Happy New Year!
I hope that you have all had a wonderful Christmas, or at least one blessed with peace if the other was sadly not possible for you.
I hope also that a week in, 2016 is proving to be a positive one for you so far.
So far it is one where I've needed to employ a lot of patience- a virtue I have to confess I am not well acquainted with.
My newest little bundle I had expected to introduce you to by now, is still yet to make an appearance but I am however in hospital after being a little under the weather with what has turned out to be a bacterial infection in the left side of my head.
Antibiotics have commenced and I am already feelings a lot more human.
I'm very comfortable and incredibly fortunate to be in a fantastic hospital being looked after by truly amazing people and I am even lucky enough to be in a side room by myself, hopefully I'll be all fixed in no time and back here having this baby, unless he/she decides to make an appearance before I get discharged- due date is tomorrow after all!
The hardest thing I'm finding about this hospital stay is being apart from my little whirlwind.
The hardest time came this morning when I called to hear her little voice chat to me about Peppa Pig and she went all funny and didn't want to talk.
Thankfully, due to the wonders of technology this all improved when she could see me through FaceTime.
Suddenly I was being shown a delightfully adorned outfit consisting of just a Muslin cloth that I had washed and prepared for the new baby's arrival, teamed with a fetching princess headdress and not a lot else!
'Yay' for technology bringing me closer to my baby!
'Yay' for technology in so many respects- it has kept me in touch with my mad bunch of friends who have kept me entertained with banter about my fully expanded belly and technology has detected my problem through the wonders of an MRI machine and has helped in so many aspects of my treatment so far, in not just this illness, but all of the many episodes that have preceded this one.
But what I am even more thankful for is the people administering this technology, be it the friends behind the messages or the people hooking up the machines and monitors to me.
... I was interrupted in writing this post by an unexpected visit from my consultant who decided that I would feel a lot better with this baby out and so decided to break my waters.
What followed was 36 hrs of the most intense experience and emotions I've ever felt.
It started with an amazing first 9 hours of labour with the most wonderful midwife.
I employed my hypnobirthing and Daisy Birthing techniques I had studied, before the baby finally pushed right on my metal cage around my spine and my damaged nerves and I needed a little more assistance for my neurological pain.
Without going into detail, the last few minutes of my baby's delivery were a little dramatic and he was immediately whisked away to the neonatal intense care unit after being deprived of oxygen- cue the loneliest and most bizarre feeling I have ever felt following the most intense euphoria and relief at his arrival.
What followed was a mixture of desperation, loneliness and confusion, as I was left in a delivery room (which resembled a scene from a war film) alone and in shock that my baby was here but not with me.
Garry had been told to follow the Drs down to see where our son was going for his EEGs and treatment and I was left feeling so odd and probably a little in shock.
After what seemed like an age I finally got to hold my baby again in NICU, albeit with him hooked up to a million wires and this is where I was for the best part of a day, having not eaten or slept in over 24hrs and feeling for want of a better adjective- strange.
At 5.30 the next morning I received the most amazing delivery, my little boy was wheeled into my room and returned to my husband and I for the remainder of his treatment and hospital stay.
Over the next few days we finally got to hold and bond with our precious bundle before bringing him home a couple of nights ago.
We are now home and enjoying our incredibly blessed life as a family of five- although in all honestly, I'm not sure poor Barley dog is completely thrilled by the further expansion of our brood!
Florrie is the opposite though and is head over heals in love with her baby brother.
Having now had six days for the dust to settle since his arrival, we are now able to believe he is here and he is ours.
We have had incredible care during my week long hospital stay with amazing individuals looking after us all.
We are so very lucky to have our NHS and we should treasure it.
My most wonderful midwife (who sadly had to clock off before my son's arrival) told me she would look up my blog when she got home-
So Ellie, this is for you...
You bonded with my husband and I over everything from my birthing playlist music, to my husband's inappropriate Family Guy quotes and this built up such an important report of trust and confidence in you.
We had the most intense relationship for those eventful 9hrs and you changed my experience of childbirth from one of fear and anticipation to an incredibly positive one. I would even go as far as to say as I enjoyed it and that is all thanks to you.
You are not paid enough, you are not valued enough and after you clock off and new parents go home naturally completely absorbed in their new precious bundles, you are no doubt rarely thanked enough, but please know that you are so very precious to and appreciated by our family.
You and your colleagues were the human element of our journey to having our baby boy and that journey started so very long ago.
It is ten years ago this year that I had my car accident that damaged my spine and changed the course of mine and my husband's lives. Since then-
Health care assistants
Maternal medicine consultants
Maternity care assistants
Chronic pain psychologists
My friends and countless others, have all got me to this point today where my life feels complete.
Ellie, you and your colleagues were the last in this long list of individuals who helped change my life, but you were certainly one of the most special Ellie because you were so caring and compassionate and simply bloody wonderful!
I thank you and I thank all of the above for enabling me to take this wonderful photograph today- my two babies, my world.
We all have light and dark in our lives and sometimes when the dark gets a grip of us, it's hard to open the curtains to let the light shine through, then something happens to turn that around.
My little lights are shining brightly today,
I am so incredibly blessed.