It was Christmas morning and through all the excitement I had ignored that my waters were slowly trickling. Finally, on Boxing Day, I attended the hospital where I was told I would not be leaving the hospital until my baby had been born due to PPROM (Preterm Prelabour Rupture Of Membranes) and GBS+ (Group B Streptococcus positive).
I was admitted at 8 pm and less than 24 hours following an emergency c-section Baby Bodhi was born at 12:00pm on 27th December at 36+1 gestation.
Bodhi was born blue with low saturation and needed medical intervention. Following his birth, Bodhi was displaying signs of RDS (Respiratory Distress Syndrome) and on day 2 of life, he was incubated on High flow O2 until day 6 when he was extubated.
There are no words to explain what it feels like laying in a hospital bed on a ward with newborn babies crying whilst your son had been taken to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), having to leave a theatre whilst nurses are working on your baby. It felt like a lifetime but after over 8 hours I finally managed to get in a wheelchair and head up to see my son. All I can remember is the emotions hitting me of all the machines and noises whilst my little boy lay there surrounded by tubes and monitors. No one could have ever prepared me for that moment. Due to Bodhi being incubated all I could do was hold his tiny hand with my finger, and although he was tiny I just knew he had an enormous fight in him to get better.
Bodhi was screened and treated for Sepsis during his stay alongside phototherapy for Jaundice. I count us very lucky and even the doctors caring for Bodhi were shocked that our admission was only 13 days long. Our stay was 5 days in ICU (Intensive Care Unit), 4 days in High Dependency where I was finally able to hold him and hear his cry and then the final journey of 4 days in Special Care.
Throughout our stay, Bodhi received care from multiple medical items that had been donated thanks to Ickle Pickles. These items included the Incubator, Vapotherm machine, Kangaroo Chairs and Privacy Screen.
I also had the pleasure of being able to hire a breast pump that had been donated to express at home; it gave me a sense of purpose like I was able to be Bodhis mum, to be able to provide for my son whilst he was being cared for by the nurses. Every morning I had such pride bringing my milk in and the nurses being proud of how much I was expressing - this really boosted my mental health.
You always see and read things and think “that could never happen to me”, but it did to us and although I missed a lot of his ‘firsts’ I am so thankful that I get to see my little boy grow up - thanks to the Lewisham NICU team. Without the amazing support and dedication alongside donations from ICKLE PICKLES our little boy may not have made it and I thank my lucky stars each and every day.