Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Re-visiting NICU

Today I went back into the NICU for a morning tea that had been arranged as part of a nation-wide Thank U Nicu Day...

It's been 2 years since I last visited. During Grace's first year I went up to the NICU a hand full of times. I only once went into the corridors, the other times I stayed outside and just met up with a couple of the nurses that we'd gotten to know really well. When Grace turned 1 we were invited into the NICU area and I was able to catch up with a lot of people who remembered our little girl. At the time it was really difficult being back in there. The smell, sounds, just all the memories of being in there with Grace was overwhelming. I cried all the way home...I wondered whether I was ever going to be able to find some peace...

Today, it was different. Yes, it was confronting walking through those doors...seeing all the pods and cots. Remembering the rooms Grace was in during her NICU days, seeing the milk storage freezers, the smell of the antiseptic hand wash, the faint sounds of beeping monitors coming from within the pods. Seeing the face of a mother as she walked out of her baby's pod... that look in her eyes that I know I had too - grief, uncertainty, loneliness...For some reason though, the overriding sensation and emotion was one of hope and blessing. I didn't cry, I didn't feel overwhelmed....not like last time.

This time I was ok. I was the mum of a graduated NICU baby. I am the mum of an amazing little miracle. I was ok with the smell (well, about as much as you can get to be ok with that smell), the beeping didn't make me anxious, and I was able to look into the pods and remember without wanting to curl up and cry. I realised today that I have come an incredibly long way since my little girl was in NICU. Today gave me hope and inspiration. I feel like I can now honestly look at one day working in a SCN/NICU when I finish my degree and know that I will be ok. Yes, there will always be memories and that twinge of sadness that sits in my soul, but I'm slowly coming out of the tunnel into the light and I know that after today I'm going to be ok. There will be hard times, there will continue to be sadness and tears, but I've turned a corner and for that I give thanks...

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Naming Ceremonies

Our little monkey will soon be turning 1, and to celebrate we are having a combined Birthday and Naming Ceremony. Again I have written the ceremony, which will be performed by a very beautiful friend who is a celebrant, and I'm looking forward to celebrating this milestone with our family and friends.

It also brings back memories of Grace's special day...I thought I'd post what we wrote for her Naming Ceremony and some photos of the way we celebrated the amazing gift that we've been given...



Welcome everyone & thank you all for coming here today to help Kathryn & Adam celebrate Grace’s 1st Birthday and Naming Ceremony. This special day is one in which we honour and bless Grace and welcome her into our community.
Kathryn & Adam have asked us here today because we are their community – the circle of people with whom they celebrate life’s special moments and to whom they turn to in times of need. Whether central or peripheral, each of us is an important influence and inspiration upon Grace, bringing to her a unique perspective on being in this world. She will look among you for companionship, leadership and support. As she forms her own identity and learns about her place in the world, she will weave into the fabric of her being a part of each of you. By watching you she will learn how life works. Kathryn and Adam thank you for your support and commitment to their family.

Becoming parents has been an amazing journey for Kathryn & Adam, one filled with many challenges and overwhelming joy alike, and one which began in a very unconventional way.
For Kathryn and Adam, the long-awaited birth of Grace was, for the most part, the most amazing and empowering experience that they have had. However it was also the most devastating.  Grace took a long time to decide she wanted to arrive, and after going very much past her due date, and nearly 24 hours of labour, Grace was born at 1.45am on Sunday the 16th November. She came into the world during a massive thunderstorm, a very appropriate symbol for her.
Like all new parents, Kathryn & Adam took for granted that they would meet and hold their newborn baby. But that wasn’t to be. Grace was born with no heartbeat and required immediate resuscitation and intensive care. For nearly 20 minutes, Kathryn & Adam didn’t know whether their little baby would survive and it was during this time that she was named. Kathryn asked to call her Grace….which was originally going to be her middle name. Where the decision came from Kathryn doesn’t know, but she knew if was the name her baby needed to have. Kathryn & Adam never saw their little girl’s face, never held her in their arms or welcomed her into the world, but her name was a powerful way for them to connect with her. Kathryn & Adam have since found out that Grace means Love and God’s favour – so perhaps she named herself….
For Kathryn & Adam, the course of those early days of parenting revolved around the Intensive Care Nursery and the world outside became irrelevant. During this time they were given amazing support from you, their friends and family, and Prayers for Grace were numerous and overwhelming. After a long and agonizing wait, Grace was 5 days old before Kathryn was finally able to hold her and welcome her properly into the world properly. The following day was Adam’s chance to cuddle his little princess, and it was also the day she had her first attempt at a breastfeed. Like many things, Grace was not expected to breastfeed successfully, but she proved the staff wrong, a trait which she has since shown many times.  Grace spent a total of 17 days in hospital before Kathryn & Adam were finally able to take her home and start life as a “proper” family.
The impact that Grace’s birth had on Kathryn & Adam was that they no longer have the blind faith that as parents they can always protect their child from everything bad in the world. Grace has taught them that life is precious and every day in itself should be cherished.
Cuddles during an emotional moment....

Grace has an incredibly strong will – something her parents now know she needed in order to survive. She is such a happy, loving and content little girl (and very head strong too). She brings so much joy into Kathryn & Adam’s life and they both feel so much more enriched by having her. Grace was a very unexpected arrival in their life, but one which has shown them a depth of love they didn’t know existed. With the arrival of Grace, Kathryn & Adam have been brought closer together and she has made them a family, something they had only dreamed of before she arrived. After going through the trauma of her birth, Adam and Kathryn have learnt a great deal about each-other’s strengths and courage and the bond they share has been made so much stronger. Grace is their miracle, there is no denying that she is a special little girl, destined for great things, someone they can’t imaging life without and who they cherish and love above all else.

To celebrate the amazing journey of Grace’s first year, Kathryn & Adam have chosen to do a Butterfly release. The butterfly is a symbol of transformation, freedom, love and new life.  “By looking at the grace and eloquence of the butterfly we realize that our journey is our only guarantee. Our responsibility is to make our way in faith, accept the change that comes, and emerge from our transitions as brilliantly as the butterfly”
Butterflies came into Grace’s life in the way of a mobile given to her while she was still in intensive care, and they have come to symbolize Grace’s journey. These Butterflies that we are releasing each carries and symbolizing a special message.
Grace eager to open the Butterfly Box

The First Butterfly: Is released to represent Grace’s birth, the struggle and amazing transformation of being born and brought into the world. With it also comes the release of grief and sadness on what Kathryn & Adam missed out on, and what they nearly lost.
A butterfly takes to the sky...

The Second Butterfly: Symbolizes Grace’s journey in her first year of life, carrying with it the love, joy and wonder that she has brought us all. 

The Third Butterfly: Is released to symbolize Grace’s future, and with it carrying all of our wishes, dreams and hopes for her happiness, good health and blessings throughout the years.

The Fourth Butterfly: Represents all of us - her family, friends and the community in which she belongs. May it remind us of the role we each play in her life, and may we cherish having a new member in our world.

The Final Butterfly: Symbolizes Grace. May love surround her and carry her, may she soar through life’s wonders and continue to remind us all that dreams do come true, prayers get answered, and miracles can happen….
The Last Butterfly...


As these butterflies take to the sky let us all celebrate and welcome Grace into her family and community….and take the chance to cherish the miracles that surround us all.
Our extended 'family'...



Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Zoo Days

A while ago we bought yearly passes to our local zoo (a native fauna park) and Grace and I have been quite a few times already cos she is somewhat obsessed with animals. I would, on average, get asked at least every second day if we can go see the animals at the zoo - sometimes it's a daily request. What often sets it off is that we were given a place mat with a map of the zoo on it the first time we took her - a wonderful visual reminder that the place exists and even though I could make my own life easier and just get rid of it, Grace loves looking at it and talking about all the different animals and where they "live" in the zoo.

    
Grace & Paddy getting ready to go to the zoo
Looking and searching and questioning...


Saying 'Hi' to the Roos

Feeding the Kangroos

 
So, we went again the other day - just Grace and I, and had an absolute ball. She's one of the few little kids I know that can name more native Australian animals than non-native ones. And the "Why?" questions are also meaning that she's getting quite an in-depth answer - especially since this mum's background is in wildlife biologist and has spent the last ten years studying, working and rehabilitating wildlife.

Visitng with Grammy...Pat's still not too sure
whether this zoo thing is any good


A zoo day with our friends from Mothers Group

Going so often also means that Grace is starting to 'get to know' some of the animals and especially where abouts in the zoo they live. The favorites at the moment (and I'm sure it'll change over time) have to be the Tassie Devils (or dadi-dedils), Dingoes, Kangaroos and Bantam chickens (obviously the two chickens we have at home just aren't quite enough).  She's also gotten to meet Milo the Barn Owl for the second time and one of the wombats going for a walk through the zoo. So I'm being somewhat bombarded with "Where did Milo go?" and "I want to see Milo". She's also pretty happy to look at the Koalas (a good thing considering they take up a good half of the zoo!!) and the last time we went she was pretty fascinated with the snakes and turtles as well. We also spent an extraordinarily long time 'talking' to one of the cockatoos - literally. He and Grace said 'Hi' to each other for ages, laughed and somehow held a conversation in bird and toddler speak. It was so gorgeous to watch as he spent the whole time hanging off the wire right in front of her. Brought back a lot of memories of my own childhood as I was fascinated with animals, especially birds, from as far back as I can remember.


Saying 'Hi' to her Birdie Friends

Having spent so much of my life around wildlife I love that Grace is so fascinated and interested in it as well, and that she has been from a very young age. I've realised that this early fascination has led to her having very little fear or anxiety around animals and she's very confident in picking up, patting and holding a lot of different animals. Even at the zoo, while feeding the Kangaroos, she was trying to cuddle and kiss them and kept saying "come back" to those that hopped away. She's long been able to pick up and carry our chickens (and is better at catching them than we are) and is overall very happy and it seems, at peace, in the presence of furry, fluffy and scaly critters.


Cuddling the roos


I love being able to tell her things about these amazing animals and at least for now, am enjoying that she's so fascinated. I'd like to think that even though my own work with wildlife has come to a bit of an end, I can still pass on my passion and knowledge about our amazing native animals to my kidlets and teach them the value of compassion and conservation. In the meantime I'll keep enjoying our 'Zoo Days' and hopefully little Pat will be just as keen to come along and make some 'new' friends when he's a little bit older too.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Loving Motherhood

Throughout life we go through phases - infancy, childhood, teens, adulthood...carefree days, school days, Uni/work/career, parenthood etc. Although I've enjoyed each of these (that I can remember) and there have been highs and lows, I have to say that parenthood is the phase of my life that I am loving the most. Nothing in the world can prepare you for what it's like to have children - some things come close, but until those little buttons arrive, it's all just a great big 'unknown'.

But, for me, being a mum is the single greatest thing that I've ever done. I love pregnancy, birth (yep, I'd do it all again in an instant), babies, being a mum. So far it's been the most amazing, awe-inspiring and incredible years of my life. I won't deny that they've also been frustrating, heart-breaking, challenging, exhausting and monotonous - but isn't every phase of our life at least in part one of these things? I guess what I've realised though is that I LOVE this phase of my life and I wonder if the next ones will be as incredible??
With the countdown to going back to full-time study next year, I'm trying to cherish these last few months of being around my little ones pretty much everyday. I love being at home with my kidlets, watching them grow and learn and discover. I love being with them and everything that being a mother has given me. I love the people I've met since starting this incredibly journey, the things that I've learned not only about myself but the other people in my life. I love the way I've changed since having my little ones and I love that they have shown me a depth of love and completeness that I never could have imagined (and a level of patience I never thought possible!!).

What triggered this thought again was last night, when, like so many other nights, I was rocking and dancing my little man to sleep. We were listening to his lullaby CD, dancing and snuggling. Just 'Being' in that moment took my breathe away. His warm little (albeit getting very heavy) body in my arms, face nuzzled into my neck...the intoxicating sweet smell of him, the softness of his skin, silky hair, warm breath, his chubby cheeks pressed against me. These moments are so incredible and I'm reminded all over how deeply in love I am with my precious little kidlets. I know that it won't be long before my little boy grows up and these special moments will be replaced with other treasured moments. In the blink of an eye he'll be a toddler and then a big boy heading off the school. I look at Grace and she's already such a grown-up little kid. All those precious baby moments I shared with her have passed so quickly and now my little boy is just two months shy of turning 1 already!! I know I will miss these precious baby moments, these cuddles. I know they'll be replaced by other amazing and incredible moments but I'll miss this little baby all the same- it's such a short, sweet moment in time - I wish sometimes that I could freeze these moments, just for a little bit longer so that I don't forget...
My precious little kidlets

Monday, 5 September 2011

To Realise the Value of a Couple of Weeks......

"To realise the value of a couple of weeks, ask the parents who have lost their premature babies"

For a short while now, I've been getting updates about a couple that were expecting twins, but having some hiccups along the way. Recently the mum was admitted to hospital following complications and was being monitored closely as the babies where too small to survive if they were delivered. Knowing some contacts and support groups for families in this situation, I'd mentioned that I was happy to be a 'point of contact' if the mum (or dad) wanted. Not knowing the parents personally, I didn't want to be too forward, but I've also learnt since having Grace that sometimes the kindness of strangers and the prayers and thoughts of even people you've never met can make a small difference. But this morning the message was that she had gone into labour and lost the twins....

I've spent the day thinking, reflecting, wondering....how does a mother (and father) pick themselves up when this happens? I find myself getting teary just thinking about what they must be going through. I can't even pretend to understand. Almost losing Grace when she was born was shattering and life-changing...but to lose your precious little babies before they've even had a chance to live??? And I'm reminded of the above quote - the value of a week, two weeks....These little bubs would've had a chance if they'd been able to hang in there for just another couple of weeks. A couple of weeks and they might have been able to fight. They might have made it. They might have been amazing little miracles. But instead, today and for a long time to come there is a mother and father grieving for what might have been, what was but is now gone. And I can't help but wonder how I'd cope if it happened to me. How would I be able to pick myself up and keep going. To smile again. To feel joy and not sadness and emptiness. I have known other women who have lost their babies, both through preterm miscarriage and neonatal complications. To me they are among the strongest women I know. They have suffered a great loss and seem to have been able to move forward. But then again, who knows how much they still grieve or feel sadness. How much they still miss the little baby they never met, or never took home, or never saw grow up. In my own family both my grandmother and mum have had late miscarriages. My oldest sister was stillborn at 28 weeks. My Grandmother lost four babies (stillbirths and infant deaths) before finally having my mum. It is still an unspoken life event. It isn't something we talk about. I recently read a very touching post about this exact thing (Moment of Pause) and really, unless you have been there and walked in those shoes, you can't even begin to image what it must be like. So, all I can do is send prayers out to this couple and keep them in my thoughts. I can't say "I know what you're going through" or "it'll be ok" - because I don't know, and maybe it never will be. I can only send love and healing their way, and hope that in some way it offers just the tiniest bit of comfort.

But tonight, like so many other nights, I hug my own babies just that much closer, being so incredibly grateful that they are both here. I hug my little girl tightest of all. Thankful that we had a little miracle and thankful that I don't know what it's like to welcome and farewell your little one in the same moment.

And I send out a farewell to two little angels who never made it earthside.....

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

NICU Days: Grace's Journey (Part 3)

NICU Days: From Special Care to the only place in the world where this little miracle belongs - HOME


DAY 12

…Grace was moved down to Special Care this morning – it was very hot and crowded and she was really unsettled and cried heaps. Took forever for the transfer to happen up to the ward, but finally, finally we’re here. A room of our own, just me and Grace….

Leaving SCN - on the way to the ward

Outside the NICU/SCN

….I can’t believe I finally have my baby here with me, I’m finally here, next to her and I feel complete. She’s such an amazing little girl. I can’t believe how far she’s come in the past 12 days and I can’t wait to be able to take her home with us…one step closer….





DAY 13

…Grace was really unsettled all day, she had a really nice long bath and slept really well on my chest afterwards for nearly 2 hours. By the afternoon she was pretty much sobbing and crying continuously. Felt really lost by night time, especially once Adam had gone home and I was on my own trying to settle her. Went down to the nursery earlier than the IV was due and had a really good chat to Grace’s nurse, got some ideas on settling and feeding. Felt heaps better when we finally made out way back up to the ward. Adam had come back in, stayed til after midnight. Grace crashed out not long after he left again and seemed finally to be content for the first time today…
Sweet little girl

DAY 14

…spent most of the day snuggled on the bed on the ward, lots of awake time together – chatted and cooed at each other. Grace has dimples!! She’s starting to smile and it’s totally adorable…

…had a visit with the lactation consultant and we had a really long chat. Considering what Grace’s been through, she’s amazed at how well she’s attaching and feeding and is very happy with our progress. She also told me that I was doing a great job and that she felt I was already an excellent mother and a natural at it. Nice to be told that I’m doing ok cos sometimes I wonder if I’m just flailing around in the dark…
Snuggles with mum

….Grace was weighed and measured for discharge (which is meant to happen tomorrow) – the nurses realised that the head circumference and body length were never done after birth, so as of today, she’s 52cm long with a HC of 34cm – perfectly average….

…Adam stayed the night with us, spent a long time cuddling and chatting away with Grace. It’s so amazing watching them bond and spend time together, feel bad that he hasn’t had as much of a chance to be with her and bond with her as I have…

….found out before Grace’s 10pm IV that her CRP levels have increased again (which it’s not meant to be doing since she’s on antibiotics). They are still waiting for the septic score which will tell us a little bit more. Worried cos’ she should be getting better not worse. Also sad cos there’s a good chance now that we won’t be able to take her home tomorrow….
Dreaming away

DAY 15

…Grace slept through for 4 hours at a time during the night – totally surprises me that she’s doing that. We got woken at 5am by the midwife who told us that the septic score was 0, so we were going to be able to go home today. We were so excited and relieved – YAY!....

…..after packing up all our stuff we were about to go down to SCN to arrange the final discharge papers when bad news came by instead. Because Grace’s CRP levels are so high they want to keep her on antibiotics until Tuesday when they’ll get back the blood culture results!! I was shattered and just sat down and cried. We were devastated being told we could take her home and then having that taken away as we were literally about to walk out the door! We had to take her down to SCN again and have yet another IV line put back in. I was sobbing, just so, so upset that we were still here. They took ages again trying to get an IV line in . Adam was with Grace, she cried and sobbed so much. The doctor came and explained that if the blood culture came back showing no infection they would let her go home even in the CRP was a little high as it can be an indication of inflammation elsewhere in the body. So, we just have to wait – again….

…discovered Grace’s cannula site was leaking at the 8pm IV. So, they had to pull it out and get the doctor to try for another line. I had my hands on Grace, trying to soother her – they tried for about ½ hr, unable to find a vein in her hands/arms, so now they’ve put it in her foot. Once Grace was settled again I rang Adam and just cried. I hate seeing them do that to Grace, seeing her sobbing and not being able to take the pain away for help her. I feel guilty, sad, angry….

…finally took Grace back up the our room and fed her for over an hour, needed to just have her close to me in the end….spoke to Adam on the phone while I fed Grace - she is so precious and how amazing it was that you can love someone so intensely. I always knew that I’d love Grace, but the depth of love I have for her overwhelms me…I’m just so desperate for us all to be together, a real family…


DAY 16

…very quite day with my little girl, just hanging out with cuddles and feeds…
Cheeky button
Hi Mum!!

…had another leaking cannula this morning!!! Another repeat of trying to get a line in, but thankfully they were able to get one in her other foot fairly quickly – poor Grace!!....there’s talk that if it happens again they will most likely need to do a scalp IV as she’s running out of veins – makes me sick to think they want to do that – can’t do this anymore!!


DAY 17

…went down at the 6am IV and we found yet another leaking cannula, so they didn’t end up giving the antibiotics. Found out her blood culture was clear and they’re just waiting on another CRP and full blood count…

….Grace’s doctor came to see us around 10am – news isn’t great – the CRP is still high and after reviewing with the infectious disease specialist, they want Grace to be on antibiotics for at least another 4 days!! The concern is that this infection might be lingering in her bones and if it’s not cleared up could cause a great deal of problems. I asked about the option of changing her onto an Intramuscular injection instead of IV. I’m fed up and tired of them attempting to put IV lines into her and hearing her sob and cry, of them leaking after 24-48hrs. Told him I felt Grace would be better off at home, better able to heal from the inflammations of all these cannula sites. He was really supportive, said he’d talk to the other doctors and see what we could do….

…1 ½ hrs later – we’re going home!!!!! They’re putting Grace on a 1/day IM injection and we’re even having a nurse who’ll come to the house each day to give it to her and check on how she’s going. Grace will need another blood test in 3 days and hopefully the CRP will have gone down – if not, they will review and go from there….

….after 17 days we’re finally home. We’re a ‘normal’ new family!!! I’m so, so happy. Cried for awhile, just can’t believe that we’re finally here, finally have our lovely little angel in the house. Feeling a little overwhelmed by knowing how close we came to losing our little girl, how heartbreaking it’s been being separated from each other. I still grieve for the lost moments, but I cherish what we have, she truly is a little miracle, a little fighter and I still marvel that she’s here and she’s ours. We still have no idea what the future will hold for her but for now we’re home, we’re together and that’s all that matters.”

17 Days old - Home at Last!!!!

NICU Days: Grace's Journey (Part 2)

NICU - HIGH DEPENDENCY

DAY 5

….went to see grace first thing this morning in her new room. She was sleeping soundly the whole time I was there. Love watching her sleep, could sit there forever just looking at her….

….spent time with the physio being shown exercises to do with Grace and various massages to do. Got to give Grace a bit of a wash (she’s not going to be able to have a proper bath for another few days still cos they want to keep the umbi-line in still) and then finally, finally I got to hold her. It took quite a bit of ‘unplugging’ and manoeuvring but finally, finally she was placed into my arms. I cradled her and cried, we just stared at each other for the longest time. She was so beautiful, so soft and warm. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Just spoke to her, told her I loved her, caressed her face…I was hooked. Never wanted to let her go. She soon fell asleep and Adam and I just watcher her, kissed her…THIS is what they meant, I had the moment, Grace and I had our ‘birth’ moment – it was magical beyond words. Was so amazing finally being able to hold our little girl, to ‘meet’ her for the first time….I’m so in love. I’m beaming.


We stayed like that for nearly 2 hours, then she had to be taken down for her MRI. Was a very emotional moment, Grace being taken from me….said goodnight to her after the scan, she was sleeping so peacefully…hoping we get good news soon and that we can then take her home in the very, very near future….

DAY 6

….we were able to try breastfeeding – the big, big moment arrived. As soon as Grace was on me and at my chest she was eager. Her mouth was working overtime and her tongue was going crazy. She even had that lovely glazed look in her eyes. She tried really hard. Really wanted to attach, she struggled though and before even 10min had passed the lactation consultant with us suggested a nipple shield. She figured it out in the end on the shield and happily drank away for a little while. I really wish we’d been allowed to just have more time to sit together and figure it out ourselves…..she fell asleep in the end and it was the loveliest feeling and so emotionally uplifting being able to feed her…..

Grace Breastfeeding

….She had a long cuddle with Adam  - the first time he’s been able to hold his little girl. It was amazing watching them ‘meet’, she fell asleep in his arms, looking so peaceful and content. Surely it feels right for her as much as it does for us….
Daddy cuddles


….this afternoon they did Grace’s EEG. The operator ended up asking for me to be able to hold Grace while the test was being done as she was too irritable in the cot. The nurse didn’t seem too happy, but I was thrilled cos I got to have more cuddles with my little bub. She was a bit fretful having the probes put on her head and being wired up, and she sobbed when they took the leads off her. Broke my heart hearing her sob, but felt so grateful to be able to soothe and comfort her in my arms….

…..it was pretty late by the time I got discharged from the hospital, saying goodbye to Grace was heartbreaking. I cried in the car on the way home, just miss her so much and feel so lost and empty without her – it’s just so wrong to be going home without her. No mother should have to leave her baby behind. I know that she’ll be safe and well looked after, but it’s so wrong and I hate being so far away from her….



DAY 7

….Grace’s doctor came by on his rounds – he’s pleased with Grace’s progress so far and she’s now off all her meds for the GBS and seizures. They even finally took her umbi-line out, so holding her is so much easier without all the tubes and lines….
Cuddles - looking almost 'normal'

…also got the results from the EEG (effectively normal - YAY!!!!!!) and her MRI results. She did sustain some brain damage – we were told that her scan was the better side of bad, but that they still can’t tell us what it’ll mean for Grace. On a positive note, he mentioned that her brain stem has been saved and that’s really good news. Apparently some kids with better scans have severe disabilities and some with worse scans are fine? So we just have to wait and see, and hope that she’ll be able to overcome whatever might crop up like she has so far. ….

…..they’ve also moved Grace into a bassinet as well, so gone is that big bulky bed she’s been on since birth….she’s starting to look like a ‘normal’ little baby….

…Grace and I had our first ‘proper’ skin-to-skin cuddles today….she loves to fall asleep on my chest…I keep thinking that this is how it should be, how I would’ve been able to hold her after the birth if things hadn’t gone wrong. She fits perfectly nuzzled between my boons. Never want to let this little bub go…..hated leaving at the end of the day. Miss her so so much when we’re apart....





DAY 8

…Grace was dressed this morning when I arrived!! She’s wearing her first little suit and she looked totally adorable….

….doctors rounds – they want her back on antibiotics for at least another 3-4 days. Her CRP levels are still high and they aren’t happy just yet. So they had to put an IV line in. The first 2 attempts didn’t work. Grace just sobbed and sobbed and it was so heartbreaking to hear her so upset.  The doctor suggested that I give her a cuddle (gladly!!) and they went to find someone else to try and get a line in. Had an amazing lady come in who tried again and was able to do it first time. Adam has his finger in Grace’s mouth and was trying to soothe her while it was done, was still so upsetting seeing her cry…

….before we left I managed to do a long feed with Grace, she fell asleep all milk-drunk and the nurse decided that she didn’t need to top up her up with an NG feed as well (yay!!)….said our goodbyes and kissed her for ages. Cried as soon as we were out of the room. So sad to leave. I hate that I can’t take her home. It tears me apart because I just don’t feel complete without her. She’s so strong and brace, I try to be as well, it’s just so hard because she belongs in my arms and in our home and not so far away….


DAY 9

…..my milk has finally come in!!! can’t believe how long it’s taken, actually managed to express over 50ml in one expressing before going in to see Grace….


…Grace had her first bath! She was so relaxed and even dozed off at one point. Was a really wonderful moment, very nice bonding time together and I think she’s a bit of a water baby already…


DAY 10

…Good and bad – they are keeping Grace on antibiotics for at least another 4 days. Her CRP levels have increased instead of going down. It’s a bit of a blow cos’ it delays any chance of being able to take her home. Just feeling sad cos I just want my little girl with me….


DAY 11

…Grace was waking up when I got in, apparently she’d had a bad night, looking for something to suckle at feed times and generally being very cranky. The nurse mentioned that they would like to consider putting her on a bottle. I wasn’t really happy with that, so had a chat to the doctors when they did their rounds and asked if it was possible for me to room in with her up on the ward. Surprisingly they were all for it and agreed to let me room in from tomorrow until discharge. WOW!! She will need to be transferred down to SCN ever 4 hours for IV antibiotics, but apart from that, she’ll be with me. I’m so, so, so excited that I’ll be able to have her with me. I’ve been waiting for so long to have her with me, we’re nearly there and I’m so relieved and excited and can’t wait until we can finally bring her home as well…