Little baby Max's birth was as planned and fairly uneventful. It was exciting & emotional for us, as it was our first full term baby (and the first which Daddy Mummerina actually made it to the birth). We had plenty of skin-to-skin whilst in the operating room and he breastfed right away. He came out crying and we both joked how loud he was compared to his older brother who was born at 31 weeks.
Soon after, whilst being weighed and checked, the midwife noticed some slight bruising (which was so light I hadn't even noticed). She mentioned this to the doctor once we got back up to the ward who suggested he go down to the NICU to get his blood work checked & rule out any infection. They told me he should be back up with me that night.
It wasn't long before my hospital bed was surrounded by nurses, obstetricians and the neonatologist who were rushing to take an epic amount of blood from both Daddy Mummerina & I. No one could or would explain what was going on but I knew something wasn't right.
I was finally wheeled down to the NICU to see Max and was bombarded with the news that he has Neonatal Thrombocytopenia. All I heard was snippets of the information that he had virtually no platelets in his blood, was at risk of fatal bleeding on his brain or vital organs, that he would require several transfusions and would remain in the NICU for quite some time.
This is when I came apart. The thought of going through another NICU journey broke me. This wasn't meant to happen this time... I carried him full term. I thought that is all I needed to do!
Once I was discharged from hospital, we spent the next week going to the hospital every day. Every day I would cry and just pray he could come home. We were told he may be there for up to 6 weeks.
Thankfully, Max only required the one transfusion and he slowly started "making" his own platelets. At 8 days old, the doctors allowed us to take him home, providing we return every 48 hours to have his blood checked. I was so happy I cried. Everything was going to be OK now. I would be happy again, and life would feel complete.
Except it didn't. Max came home and things got harder. Alot harder. Harder than I ever imagined.