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1st November – wedding anniversary

Well, I didn’t think I’d be spending my first wedding anniversary in the hospital and have a new baby here!  Phil and I got married a year ago today and what a year it has been.  This whole experience has brought us even closer together – if that could have been possible.  We have cried together, laughed together and it is our strength that has seen us through this really hard time and will continue.

First wedding anniversary

First wedding anniversary

We were given permission by the consultants to leave the hospital today and just stepping outside felt so nice.  I opened down the windows in the car and was like one of those dogs you see with it’s ears waving in the wind sticking it’s tongue out…it has been a long time!  Neo Natal unit is very humid to keep the babies warm, so it was lovely to have some proper air.

One of the nurses had recommended us a little country pub and it was great – proper food in nice surroundings.  It was bliss – we didn’t need much other than being together, but it feels like it might be the start of getting out and about and getting better.

I always find it so hard saying bye to Phil when he leaves.  I don’t mind being on my own and sometimes it’s quite nice to sit, be quiet and reflect, but the person who keeps me sane is not here.  My emotions are all over the place – I’ve been so happy today and then back to being without him.  He’s back tomorrow afternoon though for a few days hooray!

It looks like the cocktail of drugs might be starting to work now and my BP readings have been OK today…mind I never speak to soon as they usually start fluctuating round bedtime, so we’ll see.

April today

I woke up early this morning as I knew April’s cares were at 6.30am – it’s basically giving her a wash and changing her nappy.  No poo today, but she’d done some in the night, so her bowels are working ok!

Weekly weigh in

Weekly weigh in

Her temperature has gone down, but they’re keeping her on the antibiotics for another 3 days in case.  They have also upped her dose of milk from 5ml, to 7ml and this evening 9ml every 2 hours.  She must like mummy’s special medicine…she’ll soon be catching me up!

She has also put on an ounce and now weighs 2lb 6oz, which is great and i got to dress her for the first time too – a special outfit to see Daddy – her “Sunday Best

Yesterday she came off CPAP on to high air flow and today it was reduced from 6 to 5…when we get to 0, she won’t have any assisted breathing, which is fantastic, but like we say we take it one day at a time as she could be back on the ventilator tomorrow!  We want her to grow strong, but not progress too quickly, so she ends up taking a step backwards!

"Sunday Best"

“Sunday Best”

After her cares I got another cuddle.  The unit was pretty empty and I was in my PJs in a recliner chair…she fell asleep and I could have joined her.  it was lovely.  It is those moments that keep me going!

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31st October – 1 week old today

I’m feeling really positive today…1 week on.  I can’t believe my precious little flower is 1 week old today.  Last Saturday was so frightening and a bit of a blur. The last week has gone so quickly, yet so slow and has been such a rollercoaster. It is such a milestone to reach the 1 week mark, with “touch wood” very few complications, but we’re still taking it day by day…
imageApril today

What a little star she is. I got down to the unit and was told by her nurse for today Andrea that she was coming off CPAP (the oxygen machine, which keeps her lungs inflated).  CPAP covers most of her face and head, so it’s hard to see her properly.  She wasn’t keen when Andrea was taking it off and had a proper tantrum, kicking and screaming.  The CPAP machine has been replaced by high air flow – two little prongs up her nose, which pumps air up her nose.  She will need to work a lot harder to breathe for herself with less support and the oxygen. Andrea said we’ll monitor her for a while; if her heart rate increases or she is struggling she may go back on CPAP, but it’s a step in the right direction!

She also had a good night and her temperature came down and she’s still taking milk, which are all positives.  She’s still on antibiotics for 48hours, but hopefully she doesn’t have an infection.

Without CPAP

Without CPAP

Lisa

I’m feeling a lot more positive today, yesterday was a bit emotional and up and down, but I had a good night sleep (5 hours straight) lovely shower this morning feeling ok.  My BP is still quite up and down and was a little raised this morning, but I’ve had my morning medication so we’ll see…you just can’t predict it.

I also had to have a kidney scan this morning.  This was to see if there were any underlying issues with my kidney function which could be affecting the BP.  The scan looked OK at first view, but the consultants will need to check it.  I’m also back on collecting my urine for 24hours.  I managed to fill the pot before I went to bed, which Phil and I always find quite amusing! I’m now on my second pot…don’t think I’ve got any issues on that front!

Lets see what this afternoon brings…

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Sunday 25th October – Critical Care

The pain I felt when I woke up this morning was horrendous – though still drugged up to the nines.  There was pretty much only one position I could lie in all night from all the wires and drips…and of course the surgery I’d had.

Yesterday evening was quite a haze; I just remember I didn’t really remember anything after the delivery – though whoever used the phrase “too posh to push” should be shot as it is utter tosh!  The pain is unbelievable when the anaesthetic wears off, to roll over, sit up…frankly do anything is excruciating.  When you do eventually manage to stand you feel like your insides are going to drop out on the floor and you have to hold your stomach in place.

All night we had been trying to get down to the Neonatal unit to see our new baby (who remained unnamed at that point), though I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep.  I was still hooked up to 24 hours of the Magnesium Sulphate which makes you drowsy too.  Of course I wanted to see my baby,  but I felt very nervous at that point, the situation felt surreal – almost like I hadn’t had a baby, just an operation.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want to see her,  but after the delivery she was just whisked away and i only got a glimpse of her – I was more concerned with sleeping.  Phil had been down to see her right away, so could show me photos.

meeting April for the first time

meeting April for the first time

However, come 8.30am I was unhooked from some of the monitors and taken on my bed down to neonatal to see her for the first time.  I was so nervous i was like going into a science lab with lots of beeping monitors and incubators all around.  And then i saw her through the glass.  They got me as close as possible, so I could put my hand inside the incubator and touch her.  I wasn’t sure how I was meant to react apart from cry.  I didn’t know what to say to her or do; she just looked so fragile and peaceful sleeping away.  she had lots of wires and loads of machine around her.

I was meant to feel happy, but I just felt so sad and cried – the weeks of uncertainty coming to ahead.  We only spent 5-10 minutes with her before i needed to head back to critical care.  I was so tired and just wanted to sleep and be on my own

Later that day our parents came to visit.  it was emotional seeing my Mam and Dad and i just cried again when i saw and hugged them both.  I was still unable to move and they must have got a shock when they saw the mess I was in.  Phil took them to see the baby individually as only two visitors a time in NeoNatal.  it was quite a daunting experience for them as well; seeing their child go through so much and be in critical care, but also seeing their new grandchild for the first time.

Phil’s parents visited next, with Eve my step daughter.  Phil took Eve to meet her new sister first.  She was a super star and handled the situation very maturely for an 8 year old.  Phil said she put her hands in to touch April and talked to her.  A lot of children would have been too scared.  She also bought April her very first teddy – though she stays with me on the ward as could pose a risk of infection in NICU.

Later in the day, they took the catheter out and I came off the Magnesium Sulphate, which meant i could get out of bed – and a whole new world of pain!  Phil had to lift me off the bed, so I could move and this is the first time the pain really hit.  I could barely walk, let along sit on the toilet.  I’ve never felt anything quite so painful!

Much of the day I spent in bed; feeling empty, emotional and numb.  Wasn’t I meant to feel excited and happy?  It was such a weird feeling; thinking of my new baby and wanting to cry that I couldn’t hold her like a normal newborn.