23 weeks, two social workers and a neonatologist

Thursday came and went in a bit of a blur, honestly. I managed not to blubber at anyone, though it was a difficult day. And then wordpress put out an update to their iPad app, and broke itself so that I can no longer blog from the iPad. And it’s taken me three days to get around to moving the laptop from the bedside table to the belly so I can update.

First I did the blood/urine/blood pressure thing, and by then I was in a state because little beastie wasn’t moving. Neither of us are morning people, but it makes me anxious on Thursday mornings. I had tried to find a heartbeat with the doppler that my lovely friend Kendi loaned me, but it decided to run out of batteries before detecting a heartbeat, so by 10am I was a wreck.

I saw my dr wandering around with another patient, she asked me how I was, and I told her how stressed I was. She said she would see me as soon as she could, and it wasn’t long before she called us in and found a little heartbeat. We then went back to the waiting room to wait for the Clinical Midwifery Consultant (head of the Perinatal Support Team), and the social workers.

They apologised that I had “slipped through the cracks”, apparently the womens health unit hasn’t had a social worker since April, but they had just had a new social worker start this week, and she would most likely be taking over my “case”.

They gave me a twee handpainted box with a tiny nylon nightie, a pair of lemon yellow acrylic booties (beautifully hand knitted, but the yarn is a crime against nature), and a little booklet from SIDS and Kids with space for ultrasound pictures. Apparently it’s a “memory box” in recognition of my dead baby. The horror. But I suppose some people dig that shit.

Then the new social worker (let’s call her “Heidi”) took us upstairs to meet the neonatologist. We were ushered into a tiny store room, and the doc talked to us about all the horrible things that could happen to our baby if he is born alive. Most of it wasn’t news, but there is a rare and nasty thing that can cause brain damage because this baby is sharing a womb with his dead sibling. It’s nasty, and it’s very rare, so we won’t entertain any thoughts about that just yet.

I was also able to ask questions, so I asked about their policies on breastmilk feeding, donor milk, etc. The dr assumed I was a lactation consultant, and I decided not to correct him, as he actually started to listen to me.

So now I suppose I am as prepared as I can be for what the next few months hold. We have seen the NICU, and the size of the tiny babies there (most not much bigger than my outstretched hand), and am pleased to see that the babies have stylin’ Hawaiian shirts as part of the laundry rotation.

My new social worker is going to meet with me every time I go in to the hospital from now on, and when I move in as a resident they will do everything they can to smooth the transition for me. Just over 2 weeks of relative freedom left.

5 thoughts on “23 weeks, two social workers and a neonatologist”

  1. Mate, if that baby shares any of your genetic material, he will be highly motivated to be worn fit and well just to wear a garish shirt.

    (PS, does acid yellow go with orange, lime green and pink? I think it must not, so I’ll add a stripe.)


  2. Silly WordPress app, it’s bugging me that it’s broken and I am not on bed rest!

    Everything sounds so stressful and unknown. My thoughts atr with you, and I wish I had been able to help you out a little, but we have moved to Melbourne now.



  3. I found in SCN that the Neonatologists were very pro BF (well probably more pro BM than BF itself). I was under some pressure from the nurses on about day 2 to allow formula as no milk yet but I declined to sign consent. 😉 By the next day we were fine and always had plenty of milk – of course not telling you anything but when exclusively expressing you can have as much as you want and by the time Abi came home our freezer was literally full of excess EBM. Litres and litres of the stuff which I arranged chronologically. LOL Again probably not telling you anything but the volumes required early on are miniscule, like a couple of ml every couple of hours initially (if they are even on tube feeding to start with). Also, every cuddle was skin to skin although it was hard to get use to only being allowed one per day (in our case) and no other touching outside designated “care” times. As always, thinking of you, Mark, Inigo and baby. If you ever want a chat about the ins and outs of having a baby in the nursery for some weeks you know where I am. Glad the fashion in NICU Westmead is a happenin’ thing. The nurses certainly took pride in matching linen and dresses at the Royal too. 🙂 xx


  4. You don’t know me (i’m PonyMad on BCD)but I just wanted to pop up and say him. I have added your blog to my favourites list and check in on you and your wee ones from time to time. It would feel weird to spy on you without introducing myself. Anyway hi from us over here in NZ we are sending all our positive vibes and good wishes. “Kia Kaha” (be strong) little one.
    Love Claire


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