a nurse if my little boy was well enough for me to hold him. Not something you anticipate when you’re preparing to be a mother. Most days though, I was able to hold him for an hour, sometimes a little longer. But each day was different, sometimes better and sometimes harder than the day before. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so helpless.
I can’t pinpoint exactly at which moments I felt happy, sad or even angry, the weeks merged into one continuous timeline. It’s like one long memory that at times, doesn’t feel real. What I do remember though, is the overwhelming emotions I felt every time I saw my child.
Everyday I read the diary entries that the Neonatal nurses would write for him in his little book. I honestly can’t thank those nurses enough. Their diary entries made me feel like I wasn’t missing any moment of his life. Even looking at it now, the emotions are still as intense as they were 6 years ago.
I also kept a little calendar myself, ‘Your Baby’s Milestones Book’. A freebie from a Mother and Baby magazine that I’d kept hold of from month’s before my little boy arrived. My boy’s milestones were a little different to the standard stickers that came with it, but they meant more to me than anything in the world.
I sat by his incubator every day for the next 7 weeks.