I had barely started this blog before it went a bit quiet. Actually a lot quiet – radio silence for 13 weeks. I have a good excuse though*. On 31 March our little boy N arrived 11 weeks early, weighing just 2 and a half pounds. Shock is an understatement. I will write more about his arrival another time but in brief, my waters broke just before midnight at home and he arrived just after 11 in the morning. No time to prepare or to really process what was happening before he arrived and immediately whisked away to be intubated and taken to the neonatal intensive care unit.
Neither my wife nor I had much idea what a premature baby entailed, how a 29 weeker would be at birth or the challenges they would face. In some ways we have been extremely lucky – N needed minimal breathing support for only 10 days; he suffered none of the significant (potentially life changing or even life threatening) setbacks that many preemies do; after the first couple of weeks, all he needed to do was grow and learn to feed. However lucky doesn’t feel completely the right word. We faced a gruelling 7 and a half weeks of visiting our baby boy at the hospital every day and – heartbreakingly – leaving him there every night.
He’s been home for six weeks now and it’s taken some time to adjust to being home. Some of that is normal newborn stuff of course – the lack of sleep, the seemingly endless feeding, trying to work out what he wants when he is crying! Some of it is less normal – worrying about his breathing, his temperature, exposure to germs far more than I know I would have otherwise plus follow up medical appointments.
Mostly though, I am just in awe of this tiny person – and so appreciative that he’s home. Of course I’m sure I would have been anyway, but he has overcome so much and is doing so well. I am so thankful for the NHS and so grateful that he hung on as long as he did, that he is as strong as he is – I know many people don’t have the happy outcome that we have.
*well, I think so. Maybe a real blogger would have still updated – but I guess I’m not a real blogger yet!