I, on the other hand had lost a lot of blood, and began to resemble a Simpson. I was literally yellow from the amount of blood lost, being stitched up and a lady kindly pulling clots out of me with her hands like Sweeney bloody Todd. I, was completely out of it, and really can't remember much at all. I recall trying to accompany the midwife to the toilet and completely passing out on the floor. I imagined that I was in a Deaf Havana music video, the reality was waking up with no pants on to 10 or so people around me.
Greg had been feeding Elijah and he had turned a dusky purple colour, but regained his pinky colour quickly. The midwife said it was likely that he took too much milk in one go. However, it happened again after Greg had gone home for the night, luckily in front of a nurse. Then again, so I buzzed the nurse. It was quick to start and then finish again. The nurse was very worried and Elijah was taken off to the NICU for assessment.
This is where I think things started going downhill and very quickly, I was moved off the main ward and into a room on my own. I was told Elijah would be admitted to NICU overnight for observation. Greg had gone to sleep so couldn't get hold of him to let him know what was happening. For all he knew Elijah was healthy and well with me. At 6am I was brought medication but everyone I asked knew nothing about what was happening to my baby. A nurse came in to take the cot for another woman and I was painfully reminded my baby wasn't with me. Greg came back up at 9am and I really wasn't strong enough but made him wheel me to see my baby.
As we began to approach to locked doors of NICU to be buzzed in we had to anti-bac our hands; I began to feel a deep sickness in the pit of my stomach. We were let in and told Elijah was in room 2. It wasn't until later we knew there were 4 rooms, 1-4, 1 being the most serious cases, 2 being high dependency and 3 and 4 for the babies that just needed a bit of extra help.
He was lying there, wires everywhere with a breathing tube and had a mask on and was being pumped air by a nurse who said he was 'being naughty and stopping breathing' as calm as you like. I was in total shock I couldn't move from the spot, looking at my precious baby who was almost unrecognisable with all the tubes and wires. The machines were loud, bright and going off everywhere. It was too much. I couldn't take it all in, I became lightheaded and nearly fainted. Greg was told to take me back to the ward.
The day passed in a blur with the consultant coming to the ward to tell us that Elijah had a serious heart defect. My whole world seem to shatter, it was not supposed to be like this was it? I was supposed to be at home with my baby and now I am being told he has Tetralogy of Fallott. They didn't know what his out look was, they would need to monitor him. I looked at Greg through the tears streaming down my face and could see like me, he was devastated. We had no control over this. The baby I grew, the baby I gave birth too, my baby.... was he going to make it?
A crude drawing and a leaflet were passed into my shaky hands by the NICU Head of Department Doctor. I read it again and again. He would need surgery. Serious, serious surgery if he didn't, he would die. It was just a matter of when. We couldn't process it. Every spare minute I would Google the condition, the operation and survivor stories. We found out a Canadian Olympian had the condition this gave us a small bit of hope.
This was pushed to the back of our minds when I was woken the next morning to another consultant at the end of my bed telling me Elijah had been having seizures and was now on anti seizure medicine to control them. We spent the day next to the side of our baby and slowly becoming used to the numerous machines, staff members and routine of room 2. I asked as many questions as I could to anyone who would answer them, I had to know what everything means so I could tell if my baby was okay. They let me sit for hours on end, and if I didn't want to talk they left me alone.
We were later pulled into a room and told Elijah had suffered a bleed on the brain and they didn't know if it was the delivery, but it was causing the seizures, however he was responding well to the meds. They didn't know if this would have an effect on his development. He may have special needs. I felt like I literally couldn't take anymore. I hadn't been eating, as I was asserting some sort of control over what I could. I pushed all my friends and family away not bearing to face what they were saying to try and comfort us.
Still ill, Greg went back to the hospital on his own, leaving me to feel like a complete failure as a mother that I was wallowing in self pity on the sofa, wondering if my son would remember me when he next saw me. Would he know I was his mother? I should have been there, I should be feeding him, I should be doing everything Greg was. In ways I resented him for it, in others, I admired him for it.
After 9 days of hell, Greg came back with a bunch of flowers for me and told me we would need the car seat tomorrow. I asked why thinking we were lending it to someone and he said Elijah had been moved down to room three and was getting discharged. I couldn't believe it, he was finally coming home.
Elijah at home was as normal as another baby of his age, he was feeding well, putting weight on and keeping us up all night! Minus the sleep deprivation of any new parent we loved it but something was hanging over us. Something we were reminded of, with any visitor, family member, friend, NICU outreach nurse, health visitor or midwife that came to see us.
He needed a operation, without this he would die.
The admission into NICU was only the start of the journey we would all have to take in the next months.