Tuesday 25th March
She’s here. Shit got bad very fast. I dilated to 10cm in 40 minutes and then all of sudden her heart rate was 40bpm and wasn’t rising. The ‘I’ve got a good pelvic floor’ statement came back to haunt me and I pee’d myself instead of pushing her out (she was tiny, couldn’t feel a thing until her head came out).
In the end the doctor shoved her hand in and yanked her out. Made me question exactly why I chose a drug free birth. We got 90 seconds delayed cord clamping, which is better than nothing I suppose, and then she was gone.
She’s 860 grams (1lb 15oz) , she’s on a ventilator and she looks a bit like an old lady but she’s here and so far so good. They’ve said the next 48 hours are crucial so will see how that plays out.
I’m stupidly tired and my milk seems to have completely gone, think my hormones are a bit fucked, yesterday I had huge boobs today I have none, god I hope I can express.
Going to wander along to neonatal and see what’s happening…too wired to sleep anyway.
What a weird week. She’s alive. She’s called Jess, which if you believe my mother in law is just an abbreviation of a ‘real’ name. Oh do fuck off. She lost a bit of weight initially which is normal but she doesn’t have much more to lose. They’re talking about fortifier and things but I’m going to try and hold off as long as I can, introducing artificial things to an already immature system isn’t my idea of a good plan. She’s on 0.4ml of milk an hour, which is quite literally nothing. And considering I’m producing about 2lts a day I could do with her upping her game a little.
We said goodbye to the ventilator after 9 hours which is unheard of, and are getting used to a thing called CPAP. I’ve not seen her face yet and haven’t even broached the idea of a cuddle.
Having a 26 week old baby is very very different to having a baby at 29+6 that’s for sure.
Tuesday 8th April.
I keep waking up at 0424. When she was born. I’m not sure I can do this, it’s hard, and I’m tired. I feel so guilty for even thinking that but It’s so draining being in this bubble and yet I feel like I’ve just fallen back into it easily. My days sort of look like this;
Wake up. Express. Take kids to childcare. Go to hospital. Express. Sit there all day wondering when she’ll get ill or better, express a bit, come home. Express, make tea, express, sleep. Repeat.
Obviously there’s not even any talk of her coming home, she’s not even gained weight yet. If we have to resort to fortifier I’ll cry, I have enough milk to feed the entire world, she doesn’t need fortifier. Doctors want to give it a shot, I want to giver her a shot to get there on her own, pretty sure they think I’m ‘that’ parent who is going to be difficult. I’m not, I just think she’ll get there in her own time. So far she’s not hit any bumps in the road but we’re a mile into a probable 100 mile journey, we’re in this for the long haul.
People are weird too, they don’t know what to say. Some are excited, which annoys me because this isn’t a good thing, so I show them photos. Then they shut up. Some are rightly cautious but that fucks me off too, she might be wee but have some faith for fucks sake.
Current mood – approach with caution.
He’s in the hospital, not sure why. Got no time to indulge that and I fear it’s a cry for attention. I also feel I’ve made a huge mistake but best not vocalise that to anyone else. Everyone is so stressed, wish someone would hug me. I cry in the shower where no one can hear me, worried I’ll crack under the pressure of keeping it all together.
Tuesday 15th April.
I’ve had a cuddle. My god, I didn’t think I had space to love another one as much. We had a chat, Jess and I, and she’s going to be ok. Which is just as well because as much as she is tiny she is absolutely perfect. She’s strong, and she’s fighting and I can’t imagine life without her now.
Wednesday 16th April.
There’s something wrong with her. I’m not sure what but I know there is, she’s doesn’t look like Jess.
Sunday 20th April.
Today I cried on a nurses shoulder who I’ve never met before. That is the beauty of neonatal. I sat on the chair and leant my head against her and just cried, and that was ok. She didn’t say anything, she didn’t have to. She gets it, she knows. I knew there was something wrong with the baby. Came in and her oxygen is at 68%. She’s not making blood cells and she’s really really poorly. I’m so scared now, what if she doesn’t make it?
Tuesday 22nd April.
She’s had a blood transfusion, and she’s ok again. God what a rollercoaster this is. Oxygen is still in the 30’s but she’s nice and pink again and much more Jess like, which is weird to say because I still have no clue what she looks like.
Home is weird, the big girls don’t understand why the baby isn’t here and I feel guilty for not spending time with them. I went back to college just because I’m at a loss a to what to do, feel guilty for carrying on but it’s not like life can stop really?
Tuesday 29th April.
We’re out of intensive care!!!
Team High Dependancy here we come!
My boobs are MASSIVE. There’s so much milk I could feed the whole unit. Sat in Starbucks with Anna and inflated before her very eyes, hilarious albeit painful.
Have spoken to a couple of Mums. Seems there’s a few 26 weekers in the unit just now. Seems we’re also getting away quite lightly medically, she’s not actually got anything ‘wrong’ with her. She’s just small. Long may that continue.
Friday 2nd May.
She’s on fortifier, and needs another transfusion. Neonatal can suck my dick.
Tuesday 6th May.
Today I saw my baby for the first time. She looks exactly like how I knew she would, she is absolutely beautiful. Came in and she’s off her mask, and we’re on nasal prong oxygen. Cried a LOT. Check her out rocking this neonatal stuff, we’ll be home soon, I reckon the last weekend of this month. All we need to do is ditch the oxygen and get her feeding, how hard can that be?
This is the best day so far.
Wednesday 7th May.
This is the best day so far.
We’re out of the incubator. Graduated to a big girls cot, like a boss.
Tuesday 13th May.
This is boring. I know that sounds selfish but I’m so over this neonatal stuff already. She’s the second longest baby in the unit now. I’m fed up of seeing babies go into the ‘going home’ room, we are so overdue for that. Two months we’ve been here.
Tuesday 20th May.
Ok Jess, this is it. You’ve got the feeding down, let’s get rid of the oxygen and then we can go home this weekend, please.
Sunday 1st June.
Still here. Still on oxygen. Cried in the pumping room when no one was looking. No one gets it, I’m so sad. I miss her when I’m at home and I feel like a failure. I’m done with this now, I am never ever having another baby, ever.
Tuesday 3rd June.
WE ARE IN THE GOING HOME ROOM!
Technically it’s further away from the exit but it’s one step closer to home. It’s June now, she’s officially ‘due’ this month. The doctors have said she needs her jabs before they’ll discharge her. Not keen, but a fight I’ll lose no doubt. Just want her home.
Had to call the breastfeeding advice line about the ‘twins’. They are so so big. I need to stop expressing as much because now she’s feeding I’m producing too much, but my god. I couldn’t even lift my arm to clean my teeth this morning. This is the one part of the process I’d like to keep thanks.
Saturday 7th June.
Sleep study. I’m rooming in tonight, if she passs we’re going home tomorrow!!!! Everytime I go to feed her I’m frantically watching the monitor, it’s so hard to sleep. I’m so nervous, please pass baby, please.
Sunday 8th June.
Thursday 12th June.
Sleep study #2. Not even beginning to get my hopes up. Reckon I could sell my house and buy one closer, would save on petrol, and let’s face it, we’ll be here forever anyway.
Friday 13th June.
We’re going HOOOOOOOOME!!!
Walked into the unit and she has no monitors or wires, took her for a walk round the unit 🙂 I’m so happy I could burst, my baby is the most clever baby that there ever has been.
I wonder if they’ll let us stay a bit longer? I don’t think I’m ready to go home. What if her oxygen drops and I don’t know? She set her alarms off yesterday, what if she gets ill and we’re an hour away and have to come back. I reckon we could wing one more night, we’ve been here 12 weeks anyway, whats one more night?