Please don't steal my coat
If the transfer couldn't get any more emotionally draining. We arrived at the hospital at the complete wrong time. The nurses were half way through setting Millie up to her pumps full of medication (which were way more than any other baby on the unit). It was extremely stressful to watch, and this hospital was a lot more cramped compared to the one we had just come from. The environment felt a lot more intense - the nurses clearly would not have enough time to bring us biscuits throughout the day! Selfishly, the realisation they would not be there to support us as much, was emotionally difficult to deal with.
As we arrived, we were asked if we wanted a room in the hospital. We didn't know having a room was an option so we umm'd and arr'd, until a nurse said "I would have thought in the state she is in you would be jumping at a chance to stay in a room" What did she mean the state she is in? Is she dying? Is she not going to make it through the night?! You can imagine the thoughts going through our heads..
Based on the information we had just been given we agreed to take a room. Another nurse took us down, after a brief tour of the unit. It is strange the things that go through your head when you are presented with change.. I hated the fact there were no more pictures painted by nurses on the walls, no more reclining chairs for us next to Millie's incubator (barely room for 1 plastic chair) and no space to keep your coat on your person. Before we started the tour, I was asked to remove my coat and hang it on a communal hook.. absurdly, that nearly tipped me over the edge. What if someone stole my coat? What if it got lost?! As I held back the tears, worrying about my coat, I wondered what this awful place was our daughter had been bought to..
As soon as we entered the room, the nurse handed us the key along with a sheet of paper - the hospital rules, which read like you were in a prison. It read that parents were required to show for duty on the ward no later than 8am every day. "This is your life now" she explained as she left us dumbfounded. As soon as she left the room, that was it, I wailed in agony my daughters name.. "Where have they brought you?!!! MILLIE.... oh poor Millie"
I'm glad I was the one who broke first, as my husband brilliantly took control, taking us back onto the ward and demanding that a doctor explain to us what was going on. This was the first time since Millie was born a doctor had actually had a honest and frank conversation with us. While the words coming out of his mouth were horrendous; She is in a critical condition.. the sickest baby on the ward.. we are very worried about her.. I found it strangely reassuring. I realised that all of this change was good.
The nurses didn't have time to paint pictures because they were too busy caring for the babies, there were no reclining chairs because the unit had chosen to spend the money on medical equipment and development instead, and all parents were asked to take their coats off before they entered the ward to minimise the number of germs the babies were exposed to.
I was still worried about my coat being stolen, but I was starting to feel a lot more confident in the care Millie was going to receive here..