Ollie was delivered just one day shy of reaching 34 weeks gestation and is consequently in the neonatal intensive care unit until he grows and learns to feed. While at 1.75kg he is three times the size of his older brother and 7 weeks older in gestation, his arrival provided more drama than Aidan’s did. Following the delivery, I got very sick and was admitted to intensive care for three days and remained in hospital for five days, leaving Anthony and our families to cope with getting Aidan to and from his appointments and keeping him occupied through several hospital visits to me.
I could have written various versions of this blog post as my feelings towards Ollie and the situation we found ourselves in changed almost hourly. Feeling sick and overwhelmed, and with pregnancy hormones raging, I hit some of my lowest moments as I wondered why we had yet again failed to do anything normally, why I couldn’t just have babies as easily as other people did and why once again we were under such enormous stress.
I was angry at myself for falling into the trap of thinking Ollie’s birth would somehow complete our little family and instead blamed myself for adding to our financial and emotional pressures, not to mention the strain it was putting on our immediate families. I felt guilty towards Aidan as his preparations for school went out the window and fretted about the precious time I was spending away from him. Bonding with a baby I didn’t get to see for two days was impossible and I’ll admit I struggled with my feelings towards Ollie.
A week on, things are looking a little brighter. The constant trips to and from the hospital are exhausting but my feelings towards Ollie have completely changed and I look forward to our feeding sessions twice a day when I get to hold him in my arms. He is coming along in leaps and bounds and is already off all tubes and out of the humidicrib. I’m hoping it will only be a few more weeks before we have him home.
Aidan is embracing being a big brother with gusto and taking everything in his stride, already becoming a little celebrity among Ollie’s neonatal nursing staff and the ladies in the cafeteria. School starts in 5 days and while it wasn’t the start I had wanted, at least I’ll get to be there to wave goodbye and have a cry with all the other kindergarten mums.