Lisa's reflective account of Day 7....

I got up at 4am again that morning to phone Theo’s room, I expressed and then went across to NICU for 5.30am leaving Jack and Phil in bed. Theo’s blood gases weren’t as good this morning. It was still very early days and things changed so much, so often.

I spent the whole day with Theo, the day before I had been signed off to feed him via his NG tube. I had lots of experience with NG feeds so I was more than happy to do it. I was glad that it was something else I could do for my baby. There were so many barriers to being able to bond with your baby in NICU, he was in an incubator, couldn’t be cuddled and the Drs and nurses were in charge of what happened with him. They were his primary carers. The more we could do for him as parents, the more we were able to feel like he was our son.

I felt really fed up that day, it was the first day I thought why? Why did this have to happen to our family? Why was our baby going through hell? Why couldn’t I have been 26 weeks pregnant now with him safely in my tummy instead of having a one week old baby with machines keeping him alive? Why couldn’t he have been born full term and then we could have stayed together the whole time and gone home after a couple of days like normal people?

I told him to stay strong and that this isn’t how life will always be, he won’t always have to suffer. I always believed Theo would be ok because why, after 17 years would I get pregnant out of nowhere if he wasn’t going to be ok? That would just be so cruel!

Phil took our dogs to Bleakholt Rescue Centre later that day. I was so relieved that they would be safe and well looked after but in the back of my mind I felt so sorry for them having to go back there. We hadn’t put them in kennels in all the years we’ve had them. They wouldn’t enjoy it and would miss home very much. I couldn’t worry about them though I didn’t have the energy.

I was still expressing every 3-4 hours. Theo was only having a couple of mls per hour so we had lots in storage which was a huge relief.

There was no signal at the hospital and no WIFI, I could only get WIFI at Ronald McDonald. It was so frustrating. I’d been sent so many messages from people over the last week but I hardly got chance to reply. I didn’t spend very much time at Ronald McDonald. Most of the time I didn’t know what to write. I felt like no one understood what we were going through.

My Grandma and Grandad visited that afternoon, they brought a supply of homemade food and freshly baked scones for the staff. My Grandmas (award winning!) scones are amazing and were very much appreciated by the staff. Phil and/or I usually brought the staff some kind of treats everyday, it was the least we could do. They were caring for our precious baby boy.

By the time Phil and Jack came back I had been on NICU for over 12 hours. I really was exhausted. Phil sent me over to Ronald Mc Donald with Jack. I didn’t have the energy to argue and it was Phil’s turn to see Theo. Jack played on his PS4 and I expressed then fell asleep. My sister came over, she’d had the most beautiful blanket made for Theo’s incubator. I could hardly wake up to see her. When Phil came back later that evening I was still so tired and very moody. Mainly because I didn’t have the energy to go back over and see Theo which I so desperately wanted to do. I also knew I needed to rest, I needed to be fit and well, we had a long road ahead.

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