I felt so helpless not being able to cuddle and care for my new born. I remember sitting there listening to the Doctors talk to the Nurses, I could hear them, but my brain wasn’t there at all. It was like I couldn’t make out what they were saying.
The Doctor introduced himself, he was very calm and soft spoken.
He told us that he’s worried about Kian’s breathing and how his lungs suck in from under his ribs when he breathes in. He used some other big words; I couldn’t understand the terminology. I couldn’t even think straight to be able to ask questions.
I looked at the naming card it read: KIAN MITCHELL HUTCHINSON
I looked at Bryce, he had chosen to use Mitchell after our friend that had recently passed away. Kian’s middle name was originally going to be – James.
We had mentioned it while I was pregnant, but Mitchell’s passing was still fresh to us, so we had left it for now and didn’t bring it up again.
I was happy we ended up using it. It reminded us we have someone watching over him, alongside my dear Mum Marie who has also passed. ❤️🥺
I’ve never seen Bryce look so worried and sad, he was scared. We both were scared.
Sitting with Kian, not being able to hold him, made me feel so helpless. The Nurses were doing what they needed to do. Everyone with the common questions: “How are you?” “ok” I would reply with red, puffy, glassy eyes. I wasn’t ok. I felt sick... like worried sick! The Nurses would re-assure me that Kian is doing ok. It is ok. The Nurse’s would then always ask “Is this your first baby?” I replied
“No, he is my 4th”. The Nurse would always respond “oh my! 4th! Go you!” They must have been clutching at straws because they said. “You look so beautiful you have such nice skin!” Really? I felt like I’ve been hit with a minivan. I felt like my head was going to pop with the pressure on my brain my eyes were burning I just felt numb and sad. But hey, you know I’ll always take a compliment!
At this stage I didn’t know what was happening. Of course, thinking the worst. It was late, I was tired and so was Bryce.
He moved all my things in the room I was staying in the maternity ward. We were allowed access to the NICU 24/7 as parents, but as far as sleeping arrangement partners not been allowed to be in the maternity ward Bryce had to go home. It was really hard not being able to be together.
I stayed next to Kian after Bryce left. The nurse said to me “go get some sleep he will be fine, come back when you’re had some sleep”. I didn’t want to leave him, I cried walking down to the maternity ward where I was staying. Walking in the maternity ward, I could see the new Mums sitting up with their babies.
The midwife on duty showed me the room I was in, my bags and my baby bag all sitting there unused and untouched. I set my things up set, then hopped in the bed laying there I couldn’t sleep looking at the photos Bryce took of Kian.
I could hear the other mums and their babies crying as I laid there feeling so lonely so empty
So sad, I just wanted my baby! To feed him, cuddle him and take care of him 🥺 ❤️
As the night went on, I barely got any sleep. I remember back when having my first two babies and them crying the first night how nervous I felt, this was so different. I was curled up crying softly, so lonely like I was missing a part of me. I would have done anything to have my baby next to me. I wouldn’t care if he cried all night. 😭
Waking up the next morning.... well I really was just waiting for the sun to come up so I could go so see my boy, I popped up and got my things to have a shower jumped in the shower to that lukewarm water again 🙃
As I got ready to hop out I realised, I didn’t take a towel in. Oh shit... I wasn’t thinking straight. So, I patted myself dry with paper towel as that’s all I had 😅🤦🏻♀️
I chucked on my adult nappy before I got covered in blood (oh the joys of postpartum). 😕
The Nurse was doing her rounds checked me over, physically I was doing well. Mentally I was crushed.
After that, up I went to see Kian. I couldn’t walk fast enough! Got to the doors, waiting for them to open felt like forever
As I neared Kians bed, I could see him lying there all hooked up to cords and machines over him. I held his tiny little hand, he had just a nappy on him. I could see his breathing still wasn’t good, his neck would suck in with every breath.
The Nurse asked me if I wanted to hold him. Umm yes please I replied “am I allowed to”?
She said of course, she got me set up and moved him over with the help of another nurse (it’s hard to move them when they are all hooked up to the machines and air supply).
Finally, I got to hold him. I looked at him, so small in my arms and started to cry. My sweet boy, I am so sorry your life started out this way, I felt guilty even though I knew it wasn’t something I could’ve helped. The Nurse took a photo of me with him my first real hold. I look so sad and scared.
Bryce came back around 9am. He needed to wait for his Mum to watch the rest of the kids at home. I was missing them so much.
We sat there waiting for the Doctor to do their rounds, barely talking, time went fast surprisingly.
The Doctor told us he was concerned about Kian’s breathing and was asking how many weeks I was when I had him as he was showing signs of a more premature baby and was wondering if it was possible my dates where wrong.
I don’t think so I had a scan before 6 weeks around 4 had had to come back at the 6-week mark so how much earlier could I be?
After the Doctor has been, all we did was sit there with Kian. I had to hand express in to a jar for him what felt like getting blood from a stone
I was thankful I brought some colostrum that I had expressed at home from when I was pregnant.
The day went on and on, it was getting late so Bryce went and got some good old chicken and hot chips. I was hungry but too stressed to eat. Bryce went home to see the kids. I said I’ll have a nap as they moved me in to my own room in the NICU. I had a shower (with a towel to dry me) lol and crawled into bed.
2 and a half hours later I woke up faced time Bryce and the kids. I was missing them so much, telling them I’ll probably be home in a few days, Kian seemed good before my nap, that I love them and goodnight.
Off I went to see Kian, it wasn’t far from my room, I was walking down the hall way and I could see the Nurses and Doctors around Kian. My stomach dropped.....oh shit what’s happening, I thought.
The nurse turned and said calmly “oh there you are, we were just about to get you”.
I Instantly felt sick again, they started talking about Kian and his breathing, he isn’t getting better, it’s getting worse and they have done all they can 🥺
Obviously hearing that I thought the worst, but he meant all they can do for him here at Gosford Hospital, I said ‘ok so what does that mean?’ he replied he will need to be air lifted to a different hospital. The Doctor asked if my husband was still close by? He was about a 40 min drive away.
I was told to give him a call let him know what’s happening.
Bryce was confused, I just told him Kian was doing good 5mins ago, now they’re saying he’s getting airlifted and to come back!?
My sister went over to our house to watch the kids and Bryce came back to the hospital. The NETs Team was there when Bryce arrived, I had heard the helicopter land on the roof of the hospital, it didn’t feel real.
They give you these fabric hearts, one for the baby, one for you, you wear them, to get your scent on it, then swap. You keep the heart that smells like your baby and they have one that smells like their Mumma 🥺 (ouch, I know)😓 so sweet.
They talked us through what was happening loaded Kian into the transport crib. Strapped him in and explained that I could go with him but they don’t recommend it, the seatbelts are tight around the belly having a baby the night before, it wouldn’t be good to press that hard on there. It’s freezing I had only pjs and going home clothes. I had no enclosed shoes and they told me it’s freezing in there.
Their focus is on Kian and not me, it was painful but the right decision was to let them the do their job and for me to follow by car.
We swapped our fabric hearts
We got all our things packed the car and headed to the Royal North Shore Hospital it’s about 80mins away.
On the way down I felt so sad, crushed, lost and stressed. My 30-hour fresh baby was in a helicopter. So far away from me. I hated it, but found comfort in knowing he was in the absolute best hands the air Doctors are next level. Such a focused team, I ‘ve never seen anything like it.
I was holding the heart in my hand and holding Bryce's hand in the other. I couldn’t help but inhale his scent and let out this hurtful sobbing cry with my head resting on the widow.
We were heading over the Mooney Mooney Bridge and out in the distance, we could see the Kians helicopter (it’s actually TOLL like the logistics company you see on trucks) lights. Knowing it had our tiny little bubba in there made me feel so sick with fear but so bloody grateful this was an option for his care. I just wanted to be by his side.
Finally, we’re there!
That felt like forever, we parked the car and pretty much power walked/ran in to the RNSH and found out where we had to go. The NETS team send you a message with an update and a few photos of Kian in the helicopter
The msg read:
Hi mummy and daddy, I have arrived safely at RNSH. Jenna and Tracey said I was a very good baby in the helicopter🚁 lots of love Baby Kian 💕💕
I started crying again, reading that walking in the NICU. What a bloody whirlwind 🥺
We knew where Kian was as there was a swarm of Doctors and Nurses around Kian, hooking him up to the new bed, oxygen and everything else.
We stayed with him and talked to the Doctors and then dropped our things off in the maternity ward. Utterly exhausted.
Before we knew it, it was 4am we had a few hours of sleep, waking up the next morning, they gave us food. I ate a plain slice of bread and took the water with me. At this point, nothing else mattered I just wanted to go back to Kian.
We ended up being there for 11 days. An absolute rollercoaster, every one of those days.
We wanted to be with him, but every time we walked through the NICU doors we didn’t want to go in. The fear of receiving bad news was unbearable. At the same time, we didn’t want to leave him when it was time either. It was a weird feeling seeing all the other babies in the NICU. Mostly it was premature babies being cared for. Tiny little darlings, it was very overwhelming. My hat goes off to any NICU family.
Our days would consist of pumping in the morning, kangaroo cuddle once a day for a few hours. I did the first few days, then finally, Bryce got to hold him for the first time at 3 days old. I’ll never forget the look in Bryce’s eyes, they were glassy and terrified. But full of so much love for a little boy.
The Doctors do their round every day and let you know what the plan was for the day. They trialled him off the CPAC to see how he would cope. He lasted 10 hours but unfortunately, had to go back on as he still wasn’t doing well.
By day four I don’t recognise myself in the mirror. The bags under my eyes had their own bags. They were black and sad. My boobs were engorged. I resembled a dairy cow. I would express milk every few hours. Enough to fill up a bottle on each side. I could had feed the whole maternity ward. I have a freezer full now and am donating it to a Mumma who’s bub will be here soon.
I was feeling like a shell of myself, nothing else mattered, just Kian and my family.
As the days would go on, they would do X-rays, different tests to see if Kian was getting better. When he was first at Gosford, they did an X-ray. They could see that Kian had fluid on his lungs. They were continuously checking, to see if that was still there, it was.
Kian was given medication to flush all the fluid out of his body which left him very skinny.
The X-ray indicated that the medication was helping Kian. But unfortunately, it hadn’t fixed his breathing.
They decided to do an ultrasound on his heart. They found tiny holes that were sitting together on top of his heart near the muscles. They hadn’t picked up on this during my ultrasound even though I was getting one, once a week by the end of my pregnancy.
They were unsure if the liquid on his lungs was fluid or blood from his poor little heart. I was obviously devastated when I found this out, but slightly relieved that they finally could pinpoint what was happening with him. I was happy he could be on the mend and possibly look at going home.
We had to wait three days for the Heart Specialist to be able to confirm what the pediatrician thought he saw on the last ultrasound of his heart. It was finally confirmed!
Now they were sure what they were dealing with and we are looking at coming back to Gosford hospital! Yippee!! Nearly home!
Again, the NETS team. This time just in the van transporter. I drove my car back to Gosford passing Kian on the freeway again.
We spent another two days at Gosford hospital, making sure that he was gaining weight and wasn’t getting too tired. They were worried that the holes in his heart might affect his energy levels.
He was able to gain the weight he needed. He was back up to his birth weight.
Let’s take our baby home!
One by one the kids came home from school. Riley was first, then Zara and of course cyclone Kenzi.
(It’s available to watch on my Instagram highlights of Kian)
It felt absolutely magical! I was so over the moon to see the kids, and to finally have their baby brother home.
The Royal North Shore hospital and Gosford Hospital were amazing! The Doctors, Nurses were next level. Everyone was so lovely, so supportive and then never made you feel like you’re out of the loop.
It’s hard when you’re there. It feels like there’s no end date to the worry and pain. Each day feels like Groundhog Day. The same thing over and over. I was lucky to have my husband by my side that whole time. We were able to stay in the Douglas building while at RNSH. It is funded by a Central Coast charity “giveme5” We are so grateful for them.
We brought a new wrap out in Kians name. “Kian Palms Wrap”. After everything we had experienced and witnessed at the RNSH we decided to donate $5.00 from each sale to the RNSH.
Available on our website now.
Kians heart still has the holes in it. It’s something we need to monitor and see what happens as he grows, only time will tell, he has check-ups every two weeks.
Thank you so much for reading and all your messages of Love and Support.
You are amazing.