Today as I sit here and watch my perfect little girl sleep (well wriggle and squirm and grunt in her cot really!), I have time to reflect on the past 8 weeks.
Upon reflection I think about all the things that we’ve missed out on during this whole journey. Whilst we are ever so grateful that our little girl is happy and healthy and getting closer to coming home every day, I can’t help but feel saddened by what we’ve missed by not being pregnant for longer and having a ‘full term’ baby.
Today was the day we were booked in to have our professional maternity photos taken, and maybe that’s why I’m thinking of these things now. Yes, Dan is a photographer, but these photos were supposed to be of us, for us. Just us and our bump. Our bump that, we should have been counting down the days to meet. I didn’t take many photos whilst I was pregnant because I’d only recently actually felt pregnant and not just a bit chubbier. This is one thing I regret and I’m sad that we don’t have these photos to look back on.
There are lots of other things that we missed out on too. Dan had only just felt Londyn kick once or twice in the days leading up to her arrival as they weren’t really strong enough to feel externally just yet. This is something that we can never get back. Special moments for Dan that he should have had more of. We also missed our antenatal classes. They were supposed to commence on 17th January. With Londyn arriving 5 days before then, we didn’t have a chance to learn what to expect. We didn’t get the tour of the hospital and birthing suites (although we’d been to Greenslopes many times); instead we went to a hospital we’d never been to before, to an environment that was completely foreign to us. I was excited about the classes. The anticipation of meeting our baby was definitely growing!
I was also looking forward to the 6 weeks of maternity leave that I had before Londyn’s due date. I had plans for this time – pregnancy massages, pottering around and setting up the nursery, catching up on sleep, washing all the clothes and linen, and just enjoying the last weeks of being pregnant. But, as you know, this never came.
Family and friends have also missed the opportunity to welcome our little girl into the world. We’ve chosen not to have visitors as the hospital environment makes it too hard and Londyn’s immune system is still immature and we just can’t risk any infections. This is tough for all of us. I imagined us having family outings and taking daily walks with the Pram. Welcoming aunties and uncles and grandparents and cousins and workmates into her life to share the joy a new baby brings. Instead, you’ve had to get to know her through photos on your screens and we’ve had to get to know her within the confines and regulation of a hospital.
We’ll never know why Londyn came early. It was just what happened. And whilst I can sit here now and acknowledge what we’ve missed out on (even though it is a little sad) these feelings are totally outweighed by the pure joy I get every day I see my beautiful girl.
Now, for the main reason you all read this – Londyn Rose!!
The last week has been great. Londyn has continued to gain weight (now 2640g) and is 45cm long (although this is not an exact science so we take the length measurement with a grain of salt). As a result of her good weight gains (80g-100g every 48hrs) we have stopped the milk fortifier that had been added to my expressed breast milk (EBM). We stopped this on Monday and were told to expect a weight loss or plateau while she gets used to just the plain EBM. Since then, she’s gained 30g which the dr is quite happy with (and yay for not losing weight!!!).
We’ve also gone nearly a whole week without having any Brady’s or desats which I am probably most happy about! As a result of this, we removed the ecg monitoring leads and she has just had the sats foot probe monitoring her pulse and oxygen saturation and we will also be stopping her caffeine on Sunday night and see how she copes with this. She is on quite a high dose of caffeine which has been used to remind her how to breathe. If she manages well once the caffeine is ceased, we will be able to remove the sats monitor and move to a Graseby monitor which is a portable device which alarms if she doesn’t take a breathe for 20 seconds. This will mean Londyn is not ‘connected to a wall’ so we can move around more freely with her.
Suck feeds are progressing well and we’ve started to adjust her tube feeds down to account for what milk we estimate she is getting from the suck feeds. She seems to have the whole ‘suck, swallow, breathe’ at the same time thing pretty sorted!
Slowly but surely we are getting closer to being home. We are taking it day by day and week by week but fingers crossed she continues with her amazing progress and we will be home before her actual due date.
This week we also had a visit from my god parents who were in Brisbane for the Adele concert. My mum also visited at the same time. This was the first time that Londyn had cuddles from anyone other than Dan, myself or the nurses. To say they were smitten with her is an understatement.
Kasey & Dan