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Our Baby Girl

Monica - Week 5

Tuesday, 27 January 2009 04:23 by mark

Monica - Week 5

Monica is continuing to do really well... especially in the eating department.  She how weighs in at a huge 2.065Kg (4 lbs 8 oz)!! She has overtaken many of the other little ones in the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU), and once she is able to feed without the tube we think they will start talking about letting her come home.  Although Monica now feels quite big to Marie and I (and certainly a lot less fragile), her photos do still make her look much bigger than she is in real life.

After Monica was moved to a cot she got a bit of a cold so had the sniffles for a few days.  As a result she was desaturating and having quite a few bradycardic episodes.  She had to have an oxygen tube connected and go onto a very small amount of oxygen on and off for 24 hours.  A couple of days later though and it is clear she is feeling much better.... she is certainly much more alert and is completely off the oxygen (apart from the odd episode during feeding).  She is opening her eyes much more frequently and smiling a lot more.  She is back to just the NG (Nasogastric) Tube for feeding, which is just as well as she has now learnt to move her head from side to side (after a lot of huffing and puffing and psyching herself up for it it would seem) so she'll get a lot less upset when doing so.  She has also learnt to grab and hold a finger when it is waved in front of her, which I'm mightily impressed with (given that she shouldn't even be born yet let alone opening her eyes and having decent coordination)!!  I'd have to say she has also developed a great sense of humour, especially during nappy changes, but only when her dad is doing the honours!


Monica had the oxygen tubes attached for around 24 hours.  She didn't much care for them and so tried to remove them a number of times (and very nearly succeeded). 


Monica on Day 35 with her delighted mummy.


Monica cuddling mum on Day 36.


Monica has been weighed again and now weights 2.22Kg which is 4 lbs and 14 oz !! 


Monica just loves showing her hands off and gets really stressed when the nurses try to put her hands under the blankets.


A very proud dad with a sleeping Monica (after having another 50ml of milk).

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Monica - Week 4

Saturday, 24 January 2009 01:21 by mark

Monica - Week 4

Monica had a few visitors this week :-)


Monica reaching out to Auntie Jaq (who went as white as a sheet when Monica desaturated.  Luckily for my sister there was oxygen nearby incase she needed it) ;-)


Auntie Linda and Uncle Lee visited but Lee declined to assist in a nappy change.


Monica was on very good behaviour for Nan and Grandads visit.

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Monica - Day 29

Tuesday, 20 January 2009 01:30 by mark

Monica - Day 29

Monica is doing well after her blood transfusion.  She has only had one desaturation since and has been moved out of the incubator and into a cot.  The Diuretics to counter too much fluid from the blood transfusion certainly made for interesting nappy change times!!


Monica's new home and a smashing hat.


Monica and mum having some cuddle time. She loves looking up and listening to her mummy.


Monica with the hiccups.


Monica with the hiccups still.


Monica putting her fists up at daddy.  She must be sick of the camera already.

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Monica - Day 28

Sunday, 18 January 2009 19:20 by mark

Monica - Day 28

Good news.. Monica is Four weeks old and now weighs 1.775Kg (3.91 Lbs / 3 lbs, 14 oz).  She is certainly putting weight on nicely :-)

Today is blood transfusion day and we had a chance to quiz the doctors about the reasons behind this.  I asked the doctor, "So, do babies need blood transfusions because you take all of their blood for all of the tests that you do".  I was a little surprised when she answered "Yes", but appreciated the honesty nevertheless.

The blood transfusion went fine and we have noticed that Monica now has a lot more colour than beforehand.  Ironically it seems that the way that they will test to see if her hemoglobin levels are now back to where they need to be will be to... yep.. take more blood.

Much more positive is that Monica is having a lot fewer desaturations and bradycardias.  Her feeds have also been increased again; we'll not be able to pick her up quite so easily soon ;-)


Mummy having a cuddle while Monica has her morning brunch (by tube still).


Monica having her blood transfusion.


Daddy cuddling his little star while she is having her blood transfusion.  A nice long 2 hour cuddle :-)


Monica after her blood transfusion.  It's difficult to see on camera but she is much redder than beforehand.


Monica relaxed and having a look around after her blood transfusion.  I guess that it is only now that we're in a room with lots of other prem babies we can appreciate how unusual it is for a baby born at 28 weeks to have a full head of hair.  It's just normal to us, but looking around most of the other babies (even at 34+ weeks) don't have much hair.

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Monica - Day 27

Sunday, 18 January 2009 19:06 by mark

Monica - Day 27

Monica may have a cold coming on we're told :-(  After her bad day yesterday some of the staff noticed that she has the sniffles so may be getting a cold.  We're hoping not.

More alarmingly we've also been told that Monica needs a blood transfusion because her Hemoglobin levels are too low, so she now has another cannula :-( The transfusion will happen tomorrow after they have checked both Marie's and Monica's blood with the donor blood.  We're told it is quite common for preterm babies to require blood transfusions.


Monica looking cute with her little armband.


Mummy watching over Monica.


Monica now has another cannula ready for her blood transfusion :-(


Monica wondering what on earth mummy and daddy are doing. 

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Monica - Day 26

Sunday, 18 January 2009 18:36 by mark

Monica - Day 26

Monica didn't have a very good day today as she was desaturating a lot and having quite a few bradycardias.  To make matters far worse the nurse looking after her was pretty dim.  When you point out that a machine monitoring your babies vital signs is not working properly but get told that "The machine is tired" it is to say the least, somewhat annoying.

We forced them to put another monitoring machine on and were proven right.  Unfortunately though because of this stupid situation poor Monica had desaturated quite badly but the machine simply hadn't picked it up and she ended up on oxygen for a while until she picked up again.  To say we were livid is an understatement.  To have a daft person telling ME (someone who works with computers) that a "machine is tired" is rather pathetic.  I had to explain to the nurse that machines don't get tired thats why cars are now built with Robots, Dur!  Not happy.

Monica has now been moved to the main ward which she shares with about eight other babies (one of which has a possible chest infection).  We're glad she is still in her incubator and are watching the nurses and staff like hawks to make sure they wash their hands before going near our little one.  The hand washing regime here is much more relaxed than at the Queen Charlotte and Chelsea hospital.


Dinner time.


Monica is still sleeping, eating, growing :-)

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Monica - Day 24

Thursday, 15 January 2009 00:55 by mark

Monica - Day 24

Monica has been given the all clear, their tests confirm that she didn't bring any germs / bugs into the hospital so she does not have to be in isolation anymore!! :-( She has been moved to another side room though so there is still some privacy which is good, but this time there is another (currently empty) incubator in there at the moment.

Monica's feeds have now been increased again as she has put on quite a bit of weight during the last week.  She is now a huge 1.6Kg (3.52 Lbs / 3 lbs, 8 oz) which is absolutely brilliant and she certainly feels a lot less fragile now (but we're still ultra careful with her nevertheless). She will continue to be fed through the tube in her nose until she learns to co-ordinate swallowing her milk herself.


Mark with Monica


She is very camera shy is our Monica.


They have now started letting her sleep on her back part of the time, although she always seems to manage to wriggle down to the bottom of the incubator. Looking at this photo she is almost unrecognisable from when she was 5 days old.  We're so proud of her.


Monica doing her morning exercises.

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Monica - Day 23

Thursday, 15 January 2009 00:52 by mark

Monica - Day 23

Monica is still in the isolation room for now.

 
Our first family photo :-)

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Monica - Day 21

Monday, 12 January 2009 01:47 by mark

Monica - Day 21

Our little miracle is three weeks old today and is doing sooooo well. She is settling into her new home and is still in the isolation room.  We're told that it could be a few more days yet before they move her to the ward (the longer the better in our opinion as there is less footfall in her current room and hence less opportunity for anyone to bring germs into her room).  There were rumblings about moving her to a Level I hospital as she is doing so well, but we have voiced our concerns, not least because she has only been here for a couple of days so far.


Monica has inherited mummy's disdain for cameras being pointed towards her, I see.


She absolutely loves stretching all four limbs out as much as possible though (especially when you need to get her legs out of her babygrow).


Monica being vocal with her hands and having a good yawn and stretch prior to nappy change and dinner time. 


Mummy having another cuddle.

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Monica - Day 20

Monday, 12 January 2009 01:35 by mark

Monica - Day 20

Monica had her first two visitors today, Nan and Grandad.  She had a couple of desats but apart from that she was on her best behaviour.


Monica with Nan


Grandads photos were coming out better than dads in the low light conditions but Marie still appears suitably impressed

Continue to Day 21

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