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Updated: Jan 21, 2022

If you read my last blog (which has terrible spelling and grammar in due to pain and medicine, much like this one will) you will know that baby Cole, who now has her name Lunar Jane Cole was born with Gastroschisis, a condition that means she has part of her intestine on the outside of her body and she will need an operation soon after birth.

I thought it made sense to share the first 24hrs of little Lunar's life and the emotional journey that we are on, I’ve been writing a lot because I can’t create any art and I’m busy with the hospital. I’m also still trying to look after my mind so I write something everyday the same I would if I was back home, when I get back I’ll make art to go with my feelings and of course I’ve started to think about a newborn photo shoot! After this blog my next entry will be her first week, I’ve already written it because we have been up here for a little while but I don’t want to make these posts too long! I’ve shared my experiences and emotions from the birth of Lunar, I still believe this is relevant to share because it spreads awareness to these situations. I never thought that I would find myself in this position, I had no idea about the emotional or physical strain, everyone goes through life and experiences differently however once again maybe this is helpful, I’m sharing it anyway. Some of the details may seam too much, to personal, however it’s real life…

January the 13th 3pm-ish. I’ve just got back from surgery and I now have another beautiful daughter! Lunar Jane Cole born at 2.06pm, I haven’t held her yet, or even touched her skin but I love her. It’s a love that’s hard to explain but parents will get it, it’s a binding love, like a pull towards them. You just want to be around your children, after all we are animals with animal instincts, one of our strongest instincts is to protect our children, to hold them and provide for them. I’m not able to do this yet, it’s frustrating but the way this experience has to be, because it’s what is best and it’s what is needed so she can start her little life that is already going to be so big.

It’s around 4pm now which is apparently time for me to have a cuppa tea and some toast, which is weird right? I was pregnant a few hours ago and now I’m not and they have given me tea and toast... I’m just here expected to eat. It’s an overwhelming weird experience, but it’s been a while since I’ve had anything to eat so I’m grateful, wish I could move though! These hospital beds are great, there are buttons to help your body sit up and move around a bit. I keep trying to move my feet and can’t I really don’t like this feeling.

It’s now around 4.26pm I feel a slight pain, not much, which is good because that means i'll be able to move more soon I think… how bad will the pain get? I’m not sure I can deal with loads of pain right now without Lunar or Deryn with me. Time is going so slow but it’s now 4.34pm and Tom’s gone to see her! I’m not even jealous that I’m not with him, I’m just pleased for him he’s a brilliant dad and deserves to see his daughter with or without me. He's back and has a massive smile on his face, a team of people have just come to talk to us about the best way to deal with her ‘defect’ there's talk of putting her bowel into a bag, maybe having to remove a small piece and technical talk which I have no headspace to take in right now I just want to see her, I make it very clear that they are to do whatever they think needs doing we will both give our consent for the best cause of action. Tom signs some forms... they always automatically give anything to sign to me and I always give it straight to Tom. One of the specialist asks if we are married, does that really make a difference?

I ask about her (obviously, It’s all I can think about right now, that and writing this because i’m just here in a bed after giving birth without my baby it’s weird, apparently I should sleep) She’s in surgery still, it can take some time. Time today has been so inconsistent, I just want to touch her.

It's around 7pm and I’m in real pain now, it’s getting strong and I can move more. It hurts. I’ve decided I want this pain because then I’ll be able to see her because I’ll be able to move enough to get into a wheelchair. At the moment i’m still lying down, I can’t move my body enough to do much I can move my legs now, but not enough to stand. More people come to talk to us again, there's so much talking.

I need more pain medicine, this hurts more than natural birth for sure! Or maybe I’m in so much pain because I haven’t really seen Lunar yet, I need my body and brain to do it’s ‘I have a new baby’ thing. I want all my happy hormones to kick in, which I’m sure in time they will, for now it just hurts. More people come to talk to us, I spoken to so many specialists today, and my head is now very foggy with pain and the days events i’m starting to get confused, details are off, I’m tired. I’m told they decided to do full surgery that her bowel couldn’t be put into a bag because part of it was looking close to being damaged (they used medical talk while explaining all this) the surgery was successful! She’s stable and hasn’t lost any part of the bowel. She needs help breathing and she needs to be kept sleeping for a while to help with the pain…pain I can’t even think of her being in pain! The surgeons are very pleased, also doing this kind of operation so fast is a massive deal, there will be lot’s of people bragging on CV’s about this!

It’s now 9pm I get to go and see her! They have given me some pain meds, not too much so I don’t get sleepy just enough to take the edge off, I’ve been told I can have more once I’m back in bed. Which sounds good to me! I obviously can’t walk still so I’m in wheelchair.

She’s amazing and soooo much like Deryn and Tom, why don’t my kids look like me? I don’t care, she’s doing well! It’s been such a long day, I want to hold and feed her so much, it’s difficult not being able too, however I have to be patient and trust the team and the decisions they make. They have done an amazingly good job, she will have a scar, this will just be part of her, her story, she so small and such a strong baby already. She has a really long way to go apparently, best case they recon around 28 days in hospital but they can’t give a time scale it could be a little less or more. It could be a really long process with step backs, they make that very clear. She is covered in wires and surrounded by machines, the room actually had a really good vibe in it, positive and friendly. Will this vibe stay? Not sure if it’s the pain meds kicking in or my happy hormones maybe but I feel ok, it’s still all very overwhelming.

It's now 11ish I asked for more pain meds, quite a few in fact and now they are kicking in, perhaps I’ll actually get a good night