Tuesday, April 10, 2012

One Day Per Time

September 11th 2010

This morning after breakfast and school drop off John and I tidied up a bit then headed back up to the hospital and of course were delighted to see that Louise's breathing tube and neck line had been removed and she was breathing on her own. We'd brought up her soother which she's not all that interested in at home but which she'll take sporadically just for a few sucks before nodding off. Upon being offered it today even though she was technically asleep she took it straight away and has been sucking vigorously ever since. She's getting fluids via an iv drip but I suppose you can't beat the comfort of suckling for a little baby. She'd been given about 10 mls of breastmilk through her feeding tube and throughout the day this has been increased tiny bit by tiny bit. Every so often we've been dipping the soother into some sterile water so that Louise's parched mouth can stay a bit moist and I was delighted to be given the job of dabbing inside her mouth with a sterile wet sponge to refresh her and remove the little sticky residue that builds up from a dry mouth...it's the one thing the parents can actually do so I think they're usually asked and are thrilled to do it. You feel a bit like a child being given the job of scraping the chocolate cake mix from the baking bowl, it's not really a job at all but you feel so important and honoured to be entrusted with it!!

The morning was spent just talking quietly among ourselves and with the nurse. John had brought his book and I'm knitting a little sweater for Louise from some beautifully soft alpaca baby wool I bought a few weeks ago so it was a very quiet and harmonious scene. Louise, in spite of the swelling which makes her look quite different to her usual self has had no hiccups at all so far and her blood sats are remaining stable. She's getting some potassium as her level is a bit low but they're expecting that to improve when she starts feeding.

While we were gone home during the afternoon quiet time Louise was transferred to High Dependency Unit in the floor below ICU. It's exactly the same as ICU except for instead of 1:1 nursing it's 1:2. Louise's nurse moved down with her so the care was just a continuation from upstairs. The afternoon watch was a bit more emotionally draining because the baby was drifting a little bit more into wakefulness when she would get quite distressed, pummeling her legs and crying in a really sad way, clearly unhappy with her predicament. Normally she's a very content little baby and really only cries if she actually has something wrong with her so to see her upset is unusual anyway. Luckily she'd nod off again pretty quickly so that was a relief. To be honest what distressed her most was seeing me or if I spoke directly to or stroked her because even though she's nowhere near ready to be lifted up I suppose that was her natural inclination. Once she tried to lean over to me and reach up with all her lines hanging out of her arms and her cute socks on her hands keeping her from knocking them. Oh it was such a heart wrenching moment, I couldn't lift her but I tucked my hands around her puffy and tight skinned sides and sang Froggy Went A Courtin' and she nodded off again. So generally I just spoke quietly to John so she'd know I was there but tried not to stimulate her directly. John had a more calming effect on her and he got a few wide eyed stares from her. The nurse wasn't unduly concerned and told us that some babies cry pitifully all day at this stage so while they think Louise has a headache and probably feels like she's had a serious night on the town, they're pretty pleased. All the same even though on one hand I'd have happily sat beside her all night on the other I was half happy to go home later in the evening so she could rest peacefully. Tomorrow I've to bring up a nice loose fitting babygro and there's a small chance we MIGHT get a wee cuddle!!

John's parents have taken the rest of the children to their holiday home by the sea for the weekend so John and I grabbed the chance to go out for dinner and a nice bottle of wine. John's oldest friend texted us during the meal saying he was having a drink with another guy if we wanted to meet them-we did and it was a great idea. We both feel a bit more ready for tomorrow now than if we'd been at home discussing every tube and wire in icu and planning how to juggle next week.

Tomorrow we're going to get up really early, go to (really early) mass, go for a swim and still be up with Louise (really) early!!
As my Italian friend Paolo used to say...One Day Per Time.

Louise & Dolly In Hi-Dep


  1. Steph Says:
    I guess at this stage the “good” news is that everything is going according to plan, even though inevitably we were to expect that there would be pain and a degree of torment. However, thank God that Louise has come thus far and is fighting all the way. She’s a wee trooper, obviously a chip off the old block(s)! Prayers continuing, Love always, yours aye, Steoh xxxx
    September 11th, 2010

  2. Mark and Mary Says:
    Delighted that the breathing tube and neck line have been removed. It’s great news. We’re thinking of you at different moments of every day, praying for you all and for all those looking after Louise. Keep strong! Mark & Mary XX
    September 11th, 2010