The arrival of baby Michael, part two

The day after Michael was born I decided I had to get discharged from hospital as soon as possible, so I set about achieving the steps that I knew I had to take before they would let me go; take a shower, stop taking the hardcore medication, walk about a lot. I visited Michael for a few hours that day, but to be honest, it was all a haze of tears and snot and foggy head. I know we met the surgical team and the nurses who would be looking after him, but I couldn’t tell you what they said.

I also started breast pumping with vigour. My little darling couldn’t feed, but after the operation the hope was to tube feed him, so I needed to get my milk on. Having this job, this purpose, gave me a focus and stopped me from losing my mind I think.

On Day Three, The Fella and I and our two Mums squashed into the glass room that had been assigned to Michael and waited for him to be called for surgery. The doctors would be cutting out the blockages in Michael’s bowel, and connecting it to the top of his intestines. Even though Michael had this horrifyingly scary time ahead of him, he had already performed the first miracle of his life. Duodenal Atresia, this mouthful of a condition, is a mimic disorder, and often a child born with it will have other problems in their kidneys, heart and lungs. One third of all babies born with it have Down Syndrome. Michael was showing no signs of having any of the problems that we had been primed to expect – this nugget of positivity got us through those first days.

It was the longest day of our lives. When the time came for him to go to theatre I honestly thought that I would cease to exist. Jessy, our amazing nurse, wrapped his impossibly tiny body in a surgical gown as the Fella and I looked on, incapable of words. As she scooped him up, along with his lines and tubes and told us it was time to go we just cried. There’s no other way to say it. We clung to each other, heaving ugly tears. Ugly, ugly tears. Our Mums waited outside the room, and as I bawled into the Fella’s shoulder I caught a glimpse of them, both facing away from us, both sets of shoulders shaking with the tears we could not see.

We followed Jessy down to theatre and amidst more crying and shaking, we handed our son over to the surgical team and began the longest wait of our lives. The surgical wing in Crumlin is a horror show of parents bawling in corners and the tiniest of children crying as their parents say goodbye, trying to be strong.

Four hours have never been as long. When they wheeled him back from theatre, the teensiest thing on this giant gurney, the relief was palpable. Yes, he had drains everywhere, but he looked calm, and so so peaceful. We were on the road.

Michael spent twenty one days in Crumlin Hospital. During that time he defied everything that the doctors expected of him. He took his recovery into his own hands, ripping feeding tubes out so that we had to push him a step forward sooner than expected, yanking out his nasal gastric tube so that we had to begin to feed him before the surgeons advised. He is a medical miracle. A child who by all rights should be far sicker than he is, who refused to accept his fate, and fought every step of the way to get better, and pave his way home.

Our families stepped in to help out where we couldn’t. Having to hand over the care of the Little Fella to our two Mums was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Spending time without him, not getting to kiss his gorgeous head goodnight broke my heart. I had to choose Michael, at least for this time, and that choice – the fact that I had to make it at all – was devastating. We are all home now, and my Little Fella has been loved through the trauma he experienced as a result of Michael’s birth. The simple pleasure of having my two boys in the same room will never be underestimated, at least by me.

Michael’s arrival changed my entire family. We have seen so much, and felt levels of emotion that we didn’t think possible. We have watched the Warrior Mums of Crumlin fight for their children’s right to LIVE, and to love them better. I am a proud member of this tribe.


About Ciara McDonnell

Ouch My Fanny Hurts was born in the late stages of my first pregnancy. I was sick and tired of everyone going on and ON about how brilliant it is to be pregnant, when actually, lots of it was quite crap really. And, my fanny hurt a lot. So, I decided to tell the truth about my experience while I was pregnant, and the journey I have been on since, as our little fella grew a little bigger, and we brought our second son into the world in what turned out to be fairly scary circumstances. It’s my story, and I am delighted to share it.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to The arrival of baby Michael, part two

  1. SarahJane says:

    So, so relieved to read this Ciara, delighted Michael is home where he belongs, sending lots of love to you and your lovely little family xx

  2. Dee says:

    Ever since I read part one of this post (through teary eyes) I’ve been waiting and hoping for a good outcome. Delighted that you have your whole family together at home. Sending all of you good wishes.

  3. Leeanne Doherty says:

    Ok so am balking my eyes out here reading what you all went through especially wee Michael … So happy he is home and ok ciara
    Xxxx Lee-Anne xxx

  4. In floods. Thank you Ciara for your bravery in sharing the brutal truths of your ups and downs during Micheal’s ordeal. The energy with which you tackle everything is inspiring. I am so glad you are all home and safe and well. Michael is a champion – and you are indeed his Warrior. xxxSBF

  5. Helen says:

    I too have been waiting to hear if everything turned out okay and I am so glad that you all made it through – what an incredible thing to have to go through and what a special little boy Michael is. Congratulations on your little family and all the best. Keep the posts coming they are great xx

  6. What a marathon you’ve been through. Genuinely delighted to hear that Michael is doing so well. Thank you so much for sharing your story, I’m sure it was hard to write it all down. I absolutely love your blog and I hope we’ll be hearing lots more from you soon xx

  7. Sarah says:

    Oh Ciara I’m so thrilled and relieved to read this! Michael, you little trooper!

  8. Hi Ciara – I hadn’t read your updates about Michael until today. I had no idea what you had been through. So so glad to read that he is doing well. xxx

  9. Sarah-Jane says:

    Great news that your little family is all together, I’m relieved! You’re so brave to share so honestly. Welcome Michael 🙂

  10. Oh so so glad everything is ok. You poor thing! How brave you all have been. This is just unimaginable. I’m so delighted for you all. Welcome to the world baby Michael.

  11. Lucy says:

    Goodness what a time you’ve all been through. Much love to you all, and your family.

  12. Sat here bawling reading this. It’s so hard to even read I can’t begin to imagine what it was like to live through. So important for people to read this sort of thing and see the amazing miracles that Crumblin help perform. I hope the rest and recuperation continue for all of you. x

  13. Deb says:

    Wow Ciara, you’ve been through a lot, am so happy he is home where he belongs. You have a wonderful way of telling the story. Thanks so much for sharing, hoping everything continues to go well for your little man!

  14. Delighted all is well now.

  15. Maud says:

    What an amazing story, and so wonderfully told. Thank you for sharing it.

    I just found you (through Mind The Baby, I think), and clearly I came in at the most suspenseful time possible, just after you’d published part I of this story. But I’d love to read more, if you can posssibly ever post again with a newborn and a little fella as well. (The first year I had two kids I updated my blog a grand total of four times.)

  16. Louise says:

    My sister Emily told me your blog is great and it is! Blubbing away here after reading this post. Michael sounds like a little trooper. God, u had a rough time but great that u are all out the other side now. Off to read more posts!!

  17. Pingback: From my heart, to yours | Ouch My Fanny Hurts!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s