I got up the next morning and had a cold shower with hardly any water pressure. I couldn't believe that in a big hospital like this I couldn't have a hot shower, surely they needed hot water for the patients and staff. After a discussion with a nurse I learnt that I needed to be out of bed each morning and in the shower by 6am if I wanted a hot shower with water pressure. Once the wards woke up the water cooled and the pressure dropped.
Michael came in and got me breakfast from the cafeteria and the day began. We had a new ward to learn the routines of, different patients to observe and Cameron to watch as he slept. We had doctors coming and going and tests being run.
We were starting to get to know the nursing staff who were all really lovely. One nurse set me a challenge - ''You need to know your sons ID number frontwards and backwards. Practise because tomorrow I am going to test you. '' The next morning true to her word she asked me what Cameron's ID number was frontwards and backwards and I could tell her. I could still tell her if she walked in and asked me right now. She was right, I did need to know his ID number, I've had to tell staff that number so many times over the years and it's come in very handy when I've been sitting in the back of a racing ambulance and the ambulance officer has been able to tell the hospital Cameron's ID number so his records could be pulled quickly.
This same nurse was very friendly and chatted a lot with us. She found out that it was our Wedding Anniversary the next day so she set us another challenge. Actually it wasn't so much a challenge as an order - "You must go out for breakfast for your Wedding Anniversary. You need to celebrate and take a little time for yourselves. I promise Cameron will be alright. There is a little cafe down on the corner, all the staff go there." You couldn't really argue with her and she was so lovely. She made you feel safe and besides, every excuse I came up with she had an answer for.
Michael's parents were absolute angels and sacrificed a TV from their home for me. I am eternally grateful to them. That TV kept me sane. They brought it in but before I could plug it in it had to be taken away by the hospital electrician to be checked and approved. A day or so later it came back with it's approval sticker and I was once again connected with the outside world.
Nobody else on the ward had a TV. One Mum had a sewing machine and she sewed all day as her baby slept. I'm guessing she had spent a lot of time in hospital, she seemed very comfortable doing her own thing. Most of the mum's flipped through magazines, chatted to each other if they were in a shared room or stared into space, numbed by the whole experience. From time to time you would see a mum slumped in a chair asleep.
Some babies had nobody with them and some of those babies mother's would come in and visit and then leave again. I don't know how they did it, I couldn't have left and my heart broke for the babies who had no one but the nurses. The nurses paid particular attention to those babies and would sit and cuddle them as much as they could but it wasn't the same.
Before we knew it, another day had gone. My Mum had come in around lunch time and brought us lunch and Michael's Mum came in around dinner time and brought us dinner. We were so grateful for food from outside the hospital.
Then it was time for another hot, interrupted nights sleep. It was really hard to say goodnight to Michael. It felt like a limb was being ripped off as I watched him walk away, I just wanted him with me all the time. The positive for the evening was that the nurses said I could close the blinds in my half of the room so at least I didn't feel quite so exposed and the lights weren't quite as bright. I got about as much sleep as I got the night before while Cameron continued to sleep soundly.