Amy’s 22nd day in the world had got off to a really great start.
Off the ventilator for 9 days and on CPAP, she and I had spent a lovely day together in NICU. During these early days and due to Amy’s very fragile state, cuddles were at a premium but that day we had enjoyed our longest kangaroo care session. Only the fourth time I had held Amy, this cuddle was so precious and lasted almost an hour. I’d even got to change her nappy afterwards.
On leaving the hospital that afternoon, I was on cloud nine and remember thinking to myself: “this is getting a little easier”. But this high was somewhat short lived when later that evening the phone rang. My heart sank as ‘ROTUNDA NICU’ appeared on the caller ID – I knew it wasn’t good news. Amy, always full of surprises, had taken a turn after I left that afternoon and had to be put back on the ventilator, for the fourth time. It had just got harder, all over again.
After a sleepless night of worry and heartache, my husband and I arrived into NICU to this letter from Amy, penned by one of her ‘Aunties’. Such a simple but beautiful thought, we were both so deeply moved. It made us cry but also made us smile. Not only did the letter give us very personal reassurance of Amy’s night, it made us realise that there was a team who cared for our daughter so much. While it broke our hearts to leave her behind each day, she had an ‘extended family’ who cared for her, not just from a medical perspective but on a human level also.
To this day, 5 months on, this letter remains pride of place on our kitchen notice board not as a momento of a very difficult day, but as a memory of the warmth, kindness and devotion of Amy’s “Aunties and Uncles” in the Rotunda NICU. We will be eternally grateful.