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Our little one gets Christened

april christeningWell, Sunday was a very special day for us.  We had April baptised.  We’re not the most religious people, but we felt it was important to have her Christened and blessed after everything we had been through.  It just felt right…and of course it had to be in April didn’t it!

We had April Christened in the local church where we got married and then headed to the village hall opposite afterwards.  It was our chance to welcome her into the world properly with friends & family and to say thank you to everyone for their support.

She was so good all day & didn’t mind having her head wet by the vicar.  She wasn’t too happy being passed around afterwards, but once she got a bottle & bum change she was fine…she is such a placid little thing!

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April & her godparents (and us of course)

I had to decorate the village hall a bit to make it look nice for the occasion & we had a free bar for everyone.  It was our thank you; however we asked if anyone wanted to give donations and anything we raised we’d donate to BLISS – the charity for premature babies.  We have also set up a Sunshine Fund for April.  This means that all the money we raise will be in April’s name and once we raise £1000 The Woodland Trust will plant a tree in a nearby forest in April’s name.  We were astounded to raise over £300 from our guests generous donations.

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Tired at tea time

I have to say I was shattered on Monday – having a baby, running a business and organising a Christening was/is hard work!

April’s weaning is still going well.  She now eats carrots, sweet potato, pear, apple, turnip and an abundance of baby rice! Not keen on corgette at all.  She seems to like vegetables over fruit, but is generally eating a lot more than we were expecting.  We keep upping quantities and should be going on to the next stage soon – introducing breakfast.  She got a high chair off her nana and grandad for her Christening, which makes dinner time much easier.

It feels like she is really progressing recently, eating, sitting in a high chair, rolling over and starting to sit up.  You can see her little personality coming through as well now – she particulalry loves the nursery rhyme about ‘5 Little Speckled Frogs’ – and I love singing it to her too!

 

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What a week

Well, it is amazing what can happen in a week.

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Messy eater

1 – We started weaning April 2 weeks ago and she is loving it.  They say you start weaning a prem baby at 5 months as they take a little longer to grasp eating.  However, like her Mammy April loves her food and she is having no problems at all.

 

She has been eating baby rice, carrot, sweet potato, pear and apple.  The only one she isn’t too keen on it Apple – but I think that is more my skills in the kitchen!  We’ve gradually been introducing new tastes and a little more each day.  The last couple of days she’s meant to have 2-3 tsp of baby rice and pear at night, but she’s been eating it all…about 7 spoonfuls of baby rice and about 4 of pear!  Then she has a bottle on top of that too!

She’s still having trouble going to the loo, so we’ve had to give her more Lactolose now and then, but hopefully the more fruit and veg we add to her diet the easier it’ll get for her.

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Sleeping peacefully

2 – April has also moved to her own bedroom and into her cot.  A few weeks ago (with my emotional meltdowns) I wasn’t ready to do this yet and my friend who is a midwife also recommended we didn’t move her until 6 months old.  I did a bit of reading up and the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome – cot death) is greater in babies under 6 months old; and particularly premature babies.

 

I read up a little about why babies are more at risk and it says that when a baby is asleep they can forget to breath, but hearing sounds from their Mother reminds them to breathe and there is a lot of evidence that backs this up.  I found this article really interesting.

It got to a stage last week, when April just looked like she had outgrown her Moses basket and she had little room.  I thought she needed more space and said to Phil I felt she was ready to move.  I had it in my head she was 6 months old, but I was a little early as she was only 23 weeks old, so then I got a bit paranoid we were moving her too early. Stupid me, read all about SIDS when we put her to bed too, which wasn’t wise.

Then, she didn’t wake up until 6.30am!!  When Phil’s alarm went off at 6am I jumped out of bed realising she hadn’t woken up all night.  She was still breathing phew!

Now we can put her in her cot, in her little dream pod/sleeping bag and she pretty much settles down right away.  On a couple of occasions we’ve had to go up to her, but it’s usually because she’s not had a poo and is in pain.  She wriggles around and looks so much more comfortable.

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Sleepy April=happy Mammy

3 – This one is a biggie…well for me.  For 3 nights April has “slept through”.  We’ve put her to bed after our little nighttime routine of bottle/food/bath about 7.30pm-8pm and she’s been sleeping until 7am(ish).  If I get up to the toilet in the night, I always just check she’s OK (breathing).  In the morning  it is now Phil who wakes me as he gets up for work, before April stirs.  When she does wake she tends to wriggle around in her cot, talk to herself and she is quite happy.

 

So, with her new food intake and a new room she is doing great and now sleeping through.  She has really come on over the past couple of weeks again and is progressing…and I am feeling less tired #bonus .

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Hot sweats

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Chillin’ with Mammy

 

So, when I was in hospital I was on a cocktail of drugs to try and stabilise my condition.  For the past 6 months I have remained on a cocktail of drugs to keep my blood pressure down.  The doctor has gradually been weaning me off them and today I’m down to just one tablet per day.  I had been taking 2 different drugs, one called Nifedipine and one called Ramapril.  The doctor told me that Nifedipine is a banned drug in winter sports and that ice climbers take it to keep them warm, so they can perform better.  During the winter months it wasn’t too bad and I was nice and toasty, but since the weather has picked up, I’ve been one sweaty Momma!  I’ve not worn a jumper all winter…some days even just a vest top!  So, it is such a relief that I’ve come off it!  I’ve continued monitoring my blood pressure with a machine at home and the readings are so much better now.  I’ll probably stay on Ramapril for the rest of my life, but it is better to keep everything controlled and in check.

 

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All smiles

April is just going from strength to strength and continues to smile and interact all the time.  She rarely takes a proper sleep during the day and just likes to “cat nap”.  She loves being cuddled and is just a pleasure.  She only ever really cries when she is due a feed; and like normal she feeds like clock work – every 4 hours.

We have a good little routine for her now in an evening and we can generally get her to sleep by 8pm.  On the odd occassion she sleeps all the way through until 6am(ish), but generally sleeps until about 3 or 4am before she needs a feed.  The night feeds are easier now and I’m not feeling like I’m going to fall asleep all the time – you know the type when your head drops off and you wake yourself up!

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Feeding time

We started weaning her last week and so far so good.  You can read my weaning blog about her progress here.  We started weaning her early as she was premature.  I wasn’t sure why at first, but apparently prem babies can take a little longer to learn…so far so good.  Her favourite is carrot!

The only problem weaning her is that the Lactolose is becoming less effective now (read about why she needs Lactolose here) and she often has a poorly tummy and hasn’t been as regular since our last trip to hospital.  I’m hoping as she tries more food it might help her go, but it’s horrible seeing her wriggle and squeal in pain – all I can do is rub her little tummy 😦

Although saying that she exploded 3 times on Saturday – once getting out of the pool at Center Parcs!  Luckily I managed to disguise the stained towel and had to just prey there wasn’t baby poo running down my legs do as I scooped her up to the changing rooms!

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Half term fun with my girls

I’ve been feeling quite emotional recently and have been having good days and bad.  Generally day to day I feel OK and I love being a Mummy, but for some reason when I start to think about what happened to us and the whole experience of being in hospital/NICU/SCBU I can’t help but cry.  It is a feeling I can’t explain – an overwhelming joy that April is OK and we’re both fine, but then a huge relief that everything is OK – and lots of what ifs.  The sense that I was robbed of the end of my pregnancy, the possibility of not having any more children, the fact that I’ll always be on medication and having to give April medication every day too.  I was recently asked to go away and the thought of it (although wanting to go) made me feel really anxious.

I hated leaving April every night when she was in Carlisle hospital, but initially when April came home I didn’t have any problems leaving her.  I know it sounds bad, but I didn’t miss her; I think I’d got used to leaving her every day.  However now, I really don’t like leaving her and can’t wait to get back to her, so the thought of going away for 1 or 2 nights just freaked me out.  I know a lot of new mums feel this way, but I was separated from April for so long and I’m just not ready to be separated from her again just yet.  Every minute I spend with her is so precious and I’m going to enjoy every second.

 

 

 

 

 

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Weaning a premature baby

imageHaving a baby is a minefield.  Things happen really fast, like teething and weaning.  Being naive, I didn’t really know when all this stuff happens, but thought it was way later than 5 or 6 months!

Anyway, April has been showing signs that she might need a little more than just milk, so I started looking into weaning.  Weaning a premature baby is slightly different and should be done from 5 months (not corrected age – I.e when they were due) rather than 6 months for a term baby.  I really couldn’t see why you would wean a term baby sooner, but from guidance on the BLISS website I found out that premature babies need weaning earlier as it can often take them longer to learn how to do it.

Then there is the question of what do you do!!??

Well, armed with a Gina Ford book, we started weaning April last week (28th March aged 22 weeks).  The book is really good as it gives a guide for people weaning babies from 4 or 5 months, who have been advised by a doctor.  For weaning a baby at 5 months, it gives a day by day plan of what you should be giving your baby – at a much slower pace than a term baby.  It also tells you the different types of foods to try, at what time and recipes to make (not that it is hard mushing up fruit and veg, but handy all the same)

So, I’m going to update this as we go along every few days, so you can see how we’re getting along and also to potentially help mums of other prem babies.

Days 1-3

We started off by giving April her first taste of baby rice on days 1 -3.  The first feed of the day would be bottle as usual at 6 or 7am.  Then the introduction of 1tsp of baby rice for her 10am feed.  her feeds for the rest of the day would then stay the same.  At first she really didn’t like the baby rice and would spit it out, but gradually day by day she got better…though she got more and more constipated.

Days 4-6

For April’s 10am feed we introduced 1tsp of pear puree and at her 6pm feed 1-2 tsp of baby rice.  Her face was so cute at first, all wrinkled and confused at the new taste, but she was full of smiles and enjoyed it…it even helped her poop again!

Days 7-9

Now time to introduce carrot puree in the morning and she loved it…although it did turn her face slightly orange when she smeared it all over!  Again followed by 1-2tsp of baby rice at 6pm.  We also gave her 1tsp of pear puree at the evening feed.  She didn’t seem as keen on pear at night.

I’ll add here, that April hasn’t been having her 10pm feed for a few weeks now.  Generally she feeds at 6/7am, 10am, 2pm, 6pm and sometimes 2am, but can often go until 4am, so we play it by ear.

Days 10-12

To follow…

So, I was planning on updating this page more often…however as you soon realise being a Mam this isn’t always so easy.  However, you can read my latest blog here to give you an update at 10 weeks.