We sat and watched rather excitedly as the nurses stripped the self contained room. Everything was packed up and the baby was moved into our room with it's mother's belongings. The room was cleaned and left sparkling. Our friend left and we sat waiting.
Finally a nurse came in and told us we were moving into Room One so we stood aside as staff moved Cameron and we followed behind with our bags. We stood and watched as Cameron was settled in to his room in his pink cot, yes you read that right - Pink. I was very conscious of the other mother's watching us, we were so exposed and on show.
Once the staff had done everything they needed to do for Cameron we were left to settle into our room. In Cameron's half of the room there was his cot and a small side cabinet next to the cot. There was a bench with two storage cupboards underneath, a small sink and an armchair. .
In my half of the room I had a bed with a plastic mattress protector. There was a small table, a chair, a small slim wardrobe and a small cupboard. On the fourth wall of the room I had a window to the outside world with a deep window sill and a door to a little ensuite with a shower, toilet and basin. Finally I could go to the toilet with out leaving the ward.
The room was surrounded by windows on three sides and the rules were that the blinds were to be kept open at all times. Staff needed to be able to look through to other patients.
Cameron was still hooked up to machines that monitored his body and fed him. He had tubes to collect his urine and tubes to deliver medications. He was puffy and he was asleep. We were excited he was breathing unaided and no longer in ICU but we didn't really know what was happening, he was sleeping, it didn't look like anything else was happening.
We were given a tour of the ward and shown the essentials such as where the linen was kept and where to make a cup of coffee. My mother left and Michael's parents arrived, this was their first visit since Cameron started breathing by himself. They needed to adjust to our new surroundings and circumstances.
Eventually it was just Michael, Cameron and myself. It was quiet and we didn't really know what to do with ourselves. We found the parent room and made ourselves a cup of coffee. We started to meet the staff, and tell our story over and over, We observed the other patients and watched with guilt as the mother who had been in our room returned to the ward.
Eventually Michael decided he was going to bed and he left the ward. It was so hard to let him go. I was all on my own and it felt so different to ICU. The staff visited routinely but I was on my own, I felt very alone and scared but I was about to get my first good nights sleep, so that was something to celebrate.