Friday, November 19, 2010

With Thanks....

It took me a bit of deciding on what I wanted to write my next blog about.
In the end it was simple really. We owe a million thanks to so many people. I think I'll list them. If there should be anyone I haven't mentioned, then I apologise now - you have most definitely had an impact in our lives.

From day dot, we had doctors, specialists and nurses involved in our day to day care. We were micro-managed for want of a better term and we know of and appreciate the behind the scenes care and discussions and meetings that were held on our behalf. Dr Flora Gastrell kicked it off for us in conjunction with our midwife Anna Bannister. She gave Greer the opportunity to still be here today by sending us to Wellington for further investigation. In Wellington, we had an amazing radiology team care for us, led by our very favourite Dr Jeremy Tuohy. He worked with several specialists and registrars who were so good at involving us at every turn. The nurses in Ward 12 and 14 saved my sanity in the three weeks I sat in that hospital bed holding on. I spent 5 days up and down from the delivery ward and in one 12 hour stint down there, heard 16 babies be born and give out huge healthy cries. The night we had Greer, Dr Anju Basu was on duty and along with the surgical team and incredible anaethetists, saved my life in a delivery I was grateful to have no part of as it gave her an enormous challenge to try and overcome.

The NICU team at Wellington Hospital who cared for our most precious daughter in her 7 week stay there - the doctors, nurses, and support crew of Neonates and the Neonatal Trust go so far above and beyond and always made time to make sure us parents were okay (well, as okay as you can be when your child is desperately ill).

Ronald McDonald House - well what else to say than James loves you and so do we. He thought he was the cats pyjamas at your place and we were so lucky to be so well provided for - this is an incredible facility for families in crisis - another cause which is so well deserving of as much support as can be given. To the mass of local businesses who volunteer their time and resources to come in several times a week and cook the families in the house dinner.

The Life Flight air ambulance team who transferred us between Wellington and Nelson on three trips with our little cargo.

The team at SCBU in Nelson where we spent a further 7 weeks after Wellington. To this day we still have paediatric, child development, opthamologist and audiology appointments as well as thyroid function tests and have a team that we love who oversee Greer's progress and development. Greer still gets blood tests for her thyroid and while she hates being held down for them, quickly forgives the nurses who unfortunately have to do this procedure - especially if she has bubbles blown for her and a Wiggles plaster put on her hand afterwards.

To our midwife Anna, who didn't get to continue care for us through to delivery but who still made several visits and phone calls to check upon our progress - this meant a lot to us.

To our local GP and practice who on our frequent visits in the year post-discharge always kept a room clear for us instead of having to wait in the waiting room like 'regular' people. They understood and respected our need for vigilance in avoiding unnecessary exposure to illness. To Paediatric Inpatients who had us for an 8 day stint over winter with bronchiolitis and pneumonia. To our preschool - Little People and kindergarten - Waverley Street, who have been so amazing and supportive - James attended these two centres for a start and now Greer is settled in beautifully at both.

To our family and friends who kept the home fires burning - Nanna Rob and Poppa cared for James full time with the help of Nanna Jen. For a 2 1/2 year old child who hadn't long been toilet trained he was kept in his usual routine and never once woke at night in the 10 weeks he was out of our care. In the 7 weeks after when we were back in Nelson it was still a big juggle and James went seamlessly from one person to another so we could manage hospital visits, preschool and a busy home life. He was so spoiled with evening trips to the beach for a swim with Poppa and brought to Wellington to meet his wee sister and spend Christmas.

For Hector, Mitchell, Sophie, Holly, Joss and Eva, you and your families are entwined in our lives and we think of each of you precious babies every day.

There is Greer, our true miracle and little battler. Sometimes I wonder how she did it. To go through so many painful procedures - constantly and multiple times a day. To struggle for breath, to fall ill so many times and fight her way back up each time - I am so glad for her determination and zest for life.

I think the last thanks has to go to James. The best big brother any child could ask for. In our Pushing It For Prems team, he is the only 'other' sibling. To be taken away from your parents for such a long time and to 'lose' the spotlight is a huge call on a toddler - at the best of times with a new baby in the house, let alone in circumstances like we found ourselves in. He has always loved Greer to bits and she just idolises him - a good case of 'monkey see, monkey do'. I put a lot of her progress and learning down to the huge influence he has had in her life and the enormous amounts of time he has patiently spent with her reading stories and playing games.

We know and we appreciate what all you amazing people have done for us, it never has been and never will be forgotten - so often when we look at our daughter, we think of you and are so proud to be a family of four, and parents to two beautiful children and these are the thoughts that will be running through my mind as I tackle Kuratau next weekend...wish me luck!!


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