It is safe to say that I am not an extreme people person.
I can happily go a month seeing only my husband and kids and be very content and my special treat to myself at College was to go a whole week without talking to anyone except when in class or to go out to a movie completely alone.
It's not that I don't like people or that I don't care about them, it is just that I enjoy, crave and am filled up by solitude.
In the last seven weeks, solitude has been scarce and I am often feeling like I am on People Overload.
Even when I am on my own in my room I can hear the sounds of the city - that writhing mass of humanity - outside my window and hear the bumps and thumps of communal living outside my door.
This has not been my favourite aspect of this experience.
However, the people I have met are mostly amazing.
There is a fellow Tasmanian who has been here for almost three months now and will be here for a few more weeks yet at least. We have been room mates almost every day that Kaylee has been on 7 West and have spent much time talking as we express or sit at our respective baby's bed sides.
I have developed a deep respect and love for nurses and doctors in general. I wouldn't even hazard a guess how many I have dealt with in the last few weeks but I could count on one hand the ones I didn't get on with. The majority have been wonderful. Right now Kaylee's room is closed off because another child in there is undergoing a procedure. I have been shut out for five hours so far which is hugely frustrating however I know that the nurse with Kaylee understands that she gets fussy when her nappy is dirty and likes to be wrapped. She cares not only about the "medical stuff" but also about Kaylee's comfort, and that means a lot to me. The night Kaylee flew out without me the transport team showed up. It consisted of a nurse and doctor from Hobart who were laughing and joking - a total contrast to the image I had in my head of no-nonsense, all business, emergency types who were going to whip my baby away. I left the room while Kaylee was intubated and when I came back, Doctor Katherine had wiped Kaylee's eyes and was playing with her hair and "prettying" her up. She will never know what that did for me as a mother. The nurses from Launceston called through yesterday just to see how Kaylee is doing.
There are the long term cardio Mums who have been in and out of this and other hospitals for years. They are often generous with their knowledge and experience and amazingly supportive.
Many of the people I have known for years have stepped up to be incredibly supportive. The visits, phone calls, messages and million other ways they have shown they care have nurtured my heart.
Some people I hardly know or have never met in person have found ways to help make our journey easier.
So while I am still looking forward to long quiet days at home, I am blessed by the ministry of all these people.