This time nine months ago, to the day and date - Martha Grace was a few hours old. Other than a quick cuddle for a photo I hadn't seen her yet. Someone asked me last week if her birth had been dramatic and/or upsetting - but the truth is it wasn't. Of allthree of my labours, Martha's was the best; things progressed quickly and other than a paediatrician stood by her cot - Mark, my Mam and the midwives did a great job of making sure she arrived safely. Of course it wasn't nice waving her off to NICU straight away, but we knew it was going to happen - we'd already made our peace with it in the weeks leading up to the birth. Another hugely important factor was that she needed the IV of Prostin to be started up ASAP so she had to be taken away...she wouldn't survive otherwise.
No it wasn't nice spending that night sleeping in an Antenatal unit in the same bay as other women clearly in the early stages of labour, who no doubt would have their babies in a cot next to their bed the following night in the post natal ward.
The next morning I woke up, pulled on my jeans and a t-shirt, walked out of the ward in to a lift and made my way to NICU. My baby in an incubator and the only way I could touch her was to put my hands through two holes in the sides. I was promptly told that 8am/8pm was handover time and I wasn't permitted at my baby's cot. I cried, she was my baby who I'd only just given birth to less than 12hours ago and who the f**k was that nurse to tell me when I could/couldn't visit her.
This week I've been remembering a lot of what happened during Martha's first week. I've been remembering what I felt emotionally and physically. The physical pain I was in from just giving birth - but not the pleasure of a happy and healthy newborn to make it all worthwhile.
I can feel myself starting to cry again so I'm going to have to stop. But those of who that read Monday's post will know why I've felt so awful this week. Life is so unfair.
This time 9 months ago I never would have let myself dream that by the time Martha was 9 months old I'd be updating you all on the Health Visitor's appointment from earlier that day. But we are the lucky ones.
Last week Martha Grace had gained a massive 299g - which is unheard of for her. I didn't want her to have gained a massive amount again today because I'd only start worrying that she was carrying a lot of fluid on board. I pop Martha on the scales and I can't bring myself to look at the tiny scream - I don't want to jinx it. Last week she weighed 6.03Kg...today she weighed 6.13Kg
That's a weight gain of 100g (4oz)
We also had a little chat about Martha's development, but we both agreed that until Martha has had her first Birthday then I don't want to worry myself with them. All babies are different, I wouldn't want to worry that her Heart Defect has affected her when there's a chance that she'd be a lazy baby like her big sister regardless (Isabella was 17months before she started walking) The Health Visitor was happy that Martha can pass her dummy from one hand to another, it's not something I've even looked for in her before but since she did it during the appointment I've noticed her doing it a lot more.
There are so many notes and she's been weighed so many times now that we've had to have extra sheets of paper put in to Martha Grace's Red Book.
I wish there was more I could say, I wish I felt cheerier and could write about some of the things that Martha does that makes me laugh, like the fact she loves the sound of her own voice - she loves shouting, and if I make the same noise as her she has to shout louder than me. But the truth is I don't feel happy. I know that somewhere not so far away from me, someone is living through my worst nightmare. A few miles down the road there is a Mammi who is still recovering from the birth of her baby only 1 week ago...but her precious Baby is no longer here.
The crazy thing is that I've never met her, but I keep wanting to cry every time I think about her (which has been a lot this week)
Life is cruel.