This is my Warrior. He is My Hero, My Swan. My Amazing Fighter. He is My Atticus.
Where do I begin? Do I start with the journey he has been on so far? Do I write about the continued assessments and appointments and referrals and waiting lists?
I will start at the beginning.
Atticus was born just past what they call the ‘premmy’ stage at the local Hospital. They were expecting complications with his health when he was born as I had a condition called POLYHYDRAMNIOS during pregnancy. I was told to ensure that If I went into labour, to call 999 immediately. As there was a risk to his life if I went into labour. I was admitted at almost 38 weeks for a planned caesarean. I had steroid injections beforehand to develop his lungs. I had been prepared for him to be whisked into SCBU to have his lungs drained and to be monitored in the first few days of life.
Alas that didn’t happen. Well, the caesarean did. no sooner was his born his was in my arms and feeding as any new born would.
The first night was unsettled. As you would expect. And due to the fact that he was my third child, I was safe in the knowledge I was being discharged the following day. Or so we thought.
As we were due to leave, something really frightening happened. I was lifting Atticus up and all of a sudden he arched his back, went stiff and his eyes looked like they were about to pop out of his head. He stayed like this for what seemed like an eternity. I am sure it must have been only 10 seconds. Then he went floppy. And then he screamed. And screamed. And screamed.
We rushed for help. The fear in his eyes was indescribable. And as help was sent for, and I was shouting at the top of my voice for help to come to the ward, the whole process repeated again.
The Doctor was brilliant. She took my baby into resusc and performed all the checks which needed to be done. We were told not to expect to return home that day, they wanted to monitor him for another 24 hours, which was totally fine for me.
So we spent the next 24 hours having tests every hour. They attributed it to low blood sugar although they were stretched to prove to me that was the reason.
So on the Wednesday; two days after he was born, he was finally allowed to go home. That was the end of it in our eyes. A lucky escape. We thought. How wrong were we.
The day after we saw the Community Midwife. Atticus lay on her lap while she spoke to us; reassured us; and then he started jittering. And he didn’t stop. The midwife shared her concerns and called the hospital straight away. We were rushed in and admitted straight away for tests. Straight up to the Children’s Ward.
I will never forget the feeling of helplessness I felt with the Doctors swarming around my tiny little boy, trying to hold him still as he screamed and screamed, trying to put a canular in this perfectly formed little fighter. It destroyed me.
We stayed in hospital overnight, in a private room opposite the nurses station. He had all his bloods done; traces tested, heart monitors. I was taken care of too. I was only day three out of major abdominal surgery. And funnily enough, that didn’t matter to me. I couldn’t sleep. I just sat there looking, staring at my little boy, who was enduring something I knew nothing about.
All the tests came back clear. Thank God. We were discharged the following day. Told he was just a ‘jittery’ baby. And we fell for it. And that was the beginning.