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  • Gareth Ellis

Thank you to the NHS

Today marks a significant day as Rupert turns 12 days old.

Not a particularly big birthday I know, but it means that today he has been at home as many days as he had to stay in hospital.

Not many people know but Rupert and his Mummy had to stay in hospital for 6 days as they both had an infection.

Now, after a 9-month wait, followed by a 54 hour labour, the last thing you want to hear is that your wife and your new son will have to have a course of antibiotics and a stay in hospital.

The night I had to leave I sobbed for most of the journey back from Bedford to Milton Keynes. I was gutted that my first night of being a dad would be spent alone, I was sad that Jess had to handle all of these new things on her own but I was most sad that this tiny little human had a cannula in his hand.

The next day was slightly better, I rushed in for the 8am visiting hours and stayed until 9pm, although when I left I didn’t weep as I knew that Jess was being well looked after.

Throughout the next 6 days I saw the most incredible level of care for Jess and Rupert (and myself at times) from a profession that I had always respected and admired – midwives.

Our NHS is often and much maligned but these incredible people looked after Rupert when he was poorly, they comforted Jess when she was struggling and they laughed with me when I was being silly.

From the get go, from the second they knew there was a problem, Jess’ bed was surrounded by a full team of midwives and doctors. Then when he was here they had to cut his umbilical cord, but they purposefully cut it too long so that then I could cut it. I was humbled. After that, when we were told we’d have to stay in longer than expected, they went and made Jess tea and toast. A small gesture but one that did not go unnoticed – these examples all happened within a 24 hour period.

Each day they would come in and take Jess and Rupert’s observations and in between that if we needed anything they were right there for us – literally at the touch of a button.

Each day they would greet us and they would be upbeat and happy, even if they were at the end of their 12 hour shift. It takes a special kind of person to be a midwife (or a paediatric doctor) and we as a family will be forever indebted to them for their character, knowledge and all round help to us.

One of the midwives is the main reason Jess is still breastfeeding, as she gave her so much advice, even offering to stay with her for as long as she needed while she carried on trying.

There was also another one who worked nights who couldn’t talk to Jess while she took her blood pressure as it was always too high – because she made Jess laugh so much.

So thank you to the team of hard-working, selfless, dedicated doctors and midwives at Bedford Hospital. Thanks to you our beautiful son is home with us and growing already into the most amazing little man.

We will never forget any of you.

Rupert and I leaving hospital.jpg
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