Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Down to earth with a bump (26) Has my newborn baby meningitis?


In the end, because of her tiny veins, we were told they’d been unable to put the line in either hand, and so had gone in through one of Esme’s feet. Instead of being able to comfort her, I found myself given a pair of scissors to cut the left foot out of her tiny sleep suit. 

At that precise point, it all hit me. 
Like the title of this tale, I came crashing down to earth with a bump


It seemed so wrong to have to destroy this perfect garment. It had never been worn. And only a short time prior, as I had packed it in my hospital bag, I'd imagined my baby in it, its newborn form, so brand new, so perfect. But our reality was far from perfect. 

I came to intently dislike that flip-flop. It was always there, a clumsy reminder that all was not well. Everything about it was so unfunny. That rubber sole protected the tube that erupted out of the top of Esme’s just born foot.

It was another hour before I was able to hold Esme again. 

Eventually she came back from special care, each hand black and blue, badly bruised. In a hauntingly comical way, her foot wore, what looked like her first sandal.

Thanks to the one legged sleep suit, Esme’s newly bandaged foot with its flip-flop protector now had the room it required as I dressed her for the first time. 

Still we had no idea what lay ahead for her. All we knew was that her first lot of blood tests proved she was very sick. Esme had a high white blood cell count indicating extreme infection. They told us this was more than likely meningitis. She was to have a lumbar puncture to find out exactly what the infection was, oh and countless bloods taken. From those ever so tiny veins.