Thursday, 30 January 2014

Baby A and Nicu life: an update

Here we are, our first family photo, with Baby A at 2 weeks old. 

She loves cuddles with her Daddy

We're  starting to get into a routine and past the early days of the NICU blur.

Baby A is doing so well. As well as a baby born at 30 weeks could. She is off all breathing support and off her IV line. Now she only has the naso-gastric tube (to feed her milk) and a few monitors on her. She looks like a real baby instead of an astronaut!

She is slowly gaining weight and growing. She still spends most of her time sleeping, but we've noticed when we do her cares (washing her, changing her nappy etc), she tends to wake up for longer periods to have big stretches and to look around.

We give her kangaroo (skin to skin) cuddles every day, and she really relaxes into it- falling into a deep content sleep. We read to her, talk to her, and often have a wee nap ourselves (those Lazy-boys are veeery comfortable.)

She had her first bath a few days ago and she loved it. She was very alert and happy, and I loved the interaction with her.

Next steps for her will be getting into a therma-cot (an open cot), but she has to be a bit bigger so she can maintain her own temperature first.
The other thing is for her to give breastfeeding a try. She had a wee try for about 5 minutes today, and the promptly fell asleep- it's very hard work! It will be quite a few weeks before she is able to get all her milk directly from me.

Milk drunk

Baby A is so placid (so far!), hardly ever crying. The nurses always tell us she has been so good. We love seeing her more as a 'real baby' now- with a bit more interaction than we had at the start.

The nurses tell us hearing, touch and smell are the strongest senses for babies so I talk to her lots, touch her and leave a little cloth that I keep on me with her. 

We think she is so beautiful and precious.


As for me. I am healing well from my surgery, and my blood pressure is nearly back to normal. The amount of drugs I am on has reduced greatly. I can wear 'normal' clothes now (jeans! tie up shoes!) and basically look like I did pre-pregnancy, so this all helps me feel more like myself. However, I am still exhausted all the time, still overly emotional, still struggling to cope with it all sometimes. My tolerance level is really low, even the littlest thing will have me in floods of tears at the moment. Really time to invest in waterproof mascara I think.

I've been cleared to drive (wohoo freedom!) by my midwife, who also insists that instead of pumping regularly through the night, I must try to get a stretch of 6 hours of sleep (I could kiss her! *mwah*). I am yet to actually get 6 hours of sleep  (getting about 4 at the most) because my body loves to wake me up to pump at strange hours.


I'm slowly learning more and more about life with a preemie baby. When I was pregnant I imagined passing my baby to other people, helping her learn to be social and not dependent on me. I thought parents who kept their babies isolated and with breathing monitors in their cots were paranoid.

Well now I am that mother. Because preemie babies have very low immune systems, I will not be passing her round to others for several months, (people can cuddle her at our home, not out and about), and we will be mostly staying at home. Because Matt and I have been so deprived of cuddles with her, when she comes home I think we will cuddle her all the time. My midwife said generally people are told not to hold their babies all the time (and I once agreed with this), but she said that if we want to hold her all the time, we should let ourselves. We've been through so much, thoughts of 'spoiling' her will be the last thing on our minds. I can't wait till I can hold her whenever I want.

We are investing in a breathing monitor too, as preemie babies are at higher risk for cot deaths.

Yes, I am now that paranoid mum, who will tell you not to come over if you have a sniffle, to wash your hands before you touch my baby, and I don't care.


We've been overwhelmed with the generosity of others in this time- I wrote a blog post about it here.

In saying that, I've been surprised at those who have taken the time to visit us- many people who I though were closer to me haven't even been in touch. Others who I wasn't as close with have been life savers, visiting us in NICU, giving me lifts to the hospital and so on. I think it's common to be surprised by peoples reactions and responses in these kind of situations.

If you are worried about contacting me, please don't be, I'd love visitors, I love to talk about 'normal' things and life outside of the hospital, and I'd love to show off my baby to you. 


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