I don’t have much to write about this weekend thankfully. I’m learning to be grateful for uneventful days. Beatrix continues to do well and is now putting on more weight. 50g these last three days which is, apparently, normal for breastfeeding. She is now 1.96kg – a whopper by special care standards. Alexander the Great on the other hand has managed a stonking 160g in three days which is a phenomenal comeback from hardly growing at all and is now 1.8kg. Both started around 1.2kg so over half their birthweight again. Not bad for 7 weeks. Thank you all for your fat thoughts. It worked! I think some of you might have accidentally misdirected them to my butt though. But I suppose it could be the ‘I deserve it’ strict Twix, crisp, ice cream regime I am on at the hospital
They have prescribed Alexander Gaviscon for his reflux and the vomiting after every feed has stopped so he is finally able to catch up with his sister. His breastfeeding is going well too but his development is just a step behind hers. I can see as he feeds that he is still having trouble coordinating sucking, swallowing and breathing. So now all that remains is for him to make it off his heated mattress and stop desaturating quite so much and he can come home too. Faith, one of the nurses I particularly like, gave me hope today by saying they turn around quite quickly sometimes at this gestation. They will be 36 weeks (gestation) on Tuesday, considered term and everyone keeps saying they are doing well for 28 week-ers.
It seems amazing that Lucas survived at all with our inexperience and relative lack of medical attention. Weighing in at 4.42kgs at birth by comparison he was just so big and capable I didn’t even feel the urge to go to the community health clinics. I rocked up at about 6 weeks for the first time and they said ‘Where have you been?’. Then I embarrassed myself by forgetting to bring a nappy to change him into after they weighed him so had to borrow one off another mum and never went back. I was right not to worry though. He was fine. I have to say I am nervous about Beatrix coming home and even more so about Alexander as he has been less well. And I feel that’s not misplaced either. He’s taken so many downturns I fear we may have some anxious dashes back to the hospital. I’m reassured by the fact that G has the whole of September off so I have back up.
I will ‘room in’ on the ward sometime next weekend and see to all her needs for 24 hours and then she comes home Saturday or Sunday. I do prefer this one at a time thing. Much gentler than if they were both born at term and we were kicked out a few days later I think, problems aside. At least i have learnt a lot about their care on the ward and they are in a routine which I’m sure will get shot to pieces once they go home. We still have a few things to do like installing car seat bases, sorting out the wardrobe and building the bedside cot, as well as collecting the brand new Phil and Ted’s twin promenade buggy which I am stupidly excited about. I didn’t allow myself many new things last time and frequently surprise myself by how frugal I am when it comes to buying unnecessary things. Partly because of our lack of space but also because we have been bought so many presents. I feel humbled and grateful. I have hardly had to buy a single item of clothing, just the few very premature things and a load of the ladies’ voluntary knitted cardies and blankets that they sell on the ward. A total of about £50. Kind Aunties and grandparents have funded the new buggy and car seat bases which were the major outlay and the rest was courtesy of eBay as I whiled away the hours after my waters broke.
Lucas’s chicken pox is already abating. He’s not producing any new spots and most have crusted over now. Like a true Evans he says ‘They don’t itch. Not a bit.’ which is clearly not true as he is scratching but I like that he is in denial. His skin looks like it’s been shelled but you can already see it will recover. Youth is an amazing thing. We were naughty and took him to our local Inian restaurant by the river before he is definitely in the clear but in our defence he is nearly past the infectious stage and it is a page airy place where no one but the waiter needs to come within 30ft on a quite bank holiday evening. He spent most of the evening with one of us outside looking at the canal boats moored in the quay and playing at ice cream shops as ‘Uncle’ Carl brought him a magazine with free plastic ice cream toys.
I had another night off and let the husband go in to do bottle feeds. It gives me a chance to spend time with Lucas and regroup before I have no time to myself again for, ooh, about 18 years. The childminder’s daughter Juliet will look after him at our house for the rest of the week and I intend to spend most of my breaks doing things for me, swimming or going to the shops or sitting about with the paper. I wonder how life will be with my hands so full once they came home. Probably just a small matter of being more organised than I ever have been coupled with the challenge of not caring too much if the house is a bit of a mess and the washing not done. It’s easy to get obsessed but I don’t want to waste the rest of my maternity leave stressed about a porridge pan.
Right, back to bed. I waste precious sleep during these middle of the night blogging sessions once I’ve pumped. Let’s hope for more uneventful days.
Alexander the Great
Lardy Lady Bea