Sunday started with an early morning phone call to Grandma in Adelaide. Like the rest of the family she would love to be here and wants to know what she can do to help. It’s this really funny situation we’re in where there really isn’t much we can do seeing as Eva is doing all the hard work and we are just watching.
We were up early to the hospital to see Eva before church. We arrived to find her glowing under her phototherapy light still in prone lie. She is continuing with the bradycardic episodes, which they think could be just due to a bit of tiredness. They are becoming less frequent which means she is more settled. Her skin is a little bit red and blotchy today. They have taken a swab to check for infections. It may be just a reaction to the phototherapy light.
The doctor had a chat with us about Eva. The doctor could hear a heart murmur last night, which is a new thing. The most likely cause of this is a PDA (patent ductus arteriousus). It is a common problem for very premature babies. In the womb there is a small connection between the vessels supplying the lungs with blood and the vessels supplying blood to the body. Normally it is closed within hours of birth but with Eva it is still open. The murmur the doctor can hear is likely to be new because the hole is now closing so the blood rushing past is making a noise instead of just passing when the hole is bigger. The doctor explained that possibly Eva may have to start a course of drugs to close the hole but that is something the Consultant would phone us about. So we just wait and see.
This did make us a little nervous but was something we had expected. I knew about this PDA from working in the Stroke Clinic recently. Some of the patients we see with migraines may be still walking round with the hole slightly open and we send them for scans of the heart. Some adults may never know they have this hole.
We went to church with Craig and Liz. It was a very emotional but therapeutic experience. Our family was in the praise reports to thank God for the safe arrival of Eva and also the prayer requests to keep the prayers coming for us. Pete, our minister, turned up by my side during the prayers to hold my hand, which was just wonderful. The person saying the prayers used the Our Father to demonstrate the prayer requests in such a beautiful way. We both spent most of the first part of the service gently crying but what a wonderful release that was. One song was about God’s love and strength which really brought home to me how glad I am that this journey we are on is a faith centered one because I can’t even imagine what state I would be in after the past week if we didn’t have faith. Church was another place where I had last been there pregnant so it was strange to think that now I am not and our daughter is lying in the hospital. The support from people at church was lovely although just made me shed even more tears.
After lunch Craig and Liz headed back to London after doing a few more chores! Visiting hours are only in the afternoon so they couldn’t see Eva again today.
We headed into the hospital to visit our lovely little girl. We found her lying back on her back. She was really wriggling around I guess enjoying the freedom of kicking her legs. Andrew can now realise actually how much she moved inside me and how her kicks felt! Her arterial line has been removed from her umbilical cord. I was sad about this as it means that now to check her blood results they will have to prick her heel. Chris, the nurse, was adamant that it was a good thing as it lowers her risk of infection and bleeding. Eva still has the venous line in. This now also means she has her blood pressure taken using a cuff like normal. The cuff is just so tiny!
Daddy changed Eva’s pooey nappy with great glee! Not many fathers get this excited but it does mean that perhaps she is starting to digest some more of the milk. Of course I was instructed to take photos. Do feel sorry for Eva, probably the only child in the world who has to endure a photo of a nappy change being posted on Flickr!
In the afternoon we rested at home feeling very drained but calm. I guess it was the release of energies at church. Andrew is getting stressed about our car situation. We have looked at all the options from owning to long-term lease to rental. We think we will probably stick with rentals when our visitors are here. The issue is that I am so lazy and don’t drive a manual so we would need an automatic which are harder to get here. Now is not the time for me to learn to drive manual. This week we will return our car and see how we go. Luckily we are not that far from the hospital, a 20min walk although the last bit is uphill.