September 25, 2013

Her PICC Line

Ed Note: This post was written on 23/7 (almost two months ago!).

***

Considering I was just talking about taking it one day at a time and looking for small victories, today (23/7) was one of those days that I struggled looking for that small victory. We were greeted by the nurse who was all nice and lovely before she dropped a bomb on us. The PICC Line that was in Zia's right arm was removed because her arm was getting puffy; but when they tried inserting the Line through her feet it wouldn't work. The last resort would be to put the Line in through her scalp. Yeah, you read that right; through her scalp!

Just hearing that I immediately teared up, I just couldn't take that picture that was forming in my mind. It was too much for me. I mean I know she needs the Total Parental Nutrition (TPN) and the Lipids that they are giving her via that PICC Line. RIght now however it's in her tiny feet but if that doesn't take or if it gets puffy, it will have to go in through the scalp. I know it seems like I am only focused to the fact that its her scalp but I can't help it. Z is so small, and for such a small baby she is going through what even a grown up would be afraid off. The nurses are amazing though; they are super attentive and they shower her with loads of compliments. It makes me proud when they say that Z was a rockstar at the PICC Line reinsertion but a little bit of me just wants to cry over the fact that she has to even go through that.

*breathe Mama, breathe*

Okay, so the small victory for today was that Z is now up to 5ml per hourly feed. They might actually increase her feeds faster but we don't know when they might actually do that. So yes, today's victory was her feed increasing and that we also did Kangaroo Care again and it was absolutely lovely!

And she had already pooped before I had her out for Kangaroo Care! ;)

♥♥♥

September 21, 2013

Kangaroo Care With Z

This post was written on 22/7.

***

Today (22/7) we finally started Kangaroo Care with Miss Z. Kangaroo Care is where either the Mom or Dad has the baby sitting directly on the chest barring any clothing on. Holding a baby like this not only comforts her it also helps regulate baby's heartbeat and temperature; which for Z was crucial due to not only having surgery but also being a preemie. This method also stimulates breastmilk production especially for Moms whose babies are separated from them; like me.

In the UK, as soon as a baby is born, they will immediately do Kangaroo Care before even clamping the cord. Obviously I didn't get to experience that with Z on the date of her birth but doing it when she was 13 days old was not too bad. Ok I am downplaying it; it was amazing. Obviously this is gona be a wordy post without any photos (shy la and more importantly must tutup aurat please!! ;)). I just had this moment where I was choked up with this immense feeling of being proud of my lil bub. Miss Z has gone through so much in her very very short life and she's doing well today. The squishy lil bub that I gave birth too is now healthy and stable. Not in my wildest dreams did I think that she would do as well as she is doing now.

Of course we did have a fe setbacks when it came to her feedings but slowly and in time it all went well. Z is currently taking 4ml of breast milk per hour (which totals to 12ml every three hours) in addition with her Total Parental Nutrition (TPN). As the amount of breast milk increases, soon the amount of TPN will also decrease. Hmmm…other than that, they are still giving her wash outs and suppositories to get her bowels moving. This means that Z is still not doing any spontaneous poops on her own yet.

Right before I had Z for Kangaroo Care, her nurse had given her a suppository. So when I was happily holding her and kissing her to an inch of her life, Miss Z was happily doing a poo on me! The joys of being a mom right?

But of course, it was Daddy that took care of the dirty nappy while Mama supervised! ;)

♥♥♥

Ed Note: Alhamdulillah, after more than 32 hours Z has finally done her business. Now this Mama can finally breathe in relief! 

September 20, 2013

The First Cuddle

This post was written a day after we got to cuddle Z. At that time Z had already started on breastmilk and was receiving 2ml per hour. Her progress was reviewed daily and if all was good the amount of breastmilk that she would receive would increase by 1ml (daily). She was getting TPN via IV and breatmilk via her naso-gastric (NG) tube.

***

Unlike most new mothers, I didn't get to hold Z as soon as she was born. As soon as she was out of my womb, the baby doctors took her for a quick check up. From there she was taken up to the baby unit for further checkups until they were ready to transfer her to the children's specialist hospital. With everything that was going on around her, we didn't get to hold her at all…..until Day 6, 15 July 2013. She was 6 days old when we first held her. Even writing about it right now gets me overwhelmed and in a state of tears.

Holding a newborn is really an amazing feeling, holding your very own baby is something words can't describe. It felt (and still does) as if my heart is going to burst into a thousand different pieces. It felt as though someone stuck their hand into my chest, removed my heart and just handed it to me; 'Nah, cuddle this!'. All the motherhood cliches that you hear and read, yup its all of that and so much more. And its all true. You can't help it, you just end up gazing at your baby with such love and wonder. Heck, I still can't believe that Z is mine!

Z had started crying while I was stroking her in the incubator; she was hungry. But due to her condition she still couldn't be given milk as a proper feed. And when the teeny tiny bit of milk that we could feed her had finished, she continued crying. I mean obviously, she's hungry thus she cries. It's Baby101. At that point in time I felt like the biggest failure a Mama can ever be. My baby was hungry and I honestly couldn't do anything about it (Oh God, I'm crying as I type, such a wuss!!). In situations like this, you just have to tell yourself (well I told myself) to put on my big girl panties and get on with it. The nurse was the one who asked me if I wanted to hold her and of course I jumped a the chance.

I don't think she knew that we had never held Z before…until that is when I told her. And she immediately went into the 'Awwwww, do you need me to take photos for you?' mode. I was just so thankful to hold that I was again in tears and couldn't stop thanking her. When they gave me Z to hold husband was out so when he came back in to see me holding our bub, he too was almost in tears. And being a good wife and Mama, I shared Z's cuddle time with the hubs! ;)

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Like husband says, it really isn't the ideal background but really who cares as long as we get to hold our baby. And yes, in almost all the photos Z is happily chomping on her fingers. Anak Mama nih! Wait till you get home, I'm gona wrap you up so that you don't get to your fingers at all! :p

It's quite crazy actually how much the both of us are in love with Z. We think about her all the time. We talk about her all the time. When I am stuck at home recuperating from the previous days' hospital visit, I keep watching her videos and looking at all her photos. Yeap, we are 100%, completely smitten with Z.

And yes, we are really looking forward for more cuddles and kisses with Z

♥♥♥

Ed Note: At the current moment (10.35pm, 20/9) Z has not passed motions (in other words pooped) in the last 24 hours and I am a mess of worries. I'm just praying that she does it soon. *prays*

September 17, 2013

Z's Gastroschisis Surgery

First of all big, fat thank you to Elwyn and Katyha. You guys made a hormonal and perpetually covered in spit up Mama really happy. Lots of ♥

***

Once we were in the NICU, husband and I were requested to wait for one of the surgical doctors for all the information that we would need before Z went into surgery. We met with the doctor (who husband swears that he looks like Chris Rock!) and were given a short but loaded with information talk.

The doctor told us that since there was just a tiny bit of bowel left, they wanted to do the surgery to close up the tummy area. Since Z was a preemie, there was a really high chance that after the surgery Z would be hooked up to the ventilator to help her with the basic task of breathing. Due to the nature of Z's sudden arrival, we weren't able to prepare her lungs with the steroid shots for strengthening it. That bit of information right there, rendered the both of us into silence.

The doctor proceeded to tell us that the observation period for Z would be roughly 6 weeks. And forewarned us that not all six weeks would be smooth sailing. With all this in mind, husband and I signed the release forms and Z was off to surgery.

I however had to go home because I was still very much unwell after my c-section and had to rest. At about 4pm husband got a call from the hospital telling him that Z was out of surgery. The best part of it; Z was not on the ventilator! Her lungs were strong enough to carry her through the surgery and after. We couldn't stop saying thanks to the Almighty. It was with His strength and wisdom that Z was doing so well.

Of course with the happy news floating around, I was a bit scared with the sheer amount of drugs that they've pumped into my lil bubba that it might be damaging to her: mentally and physically. Obviously husband told me to stop thinking like a crazy person (easier said than done, methinks!) and to focus on the 'now'.

The next day, (13/7) husband went to Yorkhill alone to see Z while I was under strict orders of bed rest from husband (!!). When husband went in to see Z, the nurses were already slowly lowering down the dosage of morphine and only giving her infant panadol for pain relief. At that time she was still fully on TPN and no breastmilk but I was expressing away like full blown Mama-cow! Better be prepared than sorry right? As for Z's wound it was nicely closed with some fancy-shmancy glue.

The next thing to tackle was to get Z to start on breastmilk and that my friends is a full on uphill battle!

♥♥♥

September 16, 2013

Last Night

Last night husband and I had a long chat; we were talking about the future of this blog. I know this is not the continuation of the gastroschisis post but I really feel like I had to spill it out.

I haven't posted since September first and I know how much this has affected the blog in its general wellbeing-ness. Trust me when I say it's really not for the lack of trying; however by the time I catch up with all the social media sites, Z is usually waking up demanding either a feed or a nappy change, often both. Considering I am breast-feeding my bubba, I am bone tired.

Don't take this the wrong way, I am so grateful that Z is safe, sound and healthy. I am so grateful that I can literally see her growing. But the truth is, as a parent to an infant (Z is awake and crying...ok she stopped, back to the post) there isn't a time when you aren't tired.

So what has this got to do to with the blog? I have started feeling as if I should abandon it. Like maybe I should just delete it and get it over with. This could possibly be just all the extra hormonal mumbo-jumbo happening to me but that is really how I've been feeling lately. Most of the time I feel as if I've just been talking to myself. Isn't that what the internet is? A black hole that just sucks up all sorts of information and only the really lucky ones get some feed back. And really, who am I as a blogger?

After a long talk with husband, and a number of fat tears produced by my tear ducts; husband managed to talk me into giving my blog another chance. So now I have to make sure that I allocate time (even if it's 20 minutes as promised to husband) to actually sit down and write. I used to use my blog as an outlet to express my feelings and now I've stopped doing that. And with all the ups and downs that I'm going through emotionally, I think that might just be a good idea.

I'll be trying to finish Z's gastroschisis story soon so that I can close that chapter of my life and move on to newer and happier things. Although I can't say thank you enough to all who've said a kind word when it was least expected by me.

Thank you so much for reading, whoever you are.

♥♥♥

September 1, 2013

What Happened After Labour

It's been a while since my last update but I can't help it; I've basically been so engrossed with Z and my Mum. Yezzers, Mumsy is here to help me out while we, well, adjust to having Z. And really, thank God for Mom as she's the one doing all the cooking while I'm zonked out tired most of the time. =s So back to Z's story...

****

For the first two days after giving birth, Z and I were in different hospitals. This meant that husband was doing a mad dash between visiting me and Z everyday. I was basically itching to get out of the hospital so that I could finally see Z on my own sweet time. And it happened on Thursday (11/7) that I was discharged. As soon as I was all packed in the car, we drove to Yorkhill to see my cuddle-bug. Yeah I went to see her wearing my jammies and with my post pregnant belly jutting out. But at that time, Z was the only thing on my mind.

Even though I had started walking (it was something I had to do if I wanted to be discharged) but the trek up to the ward was something I couldn't do. I ended up on a wheelchair feeling and probably looking as sick as I probably was. Z was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and in an incubator. At that time the surgeons had already put in the bowels that were out in a silo hanging directly above her tummy. This was to encourage the bowels to slowly, with gravitational help, slip back into the body. Of course, the surgeons would also help it along but pushing it in.

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We have other photos of Z where you can see the silo and the bowels clearly but honestly that photo kinda freaks me out. Not to mention that it makes me sad to see my baby like that. In this last photo she has her hand in a spleen because Z was receiving Total Parental Nutrition (TPN) to help her grow bigger. When Z was born she was only 2.02kg and as it usually happens after birth, her weight dropped a tiny bit.

By that time, I was already expressing breastmilk so that Z would have a ready stock for when the doctors decide that Z should start on milk. I had to hand express the breastmilk and collect it in a syringe because it was only tiny bits of colostrum that was coming out. We met with one of the surgeons and we were expecting Z to undergo the surgery on either Saturday or Sunday. But on Friday (12/7) morning we got a call from Yorkhill calling us in because the surgeons wanted the our consent to do the surgery on Friday itself. It's hard to imagine, my baby was only three days old and she had to undergo surgery. Until today this thought brings tears to our eyes, that our teeny tiny bubba had to undergo surgery. Haih.

I'll do another short post on the surgery next.

♥♥♥

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