We spent a few hours with Sophie on Sunday and she was wide awake and so alert! She looked very worried most of the time - she always has such a worried look when she opens her eyes, as if she is very suspicious about what she might find when she opens them! We both got cuddles, and Sophie was off her CPAP for 7 hours! Her daddy had to overcome his cotton wool phobia when Sophie was a bit sick and he had to wipe it up...I never ever thought I would see him pick up a piece of cotton wool! I started to wash Sophie's many clothes at the weekend, ready to go into her wardrobe when it arrives next week.
I visited another little baby on the unit, Anna, who is about a month younger than Sophie, then Anna's mummy came to see Sophie before we went for a cup of tea and a catch up. It's so hard to believe that Sophie was that size not so long ago.
It was my birthday on Monday and I can honestly say it's the best birthday I've ever had. I spent the whole day with my little princess, and when I went in, there was a card in her cot and a present hanging on the end! She had given me a beautiful silver heart-shaped locket with "Mum" on it and the card was gorgeous too. What a clever girl getting out to the shops!
Sophie and I had a brilliant day together. She had just come off her CPAP when I arrived at 9am, and had pulled her nose prongs out and was wearing them round her neck like a stethoscope! She had also pulled her feeding tube out! This meant that finally I could see her beautiful little face without any of the tubes that we have been so used to seeing. It's been a long, long wait but definitely worth it. You never expect to have to wait till your baby is 10 weeks old before seeing what they really look like.
The nurse, Anne, said that Sophie didn't need the nose prongs any more so she took them away altogether and Sophie had no tubes at all!! Anne had dressed her in her own tiny pink velvet trousers with feet, which we have been waiting for her to grow into since the week she was born. We thought we'd never see the day that she was big enough for those - even though they are very very tiny (up to 5lb). She looked soooo cute!
Anne asked me if I was planning to breastfeed, and when I said I was, she said Sophie was ready to try! I got all set up with screens round the cot, and Anne said she would just leave us to it, just put Sophie inside my top, have cuddles and see if she did anything, and I was just to shout if I needed any help. Sophie latched on pretty much straight away and Anne was really surprised that she took to it so well immediately :)
Sophie was allowed out for extra cuddles in the afternoon because of it being my birthday, then Anne and I got her all nicely dressed up and took some photos for Babylink. Aunty Caroline visited, and Daddy came in at lunchtime and after work, when he had Sophie cuddles too. Definitely a great birthday!
On Wednesday, Sophie came of CPAP at 4am and was off ALL day until 5pm, then was only back on for 3 hours before getting grumpy with it and trying to pull it off herself! The nurse took it back off again - that's the best she has done yet! She had another successful feed in the afternoon - we weren't sure how much she had actually taken, so the nurse reduced her tube feed by 15ml and she seemed fine. She is still off oxygen altogether! She was wearing her own snuggly white suit that we'd bought her at the weekend, and Grandpa got his very first cuddles in the afternoon. He'd been longing to get cuddles too so was really happy!
When Sophie was weighed on Wednesday night, she was 5lb 2!! When we left the hospital on Thursday evening, she had been off CPAP for 24 hours....but the nurses were not telling Sophie in case she started acting up! They kept whispering to us about it! Sophie had another good feed and we were told if she stayed off CPAP for 72 hours it would be taken away altogether....! We were also told that it would be a miracle if she managed 72 hours off it. She was wearing her own wee babygrow again - newborn size - and it was actually fitting her quite well! The nurse looking after her told us that Sophie was really good natured compared to a lot of the other babies, who could apparently be quite crabby at times!
When we phoned at bedtime to see how Sophie was, we were told that the CPAP had been taken away altogether!!! That child never ceases to amaze us.
On Saturday, one of the community nurses came to chat to me about Sophie's progress, and she actually mentioned the H word...we'd got so caught up in visiting every day and watching her progress we'd somehow not realised that she is actually getting pretty close to being ready to come home! I was told that depending on how she was getting on over the weekend, they might put her into a normal cot at the beginning of next week - then they would be looking at her getting transferred to Special Care - the last nursery before home!
The nurse explained that Sophie would have to pass a sleep study before she would be allowed home. This involves her being hooked up to a machine so that they could monitor her oxygen levels and heartrate through various normal activities such as a deep sleep, cuddles, feeds, nappy changes etc etc. Her oxygen level has to be an average of 94 for her to pass. The nurse booked her in for a sleep study next week! It feels very sudden and soon for her to be getting it as she has only just come off CPAP and started breastfeeding but even talking about doing the sleep study is a big step closer to getting her home.
We are feeling pretty overwhelmed at the moment - yesterday was just a normal day and suddenly today they are talking about a normal cot, special care and home very soon! It's so typical, Alan had gone to sit in the canteen for a while (it gets very hot and intense in the room!) and he missed the whole chat so I was trying to take it all in myself! They booked us into the double room on the unit for a couple of nights next week so I can try to get the breastfeeding established and do all the feeds, rather than Sophie having to be tube fed when I'm not there.
Again when we phoned on Saturday night there was a surprise for us - after being told if she was ok all weekend she would be going into a normal cot at the beginning of the week, she was already in a normal cot on Saturday night!! Special care, here we come....watch this space!