Wednesday, 18 April 2012

A Plan

Our trip to the neurosurgeon took us to a different hospital again and I wasn't really sure what to expect. We were just following this road laid before us because we didn't know how else to proceed. As usual we arrived way to early and sat in the corridor and I read my book The Promise by Naomi Reed and I think my other half was reading a train magazine. We watched the lifts go up and down and I know I thought that is how I feel, emotions up and down. I tried not to think of what this appointment held.

We eventually went into Dr RC's office and the waiting room was full of a variety of people. I saw a few younger people in wheelchairs and wondered what there life was like or how there parents coped. Finally we got called in and we were faced with a man of medium height in a blue/black suit with a stern face, his office had a huge desk and we sat opposite him. I suddenly felt very protective of my unborn baby as he talked of surgery and what would happen after the birth. He spoke of spina bifida, hydrocephalus and arnold chiari malformation. He also talked of what would happen after the birth, how the baby would be wrapped in a cling wrap material to protect the baby from infection, I started to tune out and just took in very basic information. My husband absorbed more I think but I was just concerned with now and getting through to the birth.

The neurosurgeon then asked our plan and we said what plan? The plan for antenatal care and the birth, and he added that our obstetrician didn't do births so what were we going to do? I didn't know, I hadn't thought about it. Our own home hospital had basically disowned us so I really had no idea. I think that we must have looked confused as he said well, let me call the hospital here and sort something out. A consultant neurosurgeon took the time to call the antenatal clinic and spoke to a doctor and arranged for us to go over and talk to them. We were so overwhelmed by this specialist doctor taking the time to help us. He then said there are some useful associations and websites to learn more about spina bifida, hydrocephalus and arnold chiari malformation. There was a local group nearby and he looked them up and printed out directions on how to get there so we could get more information and support. We were astonished by his kindness! So we thanked him and headed over to the Mother's Hospital.

It wasn't like any other hospital we had been to, it was nicely furnished, extremely clean, light, airy and life seemed to be in the air. We went to the antenatal area reception and were warmly welcomed and within minutes two ladies were fussing over us. They were organising antenatal appointments, ultrasounds and appointments with doctors and of course this is where the baby was going to be born. These ladies gave us encouragement and such care that we felt we could tackle this challenge even though it was so unknown. We were to come back a few days later to start the process. Now we had a plan!

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