Friday’s Child

Friday’s Child is loving and giving

I arrived in the middle of summer with my Dad pacing outside the delivery room at St Anne’s Hospital, Mt Lawley after being asked to leave.  It was January the 11th, 1974 at 9.20 in the morning.  I was in brow presentation and ten days overdue.  Dad’s were not allowed to be present if there were any complications.  I was pulled out with forceps, leaving a lovely big V dent in my forehead, but otherwise ok.

My parents were taught how to look after me and then sent on their way, 13 days after I was born.  I was an unsettled baby, not content unless I was being held. I didn’t sleep well and threw up when being fed.  Two weeks after I was brought home, I was taken to the local doctors surgery after my parents had discovered a “rattling” sound in my chest and I was continuously projectile vomiting breast milk.  They were told that as new parents, they were just being overcautious and to go home and wait for my cold to disappear.

Luckily, my parents were persistent and went back to the doctors surgery two days later. They were then given a letter and sent to Princess Margaret Hospital, where I was admitted for pneumonia.  When my parents were allowed to see me after I was admitted, I was connected to drips and leads that came from everywhere, including my newly shaved head.  They were in a state of shock, to say the least.

6 weeks after my admission, I was hospitalised again with another bout of pneumonia.  This time I was also malnourished and dehydrated.  During this admission, the hospital began doing investigations to find out what was going on.  The results came back and a specialist was sent up to see my parents.  His findings were nothing my parents ever expected to hear.

© Melinda McKeon 20 May 2020

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