Today Eva is 32 weeks gestation and we are at the start of the 8th week! I made a cake to celebrate her 50 days. Its pure bribery so that the nurses forget how annoying and demanding we are! We are both feeling a little calmer today. We enjoyed having Chris as Eva’s nurse this morning to have someone we trust answer our questions.
When we left Eva tonight she had been breathing on her own for 39hours. So far so good! We are realistic however that if she struggles she will need to go back on. Today Eva has had a few bradycardias and low oxygen levels but nothing she didn’t correct by herself. Most of these episodes were while she was out in Kangaroo Care with me which it seems she was finding too much today. I even took Rescue Remedy before cuddles and tried to send lots of loving vibes. Hopefully it will be better the next time.
A big step for today is that she can now wear clothes. Eva is getting very clever at regulating her own temperature so isn’t relying so much on the air of the incubator. It was exciting to dress her in her oversized pink outfit but also strange seeing as she has always been naked. Today’s outfit is for 1.5 to 2.5kg. At least with premature babies they take longer to grow so they get more wear out of their clothes!
Also Eva is now having a dummy to suck on for feeds and if she is restless. This encourages her sucking with that feeling of fullness in her tummy and is instead of the 1ml milk. Chris, today’s nurse, was concerned that we are risking Eva inhaling milk into her lungs. I had also been a little concerned about this so was happy to stop on her advice. Also if Eva has the dummy when she is restless it stops her from burning up too much energy. It will then be taken away when she is quiet.
Chris reassured us today that Eva needs to gain some more weight before she leaves High Dependency to go to Nursery. We are hoping that Eva has been thinking heavy thoughts before her weigh in tomorrow morning.
I forgot to mention that yesterday Tori, a lovely nurse who was helping with the eye examinations, asked us how Eva’s hair had changed colour so quickly?! She thought maybe we had dyed it to achieve to ginger look. Andrew said from minutes after Eva’s birth that she was a red head.
The driving is frustrating and still I feel pointless when automatic cars exist. I am persisting as it seems Andrew thinks it is an essential skill.
Andrew had an hour in a flotation room this afternoon for some relaxing. We have previously used float tanks in Queenstown. They are great for clearing your mind and switching off. The flotation room didn’t work quite as well but Andrew still definitely feels much more relaxed. He is busy trying to catch up on some work for a few hours a day during his holidays. Eva’s unexpected arrival put him a little behind schedule.
I went to town to do some further shopping. I managed to get a few things from my list without too many Eva purchases. It is very hard to resist those little clothes though!
We hope now for a few days of Eva’s breathing stabilising and some wonderful growth. We know that God is watching over all of us and that many of you continue to send prayers and supportive thoughts. We all really appreciate your kindness.
I am having a sad day today. Nothing in particular, just everything in general. I think I am just tired of living life around the joy of visits to Eva and the sadness of her not being with me other times. I’m cross that I’m not pregnant anymore but neither do I have a baby with me. I thought that preparing for her to come home would make me feel better but I think we started it too early. Today even when I visited her I felt we hardly spent anytime with her between doctors rounds, eye tests, xrays of other children and expressing.
We also had Sarah as a nurse today for the first time. I am not very good when things change so this also threw me. Other nurses know that we like to do everything for her but this nurse had done stuff before we got there. Andrew suggested that it should be written down what the parent’s preferences are. I laughed and explained that this piece of paper does exist in Eva’s file but no one writes on it and thus no one reads it! If only the pieces of paper were useful.
Also today was eye test day. Eva’s eyes are fine which is great. This means that today premature babies that have been discharged early come back to see the ophthalmologist. It was really hard to see all these parents with their babies only making me crave some more the feeling of taking her home.
I am getting sick of expressing. I really want to keep going so that I can breast feed Eva but I am getting frustrated that it is time away from her. It is time meant to be time spent with her and bonding with her. Hopefully we can start trying soon. The sucking reflex should become more developed over the next two weeks. We videoed her sucking her thumb today, which is great progress.
We have just returned from visiting Eva this evening, which was much better. No interruptions and Andrew had a lovely cuddle. Eva took 1ml from the syringe with an improved sucking and swallowing action. She is now up to 19mls 2 hourly. I am feeling much calmer now (a beer and some chocolate may have helped!).
The good news is that Eva is totally oblivious to her mother’s mood swings and continues to be stable. James, the consultant, is very happy with her progress. Eva’s weight is 1120g today, which is static. He suggested that this isn’t likely to be related to Eva being off of CPAP but more likely due to the diuretics messing up the concentrations of salts in her little body. James feels if she is managing alright there is no need for her to go back onto CPAP. Thus the plan is that Eva is to remain off of CPAP unless she is in distress. This is very exciting news so please pray for her lungs and body to stay strong and continue to breathe for herself. Also he wants her to stay in the humidicrib for longer than she really requires so she doesn’t have to use too much energy keeping herself warm.
Today and for the rest of the week it is 2 degrees as a maximum temperature! At least it is sunny though which makes it better. I spoke to Gram in Perth today where it was 39 degrees and uncomfortable! A dramatic contrast. These cold days always remind me of Queenstown (NZ) where this would have been a great skiing day!
I had a lovely time cuddling Eva for 4 hours today. I just love the smell and feel of her. She stays so warm just cuddling against my skin. I even held her down in my arms looking up whilst she was awake so we could get a good look at her. Her face shape is changing without the pressure of the mask. Eva is now 14 hours without CPAP. She is doing really well, although she did have a few bradycardias this afternoon but Dr David was not concerned about these.
Daddy made Eva’s change table today and it now has stuff underneath it and on it. We have made space in our chest of drawers for Eva’s clothes and Andrew has put them into size order. It’s exciting but it’s still a little while until we get to dress her up.
Grace is back into the cot next to us. She was taken to ICU the other night and had a blood transfusion. Grace now appears to be much better and weighs more than Eva! Kyren, her older brother, was very excited that the two girls were back next to each other.
This morning we spoke to my sister Suzanne who will be arriving on January 8th. It is exciting to have another visitor coming soon. Our friend Merryn from Melbourne will also be visiting us in January. It is nice to be getting a string of visitors who we can show Eva off to!