It was November 2002, Louise was excited about the arrival of her first child. Her pregnancy had been completely normal until, at 33 weeks she started to experience early labour signs.
Louise was admitted to her local hospital in Irvine. Midwives closely monitored her for several days before inducing her. The labour was very quick with no complications and baby was whipped away for tests. “At this point I didn’t appreciate the severity of the situation” Louise told us.
The next morning
Louise and her partner were informed that their baby girl was being transferred to Yorkhill Hospital. Their daughter needed urgent surgery to repair a duodenal atresia, where the stomach and bowel aren’t connected.
Everything was happening so fast. “I still didn’t really comprehend what was happening, I was very much just swept up in the moment!” Louise explained.
Baby McGeough was taken in an ambulance with a full medical team and Louise followed on in a separate ambulance with a midwife.
“I remember sitting in the ambulance feeling quite numb, it wasn’t until we arrived at Yorkhill and I was taken into the maternity hospital that a realisation happened and I broke down. The midwives were a great support and came with me across to Yorkhill Children’s Hospital” said Louise.
Louise soon met the surgeon who fully explained what was happening, they were prepping their tiny daughter for surgery.
Louise remembered how “We kind of joked that they were taking “no name yet” baby for surgery and I decided on the spot that she would be called Sophie. It wasn’t a name that was on our “list”, but it just seemed to be a perfect fit to her and she became known to all the nurses as wee Sophie”.
Sophie came through her surgery really well, “She’s such a trouper and continues to be in everything she does” beamed Louise.
A place of warmth and comfort
Louise stayed in the maternity hospital for a few nights “It wasn’t great – very noisy and I didn’t have my baby with me! The midwives again were brilliant they organised a room for me at Ronald McDonald House [Glasgow] – I had never heard of it before then”.
Louise remembers transferring her things across, “It was blowing a gale, freezing and raining, a typical Scottish December night! As soon as we stepped through the door it was warm, cosy and very welcoming. A lovely lady got us all organised and showed me to my room – Horse”.
Louise recalled how the room itself was clean, warm and cosy “It became my haven over the next five weeks”.
The next few weeks were very much a rollercoaster but having such a lovely place to escape to so nearby was a godsend. “I would often sit out in the garden at the back and contemplate all the updates we received. It was so pretty and peaceful even in the hard December frosts”.
The family stayed in the House over Christmas, “I remember one evening there were carol singers out on the street. They moved from one side of the House around to the other spreading lovely festive joy. I found this particularly comforting”.
Time to go home
Sophie was discharged on the 30th of December and the family finally got to bring their wee daughter home. “Sophie hasn’t looked back, going from strength to strength. She is now studying pharmacy at Strathclyde University and is looking forward to a career within the NHS” Louise told us. “I will be forever grateful for the support I received at this tumultuous time from everyone at Ronald McDonald House Glasgow – THANK YOU”.
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