Here he is, 7 weeks too early! Our precious little son born premature at 33 weeks only weighing in at 2kg. His name is David Aden Shannon. David after Pete’s dad, Aden after mine🙂
Aden is so tiny, I could hold him comfortably in one arm. None of the infant clothes I bought for him fit properly, not even the little mittens, socks and hats meant for infants. Even the onesies my sister bought for him especially for premature babies don’t fit properly. He is forever lost in a sea of clothes🙂
It was an exhausting and scary two weeks in hospital. My water broke on a Tuesday night just as I was getting ready for bed, a slow trickle that made me think I peed myself! We rushed over to RIPAS hospital and at 1am, I was admitted in the first stage labour ward, a small room with about eight beds where women are taken in first pangs of labour. The doctors seem confident that they could possibly delay my labour for a week until Aden was 34 weeks and I resigned myself to a week in hospital.
It was not meant to be! I had my first contractions at 1am on Wednesday. The nurses gave me yet more pills to prolong the labour and wouldnt give me any painkillers. My contractions grew stronger and stronger and closer together, by 7am, the contractions were very close together and I was 4 cm dilated. The doctors doing their rounds finally saw me in a lot of pain and gave me a shot to ease the pain but I could still feel each contraction!
By 9am, the doctors decided it was time to go to the labour room. I called Pete who was giving a lecture to come quickly and he was by my side in 20 minutes. I was wheeled into the labour room and I asked for an epidural as I was in so much pain by now. The anesthetist worked quickly and I quickly felt relief. The midwife was lovely and so reassuring, I felt very well taken care of. The next few hours were the hardest in my life and Aden was born at 12.52pm! I couldnt believe that the tiny little baby trusted in my arms was my son! As they stitched me up (OUCH!!) Pete took Aden out to show my family outside and my brother took this picture of the moment!
I can’t believe Pete’s white shirt survived that labour room! Here is Aden again a few hours old!
We were then wheeled into Ward 18 which is an open ward filled with new mothers and their newborns. You can imagine the noise from visitors, crying babies and noisy children. I was exhausted and spent most of the evening curled up on the bed while Pete took care of Aden. Unfortunately they don’t allow anyone to stay over the night with you and I was expected to look after the baby that night by myself! It was terribly hard and by morning, I was shaking with exhaustion! I was happy when Pete showed up at 9am and took over looking after Aden while I caught up on some much needed sleep. It was hell that evening too with the ward filled with visitors, the noise was terrible and it was impossible for me or Aden to get any sleep! Luckily at 9pm, an opening at first class opened up and we were moved to room 10, ward 23 by 10pm. It was blissfully quiet and even better, Pete could now stay the night!!
We were looking forward to going home soon when the pediatrician came in Saturday morning and declared that Aden had jaundice! He was to be taken away to SCBU for photo therapy to bring his bilirubin levels down. I was beside myself with worry and couldn’t stop crying! It was a horrible thought that my little boy was to be placed in a sterile plastic box with strong UV lights shining on him without us by his side. It could have been the hormones or just sheer exhaustion but it felt a bit too much!
Aden was in SCBU for two days. Hardest two days ever.
He was then put under a few more days of antibiotics and yet more tests. Horrible as they had to do it intravenously.
Finally on Saturday, ten days after he was born and two weeks since I was in hospital, we were discharged from Ward 23 with a clean bill of health but a multitudes of appointments to go to in the next few weeks.
So now we are home. The night feedings are rough and the nappy change endless but we are home🙂
A big thank you to all the doctors, midwives and nurses of JPMC, Ward 14, Ward 18, OB Gyn, Emergency Room, First Stage Labour Room, The Labour Room, SCBU and Ward 23 for all the love, help and support in bringing our son into this world. We are forever in your debt and eternally grateful.
Finally, my favourite picture of Aden taken when he was a week old. His first smile🙂
Our little Prince. David Aden Shannon.