Another week goes by
We’ve had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. It’s been a week of laughter and a week of tears. In other words, it’s been a typical Dexter week!
Discussions with the nurses and doctors ensued and it was determined that yes, we could be transferred. So the phone call was made. Unfortunately, we were told; “not today, there are no beds available, we have to call Friday”. Four days we had to wait for the call to be made again. Four days was an achievable number – we were already well into the seventies!
Friday arrived and I dared not get excited, but it was hard not to. I packed up, I hurriedly had cards made and gifts were prepared. I awaited the call. I saw the nurses prepare the transport crib and held my breath – was it for us?? I was hopeful and excited, but alas, all to no avail. The crib was being prepared for transport to Gosford, the complete wrong direction. Once again we were told there were no beds, call again Monday. This time we would be put at the top of the list.
Tears were shed and frustration built up and up and up. The next day we were informed there were more requirements and he wasn’t quiet meeting them. He had had an apnoea on Thursday and he needed to be apnoea free for seven days before RPA would transport him, so we had to wait. RPA were also concerned that Wollongong would not accept him when he was on hourly feeds. I cried some more and finally cracked.
I informed the nurses and doctors of my concerns – that it felt he was being forgotten about because he had been there so long; I felt that he was not being pushed or challenged because they had given up on him due to his PVL; I felt that they were pushing him in ways that were going to impact negatively on his progress as opposed to positively; I felt that nothing was happening, no one was listening and I was doing it all on my own.
At day 80, I made the morning call with trepidation, something was nagging me. My intuition was correct. He had continued to vomit and de-sat over night into the 30s (meaning he was only taking in 30% oxygen – we need 100%). He had been placed back on hourly feeds. He then managed to have a grade 2 apnoea, meaning he needed oxygen to start breathing again.
Our countdown was disappointingly and heartbreakingly re-set.
But with the lows, come the highs.
I have been leaving the camera overnight so the nurses can capture memories for us. They love him and it shows. Their care and love for him makes things easier for all of us. I know he isn’t forgotten about at night and feel comforted in knowing that if he cries they will be there to provide him with hugs. They tell me about their chats with him and how much he enjoys his awake time, sitting in his chair, looking out at the world.
It explains why some mornings he is just so exhausted that he doesn’t even stir when he hears my voice!
The lactation nurse was consulted. She arrived with nipple shields and rubber gloves. She questioned my nipple size – was it large or small? And she wondered if he had ever latched on during prior cuddles. I think she was hesitant and somewhat questioning his ability. But we showed her!
He attached without any of the aides she assumed he would need. He sucked and swallowed. He wanted more and more! It was a success! At 81 days of age, he had his first official breast feed. Finally, I was able to see that the hours of expressing, the tears through frustration and disappointment, were all worth it. Finally, I was able to experience that one thing I wanted so desperately to be able to do, but wasn’t sure we would be able to. Finally! Today was a good day!