Worst case scenario, he would need antibiotics. I had no idea then how bad things would get. Five weeks later, the situation had got even worse. The amniotic fluid that is supposed to surround and protect a growing baby had completely disappeared. The consultant said my baby was in danger and had to be delivered soon. At 37 weeks, I was transferred to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where Daniel was delivered by caesarean.
What if the worst happened? When Daniel arrived in the world, I only got to see him for a moment before the doctors rushed him away to neonatal. I spent the next six hours crying my eyes out. I had no idea if he was okay. I kept asking how he was but no one could reassure me. When I finally got to see Daniel, I was relieved to hear that his lungs were fine.
But his kidneys were another matter. At one end of the scale, they would sort themselves out over the next 18 months as they finished developing. He had an operation to put a catheter into his kidneys through his back. This would then drain the fluid into a bag. I felt sick with worry. The anaesthetist took us into a little private room with nice couches.
I knew it was the kind of place that doctors take you to give you bad news. During the operation, Daniel had taken a turn. His blood had stopped flowing and his body had started shutting down. While this was good news, it showed how serious the situation had been. My partner and I were then allowed into intensive care to see Daniel. There were doctors and nurses everywhere. And then I saw him. Over the next few months, he went through several surgeries as the doctors tried to discover what was wrong with his kidneys and to put stents in to help drain the fluids that his body was unable to pass normally.
By this stage, we knew that his kidney damage was at the most serious end of the scale. It had been summer when I went into hospital to deliver Daniel.
It was hot and sunny, so the clothes I had with me were all summer dresses and sandals. By the time I got to bring Daniel home, it was the end of October and there were Christmas decorations in the shops.
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My family had to keep bringing me warmer clothes to wear as the weather changed. Everyone struggles with looking after a newborn when they arrive home from the hospital, but with Daniel, everything was a hundred times harder.
Daniel had to be fed through a tube in his nose, which he absolutely hated. It was a very traumatic experience for all of us. To make things even worse, Daniel has eczema, and he was allergic to the plasters that held the tubes in his nose. His little face was breaking down underneath. In January, we got to stop the nose feeds when he had his next operation. The surgeon put a button into his tummy so we could feed him through it instead. This made a huge difference. We had a couple of good months and I starting to find my feet with being the mother of a sick child.
But then things got very bad again. One day, Daniel was hot and sleepy. The following morning when the doctors came to do their rounds, they pulled the curtains around the bed and I braced myself for more bad news. It had crossed through to his bloodstream and now he had septicaemia — blood poisoning.
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Over the next four months, Daniel only had a few days of good health. He kept redeveloping klebsiella. The doctors were really concerned that the infection was becoming resistant to the antibiotics.
In June, Daniel had his seventh operation, to remove his right kidney, as the doctors thought it might have been the cause of his repeated infections. His haemoglobin levels were dangerously low afterwards, so he needed a blood transfusion. In front of maybe a thousand fans, the atmosphere on Court 2 did not support the World Cup of Tennis of marketing imagination However, while it was not exactly time-travelling back to Wembley Stadium in , there was throaty support for both teams from those who had lasted the week of the new format, mostly British, many of them Scots, none of them in danger of causing crowd trouble.
The format that brought the best 18 teams in the world together for a week had plenty of teething problems, but much goodwill, as well. The main problem is the scheduling of such a tough event at the end of a long season — and six weeks before the new ATP Cup, which starts in Australia on 3 January. For now, the tournament that replaces the year-old Davis Cup moves on, buoyed by many fine and exciting matches but marred by a string of avoidable cock-ups. Facebook Twitter Pinterest.
Davis Cup: Great Britain fans given semi-final tickets by LTA - BBC Sport
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