Archive for June, 2007

Facebook Album

June 29, 2007

I have put some photos of Ella on Facebook. You can get to the album here, even if you aren’t registered on Facebook.

Big Moving

June 29, 2007

Hannah made a small move down the corridor, but the big move of houses is nearing completion. At last! Today we exchanged contracts, with a completion date of next Friday, 6th July. I’ve had to bump someone else off the perch of expecting our removals people to move them that day, but it is first come, first served when booking removals people. I am very happy to have got something signed on the dotted line and finally know when it is all going to happen. I will be even happier when we are in the door and settling into our house.

Now I have to ring up Currys and delay the delivery of the American style fridge-freezer that I ordered earlier in the week (the internet makes it too easy to spend £650). I think our sellers would be very surprised if a brand new fridge turned up the day before they moved out.

Moving

June 29, 2007

The major development in the hospital today was Hannah being moved from her room to another, as they wanted her big room for an expectant mum with a disabled husband. So it’s official: Hannah is no longer star patient. She is still in a single room, but it is smaller, and when I visited this evening, absolutely boiling hot as it had caught the sun.

Ella continues to be very well behaved. She had her first vomiting incident last night. Hannah says she looked very shocked at the experience. She is feeding well, though the timings are a bit erratic. She still sleeps a lot, but this evening she spent quite a long time with her eyes open gazing at stuff around her. Obviously, she continues to be very beautiful.

Hannah had quite a lot of visitors today. Kerie and Paula from school during the day. In the evening I visited, along with my Mum, Clare (Granny), who has come down for a flying visit to see her third grand-daughter. Clare absolutely loved Ella, and declared her very cute and adorable. She got to have a good cuddle and to do a nappy change. It was all very lovely.

Ella had her hearing test today, which she passed once a load of womb gunk had been cleared out of her ears. Hannah took a couple of picture of Ella wearing the testing kit, and it is quite scary as she looks like a Borg from Star Trek.

Hannah’s BP hasn’t dropped very far yet, and she is still on some quite strong pain killers, so she certainly won’t be out of hospital for at least a couple of days.

Still No Date

June 28, 2007

There have been some slow moving developments in our house move. As Greg and Brandy are learning in the USA, no date is certain until you are in the door. The final bit of detail required is for our buyers to have their water and sewerage search back. Then we can all exchange contracts and set a date for completion. We had been hoping for next Wednesday, but Mr Careless, our solicitor, reckons that by now there isn’t enough time to order the cash from the mortgage company and for people to sort out movers. We do have movers chosen with a quote and having been on the phone to them, they reckon the earliest after next Wednesday they can pack us up (bargain for £80 + VAT) and move us is the following Tuesday (11th). This is a slight bummer for my Mum and stepdad, Clare and Chris, who had booked train tickets to come down and help next week.

Day 1

June 28, 2007

Official parlance has yesterday as Day 0 (they count like C, not Java), so today is Day 1 for Ella. So far today she has eaten well, slept well and pooed well. I have been working at home and went to see Hannah and Ella at lunchtime. I got the ‘opportunity’ to change her nappy with Hannah. Hannah is out of bed, having been disconnected from all her bits and pieces. I was a bit surprised to find her bed empty when I arrived. She has always been in it, either because she was post-op or rendered immobile by her oedema. In fact, on this occasion she was hiding behind the door with Ella sleeping on her lap.

The ward is very busy, so she hasn’t had much attention today. When I was there, Ella hadn’t been checked over since 7am. On one hand that is good, because it reduces the risk of NICU taking her away, on the other it increases the risk of something bad going undetected. Nonetheless, she was looking very healthy. This afternoon a paediatrician has been in and carried out various checks and pronounced Ella healthy and beautiful.

Photo of Ella

June 27, 2007

Here is a cute one of Ella in her hospital cot. She’s lovely.

Us with Ella

June 27, 2007

It’s a bit fuzzy, but this is the only one of us both with Ella from after the operating theatre.

Eleanor Rose Brear

June 27, 2007

Whoazer, what a day. I’m not sure I can cover it all quickly. I am quite tired and ought to head off to bed and get some much needed sleep. I’ll try something, though.

Brief details: Eleanor (Ella) Rose Brear was born this morning at 9:47 by c-section. She weighed in a 6lbs 11 ozs (3.03 kg). She has two arms, two legs, 10 fingers and 10 toes. She has dark hair (not ginger as my Mum thought it would be). She has been brilliant throughout the day, even coping well with her Daddy changing her nappy twice and dressing her in a very cack-handed manner. She was fast asleep when I left the hospital a little after 10pm.

Long version. Hannah had a difficult night because she was woken every hour for blood sugar tests as she was on a sliding scale of insulin. If she was tired when I arrived this morning, she didn’t show it, though. In fact, even though she said she was petrified, she looked very calm and collected. Not long after I arrived, our midwife for the day, Jenny, too us through the pre-op checklist. Barbara arrived shortly after me. Both Hannah’s anaethesitist and Mr Ridley dropped by: the former to make final checks; the latter for a chat. Both of them made the same joke: that they were ‘ill’ and were going home. Both of them made raised eyebrows at yesterday’s happens with the possible transfer. I got the impression that everyone felt that this should never have happened, and many of them most certainly wouldn’t have let Hannah go because they wanted the satisfaction of delivering the baby at St Marys.

After a bit we went off to the labour ward, a short wander up the corridor from the maternity ward, though it did feel a bit like a journey to some fateful happening. Once there, we were separated, with Hannah going off to get prepped and Barbara and I into the relatives room. An age later, Jenny came and got me so that I could get changed, and after that I had another age to wait until they called me into the theatre. Once in there I sat at the head end, and declined the chance to watch over the screen. I reckoned that I would have too many questions if I watched, and would be much better concentrating on Hannah. She found it very weird, as she could feel the messing around in her belly, but there was no pain. Really the business part of the operation didn’t take very long, maybe 10-15 minutes. The only complication seemed to be that they had to fight past Hannah’s strong abdominal muscles (from singing), and Ella needed to be pulled out with foceps. Dr Noble, the anaethesitist made the announcement that the baby was a girl, and Hannah did rather exclaim with astonishment as she was so sure it was going to be a boy.

When she came out she made a good crying noise. I really didn’t know if that was enough crying because it wasn’t superbly loud (but loud enough that Barbara later said she could hear it further down labour ward). We didn’t see her straightaway as they took her to the other end of the room to be checked out and wrapped up. Then they brought our wonderful little girl to us. She was all wrapped in blankets so all we saw was her little face, blinking slowly away, trying to ignore the fact she had been whipped out of her warm, comfortable womb. She seemed to have the most enormous eyes and she was covered in the vernix, apparently the best moisturiser known. Hannah got to hold her for a time while Mr Ridley and the surgical team did more of what had to be done. When they were nearing completion I got to take Ella out with the midwife and go to the recovery room. I got a good hold and cuddle during this time, which was lovely. I’m not sure it had a great effect on Ella, who was still very calm and pretending nothing was going on. Barbara got to come in at this point, and she got to have a little hold as well.

When Hannah had been tidied up, she was brought in to recovery and hooked up to various monitors. She had a rather complex canula in her hand for her sliding scale that would later cause problems getting tangled up when she tried to get changed out of her surgical gown. At this point Ella was weighed, quite a while after the birth. Once Hannah was ready, she was given Ella, who was tempted with the breast to take her first feed. Amazingly, she settled really quickly and was sucking away and had an enormous feed, taking 30 minutes. I am sure this was excellent bonding time for Hannah, and it was fantastic to see everything going so well. I then made a couple of phone calls. Ella had her first blood sample taken for blood sugar test. This was vital because if it was too low, then she would have to go down to the NICU. Fortunately it was much higher, so we knew we had her for another 3 hours at least. Then Ella had another feed again.

It was somewhere during this time that I, with Barbara’s help, got to dress Ella. This was the time in the day she have her biggest cry when her nice warm blankets were taken away and she was open to the cool air for a brief time. After putting on her nappy (the wrong way round, Barbara’s fault, not mine ), a vest, babygro, cardigan, bootees, hat and gloves she was quiet again.

By 1:30 they were ready to allow us to go back to Hannah’s room in maternity. Hannah was obviously still in her bed, with IV drip stand in tow, and I had Ella in her wheeled baby cot. We were a bit of a convoy going back to maternity, and when we arrived and went past the nurses’ station there was so many staff who were all wishing us well, it was wonderful, one of the more emotional parts of the day to see so many people pleased for us.

The rest of the day was a mixture of just Hannah, Ella and I, with Barbara around some of the time, and Hannah’s Dad, Jack, came to visit in the evening. Ella slept almost all of the time. We tried to get her to feed again at around 4, so that her blood sugars would be good for her testing at 5. As it happened she wasn’t that interested, as she was really still asleep and had fed a lot back in recovery, but it didn’t matter because her blood sugar was even better than before when measured.

She continued to sleep on, despite various sessions of being held by myself, Barbara and Jack. She had a long session of skin-to-skin time on Hannah’s chest, which is meant to be good for temperature control and bonding. Before the not successful feed I got the task of changing the first nappy, which was full of the black meconium. I had help from one of the midwives, so this nappy change went well, with some tips on putting feet into babygros, where to put the used nappy etc. Later on I had another nappy to change, with slightly runnier meconium, and this time it was less successful, with it getting on her feet and the towel underneath. I had to chase the bits around, cleaning them up. Plus when I dressed her, she seemed somewhat lopsided, with one side of hands and legs fitting into her clothes, and the other being shorter than the sleeves and babygro legs.

Hannah was very tired through the afternoon, and managed to get a couple of short dozing sessions. She did marvellously well, coping with the pain and doing fantastically well with the breast feeding. One of the midwives said she had never seen such successful breast feeding from an early c-section mum before. We had a successful feed in the mid-evening, so by the time I left Ella had taken three feeds, and was getting quite familiar with how to take the breast.

Ella was great too. She slept a lot of the time, as new babies do. She never cried when the blood was taken for her blood sugars, and her sugars remained good, as well as her temperature. If either dropped, then she would have had to go downstairs to the NICU. Wonderfully, this didn’t happen, bucking the protocol of babies of diabetic mums going straight down to the unit.

All-in-all the day went much, much better than we hoped, and as superbly well as it could have done. Ella is with her Mum in
their room in maternity. She seems quite settled and content and is feeding well. Both Hannah and I are very tired after the day, but very, very happy. Hannah says she still can’t believe it’s all real, but it is, and we have a lovely new daughter.

Best Laid Plans

June 26, 2007

I’ve described below our final night, but at one stage this afternoon it looked like it might not be. Hannah rang me up at work to tell me she had just been told that the last bed in the special care baby unit (NICU at St Mary’s) had just been taken. This meant that there would be no bed for our baby should it be needed. The result of that was Mr Ridley needed to be contacted to decide whether to delay the delivery until a bed was free (several days) or transfer Hannah to either Portsmouth or Southampton. I had just enough time to pop round to my manager’s office and explain this potential change of plan before Hannah texted me to say that they had found a bed in paediatrics and everything was back on for 9am tomorrow. Hannah was very upset when she initially heard about the possibility of it not happening tomorrow so it was really good that something was found.

Final Scan

June 26, 2007

We had a routine scan booked for today, and after asking last week we went ahead with it. Barbara went with Hannah. I’m quite happy to wait until tomorrow to see the little ‘un in the flesh. All was fine with the scan. Hannah did get a picture, but is is quite fuzzy and is supposed to show baby’s face but you can’t make it out. They did manage to estimate the weight this time: 6 lbs 14 oz plus/minus a pound. This is a good weight either way. We’ll see how accurate it is. One of the midwives said there had been a study to see which was most accurate: scans, midwives judging weight or mother’s impressions. The first two were about the same in terms of accuracy, but the slight winner were mums guessing the weight of their babies.