When hand sanitiser takes you straight back to the Special Care Nursery
My daughter Poppy is 5 years old and today I am sitting in hospital waiting for her as she has an operation to remove her tonsils and adenoids. This doesn’t sound like anything out of the ordinary, but the thing that has really hit me is that the minute the nurse walked in to see Poppy this morning massaging her hands after applying hand sanitiser, the smell of the sanitiser immediately took me back to a little over 5 years ago when Poppy was born and I was sitting next to her humidicib in the Special Care Nursery. This is the first time I’ve been back to hospital with either one of my girls (I also have another little premmie, Essie who is 2) for an overnight stay and boy has it taken me straight back to my days of sitting in Special Care.
As I sit here waiting for Poppy it makes me wonder if those sensory smells and experiences from the premmie days will ever leave me. The beeping sounds of the monitors throughout the hospital jolt me every time I hear them and remind me of staring at the girls monitors attached to the humidicrib wondering if the faster beeps mean something is not right, and then after time learning to know what each beep means. The quiet chatter of the nurses at the nurses station outside Poppys room reminds me of the nurses talking quietly in the Special Care Nursery and my wondering if they are talking about my baby and if so, if it is a good or bad conversation. There is a baby crying in the room next door and it is reminding me of the occasional cry you would hear from a baby in the nursery and wonder if it’s your baby because you’ve never actually heard them cry before. But mainly it’s the smell of the hand sanitiser. I used the ‘Angel’ hand sanitiser so many times whilst my girls spent a combined 16 weeks in hospital that it started to dry my knuckles out and make my fingers flake. I swore I would never use it again, but here I am applying it again and feeling strangely comforted.
This time my baby girl will come out of hospital and home with me after 1 night which I’m so grateful for, and as I sit here thinking about the emotions and memories from the days of Special Care I am reminded that these memories will never fade and those smells will continue to pop up in our lives, so I’m going to embrace them and allow myself a few minutes to remember how far my darling girls have come and how strong our premmie babies are.
After all, premmie babies choose their parents for a reason; our strength and resilience. xxx