Lately I've been thinking a great deal about some of the issues that have prompted me to place a big fat question mark over my Mental Health and I ask myself.. am I well recovered? And how well did I 'cope' back then?
It's mid afternoon in the intensive care unit but to me it could be any time of day. See I can't turn my attention to the day time skies because I'm busy you see, being a Mum.
Only I'm not having a cuddle or changing a nappy because that would be too dangerous. No I'm watching my baby through a clear plastic box, I'm watching her chest rise and fall.
If I avert my gaze ever so slightly I can see her numbers. But I mustn't be seen. Looking at numbers, it's not 'My Job' I should “look at the baby.”
The numbers sway this way, they sway that way,
they go down,down, down and up, up, up.
Wait, she seems still, is she moving? The numbers plummet and the alarms sound.
Come quick someone!
'You might want to wait outside a minute'
Outside in the corridor I stand alone staring blankly at the reception desk. A lady picks up the telephone 'Good morning, NICU can I help?'
Doctors stride confidently down the corridors with clip boards and focused looks.
I peek through the tiny square window back into intensive care nursery, but my glance is met by the tall white screens that surround Smidge's incubator.
Beyond those screens the doctors are working on my Smidge and it's taking time. A long time...
I see a familiar face coming towards me from another direction. I try to catch her attention. I am unbelievably scared and frightened.
'What's wrong? She says. What is it?'
'I don't know, It's my baby... they have screens up, they sent me out, I don't know what's happening..'
'Just wait here a minute'
The fear -struck panic has overcome me, I feel as though I've just come off a fair ground ride, the world has slowed down and I feel sick, very, very sick.
But all around me the world carries on, utterly oblivious to my queezy turmoil. A receptionist strolls down the corridor and places a box of biscuits down on the reception desk and the staff gather as they contemplate the offerings of a family choice biscuit selection box..
I am aware that mentally there's only two ways I can go at this point in time, Biscuits and telephone calls or Baby resuscitation and the telephone and biscuits route seems to be winning...
Fleetingly I wonder, should I call One-day Hubby?
'What's the point?' I tell myself, 'What's the point of inflicting this on him at this moment in time?'
The Doctor reappears in the corridor.
'It's Okay' She tells me. 'She's pink now'
I take a a moment to process the words before looking up tentatively and asking 'Are you sure?'
'Yes she's stable and nice and pink now'
Tears form under my eye lids but I can't quite allow myself to feel relief. I scramble around in my brain to find the words that will express the gratitude, confusion and fear that I feel but once again they escape me, Embarrassingly I ramble 'Are you really, really sure?'
'Look at me' comes a kind but authoritative voice. 'I am a consultant, and I am telling you that she is Alright, Okay?'
'Okay, I'm sorry, I just...I..'
'It's fine,.... and look!...... You can go in and see her now'
Go in and see her... Yes, go in and see her now, of course.