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19th July 2017

Welcome to the World, Baby Skye!

On the morning of March 7th 2017, our beautiful baby was born via emergency caesarian section.

She was the most perfect little alien I had ever laid eyes on! 

Skye was immediately put on a series of IV antibiotics to combat an infection she was born with.

All was good until our second night, when I started to get the feeling that the amount of feeding, combined with excessive sickness, couldn’t be normal for such a little human.

I mentioned this to the doctors and on the third day of little Skye’s life, before she had even seen the outdoors, she was taken away for further tests.

It wasn’t until about three hours later that we were told Skye couldn’t come back to us that night and was now in an incubator in intensive care.

That evening we were able to visit Skye, who now looked like a different baby.

I was no longer permitted to breast feed her as the problem was linked to her bowel, so she was hooked up to a drip with multiple wires attached to her arms and feet. It felt like she wasn’t ours anymore.

We had to ask to touch her, to hold her, to change her, everything. Our little girl was no longer in her clothes, she beeped every few seconds and the amount of machinery surrounding her was about 10 times her size. 

Skye had an inflamed bowel which led the consultants to suspect she had a condition called Hirschsprung’s Syndrome. She needed a biopsy to confirm either way, which couldn’t be performed until her bowels were big enough. 

Our situation was that Skye would be in intensive care, or high dependency, until the biopsy had been done and the results back.

At this point we would either be discussing new options, or waiting a further couple of weeks for a small surgery to be performed which would tie Skye over until she was around six months old.

We didn’t know if Skye would be home in weeks or months. She was still on a drip and having enema’s three times a day. 

To cut a long story short, Skye was home within two weeks and needs no further medical care, but those fourteen days were both the best and worst of my life.

We met the most amazing little human who is now our best friend and I received amazing support from both family and friends.

It was also, at times, unbearable.

As a new parent, you have no desire to be apart from you baby. The relationship feels symbiotic in that you need each other to function.

I could never have stayed positive it if wasn’t for the incredible support, care and professionalism of the neonatal team.

From the porters, cleaners, nurses and consultants, there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t receive constant friendship and positivity from a group of people I barely knew. 

Most people don’t know that when your baby is in intensive care, there are very few people allowed in to see them and only the parents can touch them. So as a parent, you spend around twelve hours a day in intensive care; just you and your baby.

For the duration of that time the team there become your family and I cannot thank them enough for helping me get through one of the most challenging times of my life. 

Another voice in my head was the amazing Michelle Graham, who had spoken to me about her neonatal experience with Martha whilst I was still pregnant.

Hers was a far more uncertain time in which she chose to cherish every moment she had with her daughter. These words stayed with me, and helped me to focus on all the positives of our situation. 

The Cardiff Neonatal Unit treats babies from all over South and Mid-Wales.

They not only provide first class medical care for babies, but also support to parents that are often many miles from their home experiencing completely new challenges and emotions.

I cannot thank them enough for everything that they did for us.

Martha and Skye are just two of the beautiful babies that they have cared for. The whole team work tirelessly 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

To show my appreciation for these amazing people I will be running the Cardiff 10k and half marathon later on the year with my wonderful colleague Emily Tonks.

Neither of us would consider ourselves “runners”, and with less than six months after giving birth, it’s going to be a challenge.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

Philippa Atkins | Inspire Me Team Member
Written by

Philippa Atkins

Relationship Manifestor & Creator of Joy

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