So a couple of weeks ago when Denise the NICU lady came for her normal fortnightly visit, we were talking about a couple of things that I have been feeling and things that Jack has been doing and she asked if I would want to be referred to the Clinical Psychologist to talk things through. I decided that, finally, yes I think I should go over everything and start to sort through it and try to move past it. This would include the run up to Jack’s birth, his NICU stay and the issues we’ve both had since his discharge.
I had to start right at the beginning so I talked about getting pregnant and the run up to that, how even though I had longed for and waited and cried over this and hid people on Facebook coz I felt like we were so far away from even trying. I talked about how we were surprised when I found out I was pregnant but that my bond with the baby was instant and that I always had a gut feeling he was a boy. I talked about how my pregnancy was completely textbook and that Andrew got really excited at the 12 week scan.
Talking about the day it all changed was tough. Especially talking about how the Nurses and Doctors in HDU had completely different priorities to me and how cruelly blunt they were – “not to be harsh but you can have another baby, there will never be another you” – that still makes me angry because Jack is my child and he comes before me. I cried when I talked about that. The psychologist was shocked that they had said something like that to me when I was already having a panic attack about him coming so early.
It was easier to talk about his actual birth and his NICU stay. I told her that his breathing has always been issue number one and that he’s still on oxygen at night in 0.1 litres. That’s when we centred in on my dependance on the sats/heart monitor. I don’t need it when we’re both awake as I can just see he’s alive and well. I don’t need it during his naps in the day because I can see his chest rise and fall and it brings be peace. I do need it at night because I am so afraid of cot death. It seems silly to be so afraid of it especially when she asked if I’d known anybody who’d had a connection to cot death to which I have not. But I have a fear that he’ll just slip away when I’m not looking like you read in Chat and That’s Life. I told her that I can sleep easier knowing that the monitor will beep if his heart rate goes below a certain BPM or if he starts struggling to maintain his sats.
I told her about Jack’s feeding issues since he’s come home and that I still have severe anxiety leading up to a weigh in because I vomits daily. She noticed that I was constantly on vomit alert throughout that appointment because Jack has developed a habit on sticking his fingers so far into his mouth that he gags. I really hate when he vomits when we’re out. It happened yesterday during baby yoga and I was mortified! She saw him do his crying and stiffening thing that he does at the start of every feed and thought that he could be picking up on my anxieties about his feeds. I feel terrible that that one thing I was always afraid of passing onto my child has started to happen. Food aversion. I am crushed. I feel guilty. I feel like a terrible Mum.
She says that she definitely wants to see me again to go over my anxieties. I told her that there’s a whole other issue I need to talk about next time (our time was up) which is my dis-connection with my own body and that I cannot feel at ease in a body that betrayed me and my baby in the most terrible way. She said she wants to see us again in a fortnight as she thought she had some tips and advice that could turn things around for me which will then have a positive effect on Jack and his feeding.
I know I shouldn’t worry too much about his feeding as he has plenty of wet/dirty nappies and is almost hitting his daily intake plus a bowl of food but it’s easier said than done.
I honestly could have carried on talking for several more hours and am now really eager for our next appointment. Jack will have been weighed that day too so I’ll have that to talk about.
Obviously all of the above I’ve covered in my previous blog posts but this one is more for me and my own record of progress. I want to ready this back when Jack is older and marvel at how far we have both come. I may even think my ramblings are a bit stupid and that I was over-reacting.
I popped into the NICU after the appointment and said hello to Jack’s old nurses. I even saw Fiona who was Jack’s nurse that night he was born and the following night when I first went to see him. She said he looks like a different baby he’s so big! He really put on the smiles for everyone too!
On the way out I saw Denise the NICU lady in her office and popped in to see her and we arranged an appointment for two weeks time to discuss another possible sleep study and said “maybe we can get him off his oxygen full time” OMG! I’m not going to build my hopes up but this is massive! We have had a bottle of champagne in the fridge ready for that moment since he was born!
Anyway. I’ll try and forget about that for a couple of weeks yet. For the time being I’m concentrating on getting him to hold his head up on his own and want to add more solids into his routine. Starting tomorrow we’re trying two bowls of food a day instead of one!