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Lisa's reflective account of Day 3....

It was so frustrating hand expressing and not being able to get very much milk for Theo. It was so important for him. The nurses said I could try with the pump today as it was day 3, I left Phil and Jack in bed and went over to NICU really early. One of the nurses on the night shift showed me how to use the pump and I sat by Theo’s incubator and expressed a whole 10 mls!!! Woooooo hoooooo!! It was the most amazing feeling being able to provide for my baby, something that only I could do. It was so great to think that he needed me and I was useful for something! He was only having tiny hourly feeds at the min increasing by 0.5ml per day. He was still having TPN so 10mls was amazing it meant that I could start storing some in the fridge and freezer over the next few days to build up a good supply. That morning, Phil Jack and I had our first family breakfast together at Ronald McDonald before we went back to NICU in time for the ward round at 9am. I found it helpful being a nurse, I was able to understand and rationalise everything that was said by the Doctors, but Phil found it really difficult to understand them most of the time and worried about everything they said because it all sounded very complicated and scary for such a little baby to cope with. Phil spent that day shopping to make our room more homely and also took our dogs to stay with friends temporarily. I felt so bad for our baby dogs, it was such a worry where they would stay whilst we were with Theo but I didn’t have enough worry space left in my brain with everything else I was worrying about to cope with stressing about them too. Jack and I spent the day with Theo, I was worried about how everything would affect Jack. He was acting so grown up. For an 11 year old to be thrown into that situation must have been so scary for him. We thought that it was really important to include Jack and not shut him out in an effort to protect him because that would cause him even more worry. We explained everything in a way he would understand, he showed so much courage talking to Theo, reading him stories, singing to him and holding his tiny little hand. Jack asked if Theo would be small because he’s so premature, he asked if he would be disabled and he also asked if he would die we didn’t have the answer to those questions but explained that no matter what happened we would love Theo with all our hearts and be there for each other always. Theo had a long line put into his leg today, Jack and I left whist they did it. Thankfully it was in the correct position. When we got back Jack filmed me holding Theo in my hands in the incubator whilst the nurse changed his sheets. It was such a special moment, the first time I held my baby. He was as light as a feather and just so tiny. His eyes were still fused closed and because he was so premature every time he was touched he would desaturated and need more oxygen. It was so hard to see him so vulnerable, I felt completely helpless. When we got back to our room, Phil had made it so lovely for us. Our home away from home. I was so grateful.

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