2 days after Skittle was born I thought my head, or my heart, might explode with the intensity of feelings I had inside. So I asked my dear mum to buy me a selection of things you'd want in hospital as well as...a notebook and pen. And then my incredible friend Becci bought me one too, she's so thoughtful.
I thought at least if I could write those feelings down I could maybe stop going over things again and again in my head. I didn't date the pages or use paragraphs, which I think speaks for itself of the state I was in. Only on the 27th February did I start writing the date. My handwriting is entirely inconsistent as I drifted in and out of lucidity in-between presses on the morphine drip. At times I fell asleep with the pen still pressed against the paper and there are little splats on the page. Incomprehensible squiggles. Like dead spiders. Reading the pages of words makes me well up each time I re-read them.
But I'm glad I've got these dead spiders. So much of those early days, especially the 4/5th of February are lost in my memory, it's actually quite reassuring to know I was thinking something and that it might help me to remember something important.
The first entry goes like this...
"My sweet darling boy, what on earth can I say, where do I begin, what words could even begin to describe how I feel? I'm laying down the corridor from you, painfully close and agonisingly far. There's a mum and her baby in the cubicle next to me and hearing them cry is agony. I'd do anything to have you with me right now, to hold you, stroke you, touch you, anything to reassure that I'm close and I love you. I'm longing to have your skin on my skin and to feel the tiny little warmth of your breath on me and to hear your gorgeous snuffly, shuffly sounds. I want to stroke your hair, right now you still have baby fluff which is gorgeous but you probably won't have that by the time you're home. I don't know how long you're going to be here for, they'll definitely send me home before you which really doesn't seem fair. All I want is for you to be well and for me and daddy to bring you home. I love you my little darling, I would love to still be feeling you kick my ribs and wobble about inside me. I'm so sorry you're out 10 weeks earlier than you should be. For every single one of them I'm thankful that you're you, created in God's image. I love you baby."
I don't remember writing a word of that. I can't even remember where I was. Which ward I was in. It must have been Labour Ward. Why I was in there when I never went into Labour I don't know.
Horrid place to be put if you ask me, dreadful staff forcing me to get up and move when I was in agony, taking away pain relief when all I wanted was to be in a small enough amount of pain to sit at the side of the incubator. It's not like I wanted to be taking pain relief and lying down all day. I wanted to be anywhere but in there without my baby. The pain specialist came. Gosh I was so cross with that horrible little man. I wish I knew his name, I'd write such a nasty letter. I'm still so angry. Why couldn't he just let me have the pain relief?
As with all operations, the pain does go, usually initially really quickly too, and lo and behold 2 days later, after they'd forced me to walk to the loo a mile away and taken away the pain relief, the pain did get far more manageable why couldn't he have let me have pain relief up until that point and then I could have seen Skittle for longer in those early days rather than being in so much pain I thought I would pass out on the chair.
Why did I feel like none of them understood? Just some sensitivity would have been appreciated. They didn't have to be understanding just kind. Those nurses clearly thought I was scum and should have been walking to NICU myself. Not a proper woman who had been in Labour and had a right to be on the ward. Dreaded looking at their faces when I asked for a chair to be taken down to see Skittle. Dreaded them asking whether or not I'd "mobilised". Dreaded hearing what they'd say when I shamefully asked for more pain relief, or indeed whether or not I was due any more pain relief if it wasn't too much bother.
Frances was nice, so was Zeta. The rest of them, not so much.