green and lilac ribbonsParents' Ribbons Feedback page

Was your first meeting with your baby delayed?

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green and lilac ribbons I wish this was around when I had my two children who are now aged 46 and 44 years!. Both born by emergency C section under general aneashetic and I did not see either of them until they were two days old.I was very ill immediately after my first sonís birth so my memories of those first few hours are very hazy but after the second oneís birth I thought I was being told lies when everyone kept saying Ďí he is fine you will see him shortlyíí. My first sight of both of my sons was seeing them carried to me in the arms of a nurse, all clean and wrapped up like a parcel he could of been anyoneís baby who had been plucked from a shelf. Thank goodness times have changed and more thought is given to mothers now. K, Newcastle on Tyne

green and lilac ribbons What an awesome idea the parent's ribbons is!! I truly hope every unit takes it on. I had pre-eclampsia with both my pregnancies, and both girls were taken into NICU before I even got chance to see them. My eldest was born at 32 weeks, I met her about 20 hours after she had been born, my youngest was a 29 weeker, I honestly can't remember how long it was until I met her as I was so ill, over a day certainly. With my youngest the NICU's camera had broken so I didn't even have a pic, I was certain they were lying about everything, even though I knew them all from my eldest daughter's 51 day stay! A ribbon would have been a wonderful connection both times, and it would've been a nice pointer on the post natal ward for other mums, most of whom avoided talking to me completely. Just a little sign that I did have a baby, she just wasn't there with me, would've made my stay much less painful too. J, Cornwall

green and lilac ribbons I was stuck on the labour ward due to my pre eclampsia, and no one seemed to realise that I hadnít met her. Luckily, our neo natal unit is very good, and the member who introduced me to her is brilliant, but the link with the maternity wards has to be a good thing, as the two wards are run entirely separately. H, Yorkshire

green and lilac ribbons It was 38 long hours between me having P (emergency c section, by general anaesthetic) and seeing her for the first time. Something like this would have made the staff a bit more understanding of that first visit to SCBU. J, Newcastle

green and lilac ribbons It was over 15 hours before I got to see my girls who were born at 35 weeks & I only got to see them then because my husband came back to the hospital first thing in the morning & took me to see them! T, Co Durham

green and lilac ribbons I too had to wait 18 hours to meet my babies, a very strange feeling. I was only taken down when I burst into tears the following day, and told a nurse I hadnít even seen them, and even today Iím not convinced they are the ones I gave birth too !!!! (I know they are but its a weird feeling) and I do think our bond is a bit different then if I had had them with me all the time from birth. C, Guildford

green and lilac ribbons I had to wait 28 hours till I met my babies. I was given photos but I felt very weird when I first met my babies because they were born at 9am on the Tuesday morning and I didnít meet them till 2pm on the Wednesday. This was due to me being ill aswell but it was very traumatic not being able to meet them for that long. When I first went to see them it did feel like they werenít mine as I was also put to sleep in an emergency c-section so I didnít even see or hear them when they were first born. I think if this is implemented it will make that first meeting so much more special. D, Derby

green and lilac ribbons I remember feeling guilty for months (years!) that somehow it was my fault that I didn't push to meet them more quickly than 15 hours later, and it took me a good while to bond with them. In my case it wasn't particularly anyone's 'fault', and obviously from the staff's perspective, medical issues rightly take priority. But the delay really does have a lasting impact that isn't obvious to someone who hasn't been through it. E, Hertfordshire

green and lilac ribbons I had a delayed meeting, but my girls were actually brought to me as I was the one too unwell to be moved. However, it was still 24 hours & that is upsetting enough. Also, once I was moved to the ward, although all the SCBU staff knew me, some of the staff on the maternity ward were unaware that I had twins in SCBU, with me feeding them around the clock etc & would wake me up for meals or to clean the room etc when all I wanted was to sleep as the didn't realise I was separated from my babies. Also things like not allowing me to use the shower during the very short time I had in between visiting scbu to feed, because they thought someone else had a more important need - when they didn't & could have waited that extra 10 minutes. So your scheme would have helped in those things too. B, Monmouth

green and lilac ribbons I was lucky enough to have my babies at full term but was under a general anaesthetic for my section due to blood clotting problems - it was a very strange experience coming round and meeting my babies for the first time in my husbands arms! I didn't realise until now how lucky I was to have a hospital that handled this well, giving me some privacy and dignity for this important meeting. I would definitely support this being essential for other parents too. S, London

green and lilac ribbons I too was separated from my baby at birth, but not for as long as you, an hour was long enough. I also felt the same emotions and still do 8 weeks on to an extent....did i really give birth??? was I really pregnant???? its sooooooooo strange. I had an emergency c section in the end and the dream of my baby being handed straight to me all messy and bloody was taken away from me, and she was whisked off to SCBU for an hour to have drips put in etc as we had group strep B and I kept saying "where's my baby" and they kept saying "oh she'll be with you soon, donít worry" but of course I was worried - they didnít actually say why they had taken her away. C, Nottingham

green and lilac ribbonsWhen my induction failed with R and P the only option was a C Section. For some reason they couldn't get the epidural into my back so I ended up with a General Anaesthetic. Because R and P needed to be in SCBU I didn't end up meeting them until the next day. I would often burst into tears during the first few months after they were born because I felt robbed of that first precious day with them. When I was finally handed these two babies they could have been anyone's. If it wasn't for the fact that I could tell precisely from my scan piccies which one was which I don't think I would have believed they were mine. The other point I would make is that because my husband saw the babies for 24 hours before I did, he was shown by the scbu staff how to wash, feed and change the babies. By the time I met them - and I was still a bit fuzzy from the GA - I felt useless. My husband seemed so much more adept at handling them than I did. I was very resentful of that. Anything that can prevent other mothers going through this has to be a great step forward. L, Suffolk

green and lilac ribbons I think that this is a FAB idea, and hope that all hospitals take it on. As a mum of 4, I have experienced both that first moment when baby is in your arms only minutes old and had twins that were nearly 5 hours old at the first cuddle! I was lucky and my hospital was very good but I know that not all of us are that lucky! B, Middlesex

green and lilac ribbons Am in tears reading this as I could have written your post myself. It is something that I think about often and the fact that I "didn't do it properly". My two were born at 7.21 and 7.22 am but I didn't get to see them until about 7pm that evening, I remember that day so clearly as if it were yesterday. I did however have a digital pic that my husband took in NICU and when he went home later that day brought back for me, but it isn't the same is it. K, Buckinghamshire

green and lilac ribbons I myself didnít meet my little girl till she was 4 hrs old nearly, no one actually told me about her when I came round in theatre (I'd had a g/a) it wasnít until I got to labour suite again that my mum told me about her, still the staff didnít come till 1hr after my mum had told me, then they had said that they'd come and fetch me when they were ready for me!!! like it wasnít my baby, I had to ask permission and book an appointment, I wasnít and still am not impressed. K, Derbyshire

green and lilac ribbons I was in HDU for 24 after having him and then it took me a while to get up and about so I did not get to see him for at least 36 hrs. I kept on asking to go down but they said no I was not well enough and I still had to keep asking for them to find out how he was, as they offered no information. My husband has obviously been down several times so by the time I got down they knew him and they made no effort to talk to me and show me stuff around the incubator and just left it up to him (which to be honest he could not remember anything!). C, Portsmouth

green and lilac ribbons I had a 16.5 hour delayed 1st meeting as M was born by GA emc/s, rushed to NNU after birth, and me the HDU. Its an experience that I canít ever see leaving me, but something as simple as a ribbon can, and I'm sure will help new parents through those first few hours/days, and make that 1st 'meeting' as special as circumstances allow. M, Birmingham

green and lilac ribbons When my son was born I was pretty ill with pre-eclampsia and an infection and therefore it was my partner who had all the initial meeting with our baby! My meeting was left up to him to introduce me 2 days later - the neonatal nurses just assumed that after 2 days I must have already been up there! Talk about feeling like a spare part! Ribbons are a fab idea! N, Manchester

green and lilac ribbons My babies were born at 8.30pm. One came to the ward with me and about 10pm my husband came with a photo. I saw a nurse as I was too tired and sore to walk about 1am but no one offered a wheel chair. They told me I had to walk!! DH came in the next morning at 8.30am having visited SCBU and told me he was OK but no one seemed to unhook me from drips or try to get me to see him. Luckily my angel came down to me just after 10 that morning so we were all together again. S, Isle of Skye

green and lilac ribbons What a great idea. I had my son in Portsmouth, before the ribbons, and was lucky enough to be able to see him relatively soon after I had woken up from the GA. It would have been lovely to have had something to wear that kept us close when we were apart. J, Portsmouth

green and lilac ribbons My twins boys were born at 35 weeks via C section. I remember the vague blur burnt into my mind as the were taken away by the N.I.C.U. to the intensive care. After the moved me to the floor, I was desperate to see them. It took me almost and hour to walk that very long hallway, but I HAD to see them! The hospital staff were shocked (and a little angry) to see this mom (and dad) who made their way to the NICU without permission. I should have still been in bed. Those first moments were incredible with them, I couldn't stop crying at their tiny little bodies in the incubators. A ribbon would have meant so much. I would have had a "part of them" to take with me. K, New York, USA

green and lilac ribbons As a ward clerk on a neonatal unit I think the ribbon is a great idea, as I work shifts and can be off when new babies come in, it is not obvious if this is mum and dad's first visit, this would make it easy for the staff as well as the parents. P, Portsmouth

green and lilac ribbons Absolutely fantastic idea. I didn't get to meet my son for a fair few hours and I didn't even know where he was. I remember feeling so lost and the ribbon idea would have been such a good idea back then. A, Petersfield

green and lilac ribbons I write from the perspective of being both a Head of Midwifery ( a midwife for the last 15 years) and mum of 2 girls aged 2 and 6- both of whom spent time away from me in the Newborn Unit. My first baby was born at 0930 hrs and was taken away from me immediatly to the Newborn Unit. I remember lying in recovery on a theatre trolley, (on my own) looking at the stained ceiling and worrying about her. I didnt get anything, not even a photo. She was then brought around to see me at about 7pm. Second time around it was done so much better; again my daughter was born at just after 0900hrs and again via C section. The fabulous midwife encouraged skin to skin contact from almost the moment she was born which was uninterrupted until she too ended up in the Newborn Unit at about 11am. The staff were fabulous and helped me get out of bed and into a wheelchair to see her just after lunch time. I was a stubborn old thing and was walking, albeit slowly there by that night. Establishing breast feeding was so much easier- I believe because we had had skin to skin contact for that time after birth. I have always been supportive of skin to skin contact between mother and baby as a professional but having experienced it as a mum I am even more passionate about it. Writing as a mum and a Head of Midwifery I fully support your Parents Ribbon scheme and wish they could have been around six years ago when I was seperated (with no news) from my first baby daughter for all those hours. D, (West Sussex- first baby born in Oman, Middle East 2nd in Portsmouth)

green and lilac ribbons Fantastic idea! I was seperated from my son for 16 hours!! and then couldn't hold him for two weeks. Think its a great idea! well done L, Lincoln

green and lilac ribbons This is a wonderful idea. Anything that promotes the importance of those precious first meetings should be encouraged. I had an emergency c-section, I had about 5 minutes in theatre with baby (although wasnít given the skin to skin contact Iíd requested) before he was rushed to Neo-natal, I then spent the next 5 hours so heavily sedated that I couldnít see my baby and my poor partner was left to deal with the trauma of the situation alone. When I eventually met my baby, I felt a total failure as a mother that I couldnít instantly recognise him and I had to be shown to his incubator and had to ask permission to hold my own child. I also had to spend several nights recovering on the maternity ward (there really should be somewhere to stay on Neonatal), surrounded by all the mums and their new babies, which made cry constantly, especially when the cleaner wanted to know why their werenít any dirty nappies in my bedside bin! I feel totally robbed of those first few hours and even months later feel guilty towards my baby for not being able to be there for him at such a critical time. Anything that visually reminds the staff in hospital of the need for tact and understanding in these situations should definitely be encouraged. F, Warwickshire

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