Thursday, 9 January 2014

I Got Friend's On the Other Side.... - Andy's Story

Today I have something really special for you.  And I mean really special.

Andy's version of events.

I asked him to write something as a few people had said, "Gosh, poor Andy to witness all of that!" And you'd be right.  I read this last night and was just speechless.  Despite being there and going through it, I never really realised just how bloody bad it got actually.

Turns out, Andy's quite good at writing (well I think so anyway) so hopefully you'll find this entertaining in places despite being also quite traumatic to read in others.  He takes us beyond where I left off, for me, majority of the ordeal was over once I was knocked out in theatre, for him, that's where it really started...

Please leave him lots of love, comments, messages on Facebook and Twitter etc. as it's taken guts for him to write this down for me to share with you.  It's quite a long one, but please stick with it....

Over to Andy...

So, three weeks after the successful birth of our baby son, Woody, Amy has asked me to write down the experience through my eyes before my male habit of shoving traumatic experiences into a mind locker and throwing away the key commits the details of the event to some dusty corner of my brain!
I call it successful because here we are three weeks and two days on, and I am back in the office and Amy is at home looking after our little perfectly healthy Woody on her own.

For the 4 days immediately subsequent to his birth it really didn't feel successful at all, and indeed for the 48 hours after it seemed absolutely catastrophic, in the medical sense of the word rather than the dramatic.
This is basically the story of how four nearly became two, how I witnessed Amy tug on some hardcore inner strength to pull herself through a terrifying trauma, how I saw our son being brought back from the dead, and how I spent a significantly longer amount of time than I would have liked pacing the hospital thinking of the specific way in which I would have to tell Scarlett that Mummy wasn't ever coming home.

In other words, this is the story of Tuesday 17th December 2013.

So, I don’t know who will be reading this, that’s up to Amy, but I am assuming that whoever does read it will have read Amy’s words so there’s no great need to go into the detail as to how we ended up where we were on the morning of the 17th, that being in Delivery Room 5 at St Helier hospital waiting for Amy’s waters to be broken.

It started off better than the previous day, whereby we waited 12 hours for the same procedure to be undertaken, but only just. The labour ward consultant told us that Amy had made his day because she wanted a VBAC, as the vast majority of women who are having their first baby ask for a C Section, never mind those who are pregnant for a second time after a previous C Section. So that certainly buoyed me, and reasserted that at the end of the day this was something that Amy really wanted, and it was the right decision.

However, after waiting probably around 3 hours for our midwife to get to work, we were told that she had been reassigned and we therefore were given a new midwife. (This new midwife turned out to be fairly wet behind the ears, and leads to Question Number 1 on our list to ask the consultants during our debrief – was the midwife experienced enough to deal with the extremely delicate operation of inducing a VBAC?)

Anyway, Amy’s waters were broken as planned, and so the wheels were certainly in motion – ‘there was no turning back now’, as the senior midwife helpfully reminded us in a strangely apprehensive way (she did know that baby’s usually have to leave the mother’s tummy at the end of the pregnancy in any event, right?).
Anyway, after a good long walk around the sights of the St Helier estate and Rose Hill Co-op, and numerous laps of the lifts/stairs, there was little movement. So the Syntocinon was started, again as planned, around 5pm.

Almost as soon as it had, so did the contractions. I just rubbed Amy’s feet whilst we listened to Air (We hastily skipped the Goldie Looking Chain when ‘Your Mother’s Got a Penis’ started chiming out during one examination....).  I felt excited that the show was really on the road now, and pretty soon Amy was going to give birth and it was all going to be sweetness and light – a genuine sense of excitement crept over me.

Amy seemed to be dealing with the contractions really well over the next few hours. They were very regular, and despite the midwife telling her at every opportunity that she has never encountered a Syntocinon induced delivery where the mother did not require an epidural, Amy stuck at it.

After a few hours of the midwife continuing to ramp up the Syntocinon every 30 minutes despite Amy’s contractions being very regular indeed (Question Number 2), the contractions were now thick and fast, every 2 minutes, possibly 1 and a half. They were just relentless and intense due to the synthetic hormones racing round Amy’s body and she started to struggle a little.

To qualify this slightly, I've always maintained that Amy has a fairly low pain threshold, something I have ribbed her about previously. I now think, however, that her pain threshold is a moveable feast which she can control depending on how bothered she can be with dealing with the pain. On this occasion, based upon the intense contractions and the pain that I can only imagine Amy must have endured over the following few hours, I now know that she can take pain like a boss, no doubt about it.

Amy felt she needed an epidural, and so this was arranged. Amy was hooked up to monitors to ensure baby’s heartbeat was going along nicely and he was not getting distressed. Every time Amy had a contraction the heart rate would dip, but would then recover immediately (later the midwives and consultant would term these ‘typical decelerations’ and nothing untoward). I hated listening to the heart rate, as I had done at every appointment in the weeks leading up to the day, as I become obsessed and frantic at every change, higher or lower, and just sit there, ears pricked, teeth clenched, palms sweaty in a total stress. And this was no different, I was intently listening to the regular ‘bubuum bubuum’ at 140 bpm for hours, and then glaring at the screen when it slowed during a contraction and waited anxiously for it to return to 140.

Anyway, the midwife, it turned out, was even more obsessed than I was, as whilst Amy was getting into a very awkward position for the epidural to be put in by the anaesthetist, which naturally disturbed the monitor on Amy’s tummy, the midwife was going mad in a panic telling everyone she cannot hear the baby and basically telling the anaesthetist to hurry up.

Now this is a process whereby a long needle is carefully inserted between two vertebrae into the spinal column to a very specific depth to allow the drugs to numb the waist down, whilst not causing any damage to the spinal column itself which could cause nerve damage or indeed paralysis! All whilst Amy is moving about every couple of minutes with the contractions. The last thing the anaesthetist needed was the midwife flapping, but flapping she was, stressing everyone out! This, I felt, was really where I became aware that she was indeed inexperienced, and that the inexperience was now telling and having an effect on the situation. I was holding Amy tightly to keep her back in a stable position, and trying to calm this midwife down by telling her it is obvious that the monitor pads have moved, whilst looking at the beads of sweat collecting on the poor anaesthetist’s brow. Pandemonium,  and nothing had even gone wrong – yet!

Anyway, Epi line in, or so we thought, and panic over. Drugs started to calm Amy down a bit and taking the edge off the contractions, so that was good. I read the drugs packet and was ‘low dose epidural’, so I knew that there was more available if Amy needed it – which she did unfortunately.

Anyway, 8pm rolled around and it was handover time, goodbye to the panicked midwife, hello to the OCD one who spent the first 10 minutes tidying up the clutter which by now was taking up floor space and trolley space (with hindsight, this was a very smart move and showed professionalism down to the last detail, as the area was perfectly clear for the incoming crew and equipment when the elephant shit unexpectedly splattered all over the fuck off wind turbine a bit later).

The doctors were on their rounds around 9pm, and the leading consultant was thankfully one whom we have met a couple of times before and was familiar with Amy and our story to date. She knew what was happening and she checked everything out. Amy was progressing nicely at this stage, dilating well to 5cm, (I think!), and so it was agreed that they would come back in two hours and see where things stood. If Amy got to where they wanted her to be then the labour would continue, if not, they would take Amy for a C Section – as planned.

New midwife and a sense of calm restored. She knew what she was doing, and just got on with it. Amy still in pain and asking for top up of epidural regularly, and so the anaesthetist became a familiar face, and our new midwife was asked to keep topping up the Epi line every half hour to keep the pains at bay. But it didn't  and despite large doses of a more concentrated solution, the Epidural seemed ineffective (little did we know that the line wasn't in correctly, or had pulled out slightly, as during the birth I noticed that the bed was soaked behind Amy’s back, suggesting all or most of the Epidural solution had leaked straight out! Whether this was the result of the panic during the insertion of the Epi line, who knows (Question 3).

So at this point I sensed a slight change in the mood from one of control to one with variables. What if the pain gets too much and can’t be sorted, and what does this mean that the pain is still unbearable despite large doses of the Epidural.

Things progressed and at around 11pm Amy had dilated 8cm. Consultants were happy-ish, slightly less so that before, and spent a long time looking at the printout from the monitors – lots of discussions regarding the ‘typical decelerations’ and whether they were indeed typical, and it was becoming harder and harder to pick up the baby’s heartbeat with him moving around and getting lower and lower in Amy’s body. Someone had to physically hold the monitor (looks like a small round drinks coaster) in place on Amy’s stomach. Hands sufficiently numb from doing so on the part of myself and the midwife, the consultants decided the best thing to do to ensure that baby can be monitored was to place a clip on baby’s head. Amy winced at the idea, worried it would hurt baby’s head, but it was considered essential to ensure his health, and so this was agreed to.

The consultant had with her a doctor (who I am guessing was of some experience, despite being young, and was training to become a consultant herself). The doctor, (Dr Melanie), needed a couple of bites of the cherry to get the contraption to work and the process was explained a number of times by the consultant, which sounded like she was instructing her to put together an Ikea bookcase. She got there in the end, and the low grumbly ‘bubuum bubuum’ of the ultrasound monitor was replaced with the more familiar ‘beep beep’ of an electronic heart monitor. Crazy stuff really to think they can monitor the heart beat in this way from inside the womb, but this was really the lifesaving decision, without any shadow of a doubt, and it cannot be understated.

So, consultant/Dr Melanie decided to leave it another two hours, and would return whereby they expected Amy to be fully dilated and ready to rock n roll! If she wasn't, then again they would proceed to a C Section.

After they left the lights were turned low again and some peace returned, although the anaesthetist was called a couple more times to add to the epidural. At some point the senior midwife visited to check on things, and Amy asked about pains she was having, not just the contractions but a distinct pain on the top side of her uterus which were worrying her. We were all too aware that THE risk of a VBAC delivery is a ruptured uterus, and this was the reason for all the monitors and the strict timeframes during labour, so that the uterus isn't put through so much stress (which is also the reason why VBAC candidates aren't regularly induced, as an induction always puts extra stress on the uterus over and above a natural spontaneous labour – why did they use Syntocinon in the first place then? Question Number 4 – but perhaps the most pertinent).

The midwife dismissed it somewhat and they assured us that they could tell from the baby’s heart rate if there was anything untoward happening, as this would be the first sign before any pain. She even introduced a little acronym, FEAR, False Evidence Appearing Real. So with that we were confident that things were still going well. So the four of us, Amy, myself, baby and the midwife carried on as before. I rubbed Amy’s feet, Amy breathed through the ongoing contractions and the midwife went about her business.

Then around half an hour later, things stopped going well, and they did so pretty quickly. Suddenly baby’s heart rate dropped from the usual 140 down to around 30, and it didn’t recover. At this point the midwife sprang into action and asked Amy to move onto her side, so I helped her, but nothing changed. It was all so sudden that it didn’t really register, despite my phobia/obsession of those monitors. Nothing changed and baby’s heart rate remained rock bottom.

Battle stations.

The button was pushed and literally within seconds of the alarm sounding the once calm and relative empty room was filled with doctors, nurses and midwives. I have no idea whereabouts they all were in the hospital at that point, but it seemed to me like they must have all just coincidentally been standing outside the door at the very moment the button was pushed, as the room suddenly filled with blue as if the building was under the ocean and opening the door had let in a torrent of water.

There were Paediatric doctors, about 8-10 midwives and nurses, the anaesthetist and Dr Melanie who we knew from earlier. The head midwife pulled out the ‘stirrups’ from beneath the bed – I’d seen these black things at the bottom of the bed but had no idea what they were, now I knew. Amy was examined and was fully dilated, so the order came to push. Baby was getting worse and the urgency was growing. I held on to Amy’s hand and just waited for her to give me a sign of a contraction, at which point I just remember shouting at her to push with everything she had to get this baby out.

Suddenly there was the loudest crash in the background and the instrument trolley full with essential equipment somehow collapsed and spewed its precious contents all over the floor and out into the corridor. It was in the background and insignificant to what has happening to me and Amy inside our bubble, so my mind focused back onto Amy.

It occurred to me suddenly that she was giving birth, right here, right now, and it was happening so fast. Baby wasn’t really moving down and so Dr Melanie asked for the forceps. ‘We don’t have them’ came the reply. A rather stunned Dr Melanie loudly repeated her request, ‘Well I need them immediately’, and sounded more Scottish than ever (she looked pensive/concerned during all of her routine visits to our room that night that I got the impression she was a pretty stern and determined person who basically didn’t take shit, full stop). A few midwives flapped around near the door and repeated that they didn’t have them or couldn’t find them. Dr Melanie now just held out her hand and merely said ‘Forceps, now!’, and I genuinely would not like to have been the person to have told her they were still missing at that point. She was so calm but so forceful at the same time. All of this happened between contractions, and thankfully, finally the forceps were provided to her.

These were not as I expected, they came in two halves and she carefully inserted one side, announcing the same, and then the opposite side, again announcing that she had done so. She then fed one through the other and they clipped together. I just remember how clean shiny and well engineered they were and how they glided together so easily, they worked perfectly.

I can’t remember if this happened before or after, but Dr Melanie then produced a pair of surgical scissors and began cutting at Amy, calm, calculated, brutal. I've never seen flesh cut like that, and it was crazy. I knew what she was doing having read numerous books Amy had told me to read, but that didn't console me. The amazing thing was, Amy didn't even flinch, I genuinely couldn't believe it. I just squeezed her hand  and wished I could do something more.

So, Amy was having another contraction and with that I held her hand even tighter and told her to fucking well push! And I watched Dr Melanie as this smallish young lady looked as though she was trying to pull an oak tree down with her bare hands as she pulled the baby out. It shocked me how forceful she was, literally all her strength, grimacing and shaking with the strain! And out popped baby.

He was immediately placed on Amy’s chest for a second, before it was clear he was not well. He was passed to the paediatric doctors who had been standing beside the resuscitaire, one each side, patiently waiting for baby to be passed to them, at which point they sprang into action like a clockwork machine. The clock on the resuscitaire, a green LED clock, was started and the counting began out loud ’15 seconds, no breath’, ’30 seconds no breath, increase oxygen’, ’45 seconds, no breath, suction, ventilation’…. They knew what they were doing, however our baby was at that point not breathing, and his heart rate was still on the ground as it was just prior to delivery.

At this point, less than a minute after he was pulled out, it was clear in my mind that there was nothing I could do for my son. My attention had to be with Amy. It was clear that she was haemorrhaging very badly, and was visibly traumatised. The shaking began immediately, and I was sure that Amy was going to have a panic attack or a bloody heart attack due to the stress, so I did the only thing I could and that was lie to her. I told her that the baby was going to be fine, that he was ok and that she just needed to remain as calm as she could and to breath. She needed to breathe through it and try to slow her racing heart.

By now, with baby not breathing after 3 or 4 minutes, I had subconsciously had to make a strange and horrible assumption. I assumed that our baby wasn't going to make it. How could he?! He wasn't breathing by himself and they kept telling me that every 15 seconds. So, with that settled, I had to somehow make sure Amy didn't die so that I didn't lose both of them. All I could to do in that regard was plead with her to calm down and I just remember leaning over her and telling her to look at me and that everything was fine and that she had just achieved something absolutely amazing and that he was going to be ok, and that she was going to be ok.

The midwives were frantically, but calmly, zooming around the room doing this and that to try and make Amy better. She was losing a tremendous amount of blood. Dr Melanie was now trying to stitch up any damage to stem the bleeding, but Amy was clearly going in to shock.

At 11.56, 9 minutes after he was born, baby cried. I cried. I couldn't believe it. I heard them say he had cried, otherwise I wouldn't have believed my ears. Then he stopped, then he cried some more. The two doctors (two people who will remain in my thoughts until my dying day, Dr Jonathan Sturgeon and Dr Judith Hall) were working on him constantly, shaking him, moving his arms like bird’s wings, prodding, sucking, listening, asking him to wake up in such a comforting way as if trying to rouse their own sleeping baby, rather than what they were actually doing, which was to shock our baby into breathing for himself. But it worked, and he was breathing. I was flitting between Amy and baby as much as I could and I could see he was now alert and crying, if a little floppy. The head midwife asked us if he had a name.

At that point I asked Amy, because she had to name him. I could not possibly have any part in that decision after what Amy had gone through to bring him into this world, and Amy confirmed Edward, ‘Woody’. And Woody was here.

They wrapped him up and Dr Hall gave him to me. I literally couldn't tell if he was ok or not, so I quickly showed him to Amy and then, panicked, I passed him back to the Dr’s so they could make sure he was alright. I literally didn't feel like I could be in charge of such a fragile and precious thing and I needed the professionals to tend to him right now to make him ok. After a little more fiddling and observation, Woody was taken straight up to the Neonatal unit for extra oxygen and monitoring. I wasn't sure he was going to be ok, and Dr Hall wasn't either, but he was breathing and that’s a start. The midwife kept reassuring me that he didn't go blue at any point, and that the Dr’s were forcing oxygen into his lungs throughout so that he would not be starved. I hadn't even thought about that until then, I just wanted him to ‘wake up’, and he did.

So, attention back to Amy. This is about 20 minutes after Woody was born, and Amy’s statistics were deteriorating on all fronts. Her blood pressure fell through the floor to something like 80/40, her pulse went up well over 200 and her breathing/oxygen sats were very bad. She was white like a sheet and her lips were disappearing. I kept asking her to have a drink, lucozade or something, anything, to get her to stay awake, stay alert and get better. I kept telling her that Woody was ok, he would be fine, which started to feel less like a lie by this point, and that she had done amazingly well. I wanted her to know that she had done so well, I couldn't really express it, but she had just done something so amazing, and brought our little boy safely into the world despite everything that had just happened to her.

She had an oxygen mask working overtime, and due to the shock they needed to warm her body up. They used ‘forced air warming’ or Bair Hugger Therapy, whereby basically a large inflated blanket is placed over Amy like a cocoon, and hot air is blown constantly under the blanket. I was sweating profusely due to the heat, but Amy was like ice!

This went on for what seemed like an age. They needed to get fluids into Amy to replace the blood. They needed to take blood to get a precise match for a blood transfusion, but this proved impossible, Amy’s veins were disappearing.

Thankfully, and I really do mean thankfully, Amy had a cannula in her hand where the Syntocinon was fed during the labour, and this was now the only point of entry to administer fluids to keep Amy alive. Without the correct replacement blood, they were using a kind of plasma-ish liquid which I guess is a short term generic substitute for blood. They hooked this up to the existing cannula and two midwives were squeezing the life out of the bag of fluid to get it into Amy as quick as possible. I guess they didn't feel like this was working and so they applied an inflatable cuff to the bag, similar to a blood pressure monitor cuff, and the head midwife pumped and pumped like crazy to get this bag of fluid squeezed into Amy’s body. She worked the pump so hard that the bag actually exploded like a water bomb, showering the fluid all over all of us. So, out came another bag and the squeezing continued.

The anaesthetist was in the meantime trying to get another line into Amy’s body, anywhere she could, however she was struggling. She tried a needle in Amy’s hands, forearms, arms, shoulders, feet, groin (using a 5 inch needle and an ultrasound scanner) and eventually neck, however it wasn't possible. She finally gave up, stating aloud "Her body is shutting down, the veins are closing, I can’t get another line in".

In the back of my mind Amy was on the brink. They were periodically coming in to remove surgical pads placed at the end of the bed in order to weigh how much blood was being lost. It was a lot, 3.8 litres it turned out to be in the end, so that is approximately 80% of her entire blood supply, and a class 4 haemorrhage – with cardiovascular collapse, apparently. She needed 9 pints of blood. Guess what I’ll be doing for my New Year’s resolution?!

It was approaching 1am when the decision was made that the bleeding could not be stopped, and therefore Amy had to go to theatre for surgery. She was to be put under a General Anaesthetic, and she had to sign a consent form that basically stated that should the need to arise for Amy to be given a hysterectomy, then they were allowed to go ahead.

It was all very quick, and suddenly Amy was taken away from me – wheeled down the corridor for the theatre. I said goodbye to her, and then followed her until she was out of sight. It’s a strange feeling of relief when someone is taken out of your hands entirely – not actual relief, relief is probably the wrong word, as at that point I was beside myself with worry, but a slight if very short lived respite.  I’d been through a similar experience with my dad, which ended badly, and so I was seriously unbelievably scared and anxious. (Obviously my dad hadn’t just given birth, but you get the idea).

At this point I walked back down the corridor to Room 5, and I was suddenly alone. All the Dr’s and nurses had disappeared, the bed was gone, it was just empty, when only a short time ago and still ringing in my ears, it was a hive of manic, focused activity.

But now I was on my own, not knowing if Woody was ok or not, and basically thinking that Amy wasn't going to make it. During the past couple of hours I hadn't allowed myself to think about this, there wasn't time and I had to stay positive for Amy, but now the thought burrowed its way into my head and I could no longer remain positive. The head midwife and her colleague, both present at the birth, came in and saw me and gave me a hug and I totally lost it. They tried to reassure me, but they weren't convincing and I needed more than promises to get me out of this, I needed to see Amy fit and well, and until then I was scared witless.

So all I could do was walk. I walked up to Neonatal to see Woody – he was doing much much better and Dr Hall said she wasn't too worried about him anymore, his cord bloods from birth were very very low in whatever it is they measure, however bloods taken an hour later were up to normal levels – he had bounced back and you wouldn't know anything had happened to him. Who knows if this will have any effect on him or not, (Question 5), but he was safe and well, and looking good, and ultimately in the very best place for now.

I couldn't possibly sit with him, however, until I knew what was happening with Amy, so I went down and out of the building and just walked for hours, returning periodically for updates. At first things seemed to be going well, there were some tears which they fixed and Amy would be out soon, apparently. However as I was walking down and out for about the 8th time at around 4am, I heard the words "They've had to open her up", and the head midwife gasping. I didn't even stop, I just carried on walking again and this time I was convincing myself that things were not going to go well. I tried as hard as I could to stay positive, at least outwardly when speaking with the midwives and Amy’s mum, however inside it was turmoil and I had the conversation with myself about telling Scazz that mummy didn't make it a few too many times – I was a bloody mess.

At one point a large black Mercedes pulled up outside the building, and I had a suspicion that this was a surgeon who had been called out to assist with Amy – I saw him a bit later on in the night/morning coming out of the operating theatre confirming my suspicions. It was serious, no doubt about it, I just didn't know what the outcome would be. I wanted Amy to be ok, like really ok. She did an AMAZING job with bringing little Woody into this world, she looked after him so well and she just wanted him to be ok – she went through hell during his birth and she didn't deserve any of it. She certainly didn't deserve any serious problems for the rest of her life – something I considered a real possibility. And she definitely didn't deserve to lose the fight. I just didn't know what would happen, so I carried on walking!

Every time I went back up for an update there wasn't any news, and I was given another hug and a flapjack or a cup of tea, bless them.

Anyway around 6am finally some news, good news! The midwife told me what I had already assumed, that they discovered Amy’s uterus had ruptured at the point of her previous scar tissue from Scarlett’s C Section, Amy was amongst the 0.5%. It had ruptured badly, however they had managed to repair the damage, and they bleeding had been stopped. Suddenly Amy was ready to be woken up, and they told me to just wait in Room 5 for her to come past, and to make sure I was the one to tell her Woody was ok.

I heard noises, and then a shout from the head midwife – I came out and there was Amy coming down the corridor, awake but out of it, but ALIVE. I counted my blessings and told her Woody was absolutely fine.
She was taken to the labour HDU, however her observations were still bad, (I could see that myself whilst sitting there obsessing over the bloody screen as usual), she needed more blood and better monitoring, so she was transferred to the main hospital ICU/HDU unit, where she spent 36 hours recovering, before being taken back down to labour ward HDU on day 3 and being reunited with Woody. He was being taken care of in the Neonatal unit until Amy was back down on the ward – purely for logistical reasons. They were ready to discharge him back to the labour ward on Wednesday lunchtime, but Amy wasn't well enough to be released back down.

During that time I was zipping around the hospital looking for people we knew, our other midwives who we had seen all along the pregnancy, so I could fill them in etc. But everyone knew already! Amy was like a celebrity, everyone had heard about ‘that night’ on the labour ward and what Amy had been through, it was a massive event. I genuinely don’t think that kind of thing happens very often at all, and it was really nice to hear everyone’s get well messages and they were all confident of Amy’s recovery, so that helped immensely to give me the energy to carry on. After being at the hospital for 36 hours and going through all of that, I was shattered!

Over the next few days I spent as much time at the hospital as possible, however juggling that with our 5 year old, Scarlett, who was thankfully still at school that week, was awkward and we called upon lots of help from Amy’s family. There were lots of questions from Scarlett, mainly about why mummy wasn't home yet, why brother wasn't home yet, and why I was spending nights and days at the hospital – but thankfully the answer to all those questions was a billion times easier to give her than the ultimate answer I was so scared about having to give her in the hours after Woody was born. To keep things as normal as possible I came home from hospital at 6am and got into bed, so that when she woke up at 6.30am it looked as though I had been home all night! And I told her we weren't allowed up to hospital to see mum because I was being too noisy and all the other mummy’s had complained about me, and the Dr’s had told me to go home! Scarlett was amazing, and I am so so so proud of her.

So, after spending another couple of nights at the hospital looking after Woody while Amy rested (they really need to invest in some comfy reclining armchairs for the dads!! Preferably with a drinks fridge and TV attached), Amy was well enough to be back down on the ward with the ‘normals’, and then home on Sunday night. Amazing.

We saw Dr Melanie again on day 3, this time she looked 100% different than she did on the night of nights, she was calm, sanguine and relaxed, and cheery! Was so good to see, because I knew that meant for sure that Amy was well, and that she was out of danger. She was a great Dr, and I wish her all the very best.
There are lots of other details but that’s the nuts and bolts of it all. It was a roller coaster to say the least, but we are out the other side of it all now, and looking back. Amy is still feeling the physical effects, which will disappear with time, and also the emotional and mental effects, which may take a little longer, but this experience is now in our history, and we can look forwards to the future with excitement at the uncertainty of what life will bring us – what it will bring all four of us.

Just a final note, to say that yes we have questions about the events and the decisions which led up to Woody’s birth, however I know that I can never ever thank the Dr’s and the midwives who saved Amy’s and Woody’s lives on that night. They saved my family. They were amazing, and professional and calm and just everything you could ever want in a life or death situation like that, and I owe them so much. We will return to thank them all individually in due course, but nothing could come close to showing them my gratitude. I remember Dr Sturgeon saying when I was gushing to him the umpteenth time, thanking him for saving Woody’s life and saying that I really didn’t know what I could do to ever thank him enough, and he simply replied ‘you can look after the little man and give him a good life’. And that I will.

1 comment:

  1. Can't believe what you have all been through. So traumatic and yet the outcome so wonderful! Couldn't read this and not be moved! In awe of you all, Juliexx


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