Last Friday night, I received a telephone call from my eldest daughter to say her waters had broken (sorry, male readers). Nothing too distressing in that expected call; it is her third child, and as she is 37 weeks, she would be allowed another home birth. However, at 5 a.m. on Saturday morning, she was told to go to our local hospital due to a loss of blood.
Once there, she catapulted from being told she was to have a c-section, then that she was to be induced, and further, that she would be given an epidural... In the end, she gave birth naturally to my third grandchild, a beautiful baby girl.
However, after delivery, the baby was whisked away and she and her husband were informed that the baby needed oxygen to help her breathe, they were not to be anxious. Can you imagine having gone through almost nine months' pregnancy and then labour, and not to be able to hold the thing you call most dear? It was awful. As time went on, it became apparent that there was a serious problem and they were told that the baby was to be transported in an incubator by a team from a large neonatal unit to another hospital.They were not allowed to accompany the baby but had to drive there separated from the baby. They had not seen the baby. It was agony.
Upon arrival, they found out that the baby had been unable to breathe unaided but she had transported well and was in an incubator in the neonatal unit.
The nursing staff at the unit were amazing. They worked tirelessly to give our baby every chance for survival. Our baby clung on for dear life and we all prayed for her recovery. And, recover she has. As each hour passed, we could see small improvements. Her exhausted parents spent hours gazing at her, willing her on to live.
On Sunday, I was allowed to take my two grandchildren to visit their baby sister. It was my first sight of our baby, it was very emotional. At this stage, my daughter and son-in-law had held the baby for the first time. It was joyous!
And by the Monday, our baby was breathing unaided and my daughter was able to hold her and attempt to feed her.
By Tuesday, our baby has been transported back to the local hospital, all her tubes have been removed - though she still has to be placed under a lamp for her jaundice - feeding is established and we are all smiling.
This has been an exceptionally traumatic time but of one thing I am sure. The will to live is strong. Strengthened by people who love and care about you, and against all the odds, we can survive anything as long as we believe.