So it is always useful to start with your own person experiences to understand where you could help someone out and relate to people, I think. Almost six years ago our gorgeous boy was born. His arrival into the world was about the only ‘plan’ I had not allowed to even enter my head. I had practiced and prepared for a natural birth, with minimal support.
I think we used half of the hospitals services in the days before, during and after his birth!!!! After a prolonged labour (I will save the details for another time!), he arrived by emergency c-section. He was a big baby (9lbs 11oz) but required some extra support and was taken to NNU. This was the start of my husband being torn into pieces, between a very poorly wife and our gorgeous new son. This was not how we had imagined this moment. I was left on my own in the operating room, as my very worried husband went with our baby to NNU at my insistence – I simply could not allow our new son to be alone without one of us during his first few hours.
But that meant I was alone on the clinical operating table– the consultants and nurses were doing an amazing job at looking after my medical needs as I was losing quite a bit of blood and my poor husband was doing a fantastic job of being with our new son – and I was left wondering what had happened to the first few special moments, snuggling with our new arrival that I had seen and heard about so many times before. I don't have any pictures of those first few moments or even days that people treasure - we were both too poorly.
Eventually I was taken to the ward and our little one was on NNU. I was poorly after the operation and struggled to get to NNU if my husband was not there – he was desperately trying to care for both of us on two separate wards.
This went on for six days. I was traumatised after the whole experience.
(The story of what went on to happen six weeks later is for another day)
Our experience is what has led me to embark on this journey of becoming a volunteer – to support those who are in hospital and need some extra care. The staff in the NHS are fantastic, I cannot commend them enough for the job they do. But we all know that this organisation is really struggling for resource.
Six years on and we are all happy and healthy and our boy has a little sister to annoy him! Our story has a very positive ending and that is what I would like to share with those who are on a ward or sitting by an incubator in NNU
So today I have started to contact all of the local hospitals to work out what I need to do next – where do you start? What does it involve? What is the time commitment?
I will share all the answers with you when I get them.! ;-)