Lisa's reflective account of Day 1....

I had been walking backwards and forwards from the postnatal ward to Nicu all night, I knew I needed to rest but when I was in my room on my own I just cried and wanted to be with my baby.

The night nurse looking after Theo was lovely, she was really supportive and empathetic. I just sat by his incubator so upset feeling completely helpless, she provided me with a chair, tissues and a cup of tea. She also told me about Ronald Mc Donald House, I had never heard of this place. She said the day nurse would be able to complete an application form for us. She said that we should definitely be eligible for a room because our baby was in intensive care so unwell but wasn’t sure how long it would take for a room to become available.

I hadn’t thought as far as what I was going to do when I was discharged from the ward, I just knew I wasn’t going to leave Theo no matter what. I most definately wasn’t going home without my baby! It’s not supposed to happen that way. I wasn’t going to leave him on his own, not ever!!!!

When Phil and Jack came that morning they brought a family picture for Theo and I to put by our beds, it was such a thoughtful thing to do. It meant that we were all together even when we weren’t.

On the ward round the Drs said that Theo was a text book 25 weeker at the minute, he was maintaining his own blood pressure which was good. He was on very little oxygen although he wasn’t breathing very much for him self at the minute and was very much dependant on the ventilator. He was being fed TPN and they said that when I was producing enough milk he could start having 0.5ml every 1-2 hours. No pressure!!!

They also spoke about a honeymoon period, apparently babies are really good at behaving for the first few days especially as he was given surfactant for his lungs at birth, the good effects from this usually wear off after a couple of days. I really hope he stays ok!

I gave Theo a little wash that morning and changed his nappy for the first time, he was so delicate. I was scared to touch him. I didn’t want to hurt him or make him uncomfortable, his little paper thin delicate skin wasn’t meant to be touched yet! He had so many wires, arterial line, cannula, tubes etc changing a nappy was a really difficult task.

We had quite a few family visitors today, I was really gratefully that everyone wanted to come and support us and completely understood them wanting to see Theo as I would be the first one there offering help if it was anyone else in our situation. But when I was seeing them I was away from Theo and not knowing what was going on with him. Every few hours were different with ups and downs with his care, blood tests/gases, infusions, ventilator etc. I needed to know what was happening.

I had walked round the hospital that much today I was really starting to get uncomfortable. I felt completely exhausted, had stomach pain, was having palpitations and felt like I was going to collapse. I was snapping at my family which I really didn’t mean to do. Normally when you have a baby you rest in your pj’s with your baby next to you. I must have walked miles and was really feeling it.

Later that evening I asked the midwife on the ward to check my Hb, I was feeling dizzy and breathless. I lost quite a bit of blood at delivery so maybe that was the reason I felt so unwell. A student midwife asked if she could take my blood, I was her first attempt! I agreed, she couldn’t make me feel any worse than I already did and all of us nurses have been there- she did well thankfully!

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