Parent Diaries

“We were ready to take her home, but instead she had to spend 4 days in intensive care”

My baby was in hospital for ten days

My baby was in hospital for ten days

Louise, Bristol, England

It was a long delivery with Freya, 28 hours. She was born just before midnight on the Wednesday. I had a raised temperature during the birth, so they gave her antibiotics and ran some tests - just incase. We stayed in for a couple of days and by Friday I thought we were heading home. But instead, the doctors told me they had the test results back. Freya had suspected meningitis so they took her straight to intensive care. I had to stay in for treatment as well, and was moved to a different ward.

I was in shock, I didn’t expect anything like this to happen. I remember ringing my partner James in floods of tears to tell him what had happened. I just couldn’t believe it. He spent as much time as possible at the hospital with me and would stay with Freya when I had to go back to my own ward for treatment. Our family on both sides live quite a distance away, and Freya wasn’t really allowed visitors, so we told them not to make the trip. When I look back, that was really isolating for us and I’m not sure it was the right thing to do, but at that point it was just about surviving each day. We just tried to spend as much time as possible together as a new family.

In the end, they had to do a lumbar puncture on Freya. We were asked to leave for that and I’m glad, not sure I could have watched. Thankfully, the results confirmed it wasn’t meningitis, just an infection - they didn’t know what caused it. We could relax a bit after that as we knew she’d be ok, but the whole experience was really frightening.

She came out of Intensive Care and had to spend another 6 days in hospital, but at least we could be on the same ward, and we knew we’d get home soon. It wasn’t the birth we were expecting, but it could have been so much worse. We were just relieved, after 10 really tough days, to finally take her home.