New Blood

Arrived in the morning yesterday to find Alexander deathly pale. There had been talk the day before of doing his sleep study, a whole night’s monitoring of his breathing to check if he’d had an acceptable level of episodes where he stops breathing temporarily. I was hoping they hadn’t done it as the twins 8 week immunisations the day before had made both exceptionally grumpy and sleepy and I thought it has exacerbated Alexander’s desaturations. I snuck a look at his charts and he’d been alarming and desaturating all night in a fairly extreme way. One of the nurses came in and told me they’d had to put him back on oxygen overnight (I was so busy studying the charts I had not looked at my baby and noticed the tubes) and that his hemoglobin levels were so low they were going to have to give him a blood transfusion.

I had always thought this to be something very dramatic but it turns out to be a fat syringe of blood administered through a drip and no big deal at all. It turns out Alexander’s red blood cell count has been steadily decreasing since birth and has reached extremely low levels, quite common in premature babies, and a good explanation for why he hasn’t been able to maintain his oxygen levels.

So the transfusion was done Wednesday night and by Thursday morning he looked like he’d been on the sun bed (G says am I sure I wasn’t looking at the wrong baby). It’s remarkable. He was still a bit floppy but by the evening I’m told he picked up. And if he stays off his oxygen until tomorrow (Thursday) morning and passes his sleep test the next night he can go home. Amazing.

You wait so long that the thing you wish for can seem to come quite suddenly. I think he has been through so much I will never believe he is ready. Plus he still stops breathing and changes colour disconcertingly at the end of every feed so not very relaxing. You just have to sit him up and give him and bang and a rub and not be distracted blogging one handed on your iPhone!

We went to see friends with a new baby to celebrate and bunked off a feed. Little normal things seem like such a freedom now. He was a week early and looks like a 6 month old to me.

Bea is lying beside me snuffling in bed having fallen asleep feeding. Time to wake her up and get a bit more
down her so I can get a four hour block of sleep in. The husband seems to have disappeared from the bed so I guess that means Lucas woke up crying. I didn’t even hear which is rare for me and a sign of how tired I am.

A quick request to anyone London/local. G is doing a duathlon in Richmond park Sunday morning and I am in search of kind souls willing to run after a two year old to join me in the park for a couple of hours late morning/ lunchtime. I’m worried that I will have both twins out plus toddler for the first time and not be able to manage. Plus it should be a fine crisp Autumn day and a nice walk. Anyone up for it? Tea with scones and jam at Pembroke lodge (where we got married) are on me.

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