Discharge Papers For One

Around 24 hours after T was born, I was itching to be discharged myself. I had just had enough of hospitals. And looking back, I clearly wasn’t in my right mind. It didn’t even dawn on me that my husband and I would be going home without our son. Denial, it is a powerful thing. I was knee deep in it. Everything going on with T was out of my control. But the one thing I could decide for myself was when I could go home. The time had come where I was sick of the four walls of my room, and continued to be disgusted by the hospital food. I needed some home comforts around me, especially if I couldn’t have my baby with me.

I mentioned to the midwife my thoughts on going home. How, I wanted to sleep in my own bed and to feel comfortable with my surroundings. All elements to promote a healthy recovery. Let’s face it, who can relax in a hospital bed? She seemed a little unsure of my request, but I was adamant. Nothing or no one was going to change my mind. She reluctantly agreed to sort my discharge paperwork whilst we went over to the NICU to see T.

In retrospect, it was at this point that I should have taken more notice of the Midwife’s concerns about me going home. She continued to ask me if I was sure about leaving. Looking back, if it was right for me to leave, she perhaps wouldn’t have repeatedly asked me the same questions. That was the point that the alarm bells in my head should have rung loudly, but I couldn’t hear them over my determination. Or was it stubbornness?

I hadn’t been to see T all that much in the 24 hours after giving birth. It had to be the strangest day of my entire life. I felt very lost without him, but lying in bed was far better for my recovery than sitting in a chair by his bedside. I need to be fighting fit to be strong for my boy. That’s what Mummy’s do isn’t it? They are strong for their children, and that is what I wanted to be. Truthfully, it was tough to see T in his incubator. I appreciate that this scenario was always a possibility for us, but even with a prior warning, it was still a shock to the system. For those families who can’t be given a heads up, I can’t imagine how it must feel for them. I was so focused on whether or not T would be born breathing, that I never looked beyond his birth. I never considered what could happen after they were able to properly assess him.

After we returned from some quality time with T, as you may have read about in my previous blog post, we began to pack up my things. We were on cloud 9 having finally held our boy in our arms, but I was still eager to be discharged. The midwife had my paperwork ready to go. She then proceeded to break the news to me that I was unable to leave the hospital with the super duper painkillers that I had needed due to the episiotomy I required for a forceps delivery. Even that didn’t deter me – in hindsight, I can’t have been in my right mind because I was actually in pain. My husband loaded himself up with all of our things and we began our trek back down to the car park. The maternity department is on the third floor, not quite sure who felt that was a good idea when designing the hospital! Thankfully, my husband took everything to the car and drove back around to collect me. He was my hero!

It turned out I needed help to even sit down in the car, so there is no way that I could have walked the distance to actually find it! Once my husband had gotten me into the car, he walked back around to the driver’s side. All of a sudden, I felt like someone had slapped me around the face. Hard. There in the back seat was T’s empty car seat. I was still staring it at it when my husband climbed back into the car – he knew exactly what was going on in my mind. I immediately broke down. The reality of our situation had finally hit me. It hadn’t crossed my mind how it would feel to be leaving T behind when I was allowed to go home. Perhaps I hadn’t allowed myself to think too much about it. But in that moment, I felt my heart break.

The car journey home was a short, but quiet one. We were both exhausted, mentally and physically. We had encountered this journey home many times before, but this time, it definitely felt bumpier than it ever had before. This caused a lot of pain and discomfort for me, resulting in me sitting in a pool of regret for not having the super duper painkillers anymore!

It was difficult to be at home, more comfortable than the hospital, but it was more of a struggle than anticipated. It was late when we arrived home. The car seat was brought inside so that we didn’t have to look at it in the back seat anymore. As we headed upstairs, we passed his empty bedroom, and his empty Moses basket by our bedside. I appreciate that T was safe in his incubator in the NICU – I know that there are families who have lost babies and had to head home as we did, but without the hope that one day soon, their baby would be allowed home with them. I know now, and I knew back then, that we were still very fortunate. He wasn’t home with us, yet. But, one day soon, the car seat would be back in the car and ready to be occupied by our boy.

March 2017
March 2017

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Ron Walding

    Another poignant post Sam x

    1. Sam

      Thank you, I hope you enjoyed reading it.

  2. Elin

    Can totally relate to all of this x

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