Sunday, 25 April 2010

6 weeks old and Sophie is a wee toerag!

Sophie is a whole six weeks old today - or 33 weeks if you want to think of it that way - we go by both ways of looking at it!

We have really seen her determined nature coming through this week...she can really make it known if she doesn't want something! On Monday, her grandad and I went to see her and we could see a huge difference in the two days since we had last seen her - she was looking so much podgier in the cheeks, upper arms and shoulders. That was the first time we had seen a dramatic change in such a short time. She had her eyes open a lot of the time as well, and every time she opens her eyes she looks so worried, which is a really cute look! She does something with her eye that is exactly the same look as her Daddy does :)

Very worried little face!

Sophie was wearing a chin strap on Monday because she keeps opening her mouth and letting all the air come back out and she does not like that look! She spent all afternoon trying to pull the chin strap off, and often succeeding - despite the fact that it was velcroed on and quite hard to get off! She is surprisingly strong for one so small.....

Chin strap successfully removed by young Miss B

Sophie had hiccups on Monday night, and for the first time, we could actually hear them! It was the cutest little squeaky noise :) She seems to get hiccups quite a lot and always has done - I could feel them when I was still pregnant, and she also had them at one of the many scans I had towards the end of my pregnancy.

Sophie and her little friend Reece in the next incubator were having fun all afternoon on Monday taking it in turns to set their alarms off. It was constantly one of them then the other, ALL afternoon! They had the poor nurses running around like demons! Reece has now moved into high dependency and Sophie has a new neighbour. I don't think they will be such a good double act as Sophie and Reece were. I wonder if the nurses just couldn't cope and had no choice but to separate them!

I was allowed Sophie out for cuddles on Wednesday, which made my week! It was only the second time I'd held her and it was so special. She was really snuggled into me, and her alarms didn't go off at all while she was out - she was so happy and settled. She was out for about half an hour, but I could have sat there with her all day, given half a chance! She didn't feel anything like as tiny as the first time I had her out for cuddles. The nurse told us that as long as she is stable, we should be allowed her out for cuddles every three or four days now :)

The dreaded chin strap is back...

On Friday when Daddy took the milk delivery in, there was good news. Sophie had been off the CPAP for four whole hours overnight, with no dips! The longest she had been off it before was one hour. When I arrived to see her in the afternoon, she was off again and I saw her little face with no mask and also saw her without her hat. She was looking absolutely gorgeous, and I was so happy that Alan arrived from work earlier than expected because I was longing for him to see her like that! She managed 3.5 hours off the CPAP that time before having a couple of dips, which was the nurse's cue to put her back on again.

Our gorgeous girl off the CPAP

When I arrived on Friday, I was told the amazing news that Sophie had been weighed again and is now up to 3lb 5oz! We were expecting her to have gained weight since her last check at the end of last week, but not as much as that! Her feeds have now been increased to 12.5ml every hour. The nurse, Sarah, also told me that we are getting very close to a heated cot - she just needs to gain a little bit more weight and she will be good to go! Sarah said it may even be within the next few days. All in all, a day of good news.

On Saturday when we arrived to see Sophie, there was a none too fragrant aroma coming from her incubator! Simon the nurse thought I was crying and came over to check I was ok, but my eyes were just watering from the foul smell! Alan found this highly amusing....until he found out it was his turn to do the nappy change, heehee. It took him a little while to recover from that task....but at least I got to see him change a nappy for the first time!

Sophie 'helping' daddy with the nappy change

We had a lovely hour just the three of us, and then daddy was allowed to have Sophie out for cuddles. She was out with him for about an hour, while he talked to her about what it's going to be like when she comes home, all the animals we have and what her room is going to be like. She certainly looked as if she was enjoying hearing about it all! When it came time for Sophie to go back in, the nurse asked if mummy would like cuddles first....I definitely wasn't about to refuse! I had lovely cuddles for about half an hour, then had two delightful nappy changes to deal straight after the other - nice! Sophie likes to make nappy changes into a challenge for us, by clamping her legs together (usually with our fingers trapped between her ankles) or using her tiny hands to try to push us away!

Uncle Greig and Aunty Claire visited in the afternoon and brought Sophie her first Tatty Teddy. Every baby needs a Tatty teddy :)

Today, we had a day at home and the spare room is now mostly empty and ready to start being turned into the nursery. We went to Homebase and looked at paint and borders - the plan is to have very pale pink walls - we got a tester but it's not quite right - and we found a lovely border which will be just perfect.

Grandad has ordered the nursery furniture this week - very exciting! It feels nice to be starting to do things in preparation for Sophie coming home, even though we are a few weeks away from that yet.

When we phoned the hospital this morning to see how Sophie was, we were told she had been off the CPAP for another four hours overnight, and they'd had to take her off it again this morning because she was wrestling with the mask and driving the nurses demented! She is so determined to be rid of all the equipment - she even pulled her feeding tube out yesterday. She is such a little toerag but we love her soooo much already! We can't believe how determined and stubborn she is at such a young age.

Uncle Brian and Aunty Steph visited Sophie this afternoon and sent us pictures of her which was really nice as we were both missing her like crazy - and we didn't like to think of her having no visitors.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

5 weeks old - 2lb 14 and daddy's first nappy!

Sophie is now 5 weeks old - or 32 weeks if that's how you prefer to look at it, and has reached 2lb 14 oz which is over a pound more than when she was born!

She was slightly anaemic on Tuesday and had to have a blood transfusion, but the nurse assured me that almost all the premature babies have to have one sooner or later. They were just setting it up when I arrived to see her that afternoon, and had to get a doctor to come to put the cannula in her tiny hand. I couldn't watch that being done and waited in the corner till it was done, only to find out it hadn't worked and they had to re-do it in the other hand :( Then that didn't work either so they finally got it to work in her foot. It was too horrible knowing that all those nasty things had been done to our tiny little baby!

A fat-cheeked Sophie getting her blood transfusion

The blood transfusion did at least do its job, and Sophie was much better on Wednesday and looking a lot less peaky again.

Sophie received some really cute tiny little pink bootees as a present, and Alan took them in because they are small enough to fit her just now. They ended up on her hands though, as they were the only thing that the nurse could find that would stop her pulling her tubes out! Sophie looked as if she was feeling very silly with those on her hands :) She managed to wriggle out of them a few times....

Sophie with her bootee on her hand...

I have been getting much better at the nappy changes and can now do them completely unsupervised and fairly quickly, despite the fact that Sophie really doesn't make it easy with all the wriggling and kicking that she does! She likes to fix me with her beady eye while I'm changing her nappy, which is so cute.

Watching mummy...

She has been getting eye drops since the end of the week, to treat a wee eye infection that has possibly been caused by the CPAP - again something that is common in the babies.

Daddy got to pick Sophie up inside the incubator on Thursday and we were also shown how to pick her up and turn her over, by putting one hand under her head and the other under her bottom and just turning her with the hand that's under her bottom - looks very slick when the nurse does it but it'll be a while till we are brave enough to try it ourselves!

Waiting for a nappy change

Daddy also did his first nappy change on Saturday, which I missed :( Somehow, he managed to get one that wasn't too minging! Paul, the nurse who was looking after Sophie earlier in the week had suggested that I should keep a chart of how many nappies we each do in the hospital, and their content, and make sure that Alan catches up when we get home...I think that's not a bad idea!

Sophie's new shoes :)

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Four weeks old - daddy's first cuddle, and the first time we saw Sophie's face!

Phew, what a week this has been! Cuddles with daddy AND us seeing her without her mask and hat for the first time :)

Daddy doing some cheek-stroking!

Sophie is now being weighed every three days and is putting weight on steadily. She is now 2lb 6oz which seems really big compared to her birth weight of 1lb 13.8oz. It's really nice to see her past the 2lb mark.

She has been a bit of a toerag this week and has been trying to pull all her tubes out, so she has been wearing some mittens that are far too big for her to stop her from doing that!

On Thursday, it was a lovely nurse looking after Sophie, so I asked her when Daddy might be allowed cuddles with Sophie. She asked what time he would be coming in and when I said he'd be in just after 5pm, she said he could get Sophie out that night!! I was so excited that he was finally going to get to cuddle his baby - probably nowhere near as excited as he was when I texted him to tell him, but excited nonetheless!

Alan's colleague Dougie was in to meet Sophie that night, and he took so many photos of the first cuddles :)

Daddy absolutely loved his cuddles with Sophie - he'd had a horrible day at work, but cuddles with his little daughter made everything alright again. It was so sweet to see them snuggled together and they both looked so happy.

One of our first family photos...

On Saturday when we went in to visit Sophie, the grumpy nurse barged Alan's dad out of the way and grumped "Let mum in"! I thought she was just being her usual grumpy self - especially when I started asking her if she wanted me to put the milk in the fridge or the freezer and she barked "Just look at your daughter"! When I turned round and looked at Sophie, there she was without her mask covering her face - she was off the CPAP and only had her feeding tube and another little tube under her nose! It was so amazing to finally see what our baby looked like after four whole weeks - and she is gorgeous! She had been off the CPAP for a whole hour and was about to go onto it again but the nurse had actualy kept her off till we got in and saw her without her mask - surprising, when it was the grumpy one!

Finally seeing Sophie's face

The next day when we went in, the nurse took the CPAP off and also took her hat off and we finally got to see what she properly looks like! She has a lot of very dark hair and she is just beautiful. We finally saw her looking like a proper little baby - it's been so hard wondering what she looks like all these weeks and impossible to imagine her ever looking like a full term baby, but she actually does look like one - just really tiny! We have seen so little of her face up till now - we could see she was cute but we had no idea just how cute!

Our gorgeous girl

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Three weeks old - mummy's first cuddle

Sophie is three weeks old today - and would have been 30 weeks if she had stayed put! She has been weighed for the first time since just after she was born, and is now 2lb 4oz, which is great :) It's lovely to see her putting weight on and getting little podgy cheeks. Her feeds are being increased pretty much every day. She has been taken back off the ventilator and put back onto CPAP again but does have to get a funny chin strap on sometimes, to stop her from opening her mouth and letting all the air back out again!

Lovely chin strap....!

Daddy has been going into the hospital every morning before work with the milk delivery, and I've been going up every other day through the week with Alan's dad and/or my parents, and both days at the weekends.

All Sophie's doting grandparents visited her on Thursday and they are all absolutely besotted with her - it's impossible not to be!!

I had a particularly nasty nappy to change on Thursday - I won't go into too much detail but let's just say little Miss Baxter was not very ladylike, had the trots in her nappy and then again when I was taking the nappy off her....and then put her foot in it, literally! It was meant to be my first unsupervised nappy-change but I had to get the nurse to come and help me because she still had various wires attached to her foot so it wasn't just a case of washing her foot!

My first time lifting Sophie

The upside of the trots incident was that Sophie had to get a clean sheet, so I was asked to lift Sophie up while the nurse changed her bedding :) She told me I wasn't allowed to keep telling Sophie to poo just so that I got to do that!!

Sophie's Uncle Michael and Aunty Lesley visited on Saturday and fell in love with their little niece. I had the best surprise ever when I arrived that afternoon and Jane, the nurse, asked if I wanted Sophie out for cuddles!! That was the first time I had ever held her and it was absolutely amazing. Jane put her inside my top so that we had skin to skin contact (or kangaroo care, as it's called) and she was in there for a whole hour. She was soooo snuggly! She cried a tiny little bit when she was first brought out of her incubator, but soon settled down and seemed really content just to snuggle with mummy.

Very first cuddle with mummy - a special moment

Uncle Michael and Aunty Lesley got to stroke her cheek, which they wouldn't have been allowed to do if she was in her incubator. I felt so bad that Alan didn't get a turn at holding her and can't wait for him to get his turn. Jane held Sophie up for me to kiss her cheek for the first time before she went back into her incubator. It was the best afternoon ever!!

Meeting Uncle Michael

We are being allowed so much more to do with Sophie now, and she is really responding to us. You can see the difference when it's Alan or me touching her - she stretches out and wriggles as soon as we touch her and she still loves to grip our fingers or stroke our hands. Daddy has still escaped all nappy changes....

Sophie now has two toys in her incubator to keep her company. I spent ages raking the shops looking for a special toy for her - it's the first thing I have bought for her that is just from me, so I wanted to be really special and it took me a long time to find just the right thing. I ended up getting her a pink Miffy which is the perfect size for her incubator - and it's even better that it's pink! And for Easter, Granny and Grandpa gave her a Peter Rabbit. Let's hope she likes rabbits!