A Bitter Tinge

If you’ll excuse the rather personal post today…

Tomorrow is my daughter’s first birthday and I am angry. Not with her, she’s such a delight and it’s very hard to remember sometimes that she’s not actually even a year old because she doesn’t act like it, but with how the events surrounding her birth unfolded.

I’ve written about them in great detail but never published them, but I might actually. I’m tired of reading about how the hospitals are reviewing their emergency procedures or feelgood stories in the local rags about “dogged determinism” and “rising above the tragedy” of enduring a Category 5 cyclone. I want people to know what a colossal clusterfuck the whole ordeal was, but I’m wary of the lack of journalistic integrity of the local paper and don’t want to be misquoted or misrepresented. I do still feel as though the scary ineptitude of the disaster management plan should be told from a patient’s perspective, however.

I do want to take the opportunity to immortalise in words just how important one person’s actions were though – Penelope May, there is no way I would have survived without you.

Penny picked my husband up from the airport at 4am after he took the last available flight out of town, despite only arriving back into the country a mere five hours beforehand. She drove him to the hospital and gave him a place to stay when they were told that neither myself or our daughter had arrived yet. The hospital took away most of my meals uneaten because I was down in the special care unit feeding my daughter and they would only leave them there for half an hour – Penny brought us food. The hospital refused to supply us more nappies because we were overstaying our welcome and had used our allotted nappy stores, the hospital pharmacy didn’t stock them and James wandered for two hours without finding a shop so it was Penny who brought us nappies in her lunch break. Penny brought me moisurisers and lip balms when my face began to crack because of my severe dehydration. Penny and her husband gave James clothes to wear and a phone charger because he’d had to jump onto the last available flight out of town with next to no notice.

Thank you Penny, for ever and always xoxo.

3 thoughts on “A Bitter Tinge

  1. My daughter did not have an emergency birth but she was born with a tumour that needed immediate attention. I am part of a group of mothers from all over the world who have children that were born with the same tumour as my daughter. I think many of them have also experienced extreme anger around the first birthday. Some still feel very depressed, angry or some other strong emotion at every birthday. It is mainly because it is not just the birthday of the child which is something to celebrate but also the anniversary and reminder of all the trauma that went on around that time.

    Penny sounds like an angel, it was good you had someone to look after you in your time of need.

    Happy birthday to your little one.

    • I think that’s pretty much the crux of it, Billie Jo, the reminder of the trauma. The birth itself was traumatic, but that’s the kind of traumatic I can live with because I know it couldn’t have happened any other way – but the rubbish that came immediately afterwards was so needless and easily preventable and the effects that it had on me both physically and mentally are hugely significant.

      I hope your little girl made a speedy recovery.

      • She is a happy and healthy five year old now. We were lucky, her tumour remained small and the surgeons operated and removed it all before we had to deal with all the cancer stuff that so many others have gone through. She will have to be watched for life for re-occurrence and she will have to have a c-section if she ever chooses to have a baby but these are such minor things compared to what others have gone through.

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