Lisa's reflective account of Day 23....

Theo hadn’t had such a good night that night, his gases weren’t very good and he needed his ventilator rate increasing quite significantly to reduce his work of breathing as he was getting tired. He’d had such a good day the previous day too! I was starting to worry about him, he continued to desaturated and have frequent episodes of his heart rate dropping. With very premature babies it is often difficult to tell what is wrong with them straight away as their symptoms are the same for lots of different conditions. He’d had a transfusion and his tube moved, so now we were just waiting for the results of his infection markers to see whether that might be the cause. The nurse who was looking after him that day was lovely, she’d had him before and knew him quite well. Phil and I took it in turns to look after Theo and spend time with Jack. My Mum visited and spent some time with us at Theo’s incubator. It was difficult to imagine him ever getting bigger and off the ventilator. If only I could’ve carried him for a few more weeks, he’d have been so much stronger. I still felt so guilty. The hospital was becoming a way of life for us now. We were in our own little routine. On the unit there were different rooms providing different levels of care, 2 intensive care rooms, 4 high dependency rooms and 2 nursery rooms. Some babies were admitted to nursery for observation, some to HDU and the most poorly babies to ICU. Life in each of the rooms were so very different. I felt envious of families with babies that weren’t as poorly as Theo. I also felt envious of mothers that could hold their babies whenever they wanted and breastfeed their babies. In ICU there were literally life and death decisions being made it was by nature of the name a very intense environment. It didn’t matter whether a baby was admitted to ICU or nursery, for that mother it would be just as scary and upsetting not having their baby with them. I empathised with other parents and spoke with many other parents on the unit. I really hoped Theo would pick up, he had done amazingly well so far. I hoped and prayed with all that I had that he would be ok. I didn’t look into the future, I found it easier to just get through each day as everyday was so different and it was easier to manage that way. Tomorrow is another day, one where hopefully Theo will be bigger and stronger.

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