Monday 24 December 2007

Happy Birthday Abigail!

Four years ago this morning Abigail entered my life. It was not an easy day. It was both a great joy and the darkest day of my life.

Uncle John had pronounced in early December that he just knew this baby wasn't going to wait for 2004. I replied I just wanted to get through Christmas.

But that wasn't to be.

I had been waiting for her arrival since my waters had broken on 22 December. I hadn't gone into labour and on the evening of the 23 December 2003 the doctor told me I would have to have a c-section the next morning.

I was expecting this. Sebastian had been safely left with Uncle John and Auntie Mary and we knew Christmas would have to be put on hold.

The process had changed quite significantly since I had Sebastian just a few years earlier. The epidural was administered in the operating room and within a few minutes Abigail was delivered into my arms. She was gorgeous.

They took her to a side of the room and cleaned her up and delivered her back into my waiting arms. I was never going to let her go.

Unlike with Sebastian they did take me to a separate recovery room and I held on to Abigail for all my life in the recovery room. She took to my breast immediately and ate like a champion.

Marc and I were the beaming parents of a beautiful little angel.

Marc decided to leave me alone so he could go tell the world of waiting friends and family of our newest member. He needed to grab a bag from the car.

Whilst he was gone and midwife and doctor entered the room asking if Abigail had been grunting the entire time. I said yes. They frowned. I held her tighter.

The nurse pried her from my arms and examined her. Then the doctor examined her. Then they told me they needed to take her away. I said they needed to wait for my husband to return. They said they needed to take her now. I asked them to please wait. They said no. I couldn't move. I still couldn't feel my legs from the epidural.

Marc returned to find me wailing and without our daughter. They wheeled me into the Special Care Unit and there was my daughter in an incubator with little tubes. They let me hold her which wasn't an easy thing to do with all the tubes.

She was the most adorable little bundle you could possibly imagine.

We fought long and hard over the next 4 days to get the hospital to release her. She struggled to breastfeed but only because they were giving her glucose and they kept saying my milk hadn't come in. I very patiently explained it wasn't going to come in if they didn't let me feed her. I was pumping for England hoping my milk would come in. I would make the long walk and down 3 floors to feed her or attempt to feed her every 3 hours. I was drugged to the max on morphine so I felt very little pain but I was exhausted.

Then she got jaundice. Of course she got jaundice. She was locked up in a basement with no sunlight.

Marc and I entertained the idea of kidnapping our own baby from the hospital.

And then they released me from the hospital and told me to go home. Without her. My heart was being ripped out from my chest. I couldn't breath.

But my son needed me at home. He hadn't even got to have his Christmas. So I left.

I went home that night and Marc and I returned to the hospital every 3 hours for the feeding. I didn't want anyone but me holding her or changing her nappy or feeding her. The darkest depth of my misery was when Marc and I were returning home from our 3 am feeding and the nurses were complaining about Abigail's jaundice. I felt like they were never going to let me take her home. We'd been told every day tomorrow but tomorrow never seemed to come.

I felt like I had made a horrible mistake just letting the nurse take her from me that very first time. I should have never let her go.

At that precise moment, I fell into the deepest darkest black hole. I told Marc that maybe we should just leave her. Clearly, I couldn't take care of her and if we left her at the hospital there would surely be someone who could do a much better job.

Marc stopped the car in the middle of the road and held my face as I sobbed. He said there was no one who would love this baby as much as us and no one equipped to take as good of care as us. We would get that baby no matter what.

I got home and went to bed. Marc stayed up the entire morning never once going to bed. He researched jaundice inside and out (thank God for the internet) and by the time he roused me to return to the hospital for the next feeding he knew more about jaundice than the nurses at the hospital. His commitment to our wee little girl inspired me to fight on.

On the morning of 29 December the doctors had at last returned from their holidays and the first real doctor took one look at my daughter and said get this healthy baby out of here. I could have kissed that woman!

Today that little girl that we fought so hard for is 4 years old. She is a bursting bubbling mischievous cherub. She makes us laugh. She's clever. She loves to dance and sing. She's got an imagination to rival JRR Tolkein. She loves kisses and cuddles.

And we love her more than we could possibly ever imagined. I am so proud to have the honour of watching this little girl grow.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Abby Much love from Aunt Clare & Uncle Michael!

Sue said...

Happy Birthday little lady. Hope to meet you someday.

stephanie said...

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

Love Auntie Stephanie

Janell said...

Happy b-day, Abby! I hope you had a great one!