26 Days of Conor  *23/10/2017   +17/11/2017

We know how powerful storytelling is; we have seen the impact it has had in a healing journey for both the storyteller and those reading/listening to it. Tomorrow Conor is turning 2 and so we have decided it’s time to share our story, which we will do in daily snippets over the next 26 days.

 

We are sharing our story for our own healing certainly, but mostly in the hope that it will touch another parent who needs to know they are not alone. Who needs to know we understand that the trauma of having a critically ill child in ICU is a heavy load to carry. Who needs to know that in telling their story they may help others in their darkest hours…..

 

If you would like to share your story with us, we would love to hear from you.

 

Two years ago, we couldn’t have known that our hopes and dreams would never materialise; that our dear, sweet Conor would only live for 26 short days. This is his story as much as it is ours……

Day 1: 23 October 2017

Michelle:

Our daughter had woken up in the middle of the night and I had been lying next to her trying to lull her back to sleep. As I lay there, I felt a bubble in my belly and thought: ‘That didn’t feel right’. And as I stood up my water broke. I was wheeled into theatre for a C-section just after 5am. I was nervous and excited to meet my baby boy.

 

Rachel had been rushed to NICU after she was born, and since I struggled with preterm labour and had been on bedrest in hospital for the three weeks leading up to Conor's birth, I had anticipated the same result. But then there he was, born at 5:56am and screaming his little lungs out. I will never forget that moment when the anaesthetist lifted my head up so I could watch the doctors lift him out of my belly. He was beautiful, healthy, and got a perfect Apgar score. I was already in love.

 

I remember feeling pretty shocked that I actually got to do skin to skin with him while I was being stitched up. I kept on looking around to see if they were going to take him from me, but the paediatrician assured me that he was ok and doing well. It was such a magical bonding experience. And perhaps the best part of all was that he didn’t need to go to NICU and we were wheeled down to the maternity ward together. Conor was the only one of our three children who didn’t need to go to NICU after birth, and I am so grateful for the gift he gave me of being able to experience what it was like to have my baby with me after birth. I must admit I felt a bit dazed by it all but relished the newborn cuddles and spent the day snuggling with him.

 

Michael:

The water always breaks at night, right? Just when you are in your deepest sleep, you get the tap on the shoulder or hear the “Honey, wake up, we gotta go”. A brief grumble before it hits you, our child is coming! Yeeha, up in a flash, coffee gulped and off we go.

We enter the theatre and I feel a strange calmness, we’ve been here before, been-there-done-that kind of feeling. However, the feeling of holding your newborn child in your arms is something that cannot be described, it has to be felt. Everything went flawlessly.

That afternoon, I bring Rachel to meet her brother. She cannot wait to play with him, the anticipation of eight months of waiting, and here we are. What an amazing life we will have......

 

Happy birthday our sweet, sweet boy. You are loved and missed beyond measure xxx

Day 2: 24 October 2017

Michelle:

Today was a wonderful day. Michael brought Rachel for another visit with Conor, she just wanted to touch him and look at him. My heart overflowed seeing our daughter’s reaction to him, and to see my husband holding both our children. It was like a moment stood still in time. We had a few other visitors, but spent the day mostly resting and getting to know each other.

 

Michael:

One tries to keep the routine going at home, getting Rachel dressed and to school, then back to hospital to see how the rest of the family is doing. All check-ups on both are passed with flying colours.

 

My parents arrive are we have a celebratory toast. The whirlwind first few days of a having a baby are catching up, and I collapse into a deep sleep, hoping that all are sleeping well.

Day 3: 25 October 2017

Michelle:

Today was a wonderful day. Michael brought Rachel for another visit with Conor, she just wanted to touch him and look at him. My heart overflowed seeing our daughter’s reaction to him, and to see my husband holding both our children. It was like a moment stood still in time. We had a few other visitors, but spent the day mostly resting and getting to know each other.

 

Michael:

One tries to keep the routine going at home, getting Rachel dressed and to school, then back to hospital to see how the rest of the family is doing. All check-ups on both are passed with flying colours.

 

My parents arrive are we have a celebratory toast. The whirlwind first few days of a having a baby are catching up, and I collapse into a deep sleep, hoping that all are sleeping well.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website, including text, graphics, images and information is for general information purposes only. It is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

The information contained in this website is not intended to endorse or recommend any particular type of medical treatment. Should any reader have any health care related questions, please consult your physician or healthcare provider. No information contained in this website should be used by any reader to disregard medical and/or health related advice.

© Copyright 2020

Conor James Foundation Trust 

IT000501/2018(G)

PBO number: 930065044

NPO number: 226-532

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Instagram