10 days since my last post, and so much has happened.
Londyn is now 6 weeks old today (33+5 corrected age) and growing stronger every day. She was weighed yesterday and has cracked the 2kg mark!! She now weighs 2050g (over double her birth weight!) and has grown 7cm since birth (now 44cm). The dietician went through her growth chart with me on Monday and had previously explained that babies never grow in direct correlation to the chart. Well, that is babies except our little Londyn! Her weight chart is exactly on the line that it is supposed to be on and her height is above where it is meant to be – but how can we be surprised when she has Dan as her father!!
Since moving into her open cot, she has loved it. The temperature controlled mat was taken off after a couple of days as she could fully maintain her body temperature without any further assistance. She took a little bit of getting used to being swaddled, but as long as her hands can get out and she can touch things, she is fine. She still doesn’t like being on her back too much, but she will likely grow out of this as her lungs continue to mature. She has become much more comfortable wearing clothes now and she has been gifted some beautiful little outfits to wear.
In my last post, we had turned down her hi-flow and started her on 3 hourly feeds. The combination of this early last week, along with the change to open cot, routine eye test and some other minor changes, caused her to have a really bad day last Wednesday. She had a number of large vomits and was generally unsettled. She was pulling out her prongs a lot and had a lot of air in her stomach which was causing some discomfort. As a result of all of this, the doctor decided to give her a trail off the hi-flow and change her feeds back to 2 hourly to try and settle her stomach. She managed about 4 hours breathing on her own without the hi-flow; however, had a large brady & desat which she didn’t self-recover from so we put her back on the hi-flow. She remained on the hi-flow until last Friday when we removed it completely and she has been breathing well on her own ever since! This is such a great milestone for her to reach at just 5 weeks old; and makes our interactions with her so much easier and comfortable without the tubes on her face.
She remained on 2 hourly feeds over the weekend and we trialed her at 3 hourly again since Monday. She has tolerated this much better this time and has remained on this schedule this week without issue.
The results of her first eye test came in and were as expected for a baby of her age and birth gestation. A weekly follow up is required and she had her second test this week. The results show that she has stage 1 ROP in both of her eyes, however all that is required at this stage is continual weekly monitoring to ensure that the blood vessels continue to grow correctly to resolve this.
Londyn also had her first bath on Saturday. Nurse Grace helped me bath her and she absolutely loved it. She was so calm and relaxed and slept very peacefully for a long time afterwards with cuddles from mummy.
On Monday, we started discussing a move from NICU to Special Care. This is such a massive milestone for a premmie baby and one that we have been waiting to happen. A move to Special Care for us also meant a move from Mater Mothers’ Hospital, back to Greenslopes Private and a very different nursery environment.
A few final things were required before we could make the move, so on Tuesday Londyn had another echo to check on her PDA as well as a hip ultrasound to ensure her hips were ok given she was breech. The echo showed that the PDA was still there and hadn’t yet closed. However, they are not overly concerned about it at this stage and will schedule another echo as an outpatient at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital following her due date. If it is still open at that point, we will discuss treatment options, but it is unlikely they will do anything to rectify until she is around 2-3 years old.
When babies are in the nursery, they usually arrange bedside scans & tests, however on Tuesday, the ultrasound department were too busy to come up for her hip ultrasound; so, we went on a little trip out of the nursery so this could be done. This was Londyn’s first time outside of the nursery and she was very good for the scan. Initial comments from the sonographer indicate that her hips are fine; however, a repeat scan will be arranged once she is term just to confirm there are no structural changes that need addressing.
Then finally, to cap off a very big couple of weeks for our little girl, yesterday was the day she graduated from NICU and we transferred from Mater to Greenslopes. She was buckled up in a transport crib and we were transferred by ambulance. The ambulance officers were amazing. So gentle and careful with the precious cargo they had on board. She made the transition with ease and hardly made a sound during the journey. We are now settled into the new nursery at Greenslopes and Londyn has had a good night. She had a few brady’s & desats yesterday, but these were fleeting and she self-corrected them quickly. These were probably due to the stress caused from the big move.
The environment of the 2 hospitals is completely different. We have gone from a very busy 80 bed nursery at the Mater, where there is always something going on and lots of people around; to a small 10 bed nursery (that currently only has a few babies in). We know 100% that our time at Mater is exactly where we needed to be for the last 6 weeks and we will be forever grateful to our amazing Dr David and the wonderful nurses who cared around the clock for our beautiful girl. The dedication and care that these people have for all the babies is second to none. Our baby will always be a Mater Little Miracle.
But the move here to Special Care means we are one step closer to home and that is a very exciting prospect for us. The journey from here is now for Londyn to learn how to fully suck feed and continue to gain weight. If she can master these 2 things well, we will be home in no time!
We continue to be amazed and so proud of how quickly she seems to be progressing and we can’t wait to get home and be a proper family. Until then, we will continue to spend as much time as we can at the hospital bonding and caring for our little girl.
Kasey & Dan