I had been planning a home birth, everything was prepared, the pool was inflated and ready to be filled, towels at the ready but unfortunately it wasn't to be. One of the main reasons I wanted a home birth was so that Sam, Dexter and I would all be together in the comfort of our own home. When I was told I'd have to stay in hospital after our check up I was distraught but I thought to myself as long as we're all together and healthy it doesn't matter. Little did I know that Sam would be asked to leave and Dexter and I would spend our first night together alone in hospital without Daddy.
We were transferred to the maternity ward shortly after Dexter was born, on to a bay with two other Mums and their babies. Sam popped out and returned shortly afterwards with our belongings from our private room on the labour ward. I can't describe how happy I was to have my little family together at last after 9 months of waiting. Sam and I just stared at Dexter, not believing how perfect he was. He was so well behaved, there wasn't a peep from him, he was just happy laying on my chest and feeding on and off.
One of the midwives came around to check up on me and noticed Sam was still with us, the hospitals policy is very strict and they do not allow males on the ward at all unless in visiting hours. I was pretty distraught when she notified us he would have to leave and wouldn't be allowed to return until visiting hours the following day (They started at 1pm!!). Sam gathered his belongings, kissed us both goodbye and off he went, I could see the sadness in his face. The same look could be seen upon my face too. There I was in a strange room, with strange people, alone with a new baby. I haven't had any practice with newborns at all so it was all new to me. I couldn't even keep in touch with anyone as my mobile battery had died. The midwife told me to press the alarm button if I needed anything because at the point I still couldn't move the lower half of my torso because of the spinal. However, as I attempted to grab some water the button fell to the floor so I was stranded, unable to ask for help unless I shouted for someone and in the early hours of the morning in a ward full of new mums and their babies I felt this was a little inappropriate. I just lay there for what seemed like hours until I regained the feeling in my legs.
Finally I was able to manoeuvre myself to the edge of the bed and press the button. Shortly after a midwife popped her head around the curtain and I asked her if I could go for a shower (I hadn't had one since Tuesday night and felt disgusting! - It didn't help that the heating was on full blast, I had to ask for a fan I was that warm!) The midwife was very helpful and popped Dexter in his bed and fetched some shower products and a fresh gown for me, after all I didn't have any of my own things with me. I felt a little like Bambi as I headed over to the shower, a little shaky on the old legs after the spinal. While I was away the midwives changed my bed (I wasn't aware of how much blood you actually lose after giving birth - a little naive I guess). After my shower I was greeted by a midwife who brought me some food, I hadn't really eaten anything all day and I was going to need my energy for breastfeeding.
It was about 3am when I finally lay down to rest but I couldn't stop looking at this perfect little boy that Sam and I had created. I wanted to hold him all night but after being awake for nearly 48 hours I needed a little bit of sleep. As I started to drift off the neighbouring babies started crying one after each other, it carried on for a good while and there was no sign of a midwife, the mums seemed to struggle to settle their babies. I thought someone would have come to help, but nothing. Another hour passed of on, off crying and whimpers from the babies, Dexter was so good and barely made a sound.
Silence!...........Blissful silence...........finally I could catch some shut eye......then in walks a staff member with breakfast at 6am! Who eats breakfast at 6am?! Not me that's a fact! I wasn't particularly happy as you can imagine but I knew I had to eat something to keep my energy levels up if I was to prove I was fit enough to go home that day. I was determined we were not staying another night in hospital without Daddy. The breakfast delivery seemed to set of a chain of visits from midwives (the first visit was to give me an injection in my tummy to stop blood clots which red heads are prone to apparently), anesthetists, more midwives, a breastfeeding Councillor, the bounty photographer and well everyone except the one person that could give us the all clear to go home - the pediatrician. It wasn't until just before visiting time that he finally turned up to give Dexter an all over check. He was perfect! Although the pediatrician did witness Dexter push out a huge bubble of meconium - his face was a picture! I couldn't help laughing! Finally we were given the all clear and could go home. The midwives wanted me to stay another night because I'd had the spinal but there was no way I could manage another night on a noisy and extremely warm ward.
I quickly called Daddy who was already about to leave and I let him know we could come home and within a flash he was with us - reunited with his son again after a long lonely night. Just as we were packing everything up and getting ready to leave a midwife came to "check us out". She was looking all over Dexter and looked a bit confused so I asked why. She said she was looking for the electronic tag that all the babies are given when they are born so that they cannot be taken from the ward without an alarm being sounded. Dexter didn't have one! I was actually quite angry that someone had forgotten to put a tag on my baby, did everyone else's little one have a tag? What if something had happened while I was in the shower? I know it's unlikely but you hear all these stories. I was just thankful that nothing had happened and the three of us could finally go home. After all we should have been there already if all had gone to plan with the home birth. I said goodbye to the ward staff and off we went, finally we could start our family life as a threesome. I always thought it would be quite daunting being left alone as a family without the midwives help but I'd already done the night shift alone so I was fairly confident leaving the hospital and very excited for our journey ahead.