A privilege

11 12 2010

On November 8th, 2010, Mandy fell ill, literally, and was rushed into emergency surgery 30.6 weeks pregnant with Darcey. We did not know what was wrong. However, twenty minutes later, at 1942 Darcey was delivered and was effectively 9 weeks premature and spent the next nine weeks in NICU (the neo-natal unit of Auckland City Hospital). She weighed just 1.5k or 3lbs 5oz, and was immediately placed on breathing and feeding apparatus. As for Mandy, unbeknown to either or us, she was being examined by General Surgeons who found that her bowel had flopped over and twisted into a volvulus. Luckily, there were no signs of necrosis and so they righted the bowel and turned what was going to be a lateral, gentle, bikini line scar into a vertical one 14 inches long.

It was another two hours before I could see Mandy, but I still had no idea what was wrong. Eventually, the surgeons found me, confirmed Darcey’s birth and the fact that Mandy was recovering from bowel surgery.
It seems nothing is ever simple in my life – however, I doubt it’s no different for anyone else who reads this.I am so grateful for Darcey but even more thankful for Mandy’s recovery.

Now that the little cherub has been home some five weeks now, after having been incarcerated in NICU for 60 days, we are both enjoying parenthood, sleepless nights and no social life, but loving every moment of this special time. Each day something new occurs and each day I thank God  for this chance to fulfill my dream of being a Dad.
I have written much about my experience of infertility and the pain that I still carry with such raw memories inside me. But, today, I look down at my daughter in a sling over my arm, sound asleep and still have to pinch myself that after all this time and after everything that I went through, I am now a Dad.

All the way through NICU, I made sure that everyone knew how special this baby was. For many people we met there, none of them had ever experienced the ravages of infertility and were totally unaware of the pain, desolation and despair that infertility inflicts. They are now all a little wiser.

There is one promise that I have made to myself, since before Darcey was born, and it is that I will never forget my journey to parenthood, nor will I betray the memory of those for whom the pain and the misery still continues.



2 responses

11 12 2010

David, I’m so pleased and so relieved to hear that despite all theses problems, all ends well. My warmest congratulations to you.
I’ve been worried as I hadn’t heard anything. I remember sending you a message at the time of the earthquake struck and then nothing.
It sort of takes me back, you never forget the hell of ICU, coming round not knowing if your baby is going to make it and then the wait…
Both mine were very premature, my son was very poorly when he was born but you would never know looking at him today.
You know, the pain of going through all this is worth it when you hold them in your arms.
All the best, look after yourselves.

30 01 2011

Elle, I am so very sorry. I have hardly been here but I feel terribly guilty for not replying to you. I don’t recall seeing an email at the time of the earthquake, but I am so grateful and thankful for your kind concern about our welfare generally… a big thank you. I am so pleased your little ones have developed fully and without issue. Everything is good and Darcey is making good progress, developing behaviourally as per her real age, but in size terms, as adjusted. How are you and your little ones doing?

I’d love to write more, but, Darcey is awaking from her slumber for the 2.30am feed, so I had better get on. Again, so kind of you to write, it is much appreciated.

David xx

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