Happy Birthday to my miracle baby Master Jay. Sweet 16 today.
From a tiny premature dot of 1080kgs (2lb 6oz) born at 26 weeks gestation, to a mighty handsome young man who I am extremely proud of. He is and always has been an awesome kid. He has been pretty well behaved most of his life, he is a very likeable young man, he has always tried his hardest at school and he has shown huge commitment and dedication in gaining a vast amount of "mechanical knowledge" from whatever means necessary over the past 12 - 18 months. I am very proud of him.
When Master Jay was born I kept a diary of the first 81 days of his life - this was the time he spent in hospital when he was born. He spent a lot more time in hospital over the first 2 years of his life and I wish I had kept a diary of all of this too for others to look back on and fully appreciate the miracle that is Master Jay...
Not many people have read this diary, only a few close friends and just recently I let Master Jay read it. Up until a few months ago he didn't really take much interest in the details of his birth. He knew that he had hemiplegia because of his premature birth but beyond that he hadn't really been interested. He was asking me a lot of questions one day and I suggested he read my diary - he was blown away....
Here are the first 2 entries................
2 June 1997
After 10 days in hospital I should have been discharged this morning but the doctor missed me on his rounds. The nurse tried to track him down but he had left early because it was Queens Birthday so I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to spend one more night in hospital...
The contractions started again at lunchtime. I told the nurse who gave me panadol.
Still going at 3pm. I started to worry that they would have to put me back on salbutamol to control the contractions and then I would never get home. The nurse said she would track down a doctor.
At 7pm the registrar finally came. I was given an internal examination. She told me I was in labour. Up until this point I never really even considered that the baby would be born early. I guess I was naively denying that it was a possibility.
When she told me I was in labour I burst in to tears. This wasn't meant to happen. None of the books on child birth tell you that this could happen. I was scared and didn't know what to think.
Then everyone started panicking, rushing around tracking down the specialist, the paedetrician, contacting Dunedin hospital (because Invercargill did not have the skill or facilities to cope with a baby born at 26 weeks) and trying to get hold of Gary.
Then I started to panic. If all the staff are panicking then something must be really wrong. The baby is going to die or he's going to be all deformed - I was beside myself with worry.
They decided not to risk transferring me to Dunedin in case the baby came on the way. I was moved into the delivery suite and prepared for the birth.
3 June 1997
Master Jay was born at 3.12am. I caught a glimpse of Jayden as he was whisked away to be resuscitated. It was all very sad and terrifying. I had just had a precious little baby but I couldn't have him. It should have been the happiest moment of our lives but I couldn't even look at Gary during or after the birth because of the guilt and fear I was feeling and I was scared at what I 'd see in his eyes.
Gary phoned the new grandparents and they arrived soon after. Everyone was just sitting around waiting in my room in the delivery suite and I couldn't bare it. I was exhausted and drained and I felt guilty and incompetent. I just wanted to be left alone to cry for myself and my little baby who was fighting for his life. It wasn't meant to be this way.
We finally got to see Master Jay 2 hours after he was born. He was in the Neo Natal unit in an overhead incubator. He had tubes and wires everywhere and he looked so tiny and helpless. The nurse explained what everything was for but I didn't take a word in. All I remember thinking was that this is, he is not real, and that there was no way something that small would live. I was shocked or maybe I was in shock.
The "rescue" team arrived from Dunedin hospital. It took them 2 more hours to stabilise and prepare Master Jay for the 3 hour trip to Dunedin. My baby left for Dunedin around 7.30am. I had to wait until 11am to be discharged from the Obstetric Unit. After going home to pack, Gary and I drove to Dunedin and arrived at about 3.30pm. We went straight to see Master Jay. He was again in an overhead incubator with a plastic cover over it to keep the humidity right. I could hardly see him for the condensation. He was heavily sedated with morphine to stop him from stressing and lights had been set up for jaundice. We were told that the next 24 hours were critical. The new born intensive care unit (NICU) was so hot and I felt so faint. I just couldn't bare the pain in my heart.
I was readmitted to Dunedin hospital post natal ward and a midwife showed me how to express milk that night. I got 1ml. Gary went to a motel and I got very little sleep again. I listened to the cries of the new born babies everywhere around me as I thought and cried for my own little new born fighting for his life 4 floors above me...
Happy Birthday Master Jay.
I still can't read this without shedding a tear as I remember this day all too well. I think I will post more of the entries from my diary over the next few weeks.