Day 8 – Tuesday November 18th 2008

What an amazing day!  I held Eva on my chest for 2 hours today.  It was a wonderful feeling of closeness and a really big step forward.  It’s hard to describe how it feels to finally be in close contact with her after a week.  Fay, the nurse, put Eva directly onto my skin and then buttoned my top up over her and placed a towel tucked in around her.  All this kept Eva very cosy and warm.  Eva was coping so well that Fay was happy to leave her out.   Eva was wriggling around at times but mostly just lay there with her head to one side relaxed.  We heard her cry a few times, more than we normally hear through the humidicrib.  Andrew and I just kept looking at each other in amazement, wondering when it was going to end.  We chatted a lot with her letting her hear our voices as much as possible. When Fay took her back to the incubator she let us both give Eva a kiss, which was our first kiss so very special.

Andrew just had to watch his beautiful girls with more than just a hint of jealousy.  Hopefully this will now be a daily event depending on Eva’s condition and if the NICU is generally busy.  I thought this might be a weekly thing and am delighted that I will be able to share this with her every day.  Andrew is eagerly awaiting Saturday when it will be his turn.   We haven’t stopped smiling all day.  It has just been so wonderful.

This is called Kangaroo Care when the baby comes out of the incubator and snuggles to your chest.  Kangaroo care can improve a mother’s milk production and mean that babies cry less.  After kangaroo care babies tend to sleep more deeply which supports their health and development.  Kangaroo care can improve the amount of oxygen that a baby has in her blood. 

After lunch we came back to find her very settled in prone lie in her “nest” (a material pouch used to keep her cosy).  We noticed that she had a new NG (feeding) tube and were told that she pulled the old one out last night.  She just loves to grip onto it, it’s so thin that is fits in her hand perfectly.  The first of many we believe. 

James, the Consultant was again very pleased with her on the ward round.  Eva has tolerated the first dose of Indomethacin (to close the hole in her heart) so it will continue.  There is still a murmur at this stage.  Eva’s feeds have gone up to 1ml 4 hourly which James emphasised was just to prime her gut.   He told us that at this stage of gestation the gut is the last priority to develop thus why it takes some time to prepare it. We are delighted that she is going so well.  James said that the medical team are really trying to have a hands off approach to give her the best chance to hold her own and stressed that Kangaroo Care was very important to continue. 

We started the day by registering her Birth at the registry office.  She is now official and we have her birth certificates!  Daddy already wants a passport but I suggested that could wait a while!

This evening we delivered 50+ bottles of frozen milk to the overflow freezer at the hospital.  Our freezer was just overflowing.  I am wondering if there is a breast milk bank so that other babies can use the milk.  On 1ml 4 hourly Eva isn’t really going to get through it all!

Today was just a lovely day and we have just spoken to our family to share with them the exciting news. The sun shone and there was blue sky for the first time since Eva’s birth.  It didn’t even rain today.

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