Day 2 - The social worker was right, I did crash and hard. If this had been the way I had imagined it, friends and family would be visiting and admiring the baby. Instead, neurosurgeons came to say that the surgery would be done in the morning and they would come and speak to us as soon as possible afterwards. So as fast as I could manage we headed to NICU and sat with Faith. We couldn't hold her as she still had a breathing tube but we could hold her hand and talk to her. The time had come for Faith to be taken to the children's hospital for surgery, I shed some tears as she went. It was all feeling like a dream, surely this isn't happening. I headed back to my room where I was told that the next morning I was to be discharged. This was to much, I could barely walk and it wasn't like I was going home. I would have to walk quite a distance back and forward to the hospital to see Faith. The social worker intervened and I was able to stay another night. I think what I found hard was I under the impression I would stay nearly a week which would mean I would be nearer to Faith. Also to be able to recover more quickly but that wasn't the plan. I was sore, tired and life felt so strange. I was expressing milk with a picture of my baby and 24hours later still no cuddle.
There were some nice surprises my mum and dad brought me delightful flowers and a it's a girl balloon and my husband's work sent beautiful flowers and a cuddly pink teddy bear. It brightened the room and made it a little more cheery.I received encouraging and congratulatory texts from friends and family.
That night the neurosurgeon said that the surgery went well and they sealed the spina bifida and the plastic surgeons shifted a flap of skin to cover the hole. Apparently this was easier than a skin graft. I trusted their judgement as I didn't know about these things at this point. We were then able to go and visit Faith and sit with her a while. As she was so sick and attached to tubes, machines, and oxygen we were not able to do any care of her just sit there and watch another care for our baby.
Day 3 - This day brought unexpected challenges, Faith's head circumference was getting bigger and this meant that the neurosurgeon's had to take her back to surgery to put in a shunt. She had only been to surgery the day before and back again she went. I remember signing the consent forms and feeling dreadful. The surgery went well and the doctor's were happy. I remembered he said we will do everything possible to have your baby back with you soon. We understand this is hard. During the night, I had some pain so I had some pain killers so I was really drowsy and I awoke with a start and the nurse was wheeling in a baby! She was saying I am sorry I had no luck trying to settle him. And I said, Faith? But then realising the nurse said he, I said you have the wrong room and she apologised. For a second I thought it was Faith (knowing deep down it couldn't be, but still hoping). Then I went back to sleep with teary eyes and a heavy heart.
I was discharged and wandered down to see Faith and the nurse said, would you like a cuddle and I said yes yes please. What excitement! But my other half wasn't there and I desperately wanted him to be. I couldn't wait and the nurse reclined me in the chair and placed Faith on her tummy (as she wasn't allowed on her back) I had to be so careful of her back and her head. Wow, it was wonderful. I could feel her heart beat and she just lay there and went to sleep. The nurse took photos and I was so proud. That night when hubby came in he also got to have snuggle with faith and it was a wonderful sight. Surely, we are getting closer to going home.