Welcome to our blog!
We are starting this blog while our little baby boy lays in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, or UHW for short.
Asa Jonathan Shaw was born on Friday 6th July 2012 at 8.02pm, weighing 6lb 9oz. We arrived at the hospital 20 minutes before he was born, yikes! Labour had progressed very quickly. In the 20 minutes before he was born, the midwife monitored Asa’s heart and he seemed to be a bit unhappy. When my waters were broken by the doctor, it was apparent that our precious little boy had emptied his bowels, most likely due to him becoming distressed at the very quick labour. Whilst the doctor was rushing to put the heart monitor on to our unborn baby’s head, out came our little Asa to greet the world. I went from 6 to 10cm in a matter of minutes! You hear about babies who ‘fly out’ – well, he was one of those babies! Doctors came running in. I was as ‘high as a kite’ on gas and air and feeling very confused.
Asa had swallowed ‘grade 3 meconium’ (the new baby poo!) while still inside me, which resulted in him having difficulty breathing. It was a very scary time. I don’t remember him crying. He needed help breathing and had an oxygen mask on. About 5-10 minutes after he was born, he was wheeled over to us very briefly, where I gently stroked our new born’s cheek before he was taken to the NICU as he needed to have the CPAP breathing machine. The Doctor (Dr Mally) was lovely, very understanding. I asked a few times whether they could tell if Asa had Down’s syndrome. Each time they replied that it was too early to tell. (I’ll explain in another post a bit about the pregnancy and our story).
To not hold your own newborn baby after nine months of carrying him/her around and experiencing the pain of labour, is a very difficult thing to endure. A very unnatural thing. The midwife, Emily, was fantastic, and was very reassuring. She told us that after I had a few stitches
I could shower and we could see our son. Hooray!!! While I had a cup of tea and some toast, Jon was busy texting and calling friends and family to tell them our good news!
Seeing Asa properly for the first time in the NICU was upsetting yet wonderful. Upsetting because he had the CPAP mask on, laying in a warm neonatal incubator, with just a nappy on. His very first nappy that as parents Jon and I should have put on him. Upsetting because he didn’t look like our baby. Wonderful because here was our boy, at last, after a somewhat difficult pregnancy!
Today is the 13th of July, 2012. Our little Asa is still in the hospital. He has an infection due to swallowing the meconium. Plus he’s having lots of stomach aspirates and difficulty feeding, so he is currently fed via the NG tube. We miss him and want him home with us. It’s very hard.