Sunday, 6 June 2010

12 weeks - and we're GOING HOME!

What a week this has been!

At the beginning of the week we were told we could give Sophie her first bath, which was very exciting! The nurse showed us how to get the water temperature right, undress Sophie to her nappy and wrap her in a towel, then hold her over the edge of the bath to wash her hair. She absolutely hated having her hair washed, and that was the first time we had ever heard her really screaming!

However, once she was into the bath she absolutely loved it! The nurse said you could tell by her body language that she was really happy. She was gripping onto the underneath side of my arm the whole time I was holding her in the bath, but her little legs were kicking and her arms were flapping and she looked as if she was really having fun! She looked so cute with her hair all wet and slicked back. She spent the whole bath looking all around her and taking everything in.

When she was dried off, I found such a cute outfit for her to wear, and she looked so sweet with her hair all fluffy! The nurse told us we could just come in and bath her whenever we wanted now and we didn't have to wait to be told we could do it. That's definitely a step closer to feeling as if she is really our baby!

Sophie is now 5lb 8 - she has not put on any weight since last time she was weighed, but she hasn't lost any, which is the main thing. They had fully expected her to lose some, with going from being tube-fed to demand breastfeeding, but she hadn't so that's great news!

She is getting so much better at feeding, and her oxygen levels are definitely improving. She's getting much better at keeping her oxygen levels up during her feeds.

Grandad visited on Wednesday and had cuddles and then after her teatime feed, Alan held Sophie up above the screen so just her wee head was peeking over the top - it looked sooo cute! The nurse came to help and tried to get her to put her hands so that they were gripping the top of the screen but Sophie didn't really co-operate!

Super Sophie!

Sophie had a really hungry day on Thursday and never seemed to stop eating! The nurses are doing the night time feeds by bottle and she is breastfeeding through the day. We took her own bottles in so that she doesn't get too used to the hospital teats.

Another premmie mummy, Sandi, came to see us this week, with little Alex - another 27 weeker who was born last year. It's great having all these new friends who have gone through the same thing and they have been so supportive.

Sophie's sleep study was repeated AGAIN on Friday night. Dona and her husband Gordon had invited us round for dinner that night and we were very glad to be spending the evening with friends rather than stressing out beside Sophie's cot, with our eyes clued to her numbers on her monitor! We had a really lovely evening and got home pretty late which was also good - better than pacing the floor all night!

The dreaded sleep study monitor - but looking good at 97!

Saturday morning came and we nervously phoned the hospital to see how she was getting on. We couldn't decide whether we wanted to phone or not but we did want to see how she was! The nurse told us that so far, it was looking good - but we'd been told this on the last sleep study too, so we didn't want to get our hopes up. The community nurse who was reading the sleep study had read half of it and then gone out! We were unbelievably nervous going up to Edinburgh, and I will never forget how I felt going into that nursery almost scared to look at Sophie.

I sneaked a look at her cot as I went to wash my hands, and the monitor was gone....all her monitors were gone! Alan was too nervous to look and I whispered to him that they were gone. We went to speak to the nurse, and she asked us if we wanted the good news or the bad news. We were fully expecting to be told she could go home but on oxygen. She said to us "The good news is you can take Sophie home on Monday - and there is no bad news"!! So mean! But we were so happy we didn't even care! I picked Sophie up - the first time EVER without her being attached to anything - and walked about the nursery with her. That was the first time I'd ever been able to walk away from her cot area with her and have no leads to worry about! Then Alan took her and we got some photos. The nurse wheeled her along to our room in her cot and Sophie loved being on the move! She was looked all around her, all wide-eyed!

First even picture with no leads and no monitor!

Kelly, the nurse, told us we had to keep the window closed and the heating turned up high in the room, and then she left us. We were alone with Sophie for the first time ever! It was pretty scary because we'd been so used to her being wired up to monitors, and things bleeping if there was a problem, and having nurses all around. Now it was suddenly just the three of us! Alan had to go away almost immediately to meet his dad in the canteen and I was on my own with Sophie. The first thing I did was dress her in one of her own wee outfits! Then she was hungry and I gave her a little felt so strange, but lovely, being just us.

Yay, in our room with us at last!

We had lots of visitors all afternoon but finally it was just the three of us. The moment we had been waiting for, for three long months. We had to take Sophie back along to the nursery while we went out for something to eat and then when we came back it was bedtime and that was scary! Sophie was sleeping so quietly and we were both scared to sleep! I don't think either of us really slept that night but Sophie slept well! The nurse came in a couple of times during the night to check Sophie's temperature and make sure we were doing ok. On Sunday morning after I'd fed Sophie, we delivered her back to the nursery and went out for breakfast (the hospital breakfasts were dire!) and then we took her back to our room again. Alan's Uncle Jimmy and Aunty Margaret visited in the afternoon and met Sophie for the first time, then Steph and Brian visited and then Emma, little Anna's mummy came to see Sophie and say goodbye. Hopefully Anna will soon be moving to a hospital closer to home.

Uncle Jimmy and Aunty Margaret

We had lots of paperwork to complete before we were allowed to leave with Sophie, and they did all this on the Sunday so we could get away as soon as possible the next day! We had to have rescusitation training as well - hopefully we will never need it, but it at least gives us peace of mind.

So....home, here we come!! In the meantime, here is a selection of pictures from Sophie's journey through neonatal, week by week from 2 hours old.

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