Day 51 – New Year’s Eve

Andrew had lovely Kangaroo Care tonight as we waited for 2009 to begin.  Of course for many others the day is half way through.  We are looking forward to a wonderful year where we bring our daughter home for the first time and have the opportunity to be loving parents in our own home. 

A lovely day today with Eva’s first contemplation of breast feeding.  It was an exciting thought yesterday when Chris mentioned that perhaps Eva could start to have a sniff of milk as she was 32 weeks and the suck and swallow reflex develops sometime between 32 and 34 weeks.  Today Eva had one quick suck of a hand expressed drop of milk then went to sleep.  It was just a wonderful feeling and I was so delighted.  Although we are still a long way off I feel this is the start of another journey.  If Eva is stable and awake we will have a brief introduction daily.  Hopefully this gives her a taste of things to come!

Andrew found the breastfeeding attempt stressful though as he had thought maybe Eva would actually suck and then she didn’t.  This was of course due to a lack of communication between the nurse and us.  Also it made him realise that this was going to be a long process.  It was also very squashed behind the screen around the cot with Andrew, the nurse and I, which he found uncomfortable.

Andrew is anxious for us to use this week to shop together to get baby things organised before Eva comes home in a couple of months time thus we have been busy.  Other than this week we only have the weekends, which of course Andrew likes to spend with Eva.

Today we had Bridget, one of the many Indian nurses.  She is very smiley and lovely but like all of the Indian nurses isn’t very good at communication.  And of course there is the compulsory head wobble as an answer to any question, which always leaves us wondering.  Also they find it hard to leave us to our own devices always hovering to see if they can help with anything.   They feel inadequate if they can’t do everything for our baby.  There is a noticeable cultural difference, which we are slightly more used to after our travels through India and Nepal last year.    

Today we had a new consultant, Anoo for the ward round.  He seemed pleasantly surprised by Eva’s progress for her age.  Eva’s weight was up to 1.205kg so Anoo didn’t feel her feeding routine should be changed.  This is to be reviewed in a week when the dietician visits and she is settled off CPAP.  Eva is up to 20mls every 2 hours.  This volume goes up her with weight.  Anoo did think that Eva currently has a lot of additives with her milk, which will eventually need to be reduced but this is for review later.  Eva still appears to need all the reflux preventing medications so everyone is reluctant to remove them.  Also Eva’s diuretics will be reviewed in a week to see how they are affecting her weight.  There are just so many factors to increasing her weight gain which all need to be taken into consideration.  Right now we are just delighted that she has put on weight since her CPAP has been removed!

Next to us in HDU is a 5.1kg newborn baby!  He looks like a giant compared to Eva and quite frankly most of the babies in the unit.  Mothers out there will be pleased to know he was born by caesarean section, a relief given the size of his head.

Lindsay, one of the very experienced nurses talked to us about hitting a wall at this point.  She said that many parents just run out adrenaline when their baby starts to show signs of big improvements.  Perhaps that is what has happened to us this week.  It’s meant to be easier for us but of course we are constantly thinking of what may lie around the corner. 

I actually feel that I have achieved a lot today finding time to tidy the house, which was well overdue.  I look forward to a peaceful night (although very cold at minus 2) followed by a sleep in.  

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