“Mr Martin, you do know that surgery was spectacular don’t you?”. Those were the words from the Registrar about a week after the surgery. He told me that he had never seen that complex surgery done so well. It was a miracle. A few days later another Doctor had seen Charlotte and said, “Oh this is the famous Annie”. The outcome of her surgery was renowned in the hospital!
After about a week we were moved to Bear ward, which is a high dependency unit. It was now possible to see Annie’s scars; a large one down her chest, two holes where the drainage tubes has been attached, and one round her side. They looked very sore, and we had to very careful how we held her.
Annie had contracted some kind of infection, nothing that a dose of antibiotics couldn’t clear. From a parents perspective it meant we could get a side room with a bed in it so Charlotte could stay overnight with her.
I had this time relatively easy. Charlotte was either in hospital or our accommodation, expressing breast milk, hearing beeps in the hospital or soothing a crying Annie at all hours. I was between work and home with our boys. Their grandparents had moved in to our house, and the wider Spelzini (Charlotte’s side) and Martin family ensured the boys were always smiling and happy. Charlotte has the heart of lion and a determination of mother – an amazing combination which is something to beholden.
At times it felt like 3 steps forward, only to take two back. Annie’s progress was very good throughout, but when you’re hanging on every possible signal and word uttered by medical staff it’s hard to be fully rational. The acute tiredness didn’t help. There were many ups and downs, but we were getting there….