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A Day in the Life of Emily 4 - The Intensive Care Unit

Updated on September 3, 2015

After the emergency Caesarean

All the anxious months of waiting for a baby to arrive in normal circumstances are hard enough. For my third pregnancy there were so many trips to the hospital for extra tests, that I now felt the place was becoming my second home. Waking up after the emergency caesarean and being wheeled to my own room, right next to the nurses’ station, I wondered if I would ever go home again.

Thanks to the wonders of modern drugs, my pain was under control and my doziness had worn off, a few hours later. I was desperate to see my little girl.

“When can I see her? Is she is okay?” I must have asked this question a dozen times to any nurse who came into the room. Finally, I was allowed to be wheeled in a chair to the intensive care unit, or ICU as everyone called it. My baby had been taken there within minutes of being born. Her father had gone with her and was allowed to view what was happening through a window outside the room. Now, he was pushing the wheelchair and me, toward our daughter.

A Tiny Babe

“She’s very tiny and has lots of tubes going in and out.” Willy told me on the way to the ICU. “But they really know their stuff.” He placed a hand on my shoulder and I felt instantly relieved. “She’ll be okay.” I took some deep breaths in readiness for my first encounter with my daughter.

At the end of this journey, I would come face to face with my baby. The little girl I had nurtured in my womb for almost nine months, had survived long enough to be born, against all odds. Would I know, just from looking at her that there was something wrong? Would she show the signs of a baby with chromosomal abnormalities? Would I love her on sight? How would I know she was my baby?

Willy turned the wheelchair and manoeuvred me through a doorway. And, there she was. This was my darling little girl. How could I not know? I knew her instantly, instinctively. It was as if the umbilical cord that had been cut at birth had miraculously reappeared, intact. I felt the connection to her, as if she were still a part of me.

The Miracle of Life

For a moment, there are no cords or tubes. Only a baby, my baby, and she is perfect. Beautiful and perfect. I take in every inch of her. She is lying on her back with her eyes closed. Her little chest is rising and falling, affirming she is alive, but I know this anyway. Suddenly my senses are alert to the soft beep of the machine that tells the nurse, standing on the other side of the crib, that all is well. Of course, it is the heart monitor that lets everyone else know, she is alive.

“To monitor her heart…the clip on her toes is to measure her oxygen levels.” The nurse answers my unspoken questions as if she can read my mind. “She’s doing really well.” I am mesmerised.

A tiny, tiny babe lies in front of me. My daughter. She has a see-through, plastic dome over her face and the top half of her body so I can't hold her hand as I long to do. But I can stroke her little leg, above the knee. She is so small but so perfect. Ten fingers, ten toes, everything about her, looks fine. Her skin is pink with that healthy, newborn baby look. Yes, she is little, so little, but so perfect. How can this be?

Willy stands behind me with one hand on my shoulder. I know he is there and I feel his anguish. But there is a sense of calm that is so hard to describe. We have spent many months not knowing the outcome of this pregnancy, yet here, in front of us, is the miracle of life. Not perfect and not without its traumas, but this is a miracle. She is a miracle.

Emily's Story

© 2010 Karen Wilton


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    • Karen Wilton profile image

      Karen Wilton 2 years ago from Australia

      Daydream Too, I did keep writing thanks to the warm feedback I received here. The result? A book for Emily. It was hard going but it's done and I am proud I have been able to finish what I started. Thank you again for your inspiration.

    • profile image

      Daydreamer Too 6 years ago

      Keep writing Karen and, try not to let it be a struggle. Enjoy what you do and, it will be perfect. It's so obvious to me that, in spirit/soul whatever we are before we're born, Emily chose you to be her mother because she knew without a doubt that you would tell her story. There's no doubt in my mind that you will tell it just right and, just perfectly for Emily and that Emily will glow inside with pride because you have.

      I've read each installment but only commented on this one but, it's such a pleasure reading Emily's story and a pleasure to continue.

      Keep writing Karen, please.

    • Karen Wilton profile image

      Karen Wilton 6 years ago from Australia

      Thank you Daydreamer Too for such a thoughtful comment. You have inspired me to continue sharing Emily's story here on HubPages. And yes, I have written a book and it is very close to being finished but I struggle with getting it right, because I want to make sure I include every detail and make it perfect, for Emily.

    • profile image

      Daydreamer Too 6 years ago

      RYN: Thank you.

      What a blessing Emily is. She is a perfect gift of love to you both, in every way.

      I've been through so much in my life, and because of it have had to learn many valuable lessons, but it is only from accepting the unacceptable that we grow, within.

      For all the trials and problems that having Emily may have presented with your pregnancy, Emily is a precious gift from whomever you chose to see as the Prime Creator to everyone whose lives she will touch, during the course of her own life.

      Hers and, your consequent story were meant to be. She was born so that you could write about her and tell her story in the way that you are. Her story told through you, will light the way for many others who, maybe are uncertain, scared or, fearful in some way.

      I am so pleased you came and visted me and therefore are giving me a chance to share in yours and Emily's story.

      She is beauitful, just look at that smile and the lovelight in her eyes :)

      Keep writing and sharing. Your writing is full of love and compassion and goodness knows, the world needs a whole bucket load more of that these days.

      I hope you write a full length novel, it will be a bestseller. *Waves "Hello' to Emily*

    • Karen Wilton profile image

      Karen Wilton 6 years ago from Australia

      Thank you for your kind thoughts whiteorchids. We think she is beautiful too.

    • whiteorchids profile image

      whiteorchids 6 years ago from Tropical Paradise

      I think she is beautiful! And this story is so touching it brought tears to my eyes. But she is a gift from God, she really truly is and perfect in every way.

    • Karen Wilton profile image

      Karen Wilton 6 years ago from Australia

      Nighthag, it is extremely cathartic to write about my daughter but it can be draining at times which is why the story isn't unfolding as quickly as it could. I am nearly ready to share the next part so I hope you'll be patient with me and come back and read another day in the life of Emily.

    • nighthag profile image

      K.A.E Grove 6 years ago from Australia

      As always your story moves me, I hope that you are finding some healing in sharing your daughters story here with us

    • Karen Wilton profile image

      Karen Wilton 6 years ago from Australia

      Oh, thank you Eiddwen for reading and sharing a part of your own story. Emily's story can only unfold in a way that is comfortable for all of us, just as the memories of your Cariad Erin can only be shared when the time is right.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      Hi Karen,

      So sensitive and full of love. Your baby sat there like a little doll and what can you have that is more beautiful than that ??!!

      You are telling her story as you feel is the right way . That is the right way to go about it and you are doing brilliantly.

      I also write about as if she was still here.

      They are though because they are in our hearts and soul for evermore..

      Lots of love my friend.


    • Karen Wilton profile image

      Karen Wilton 6 years ago from Australia

      It is probably me who should be apologising for not being upfront with Emily's story. But I have it in my head that I want people to know her as we did and have an insight to our daily experience. Thank you for following her story and commenting as you went. It is encouraging in a way, to know that you have read as I intended. I am only sorry I have not published the rest of it so it flows properly.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Karen, I'm so sorry...I read the link after I had posted the previous comment. I hope you are not offended by my ignorance. Feel free to delete my first comment if you would like.

      I am sorry to read about your loss. I am sure she brought you and your partner much joy during her short life.

      Blessings to all of you.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Karen, what a privilege it has been to take a peek inside your head during this pregnancy and birth. You are right, she is perfect. She is beautiful and sweet. I hope you all are doing well at this time. How is little Emily progressing?

      It is no wonder you are not cracking those 'song' hubs out quickly. My goodness, you have a brand new baby and are surely occupied with all of this.

      Many blessings to you and your family. I am hoping you will write another hub soon letting us all know how things are going. Take care. Hugs. :)