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Every thing had gone well with my first pregnancy and I was eagerly awaiting the birth.

Samantha was born at eight o’clock in the morning, after a long night in labour. I remember it being a lovely warm spring day. I looked into her eyes and fell in love with her immediately.  After a welcome cup of tea I was taken back to the main ward, where Samantha and I would stay for ten days.

Samantha did not come onto the ward with me straight away, the nurses told me that she was to stay in the nursery, because apparently on her arrival into the world she had ingested water and needed to rest.

I remember feeling a little down as the other mothers were sitting outside in the garden, in the warm sun, this soon passed and the long awaited reunion with my daughter arrived.

Here she was my little bundle that had survived inside me for nine months, her little bloodshot eyes looked into mine with bewilderment, as if to say who are you.
SAMANTHA ANN
Born   29 - 4 - 1967

Angel Wings Gained
27 - 11 - 1969

                                                     THE FIRST FEED

I remember the first feed - I was very nervous try as I might she would not take the teat in her mouth and I was getting frustrated and very tearful.  One of the other mother’s made a comment like “there is something wrong with your baby” and I felt quite frightened at this, however I did not give up.

Babies were taken to the nursery at night, to give the mothers a rest; this I am sure was welcomed by all.

The next few days were quite tiring with all the hustle and bustle of the hospital and all the busy visiting times - these I always looked forward to because I felt so proud of my little one. Neil always looked a little nervous; I suppose wondering how this life changing event would affect us as a couple.

The next ten days were long, and feed times were always as frustrating as the first feed was.  I was not very good at being a mother or so I thought but I suppose that is what a lot of new mothers feel at first.

                                      GOING HOME


The day finally arrived when we were due to be discharged from the maternity hospital and all final checks on both Samantha and myself were done.


Well all the packing was done and Samantha was all dressed up in her new baby clothes.  Neil arrived shortly after 10 o’clock in the morning and we were going home.
All goodbyes were said to other mothers and the staff, and we were off.


                             THE HOME COMING

It felt so strange to be on our own, just the three of us. I had to make bottles and sort out all her clothes - all the things needed immediately had all been aired.

After along round of visitors we were ready for our first night together.  The long awaited moment had arrived we were a family.

My nana sent a message over to say I needed to be churched before I could visit them - even though they lived just across the road.  I contacted the vicar and went to church, where I received the blessing!  I could now visit whom I wanted to, such was the way it was then.
                                     MY STRUGGLE


was trying to get into a routine while Neil was still off work, now days it would be called paternity leave; this was not proving to be easy because Samantha was still very difficult to feed. - She would not entertain the bottle and things were going from bad to worse.  Here was I with a new life that I was frightened would slip away from me, because I knew she was not having enough milk for her survival.

I would sit up at night for at least two hours and all I had achieved was a one-ounce feed.  I would put her down and two hours later the struggle began again. This went on for about ten weeks, in the mean time I was feeling quite ill with being up half of the night and the frustration at Samantha not feeding properly.  I used to go to the clinic every week and by the time she was ten weeks old she only weighed about nine pounds eight ounces! She was seven pound seven at birth.

I had a friend that lived across the road and one day she came to see me and found me in tears so she said “right get yourself and Samantha ready we are going to the doctors” I did not feel up to arguing so I got myself and Samantha ready.

We waited for quite some time in the doctor’s waiting room but eventually we were called in.  Doctor Crosby was my family doctor whom I had known for years H greeted us in his usual way “hi Norma how’s it going, with that I broke into tears Kathy My friend explained all that had happened and he said I will ring the hospital and get you to see the paediatrician.   Later on that day I was informed to go to the hospital the following morning.
                               THE HOSPITAL VISIT


The morning came and I got Samantha ready in her prettiest outfit and her beautiful shawl that we had bought for her christening. My mother had said she would go with me so I met her at the hospital.

The wait to see the specialist seemed a long time, however Samantha’s name was called and in we went.
It was a lady doctor called Doctor Morris and she greeted us with a smile and asked us to sit down and asked me to explain what the problem was. I explained the best I could and her suggestion was to use a teat with a bigger hole - she made a larger hole in the teat and asked me to try and feed Samantha, but as usual she refused and then she said we would do some tests.  She laid Samantha on a couch and attempted to lift her up by the arms, however Samantha’s head lolled behind and after a few more tests she asked me to take Samantha up to Devonshire Road Children’s’ Hospital, this I did straight away.
                                          DEVONSHIRE ROAD HOSPITAL


We were made welcome on our arrival and shown to a little room encased in glass; this made it easier for the nurses to monitor the children.  I was feeling quite apprehensive by then but the nurses were wonderful.

I was observed feeding Samantha and after a few days when they could see we were not getting very far with the feeding they decided to put a nasal tube in and feed her that way, although it was not nice I felt a little better as I knew she was getting the nourishment to survive.  

Every Wednesday Doctor Morris would have a surgery at the hospital and at one meeting I was told that Samantha was failing to thrive; we stayed at the hospital for nine weeks and Samantha was beginning to put weight on.  I would go to the hospital at eight thirty in the morning and stay all day.  Neil would arrive at about five o’clock and we would leave together at eight in the evening.  This went on for the nine weeks and eventually discharged.

During our stay in hospital I became very friendly with one of the nurses who by chance lived only two doors away from Neil and I, she became my angel!
Angels song is copyright @2002 by Dave Edwards and used with his permission
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