Little did Mum and I expect, when those doors of the ICU were finally opened, we would see my friend from home standing there, bag of our belongings in her hand, waiting for us. Her timing couldn't have been better and after a confused but very happy hello she walked along beside us as we moved from the ICU down to the Infants ward.
My stomach was in knots because I just didn't know what to expect. We went down to the fifth floor and walked through the doors into the ward that was to become my home for the next 2 months. We walked past glass windows and looked at parents sitting in rooms with their babies. Everything was quite calm and quiet. We reached the nurses desk at the end of the ward and everywhere you looked there were glass windows with babies behind. We were directed into a room with four cots and taken to a cot in the corner where we were visible from the nurses desk.
Cameron was transferred from the bed into the cot and then after goodbyes the ICU staff went off to do a handover with the Infant Ward staff. We were left standing at the end of the cot not knowing what to do with ourselves. No chairs, no guidance and a petrified feeling in my stomach because all of a sudden there was no nurse standing at the end of the bed watching my son. It was a feeling of abandonment. What if something went wrong?
We put the bags on the ground at the end of the cot and stood there - my first question to my friend - Did you get my pill? Pill consumed it appeared that we were going to be standing there for a while so I ate my lunch and we started to catch up, feeling very odd.
After the handover was complete a nurse came in and found us some chairs and for the umpteenth time I told our story from the day Cameron got sick up until we walked into their ward. I was quite tired of telling our story to the medical staff over and over. You could be mistaken for thinking nobody talked to each other. After the paperwork was complete we were left to absorb our new surroundings.
Looking around I could see mother's sitting next to cots and I could see babies all by themselves. Nurses were going in and out of rooms usually picking up files and making notes as they went. There were a couple of babies in the cots in our room.
We sat there watching Cameron sleep for what seemed like hours. Occasionally a nurse would come in and take obs (observations) but on the whole we were left. There were two rooms on either side of our room. One had a cot and the other room had a cot, single bed and ensuite. The first room had a baby sleeping and a mother sitting watching, the other room was full of personal items and a sleeping baby but no parent. Eventually we were told that if that mother didn't return by a set time the baby would be moved and we would be moved into the self contained room.
I sat there hoping we would get that room whilst feeling guilty for wanting that room at the expense of the unknown mother. I wanted to be with Cameron, have a real bed and have my own bathroom. It would make life so much easier and it looked safe. If we didn't get that room then I would be staying in the four cot room and sleeping on a fold up bed that would be removed during the day. The four cot room felt cold and exposed.
Michael returned, from wherever it was that he went, and we continued to wait. Finally, we saw staff make a decision.