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JacquiDuck View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 February 2013 at 6:58pm
Hi ladies,
Thought it would be a good idea to get a forum on here so we can support each other better with all that we're going through, the ups and down and challenges of being a parent to a preemie baby!
My wee Marty was born at 27 weeks after I developed pre-ecclampsia at 26 weeks.  He's now 32+3, and doing well - such a little trooper!

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Minny View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Minny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2013 at 8:48pm
Hi,

I'll jump in here too. My tiny Isaac was born at 30 weeks. He's now 32 + 1 and doing so well. I had a very small placenta which was not able to sustain his growth past about 27 weeks so he had IUGR. My anatomy scan at 20 weeks showed no abnormalities and basically my boy is fully formed and perfect in every way, except weighed 2.1lbs at birth and is only 37cm long.

Have to admire the staff at the NICU dealing with such tiny babies, but they do a fantastic job and make me feel that my baby is in a safe and happy place.

I especially love doing cares, and of course my skin to skin cuddles.

I did two hours today and just love how my boy snuggles in to me and sleeps so soundly. I wish for the time to never end. Every time I see my little fella my heart just melts. He's super tiny, but so so perfect!


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JacquiDuck View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JacquiDuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 February 2013 at 8:25pm
My boy was being such a grumpy bum trouble maker today!  During cares (which hubby did) he was grumpy, but settled down when it was time for cuddles - but DID NOT want his prongs in!  He some how managed (after lulling me into a false sense of security) to drag off his prongs, hat and chin strap in one move!  I was kind of proud of the sneakiness and co-ordination, but because he was so grumpy and wouldn't settle for long cuddles were cut short Cry.  In the 'good' parts of the cuddle he had his eyes wide open though, and was staring right up at me Smile  Which was amazing.  
I just can't wait til I get to see him without his mask and everything on, I get really jealous of the other babies that are already there...  I know I shouldn't but sometimes its hard!  

We've gotten the nursery started, but sometimes it seems like we're never going to get him home - I just want to be a full time mum, and not just one for a couple of wonderful hours a day!

Hows things with you Minny?  I was thinking I might  pop onto some of the other forums and let them know of this stream in case anyone needs us...
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Minny View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Minny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 February 2013 at 7:34am
Hey Jacqui,

I was just thinking of you and popped in here to leave you a message.

Love grumpy days, even if it means short cuddles. To me it feels like one more "normal" thing Isaac does. We had a grumpy day on Tuesday and although he wasn't crying he kept dropping his heart rate, which he hardly ever does. He had his eyes tested in the morning and also a blood test so had been protesting loudly at that being done. The rest of the day he was mucking around and setting his monitors off so we didn't disturb him much.

My nurses here said that the babies protesting to the tubes up their nose is a good sign. That was how Isaac ended up off the respirator. He kept pulling out the tubes. Some babies may only tolerate being off for a little while, but the fact that its annoying him is a good sign.

We share a room with two other wee boys, a 25 weeker and a 26 weeker, and they both still need the respirator. It truly is the difference between being born before or after 30 weeks, but your boy will get there. Mine is only there because he managed 3 extra weeks inside. A friend of mine had her boy at 32 weeks and was in the same NICU. She is already home now so I understand how you feel to see another baby doing so well when all you want is for yours to be home. It will happen!

Isaac just blows me away with his strength. I am so proud of my tiny wee man. He gained about 64g since Sunday and is now 1175g. Not sure where it's all gone though as he's still scrawny!

Yesterday I was able to put him to my breast as he is showing signs of wanting to suck. He's still very little though so didn't expect much, but he managed a little suck and then seemed happy to just lie close to me. I was pretty much left to it, which I was surprised at. I thought the nurses would help me latch him on, so it's possible I just wasn't doing it right. Trying to hold a 37cm baby, and latch him on felt very awkward. But still a special moment.

Was given my licence back yesterday too, but only for driving to the hospital and home so it means I can be there as much as I want! Such a relief.

Hope Marty is off the CPAP real soon.

Xx

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JacquiDuck View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JacquiDuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 February 2013 at 7:47pm
Heya, yeah much better day today!  No dings and dongs during cuddle time - a first!  Marty definitely knows what he wants, took him 3 minutes to wiggle himself from a vertical position to horizontal, and he just lay there perfectly the whole time!  The nurse wisely only changed the mask to prongs after the cuddle, so he was just so much happier!  The doctors are looking at sending him to Hutt Hospital in a week or so - awesome news!  At least now we have a general timeframe to go by - it will be SO much easier having him closer!
How was Isaac today?  Great news about the beginnings of breast feeding, must've been magical!
Anyway, hope alls well
xxx
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Minny View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Minny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 February 2013 at 9:05pm
Oh Jacqui, yay for moving closer to home. It must be that Marty is doing just fine or they wouldn't move him!

Isaac took a little step sideways today. Whereas normally he is super stable, over the past few days he has been dropping his sats, and today was doing it quite often and didn't want to wake up as much. So they checked him over and gave him some lo flow oxygen just to give him a rest. His sats immediately came up, and he very quickly pulled the prongs from his nose, but hopefully they can get him to keep it on for the whole night. They also took full blood count to check for any infections starting that may be affecting his breathing. Wll only get the results tomorrow but whilst I know it's precautionary, there's always the possibility it finds something.

Can't really complain as up to this point we have done nothing but take steps forward, and I know my boy is so strong. Still, was very hard to leave him today. I was still there after 6pm. My heart broke as I walked out tonight. I wanted to sit at his bedside.

My friend came to visit today and gave Isaac his first book which I read to him during an afternoon cuddle. He just stared up at me. I loved it. It felt quite emotional.

I love how these tiny boys already know what they want. Today Isaac didn't want Kangaroo cuddles, he wanted to be held in my arms, or on my lap and drift off to sleep. He was pretty good on the breast today, had a few little suckles, more than yesterday. We are heading in the right direction!

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JacquiDuck View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JacquiDuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 February 2013 at 8:04am
Heya, 
thats fantastic that you're getting that much closer to breast feeding - like you said, the other was just a small step sideways, and so to be expected in a preemie!  I am constantly amazed at how determined these little guys are, they know what they want, and they will get it!  Fingers crossed for you that Isaac is back to normal today and you get more of those awesome cuddles =-)
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ginger22 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ginger22 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 February 2013 at 3:25pm
Hey my lovely ladies.

My goodness you are both doing so well with your men! I adore skin to skin. I love how he settles, how it feels, what it does to my hormones...yay for our bodies huh!

I am lucky having had those extra few weeks. My man hasn't needed oxygen, and moved just yesterday to his full feeds through his NG.

Awesome if Marty gets to move to Hutt soon Jacquie. Leaving is so hard!

How are you guys going with expressing?
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JacquiDuck View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JacquiDuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 February 2013 at 7:36pm
Yuk, hate it!  I go through times of it being ok, and others of hating it!  TMI but my nipples are so sore! Thats the worst part of it for me at the moment.  I'm still doing the seperating the fore and hind milk thing, which seems to be working well for Marty.  I'm getting about 50mls average each time - how about you ladies?

Marty has had his CPAP decreased to 6&6, so next move is 5&5 then it's onto Wellington CPAP, so just tiny wee prongs =-)  Just have to celebrate all the milestones, no matter how small.
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Minny View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Minny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 February 2013 at 10:22pm
Good to "see" you back on here Peppermint! And great to hear your boy is doing so well. The extra weeks inside make so much difference!

My expressing isn't too bad. I get between 70 and 100mls every three to four hours. I think that is still a little short of the target of 600ml in 24 hours but is's really hard to get "normal" results in an artificial way, in my opinion! Hopefully once Isaac is taking feeds for himself it will increase naturally.

Peppermint, you are right that our bodies do amazing things. I haven't had skin to skin cuddles for a few days as Isaac has decided he doesn't want to be held like that. Instead he loves being in my arms and looking at me. I talk constantly to him and he will eventually drift off to sleep. Just love that he loves the sounds of my voice!

Well, it is that wonderful expressing time for me! Aargghhhh!

Xx

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ginger22 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ginger22 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 February 2013 at 6:07am
I am getting about 130-150mls each time, but that is going back for a second go each side, and 'hands on' expressing each time to clear my ducts, as they seem to block, particularly one side. A lactation consultant sent me a great email link I would be happy to pass on???

separating the milk is not something I have been told about...that must be MAGIC milk for Marty! I have 4 (very little) bottles in the freezer already, and I am torn that it is the 'old' milk, as they only like to use the freshest. I see the points behind that, but still thought older may have been good at this early stage because it would have had more colostrum?? Interesting fact...mothers of prem babies somehow make milk with more protein... :) the bonus of not only having a consultant visit, but one of our neo nurses is a lactation consultant too!

sore nips...OH YEAH! mine are flat / inverted to need some 'toughening up' but damn it is hard.

Jacqui my partner and I were talking this morning about how we have such huge milestones we have celebrated with our man, yet to others they would seem so insignificant. I think taking anything and everything is progress and worth it for our men!
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Minny View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Minny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 February 2013 at 6:46am
Peppermint, the milk can last four months in the freezer, but of course fresh milk is best. I have a freezer full of milk, and only take a little at a time into the NICU. I always express at least two to three times while I am there and leave Isaac with fresh milk plus what they have defrosted. If it helps I number my bottles, for example, today Isaac is 19 days old, so I write "19" on the lid of every pot, that way when I am looking for milk I know which is oldest.

One of the nurses in the NICU said to only bring in frozen onky as they need.it, and it will be useful to have extra in my freezer so when he's home I can have a wine without worrying about it. Thought that was a brilliant idea! We plan on having a welcome home party to replace my baby shower that I missed, and also DP's friends are asking when he will have "wet the baby's head" drinks. He wasn't keen as its a big expense as any old joe blogs turns up for the free drinks. This way we get to have something at home with all of our invited friends instead. Frozen milk will mean I can have a celebratory glass of bubbles to welcome my boy home.

Good on you peppermint for doing hand expressing. I tried but am completely rubbish at it!

Just got to add that I love the feeling of breast feeding Isaac. He's still to little to actually draw any milk, but I think I drip into his mouth as I see him swallow and he's very happy to just sit with my nipple in his mouth and only have the occasional attempt at sucking. Just the fact he knows what to do is one of those much celebrated milestones!

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ginger22 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ginger22 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 February 2013 at 12:52pm
OH YES...I love the idea of back up to have a celebratory wine! I am a light weight at the best of times, but will look forward to that time. We have talked about doing a wee something when he comes home too. I express at home and at NICU...and same thing, they use the most fresh. Good idea numbering the bottles, I will start with my frozen I think.

I actually saw the MW who showed me how to hand express by chance today, and thanked her for her time, as I think this is what has given me confidence. I can now also feel where the 'money spots' are. Did you want to have a look at the link anyway Minny? no probs if not.

Also love the bfeeding. Even a few little sucks are awesome.

As for our wee man, back under the jaundice lights again today after a few days without. I am not sure exactly what his levels are, so will ask to see the graph again tonight when we go back. A little gutted, as we were charging ahead, and now it means less time out and less skin to skin, but, that is ok.
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Minny View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Minny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 February 2013 at 6:22pm
Yes please peppermint. I think it may be useful to be able to hand express even a little as it may help with latching Isaac on. He does latch pretty easy and sucks a little more each day but if I express enough to ensure there is some milk there he may get the taste and get going. I have to express first before I latch him, so I don't drown th little fella with a massive milk flow!

JD, how is Marty today?

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JacquiDuck View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JacquiDuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 February 2013 at 8:48pm
Heya!  Wow - am blown away with how much milk you ladies are producing!  Am really going to have to work on my production more!  
Marty is doing really well today thanks Minny =-)  He does the wriggling round thing so that he's lying in my arms and can look at me - love it!  I was told by one of the nurses that it's that they can smell the milk in our breasts and so automatically position themselves in a position for access =-)  They are so clever!

I tried the hand expressing when I first had Marty - unfortunately I am WAY too unco-ordinated to hand express and catch the milk at the same time!

Sounds like you ladies are doing so awesomely with your boys, really shows how important those few extra weeks are!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ginger22 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 February 2013 at 9:55am
Oh goodness Jacqui, I did not hand express by myself at the start. My partner sat there with a syringe and sucked up every precious drop. I am incredibly fortunate that he was able to be off work the whole time I was in hospital. Later on, I would just lean over and squeezed in to the bottle - I have stopped this now, and just do 'hand on' pumping, manipulating the ducts that need emptying.

I am no expert, but I wouldn't worry about your supply. You only need to be making enough for Marty now, and can increase it at a later date. I need to be careful to make sure I don't start over supplying.

Here is the link

http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastfeeding/MaxProduction.html

Baby boy is one week old this evening. Can't believe I have been a mum for a whole week :)
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JacquiDuck View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JacquiDuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 February 2013 at 10:36am
Happy 1 week Peppermint!!  Marty is 6 weeks old/33 weeks today =-)  Can't believe its been that long already!  Hopefully just that long again until we get to take him home Heart
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ginger22 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 February 2013 at 11:32am
Jacqui, Partner and Marty...you are a legends :)
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JacquiDuck View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote JacquiDuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 February 2013 at 4:19pm
Thanks Peppermint!  I think we all are for what we're doing =-)

Massive milestones for Marty today, broke the 1500g mark, moved into a thermacot AND I got to put his first set of clothes on him!  So exciting!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Minny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 February 2013 at 8:04pm
Jacqui, yay for moving out of the incubator and also for reaching the long awaited milestone of clothes. I am completely envious, but know that time is not that far for me after Isaac gained 130g since Wednesday and is now weighing in at 1300g. Am really hoping they move him to a bed in the next few weeks.

Found things a bit tough today. To be honest I hate the weekends as DP always has a list of things for me to do and doesn't see why I need to be at the hospital all day as Isaac doesn't know I'm there and doesn't do much anyway. Of course I don't see it that way. I want and need to be close to my boy, and I will know I was there. And he does do quite a bit... He poos and wees and needs changing, he needs feeding every two hours and of course the magical cuddle time and story time.... Before I know it, a whole day has passed and I'll go back and do it again the next day.

Today we went to catch up with some friends for lunch on the way up to the hospital. He knew I wanted to be there by 2 so I could express, then do cares and feed Isaac while I latch him on so he learns to associate the smell of my milk, sucking and getting a full tummy. So at 1:30, he decided to drive his mates boat so he could have a ski, which meant we arrived at the hospital at 2:40 and was so rushed. And by 3:40 we had to leave to go and see him mum who is very ill now and in hospital too (a different one to Isaac) Whilst I agreed to have a short visit today, I hated rushing and couldn't help the tears when I left. I wrote on the board that I'd be in by 9:30am tomorrow, and couldn't help comment that I had to make up for the missed time from today!

Sorry for the rant, but it's so frustrating!

Jacqui, what size clothes is Marty wearing? Tiny prem?

Edited by Minny - 10 February 2013 at 8:06pm

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