So I’m sat here, the lights are off and my baby is in the cot. But I’m not at home in my nice comfy bed. I’m on a plastic hospital chair. My baby is sick and I’m watching an antibiotic infusion drain into her tiny arm. Just 5 tiny millilitres of medication over an hour to help her fight off what ever infection has taken her body.
And here we wait.
She’s just 3 weeks old, just 21 whole days and here we are already fighting off the dangers of the outside world. A cannula pierces her tiny hand and tiny blood bottles are sent containing just a few drops of her precious blood. “We need to know what’s wrong” the consultant says. “We think it could be sepsis, and we need to be mindful of things such as meningitis”. How did we get here? My husband and I just stare into space about how it came to this.
A week earlier she got sniffly, a bit congested. Really common in newborns especially when they’re feeding. Fast forward 7 days and she is very snotty; very mucousy and is struggling to breathe in with all the gunk in her nose. The nasal aspirator is working a treat, the saline drops are out in force and all 3 of us power on in the anticipation of her first cold. We don’t need to bother the GP with a simple virus.
Then 2 more days pass. She hasn’t woken up for her feed this morning. It’s been quite some time so I get her up and change her nappy. She begins to stir so I feed her, which she clearly enjoys. It’s not like her so I relent and call the doctor. They bring her in and decide she looks like she is struggling with her breaths. She must be checked at the hospital by a paediatrician, so we bumble over to the children’s ward.
And now here we are watching her have her drip. They can’t be sure it’s just a cold in such a tiny baby so precautions are taken. Such a tiny baby, just 7lb 5oz of human being having to go through all this pain and suffering.
And here we wait for the results of the blood cultures to see if we stay or go… 48 hours of the same 4 walls and watching our baby until our next step is confirmed.
Here I sit in the dark watching my baby in the cot. Another dose of antibiotics going into her vein.
And here we wait.
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