At the end of September we visited Venice in Italy for 3 days. It was a lovely short break with beautiful warm weather (26-30°C).
Eva was pretty good on the plane. We flew Easyjet, a low-cost airline, with a no seat allocation policy. Luckily traveling with Eva we were called forward for special boarding. However Easyjet don’t use the gates they transport passengers to the plane using buses. So once on the bus it was a little less effective to be early boarding! We did find our seats easily though so no drama.
Venice is just an amazing city with waterways as transport links. We enjoyed walking the cobbled streets and using the ferry as well. We even splurged on a Gondola ride under the Rialto Bridge. It wasn’t cheap but when will we do it again? The streets are very windy and there are squares where all the churches, shops and flats are situated. We saw many delivery and rubbish boats.
We started by finding St Mark’s Square and heading into St Mark’s Basilica which was gorgeous and very detailed. We really enjoyed the views from the roof gallery onto the Square and the amazingly ornate altar piece made with many jewels. Whilst Eva slept we enjoyed walking around the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) where the head of the old Republic of Venice lived. It was an amazingly lavish set of buildings with unbelievable interiors. When Eva woke she did enjoy the sound of her voice in the tall ceilinged rooms! We walked through the attached prison complex and over the Bridge of Sighs. We could see all of the people outside who had stopped to take a photo. We enjoyed doing one of the Lonely Planet walking tours and finding some more hidden gems, of course many of which were churches. The number of bridges that you step up and over was a good workout for our legs.
The next day we decided to explore Venice by water. We caught a Vaporetto (water bus) that stopped all along the Grand Canal (the main street). Eva wasn’t very happy by the end of the first trip. Maybe she was upset by all the moving on water? We found a little park (the only green we saw) and enjoyed a quick bite to eat. We visited Museo Correr (Correr Museum) whilst Eva slept and also took some more photos in St Mark’s Square including the Bridge of Sighs that we were inside of yesterday. The next boat trip was along the quieter Canal della Guidecca sadly past some horrible cruise ships. These huge cruise ships create problems for the city foundations with massive waves and also create an enormous problem with the sulphur emissions that are literally eating away at the city’s stonework. The next boat trip was a ferry to the Island of Murano famous for it’s glass making. Being a Sunday afternoon we didn’t see any glass makers in action but we did visit the Glass Museum. Eva had her first taste of Gelato but thought it a bit cold for her liking!
The final day we enjoyed another Lonely Planet walking tour which took us through some very quiet streets where we saw locals and life going on amidst the canals/streets. We stopped for a lovely coffee at Campo Santa Margherita where we also returned for tea at night. It was quiet in the morning and full of life in the evening. It had just a gorgeous feel I thought! We saw a moored fruit and vegetable boat, the rubbish collection boat, a fire fighting boat and a gondola building workshop on our walk. While Eva slept we visited the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. One lady’s collection of very unique modern art. We also really enjoyed the view from the patio overlooking the Grand Canal with all of it’s activities. Our special treat for ourselves was a Gondola ride. Possibly the most outrageously expensive 25minutes ever spent on a method of transport but we did love it. Eva enjoyed the smooth ride and we enjoyed it very much too. We caught our gondola underneath the Rialto Bridge.
We stayed in the Novotel on the mainland and caught the local bus into the centre of Venice each day. We used the Karime Sling for Eva and it was fabulous. Definitely not a place for a stroller with the many bridges with steps! Eva faced out whilst we were sightseeing and happily faced us to sleep. We used these times to visit museums and be constantly moving to keep her settled. Overall we were able to keep to her daysleep routine pretty well. Eva ate really well seeing as we didn’t heat her food like we normally would at home. She was very happy to drink water out of Daddy’s bottle but not her cup. Eva breastfed really well whenever and wherever she needed to. How I love the convenience of breastfeeding!
Next trip is Marrakesh in Morocco for a week before Eva’s birthday. I’ll let you know about that then!
Eva is much better in the past 24 hours. Last night I was dreading another night of broken sleep due to needing to comfort Eva from coughing but she slept from 1030 until 0730 so that was great. However she is really upset when she goes to sleep which is distressing for all of us. Hopefully she will resolve this soon. All the prayers have no doubt helped with her speedy recovery.
Eva still has the occasional cough but her nose has almost stopped running. Now her throat sounds a little croaky and husky. I guess her throat must hurt because she still isn’t too interested in food. The amoxicillin is still going but on Monday I got her some probiotic powder so hopefully that should help her. Poor thing had already been having antibiotic diahorrea just to add to her misery.
On a very positive note her eczema has really improved since being on an elimination diet. I am cross with myself that I didn’t try this straight away. It looks so much better.
Yesterday I gave Eva her Jemima (from Playschool) doll for the first time. The doll is almost as long as her. Eva loves Jemima already. She lay with her for about 10 minutes just chatting and touching her face and hair. I will try to capture it on video.
We are skipping swimming today which is a shame but I just don’t think it would be a good idea. Next week we have a break and then just 2 more lessons. Eva will miss swimming I think. I will have to take her to the local pool to keep her interested in going underwater.
Eva speaks to her Grandparents most days on Skype with video. Lately she has begun to recognise the ringtone for a phone call and turns to look at the computer. When she first sees or hears them she smiles a big smile. It’s so cute! Hopefully it means that in person she will be just as comfortable.
Eva has had a short trip to hospital with Bronchiolitis and a chest infection. Poor little thing has a had a cold with a streaming runny nose and a cough for a few days. We weren’t worried but Thursday during the day she woke up in the middle of her sleep crying so I knew she wasn’t happy. Thursday night Eva was coughing lots in her sleep. At 10.30pm she sounded like she was really struggling with lots of mucous in her throat. When Andrew picked her up he realised how hot she was. We measured her temperature and found it was 38.5°C. Eva was also listless, pale and her lips were tinged blue. She then vomitted which was good as she got rid of the mucous blocking her up. I gave her paracetamol and then phoned the GP out of hours service whilst packing a bag for hospital in order to be prepared. The over the phone assessment nurse told me that it would be about 3 hours and advised us to go to Emergency at the Children’s Hospital. So after we finished packing we jumped into a taxi and up to the hospital which is fortunately only a five minute drive at that time of night.
During the triage (initial assessment) Eva vomited again and they found that her oxygen saturation was only 89%, it should be at least 92%. We were taken straight through to a single room with a cot and Eva was given oxygen. She didn’t need to wear it we just had to hold the mask near to her face. Her saturations were then fluctuating up to 97% but mostly around 93%. She had a little wheeze and still was coughing. Her nose of course was still streaming! Her throat and ears were red but not angry. Her chest beneath her ribs was drawing in with every breath and her breathing was quite shallow. The doctor diagnosed bronchiolitis. “Bronchiolitis means inflammation of the bronchioles. It is usually caused by a virus called the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). Other viruses are sometimes the cause. RSV is a common cause of colds. In some babies RSV can also infect lower down the airways to cause bronchiolitis. RSV is spread in tiny water droplets coughed and sneezed into the air. Infected bronchioles become swollen and full of mucus.” After the doctor assessed her Eva was given Atrovent (to help her airways) via an inhaler and spacer (with cute teddy bears on it). She was not happy to have the mask held to her face! Basically they just watched her for a while. Soon Eva woke up and was smiling and intrigued at the red light on her big toe (the oxygen saturation monitor). The doctor, Beth, had recently been up at St Michael’s Hospital and had seen Eva’s story up on the wall there.
The more senior doctor wasn’t happy to send us home so we went next door to the observation ward. This is a ward connected to the Emergency department but counts as a separate place so that the statistics for 4 hours maximum in Emergency can be kept pretty. Andrew headed home and Eva and I settled in for the night. By now she was due for more paracetamol as she still had a fever. Eva slept and breastfed on and off on my chest as a lay in a semi-reclining chair. She would not be put down in the cot at all. The nurse and doctor continually checked her oxygen saturations and eventually gave her a salbutamol inhaler (to relax her airways). It was 10 puffs with the spacer pressed to her face, she was not happy.
I was pleased to see morning come when after her breastfeed she woke up quite happy and was happy to sit in the cot and play. When the morning medical team arrived they wanted to sit and watch Eva for a while to see what she would do. By about 10.30 they were happy with her and just wanted to do another set of observations. All was good except her temperature which had shot up to 39.2°C. More paracetamol, a feed and a sleep and she was a bit happier. For the next few hours her temperature continued to slowly creep down. The Consultant came to see Eva and felt there was congestion as well as wheeze in her lungs. He sent Eva for an chest xray. She wasn’t happy about lying still on the xray table. The Consultant came back to see us. He thought there may be a few small patches of bacterial infection. Thus he started her some Amoxycilin. It is just as vile to smell as when I was a child! Thus Eva has a viral and bacterial chest infection. Thus about 3pm we finally got to leave with the instructions to return if we were concerned about Eva’s breathing or decreased fluid intake.
As we left we met up with Dr Laura who recusitated Eva at birth and looked after her during her hospital stay. Laura had only seen photos since Eva left in February. Laura was delighted to see Eva looking so big and so good. She didn’t think that she looked like a premmie at all which is great to know. Eva of course was happy to impress with smiles, giggles and lots of bouncing. It was lovely to catch up with Laura after all the wonderful care she showed Eva.
Today Eva has been pretty good. She has slept a lot in her cot as opposed to last night when she slept a lot on my chest! She has had lot of smiles for Dad and enjoyed playing. Eva breastfed really well but hasn’t been interested in much solid food I wonder if her throat is sore. Tonight she is coughing again but seems much more settled with regular paracetamol and antibiotics.
Please send prayers that she continues to improve. We have realised that although she seems pretty strong her lungs must still have residual damage from all those weeks on CPAP. The information from the hospital says that it is about 14 days for recovery and that the cough can hang around even longer! Oh dear. It’s just a little blip in our journey that’s nearing a year now.