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Our warrior preemie’s long journey to coming home

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This post follows on from my first where I talked about the loss of one baby my twin pregnancy and will give a little insight into how our surviving baby, Eva eventually got to come home.

For eight days after the loss I was still carrying both babies but suddenly experienced heavy bleeding and so headed to hospital. It wasn’t long before they called it for an emergency C-section to try and get Eva out safe. Eva was taken straight to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) after the C-section. The other baby, who we named Georgia, was taken away,

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where a bereavement midwife began arrangements for our wishes to be met. Not the birth story you picture when you see those two positive lines on a pregnancy test. We chose not to hold Georgi and didn’t have a service, though her ashes are scattered in a memorial garden.

Eva did well, getting stronger all the time. There were countless wires, machines to monitor her, constant blood tests (plus one blood transfusion) and brain scans to name a few. These were all normal for preemie babies but that doesn’t make it any less terrifying when it’s YOUR

SelfishMother.com
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preemie baby. There were regular sightings of twins on the unit, with them being often premature and needing care before going home. That was particularly awful, and to be honest is one of my biggest battles still today. You also convince yourself every other parent out there has had a better experience than you, despite being surrounded by countless on the unit in as much of a personal hell as you are.

I can’t describe the feeling of that neo natal unit being your life. You wake up, get ready, go to the hospital, drag yourself down the corridor,

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and exist there until you go home, without your baby, who you are convinced you will lose too no matter what the nurses say. But, sure enough, on December the 23rd 2017…..Eva came home after nine weeks on the unit. We ate Christmas dinner in a trance like stupor, with a baby who hadn’t been fully mine for nine weeks now next to me in a moses basket.

I didn’t enjoy having a baby at first. There, I said it. I didn’t sleep and was a walking milk machine. There were not only challenges of caring for a newborn, but a newborn who had been extremely

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premature, who had been through an enormous battle, and a nice helping of raw grief to manage on top. Eva needed weekly blood tests back at the hospital we had only just managed to escape. She had numerous vitamins and medicines administered for months afterwards. She was the smallest baby of her age at any baby group, where you experience the inner turmoil of whether to tell a complete stranger why you baby is so small or just lie about how old they are.

I thought I wasn’t ok initially because of the grief….as if a successful pregnancy and birth

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would have meant I’d be floating round like Snow White with bluebirds singing, fresh bread in the oven, cradling my bundle of joy, high off the wonders of motherhood. Yes the grief was there, in its incredibly raw form, but as I look back I realise the lack of enjoyment was also due to looking after a newborn and being a new mum having few moments that are actually bloody enjoyable! But, here’s the amazing thing – you get through it. You survive the grueling feeding routine and extreme sleep deprivation. You start to recognize yourself in the mirror.
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You make new friends. You find ways to enjoy life and remember who you are. You watch your baby grow and learn, and you sit in amazement of what you’ve come through. You take the joy and the love that has come from something so awful. And you write a blog about it.

Follow me on Instagram @helpamummyout

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Louise ODonnell

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- 8 Feb 20

This post follows on from my first where I talked about the loss of one baby my twin pregnancy and will give a little insight into how our surviving baby, Eva eventually got to come home.

For eight days after the loss I was still carrying both babies but suddenly experienced heavy bleeding and so headed to hospital. It wasn’t long before they called it for an emergency C-section to try and get Eva out safe. Eva was taken straight to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) after the C-section. The other baby, who we named Georgia, was taken away, where a bereavement midwife began arrangements for our wishes to be met. Not the birth story you picture when you see those two positive lines on a pregnancy test. We chose not to hold Georgi and didn’t have a service, though her ashes are scattered in a memorial garden.

Eva did well, getting stronger all the time. There were countless wires, machines to monitor her, constant blood tests (plus one blood transfusion) and brain scans to name a few. These were all normal for preemie babies but that doesn’t make it any less terrifying when it’s YOUR preemie baby. There were regular sightings of twins on the unit, with them being often premature and needing care before going home. That was particularly awful, and to be honest is one of my biggest battles still today. You also convince yourself every other parent out there has had a better experience than you, despite being surrounded by countless on the unit in as much of a personal hell as you are.

I can’t describe the feeling of that neo natal unit being your life. You wake up, get ready, go to the hospital, drag yourself down the corridor, and exist there until you go home, without your baby, who you are convinced you will lose too no matter what the nurses say. But, sure enough, on December the 23rd 2017…..Eva came home after nine weeks on the unit. We ate Christmas dinner in a trance like stupor, with a baby who hadn’t been fully mine for nine weeks now next to me in a moses basket.

I didn’t enjoy having a baby at first. There, I said it. I didn’t sleep and was a walking milk machine. There were not only challenges of caring for a newborn, but a newborn who had been extremely premature, who had been through an enormous battle, and a nice helping of raw grief to manage on top. Eva needed weekly blood tests back at the hospital we had only just managed to escape. She had numerous vitamins and medicines administered for months afterwards. She was the smallest baby of her age at any baby group, where you experience the inner turmoil of whether to tell a complete stranger why you baby is so small or just lie about how old they are.

I thought I wasn’t ok initially because of the grief….as if a successful pregnancy and birth would have meant I’d be floating round like Snow White with bluebirds singing, fresh bread in the oven, cradling my bundle of joy, high off the wonders of motherhood. Yes the grief was there, in its incredibly raw form, but as I look back I realise the lack of enjoyment was also due to looking after a newborn and being a new mum having few moments that are actually bloody enjoyable! But, here’s the amazing thing – you get through it. You survive the grueling feeding routine and extreme sleep deprivation. You start to recognize yourself in the mirror. You make new friends. You find ways to enjoy life and remember who you are. You watch your baby grow and learn, and you sit in amazement of what you’ve come through. You take the joy and the love that has come from something so awful. And you write a blog about it.

Follow me on Instagram @helpamummyout

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Louise ODonnell

Hi I'm Louise! Check out my blog posts and my Insta @helpamummyout for more musings on life after baby loss, maternal mental health and prematurity. I love to post about honest motherhood having gone through the toughest intro to it imaginable in the hope I can help others realise it wasnt just them when the fairytale went tits up! Thank you for joining me and for reading!

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