Now let’s deal with your hair. Chances are you haven’t been spending more than five minutes with a hair dryer during your first weeks at home with your baby. Use this occasion to give yourself that home treatment that’s been sitting in your bathroom cupbo
Iam a qualified nursing sister with midwifery, community and occupational health; and believed I was doing everything right. I have never been a drinker or smoker and live a healthy lifestyle. After an uneventful, well monitored, full term pregnancy, Devon was born on 3 September 1993. There were no complications during the natural delivery and I had nothing for pain. His Apgar (a quick test done one minute after birth, to determine how well the baby has tolerated the birth process and again at five minutes to asses how well he/she is doing outside the womb.) scores were 9/10 and 10/10, and he weighed 3,3kg (a perfect weight). I was the happiest mom ever!
At home he settled in fast and seemed to love his new cot with its firm flat mattress in his well-ventilated nursery. Over the next few weeks he gained weight steadily on breastmilk and was always ahead of his milestones at his clinic visits. By fourteen weeks he was lifting his upper body right off the ground and could already roll over. Other than a bit of reflux after meals, he was a happy, healthy and very verbal little baby. I always put him down to sleep on his back, but wasn’t concerned if I found that he had turned onto his stomach during the night, as he could just as easily flip himself back over.
A week before he turned four months old, I started having nightmares. They were always the same. I dreamed I would go through to Devon’s nursery in the morning and find him dead in his cot. I would wake up with a start and go to check on him, always to find him still sleeping peacefully or smiling and gurgling happily to himself. Friends and family alike started to call me paranoid. But the nightmares wouldn’t stop! So for peace of mind, on 31 December 1993, I took Devon to see a paediatrician. After examining Devon thoroughly, he told me I had an exceptionally strong, healthy baby and should go home and enjoy him.
THE NIGHTMARE BECOMES LIFE
I was due back at work the following Tuesday, and we had already chosen what seemed to be a caring, organised and experienced day mother who my cousin had used and highly recommended to look after Devon during the day. Between us, we had arranged a two-hour stay on the Monday morning to see how Devon would settle. My husband Brian and I dropped Devon off at 10am, and decided to do a little shopping before going back to pick him up at 12pm. We had been at the mall for less than an hour, when I suddenly felt the most excruciating pain in my chest and for a few seconds I couldn’t breath.
In that instant, I knew there was something horribly wrong, and begged Brian to take me back to Devon. He thought I was just having a separation anxiety attack, and offered to take me home instead, so I could use the telephone to phone the day mother (of course, there were no cellphones in those days).
As we approached the front door, I could hear the