Saturday, 2 June 2012
|The calm before the storm!|
Mummy and Daddy arrived a little bit later carrying a MASSIVE orange seat which was full of layers of padding each a bit smaller than the previous one... like Russian dolls! The plan appeared to be to squeeze me into the middle like the last doll (the one that doesn't snap in half!)
|One last feed before I go...|
The first delay was due to something called the 'TTO's. This was the all the medicine that needed to go with me and for most of the morning we honestly thought this stood for 'to take 'ome'... it later turned out that it stood for 'to take out' which I suppose makes more sense. Anyway, the nurses were having a right telephone tussle with the pharmacy downstairs - at one point I thought one of them was going to need my monitors when I'd finished with them.
|OK... you can disconnect that last monitor now!!|
Before we finally stepped out into the sunlight (sunlight!!) Mummy and Daddy had a really nice chat with Dr Iodine who was brilliant. He wanted loads of feedback about the unit so Mummy and Daddy gave him loads - they're very good at feedback - and Dr Iodine seemed very happy. I might see him again when I come back for his I2S2 study. I do hope so.
|Look carefully... there's a baby in there!!|
And that was it. After 56 days in intensive care, 14 days in the high dependency unit and 20 days in special care, I was free to go. Ninety days after arriving into the world feet first and fourteen weeks early, I can breathe, I can feed, I can see, I can hear and I can smile... which is so cool because I have so much to smile about!
I've had seven blood transfusions, eleven brain scans, fourteen x-rays and countless baggings! I spent 23 days under the Billyrubin light (and three on top of it!). I've had two sets of inoculations, I've had my eyes tested twice and my ears once and my heel pricked for blood samples over 100 times. I've spent three weeks on a ventilator, a month on C-PAP and five weeks in high flow.
|Fifteen thousand visits!!!|
|Not a good start!!|
Daddy says that some of you reading this are skint... but that others are loaded! Whichever group you're in, it would mean so much to me if you could give whatever you can. I've set up a 'Sunshine Fund' in my name and by donating to it you will be helping babies like me and families like mine as they find themselves on a similar journey to this one.
You can donate online at http://www.justgiving.com/poppylola or you can just text PLHJ90 (Poppy Lola Hufton Jones - 90 days!) to 70070 and this will automatically donate £5 to my Sunshine Fund. Dad says he's going to be pestering everyone he meets (online and offline!) to donate something to my fund! He wants to raise £10,000!!!
Meanwhile, back to my Diary and my release from Coventry! We all said goodbye to the nurses and then we headed towards the big double doors - the ones with the security buttons and video cameras. Mummy did one final check to make sure my security tag had been taken off (it really is like leaving prison!) and then she pushed the button... and I was out!
... And then someone shouted us and we were back in again! Apparently someone had been looking for the resuscitation doll for the last two hours and thought that we couldn't leave until Dad had a practice. It took quite a lot of persuasion from Dad for them to let us go. In the end he told them confidently that he had a Boys Brigade badge for first aid and knew exactly what to do. The fact that this was over thirty years ago didn't appear to matter so we turned heel and fled.
And then I was really out! The reception of Coventry hospital is a melting pot. My introduction to the public was very politically correct. If I'd had a checklist with me I could have ticked all of the boxes. It was so crowded and we had to go through one of those great big revolving doors and when we emerged on the other side the sun was shining and a recorded voice was booming out of a speaker saying that Coventry Hospital is a no smoking zone...! There were lots of people in pyjamas and nighties, and they were all smoking and ignoring the voice coming from the speaker. This was my first lesson in life.
Mummy and Daddy had parked the car on the top floor of the car park by the big yellow helicopter landing pad. I thought for a minute I was flying home but then I was packed into the back of the car and we were off. I was really looking forward to seeing some of the places Mum and Dad had talked about while I was in the incubator; Warwick, Kenilworth, Stratford, Zurich, London and IKEA, but as soon as the car started I fell fast asleep... and I woke up at home!!
I had a few days to settle in with Mummy and Daddy and Charlie and Grandma, and then all of my brothers and sisters arrived for the weekend! I've finally met Jordan and Harrison (and they're cool!) and we've been one great big dysfunctional Edwardian family... and I love it!! I have three brothers and one sister!
I'm feeling great! I still have a few medicines to take with my milk but apart from that (and being a bit petite) I'm just like every other baby... just like every other baby.
It's been an interesting start and it's been a pleasure to share it with you all. I'm planning to keep writing my diary so you can see how I'm doing... maybe just not quite as often!
For now, I'm just so happy to be home!
Lots of love and hugs!
Poppy Lola xxx
Wednesday, 23 May 2012
|Come on... shake on it!|
|Blanket, clothes and everything!!|
Another milestone... I've had a bath. A proper bath! I've seen some of the babies in here just put in a bucket of warm water and given a quick scrub, but I had a real bath. Mummy was a bit nervous, and I pulled a few funny faces, but it was great. We washed my hair and Mummy said that it went all soft and fluffy. I smell a bit more fragrant now too!
|My Private Room... (fast asleep!)|
|Nearly ready to go home!|
It's day 83 today. I thought I was going to be in here for over 100 (and so did the doctors I think) so if I can get home anytime soon I'm doing well.
One final treat to leave you with tonight. I'm still not sure if these videos work on my Diary but this is one my Daddy took when I was particularly hungry... it make him chuckle a lot!
Thanks everyone... I couldn't have done this without you all. Nearly there... nearly there!
Lots of love and hugs!
Poppy Lola xxx
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
As it's been a while since I've updated my diary - don't blame me it's all my Daddy's fault - so I should probably start with a quick summary to bring you up to speed. (We can do the detail later!)
|Cuddles with Mummy|
|Look... I'm breathing!!!|
|Excuse me! I'm pooing!|
|Got the T-shirt!|
|Jeff Gorvette...! (Thanks Charlie!)|
Monday, 7 May 2012
...hard work, dedication, possession of knowledge, strength and resilience...
Poppy Lola xxx
WRONG! I've been quiet because I've been focusing all of my attention on trying to get myself working properly. I'm still in HDU. To be honest with you I should be back in NICU but there's a bit of a one way street policy in here and once you start moving on they don't like you going back! One of the small signs of progress in here is the size of the chart at the end of your incubator; when you're in ICU it's huge, it fills the whole desk, but when you move into Special Care it's A4. Earlier this week (much earlier this week!) I woke up one morning to find the nurse filling out one of these A4 sheets. I was so pleased with myself.
It wasn't to last. Since then it all gone a bit A2!
|'Lovely and soft!'|
This carried on for a few days but the bigger my belly grew, the harder it was for me to breathe and I started having a few major de-sats ... or 'profound' de-sats as we like to call them in here. I like this. My de-sats aren't superficial or obvious, they're deep and meaningful. Nevertheless, I'd rather not have them.
It all came to a bit of a head of Friday. Mummy came in to see me in the morning and I was doing OK but my breathing was ropey and some of my milk was coming back up. Mummy left to take Charlie swimming and Daddy turned up just as decided to be very profound! Daddy thought I was being very floppy too and when he undid my little baby-grow thingy to change me, the size of my belly made him and the nurse jump!
|Me being nice for Daddy!|
On Saturday, Mummy made sure that she was here for the Doctors rounds. I was very proud of her. When the Doctor asked what the course of treatment should be my Mummy said that I should go back onto TPN (the cycling drug thing - Total Parentatal Nutrition!) to give my tummy a chance to recover... and everyone agreed with her! If it had been an episode of ER, there would have been some stirring emotional music building to a crescendo in the background. As it was, it was still a big moment for me.
On Saturday night - at the second attempt - the long line was put back in to my leg (this is a minor operation in itself and trust me it hurts!) and the TPN was restarted. It was tough at first because I'm starving! I'm used to being fed milk now, so having it stopped completely takes a bit of getting used to. I'll suck frantically on anything that comes within an inch of my mouth!
I'm going to have something which the Doctors call a 'contrast'. I think this is a special x-ray where they feed me something that will show up in my intestines so they can see if there's anything wrong down there. Because it's something called a Bank Holiday weekend (???) they won't get the results back until Wednesday and then they can decide either to, a) start feeding me again or, b) send me to Birmingham for a procedure! Yikes! I'm hoping for option A!
|More like a baby!|
In other news... The thing you have to admire about the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is the attention to detail and the strict processes that have to be followed at all times - all pretty sensible when you remember what everyone's here for - but there's one thing that makes me chuckle every day... the bit where the keys go missing! The medicine cabinet (medicine cabinet?) is kept locked shut, I'm sure for very good reasons, so it needs to be unlocked whenever something is needed from it. The process for this is as follows:
- Shout 'KEYS'
- Shout 'KEYS' again, only louder
- Ask if anyone knows who's got the keys
- Move to the middle of the unit
- Shout 'KEYS'
- Check pocket
- Find keys
- Announce to everyone that you have found the keys
Finally for today, thanks to everyone who's sent me an e-mail. All of your messages have been so lovely and inspirational and heart-warming. Sorry I've not replied to you - I promise I will. The same goes for all the comments on Facebook and Twitter. I've no idea what these are because I'm only 67 days old, but Mummy and Daddy told me that lots of people have been 'liking' and 'retweeting' things... so erm... thanks!
I've written a rap to keep to keep you smiling... to the tune of Rock DJ...
Me on the high flow
Movin' to the low flow
Poppy's gettin' big
And her belly even more so
Wave your hands if you're on TPN
Can I kick it?
(Yes I can)
The blog's for everybody
I've got the gift
Gonna stick it in the goal
It's time to grow this body!
Lots of love and hugs
Poppy Lola xxx
Thursday, 26 April 2012
|Days in captivity...|
After fifty four days of intensive care I've finally been moved to the HDU (High Dependency Unit). This is like intensive care - it's actually in the same room - only less intensive! I feel ever so pleased with myself. Daddy tried to get me in the incubator next to the window - I think he travels on aeroplanes to much.
Here's my list of achievements in the last three days:
- I've had a bottle... It was only 20 mls but I slurped it down, burped and went to sleep. To be fair, I de-satted a few minutes later but breathing is on my list of 'non-achievements' which comes later.
- I've had another go at missing out the middle man on the feeding front and collecting Mummy's milk directly from the tap (as it were). It was OK but I was very tired, so once I'd had a bit of a taste I went to sleep - not what the gathered crowd was hoping for. I'm not at all worried about this bit - as soon as I latch on to those muffins it's going to take a tank and a tow rope to pull me off.
- I've been titrated. Another new word for the blog and one which sounds great when said with a northern (Yorkshire) accent... tah-treeeh-ted! It means that instead of being fed a tiny amount of milk every hour, I'm being fed more milk less frequently. This is fine except I've now been introduced to a new sensation... HUNGER! Hunger is not nice and it makes me grumpy.
- I've put on a bit of weight. Not much just a bit. I clearly like the TPN feed (my performance enhancing drugs) and since it was taken away my weight gain has slowed. I'm now 3lb 10oz - not much more than last week but still moving in the right direction. The dietitian has been to see me a few times and she's asked the nurses to add something called 'fortifier' to Mummy's milk. Mummy asked the dietitian if there was anything she could do to help, such as eating cakes or chocolate but she was told that she should only be eating a healthy diet - the old five a day stuff - with no treats. Mummy looked ever so disappointed!
- I have a new hat - the old one is now too small for my big head.
- My eyes were tested again and everything was fine. Dad reckons I'm a bit gozzy - this is Scouse for cross-eyed - but I'm not. I just have trouble pointing them both in the same direction all the time. The two things are not the same!
- I haven't needed another blood transfusion and my gases still look OK.
|My belly looks like this...!|
My biggest non-achievement (by far) is still breathing. The thing is, you all take it for granted that your brain is going to send a little message to your diaphragm every few seconds reminding it to contract... and generally speaking it does. My Daddy told me that there have been a few occasions when his brain has neglected this task, normally in the middle of a big speech in front of a lot of people, and when this happens he has to take a few big breaths to recover. This sounds a bit like a de-sat to me and I have them about five or six times a day - only difference is I normally have an audience of just one or two. It's been suggested that this 'doing a Poppy' is some form of attention seeking and it's true that it generally results in a lot of activity, but trust me... I'd rather just keep breathing.
|Head... shoulders... knees and toes...|
I've progressed from C-PAP to high flow to low flow and most of the time I'm being fed oxygen at less than 10% which is really good, but this morning I has a major de-sat and went a sort of bluey grey. This was bad, so I've been upgraded again to high flow. This is OK with me as it means I don't need to put the mask back on (which I hate!). Mummy was with me when it happened so she's a bit worried about me again but I'm fine... just keeping everyone on their toes that's all.
All the talk now is of Warwick. I'm not sure if I've upset someone here or if they need my bed for someone else but they seem very keen to get me into a Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU - or scuba as my Dad calls it!) Once I'm in scuba I can move to Warwick which is where I was born and much closer to home for Mummy and Daddy. The step after that is home - so it's all quite exciting really.
Mummy's brother Rich has been over from Australia this week and the very nice people in Coventry let him come in to see me. He's not really allowed but seeing as he'd travelled 8,456 miles they very sensibly allowed him in. I was glad they did. He's a research chemist so he was able to have an intelligent conversation with Dr Iodine - something which my Dad has failed to do in seven weeks (bless him!). Rich kept asking Mummy what all the numbers meant on my charts but once she'd covered off my weight and my milk intake she started to struggle a bit...
And talking of numbers, my brother Charlie's been in to see me a few times this week too and he's getting very good at reading my monitor. He sat there for about twenty minutes reading my oxygen saturation levels out loud every time they changed - ninety two, eighty eight, eighty four, eighty six, seventy eight, seventy two, sixty four, fifty one, thirty two... BARP! BARP! BARP! I de-satted especially for him and he felt very important!
Charlie has also been growing cress in a propagator at school and is now convinced that babies grow from seed. That's going to be an interesting conversation with Daddy when he gets older!
... I promise!
Lots of love and hugs
Poppy Lola xxx
Saturday, 21 April 2012
My only excuse for not updating my diary for so long is that I still have to rely on Daddy to post the blogs and in fairness to him he's been back in that Zurich place this week. I still don't know where Zurich is but he told me today that he has to go on an aeroplane to get there. Tomorrow he's going to explain what an aeroplane is.
Today he was telling me about KPIs... apparently in his world these are 'Key Performance Indicators'... so I thought I would provide a quick update on my own KPIs:
KPI 1 - Weight
By the time you read this I will have been weighed again (Thursday and Sundays are weigh days) and I'm sure I will have gained a bit more but even so, my weight on Thursday was 3lb and 7oz, or 1.520 kilos. That's my birth weight plus a half so I'm really pleased. I think I might even be beginning to look like a proper baby - that's not the right word but I hope you know what I mean? I look like a bit like a baby, only smaller... instead of looking like a gremlin in a nappy!
|Like a baby... only smaller!!|
KPI 2 - Breathing
This is a tough one. I'm sort of getting the hang of it, slowly. Over the last week I've been cycling (no they don't have me on a bike... you need to move into Special Care before that happens!) Cycling in ICU means swapping between C-PAP and nasal prongs (or high flow). This is all very confusing for Mummy and Daddy as they can't work out the difference between nasal prongs, high flow and low flow. This was further complicated when Mummy spotted that the box delivering 'high flow' was in fact labelled 'low flow'! Apparently this is normal and it is high flow (coming from the low flow box). I imagine when I move to low flow it will be delivered through a box labelled 'no flow'...
My cycling is going well though. The most I've managed on high flow is eight hours, which I did today. I've just gone back on to C-PAP at 8pm this evening but I'm planning to make a big fuss to show how much I don't like having the mask back on my face. I reckon I can do without the mask at all - I just have to convince the Doctors. Leave it with me.
KPI 3 - Haemoglobin
This week I enjoyed my fifth (yes, fifth!) blood transfusion and I think I have now exhausted supplies from my original donor. If I need any more I'll need to be paired up with someone else. Hopefully this won't be needed as my gases are looking much better - speaking less technically... I'm a bit pinker!
I'm also pooing a lot better which is good for getting rid of red blood cells and helping my jaundice. On Wednesday, Mummy was changing me when I suddenly felt the urge to... well you know what I mean. I don't fully understand the meaning of the word 'projectile' yet, but it seemed to get mentioned quite a lot around that time. To make matters worse, when the nurse changed me (or 'did my cares' as we like to say in here!) on Wednesday night I sort of exploded. Listening to the doctors afterwards I think it's something to do with my fortifier - the stuff they add to my milk to make me grow faster. Whatever it was, the effect was stunning. I managed to decorate both the East and South wings of Chez Poppy with a greeny beige emulsion... and it stank!
I'm still on a bit of a cocktail of drugs with every feed. The latest one to be added to the list is potassium. When my Mummy saw this on my sheet she immediately went out and bought twenty bananas which she is now eating at the rate of four a day. It's possible that this will help with my potassium deficiency. It's equally possible that it might contribute to the decoration of the South and West wings... we'll see!
KPI 4 - Happiness
I plan to forage more aggressively next time!
|My favourite photo... ever!|
|Dr Charlie Hufton Jones|
KPI 5 - Head Circumference
|Three small toys discuss the size|
of my head...!
That's the last of the KPI's. Overall I'd say I'm progressing. Nowhere near as quickly as I'd like, but progress is progress. One day soon I might even move from ICU to HDU and then to Special Care... and then home. Until then, it's one small step at a time. Dr Iodine came over to see me this evening and told me that if I was writing my blog tonight I had to tell you all that he's very proud of me. I like Dr Iodine and his passion for the I2S2 trial... and I happy that he's proud of me!
|Does this look like my |
Anyway. Daddy went to pick up his new coupe today and he was very excited. He picked up the keys and just as he was heading off to drive it away the guy in the show room asked if he would be able to get the child seat in the back... FOR HIS GRANDDAUGHTER! To be fair, Daddy took it very well. He just left him... lying there!
|My shoe box...|
Lot of love and hugs as always, and thanks for thinking of me.
Poppy Lola xxx
Saturday, 14 April 2012
I'm doing well. I now weigh 3lb and 3oz, which is still below the average weight of a baby at 32 weeks but this means that I've now put on over half of my birth weight. I'm not exactly 'bonny' (which is a word my Dad taught me to use instead of 'fat' when you're talking about babies) but I don't feel like I'm just skin and bone any more. I'm beginning to feel much stronger and I think this is helping me with my breathing too.
I'm still on C-PAP but I'm now spending longer and longer on high-flow (or 'prongs' as we call it). I much prefer it when I'm not on C-PAP because I don't have to wear the white hat and have the oxygen tube strapped to my face which means that Mum and Dad can see my facial expressions properly. So far my facial expressions have been mostly frowns but sometimes when I have wind it looks as though I'm smiling and everyone gets really excited... grown ups can be so daft.
My longest stint on prongs has been six hours and I'm doing OK. I do get tired still and I normally end my session by de-satting down to 20% or less (sorry, I'm assuming everyone has a level of technical understanding now, so if you're new to the blog I apologise!) The really good news though is that I haven't really needed bagging much at all and I'm recovering from all of my de-sats and Bradys all by myself... with a little help from the nurses of course!
My milk has gone up to 9 mls (!) every hour and I'm managing to keep it all down. My tummy is still a bit swollen but apparently we only need to worry if it's hard... and it's not, it's all soft and squidgy, so that's good as well. Even my jaundice appears to be getting better, so as I said, I'm doing well.
Oh, and one other thing, I had my eyes tested this week. A nice nurse came and put some drops in (which stung a bit!) to make my pupils dilate. Charlie had told me all about this because he has to have it done when he has his eyes checked. They looked into my eyes with a big light and everything seemed to be OK but I think I'm having another check next week.
On the day my eyes were being tested they put a sticker on my incubator to remind the nurses that I was having drops. This sticker joined the one with my name and prisoner number on, the one that says I'm in the I2S2 clinical trial (the iodine one!), the one that says I'm in the Dove clinical trial (I've not mentioned this one before but it involves my poo being taken away for analysis!), and the one that says Mummy brings her own blankets in! There are more stickers on my incubator than on a middle aged German's Campervan!
Have you noticed how many sentences in this diary start with the phrase 'Dad thought it would be funny'? Well, guess what? Dad thought it would be funny to add another sticker and the only one he had was his National Trust Car Park sticker, so I'm now the most totally middle class baby in here! Thanks Dad!
I'm not sure if this is going to work or not but yesterday I had the hiccoughs for a while and Dad took a little video of me. It's nothing special, just me in my plastic box having a good hiccoughing session but for those of you reading my blog I thought it would be good chance for you to see me in the flesh as it were. Sorry if it doesn't work... I'll get on to the IT help desk first thing in the morning!
I suppose you're wondering why this diary entry is called 'Mum and Dad get told off'? Well, like I said at the start, it's been a strange week, which came to a funny conclusion yesterday when Mummy and Daddy were taken away for a 'chat' with a lady who looked very important. And you'll never guess what the chat was about... MY BLOG!! Mummy and Daddy have had an official talking to!
All I'm going to say at this point is what I said right at the very beginning of my blog... This Diary is for everyone who's been praying for me, for everyone who's been crossing their fingers for me, for everyone who's been worrying about me and my Mummy and Daddy, and Charlie and Millie. I've tried to make it honest and funny, and I've tried to give you all a sense of what's happening here in Coventry NICU. I hope that I've managed to communicate how fabulous the staff are that work here and what an incredible job they do, but as in all walks of life, things don't always work perfectly, and part of the joy of writing this has been laughing at the things that have occasionally gone wrong. I really can't see why anyone would have been upset or offended by anything I've written but if they have been then of course I'm sorry.
I'm only six weeks old... give me a break!
Lots of love and hugs and kisses!
Tuesday, 10 April 2012
Let's begin with the good news... and there's plenty of it! Since going on to TPN (the total parentatal nutrition stuff that goes into my arm through the long line) I've really been piling on the pounds. Well, piling on one pound to be precise! But get this... I now weigh over three pounds! I'm HUGE! It feels so much better to have a bit of flesh on my little frame. It seems to make everything so much easier.
|Look at that 'long line'!|
I cried when that came out!
As soon as the line was out the Doctor (who I shall now not name as she's probably reading this!) announced that I was going to have another blood transfusion so I was going to need another cannula putting in! Brilliant! I've lost count of the number of blood transfusions I've had now... I think it's five... but the amazing thing is, they're all from the same person. Don't ask. I've no idea how it works, but there's someone out there to whom I owe my life. All they did was trot into a blood donation centre and donate a pint of blood and I've been sucking it up for five weeks. I wish they knew! If you give blood, I'm very happy for you to assume that it's yours I'm using. This should make you feel good about yourself... and you deserve to!
To be honest, I don't really know what's going on with all this jaundice/bilirubin/red blood cell malarkey. I know that the bilirubin light doesn't work any more because I'm too old... this is the only thing in the world that I'm too old for! There's been talk of liver drugs and diuretics and transfusions and all sorts of stuff, but I've lost track of what's supposed to be wrong with me and what they're all doing about it, so for now it's another blood transfusion and hope for the best... more titivation! For what it's worth, I think I just need to shit more. So I'll be giving that my best shot over the next few days.
Dad was reading the Times at the weekend and there was an article about jaundice in new-born babies. It was a bit scary so he threw the paper away before Mum could read it (not sure if this was a good tactic!) but before he did he copied this bit (below). And if you read it, you will see that there's a machine called a 'bilirubinometer' which should be used at 'every opportunity'. Now I wouldn't know a bilirubinometer if I fell over one. Never seen one. Which is a bit odd given that I would be awarded the 'Baby in Most Need of a Bilirubinometer' at the National Jaundice Awards... if they existed... which they don't!
Dad turned up on Bank Holiday Monday - when there was something of a holiday mood on the ward - with the Times under his arm, and demanded to know why I'd not been put on a bilirubinometer! He sounded dead knowledgeable and important. Unfortunately no one on the ward had ever heard of a bilirubinometer but like my dad they all thought it was a great word and everyone agreed that the journalist had done a great job of making it up!
Right, that was a bit of a tangent even for me. Where was I? Oh yes, I'm gaining weight nicely and I suppose my breathing is beginning to improve too. I'm now coming off the C-PAP two times a day and just using the nasal prongs. With these, I'm more or less breathing for myself but there's a little puff of oxygen under pressure on every breath just to encourage me. Today I managed to do two five hour sessions just on the nasal prongs! My Dad has been teaching me the importance of humility but sod it... I was brilliant! I reckon I might be able to leave that C-PAP thing behind completely soon and who knows, maybe even move out of intensive care and into HDU (High Dependency Unit). I've not mentioned this before because I though it was tempting fate but I'm giving myself two weeks max to get out of here!
Millie came in to see me again with Dad, who put his phone inside my incubator and took Millie's photo from where I was lying. The result is a Poppy Lola's Eye view of what it looks like from here. If you look at this photo and concentrate for a minute you can sort of imagine that you're me. So far, this is more or less all I've seen... well a series of different faces, but you know what I mean.
Mummy and Daddy often talk about the world outside. I can't wait to visit all the places they talk about when they're here, especially IKEA, Starbucks and that bloody hospital car park (which they talk about a lot!) The world sounds like such an amazing place!
|Vertical - a whole new perspective!|
- I'm vertical
- I only have prongs (no C-Pap!)
- You can see my luxuriant head of hair
- You can't see any other wires or tubes
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar crawled into shot
Hopefully, you'll have sensed my optimism today? I've missed out a few scary moments - you don't need to know all of the details all the time. On balance I'd say I'm moving in the right direction and I'm still thinking of my release date on 8th June. Who knows though, with good behaviour I might be out of here sooner!
Lots of love and hugs!
Poppy Lola xxx
Footnote: It appears, that the 'bilirubinometer' does in fact exist and has it's own entry in Wikipedia. Apologies are therefore due to the Times journalist... who probably got his information from Wikipedia anyway!
Friday, 6 April 2012
It was 1st March. I remember the date because it was the day after 29th February and apparently they don't come round too often. I was tucked up in Mummy's womb listening to Daddy trying to get Mummy to propose... apparently it's OK for the girls to ask once every four years. Mum stuck to her guns though and refused to pop the question so I resigned myself to the fact that I'd be born out of wedlock. I had no idea that it would be so soon though.
Poor Charlie had something call Chicken Pox which had kept him off school so mum had been off work for a few days taking care of him. He was just coming to the end of it so wasn't in too bad shape.
Mummy's friend Katrina came round for a coffee in the morning (and a hot cross bun!). She stayed for an hour or so and then after she left Mummy and Charlie were going to take a walk to the shop. I knew there was something wrong before Mummy did. It was like being in a bath and someone pulling out the plug. Just as Mummy opened the front door she felt a funny, warm sensation down her leg. I knew where it was coming from. Mummy tried to remain calm but after a few minutes, with no sign of it stopping, she phoned Warwick hospital for some advice. They told Mummy to get to the hospital as soon as possible. I agreed!
But what to do with Charlie? Mummy phoned her friend Kate who works from home to see if she could come and sit with Charlie. Kate didn't answer but called back to see who had called her. As soon as Mummy told her that her waters had broken she was round to the house in a flash. She banned Mummy from driving herself to the hospital and insisted on taking her. Luckily, Lynda the cleaner was at the house so Kate drove Mummy to hospital and Lynda stayed a bit longer than usual and doubled up as Charlie's entertainer for an hour.
In the meantime, Mummy had telephoned Daddy and Grandma to let them know what was going on. Daddy was working at Kuoni head office in Dorking. He was in a meeting when Mummy phoned him so he ignored her call! When mummy called straight back he figured there might be something wrong so this time he answered. Mummy thought she was sounding calm but later feedback suggested otherwise. Good news though, Daddy was on his way!
Mummy asked Grandma if she could come down from Yorkshire to look after Charlie just in case anything happened. Grandma's first job was to locate Grandad who was out working on a gardening job somewhere near Selby!
Kate drove me and Mummy to Warwick hospital and went with us to the labour ward. She was so calm, Mummy was in good hands! Kate stayed with Mummy for half an hour and then went to get Charlie who then had tea at Thomas' house and had a great afternoon playing with Thomas and his little brother William.
In the meantime, Mummy was given a check over at the hospital and told that everything looked fine. From my position it was clear that everything wasn't fine and I knew that my time in the cosy womb was nearly up... I just had to find my way out! Even so, I heard them tell Mummy that her cervix was still closed (I'd soon fix that!) and that she would have to stay in hospital for 48 hours to be monitored. She also had to have a scan the next day to see to what extent her waters had broken.
None of this was going down well with Mummy - 48 hours in hospital! What a pain!
Shortly after Mummy had been checked over, Daddy turned up. He'd gunned it round the M25 and up the M40 (obviously staying well within the national speed limits!) It was good to hear Daddy's voice and good to know that he'd made it in time. I knew what was coming next and Mummy was going to need Daddy by her side if my plan worked!
Mummy and Daddy chatted for a bit and came up with a list of names for me, in the event that I was going to turn up early. Now Mummy and Daddy are not very good on agreeing names. My poor brother Charlie wasn't named at all until a week after he was born even though on that occasion they had a full nine months to make up their minds! Anyway, the naming process involved each of them coming up with a name for each letter of the alphabet. You wouldn't believe some of the names that made the shortlist...
While they were having this conversation I was desperately trying to let them know that time was up. I was kicking for an exit but apart from Mummy telling Daddy that I felt 'a bit low down', I wasn't getting my message over. To make matters worse, at this point Mummy sent Daddy off to get her a newspaper and some magazines to keep her occupied during her stay in hospital. It suddenly looked as though I was going to have make my move without Dad around!
There's no nice way of saying this, so here goes.... Whilst Daddy was away buying newspapers, Mummy went to the toilet. It was at this point that my hard work began to pay off and she sensed that not everything was quite as it should be. Let's just say Mummy had a bit of a rummage and felt something strange. Little did she know at that point but I'd finally made a break through. Literally. The 'strange something' she could feel was my left foot! And now that I was through I wasn't planning on hanging around!
Mummy got back to her bed and rang for a nurse. She told the nurse that she thought I might be coming out but the nurse took a quick look and couldn't see anything. At this point Daddy turned back up just as Mummy was telling the nurse to have a closer look. Daddy said later that the moment the nurse saw my foot, her face changed to panic in an instant and she nearly knocked him over trying to get to the big red button at the top of the bed! Finally I'd managed to get my point across... I was coming out and nothing was going to stop me!
In a flash Mummy was swarmed all over by nurses, doctors and anyone else who could get in on the act. Mummy was wheeled into a delivery room. I wasn't wasting this time... between the button being pushed and arriving in the delivery room I'd managed to wiggle my right foot out and anyone who cared to take a look (which my dad did) could see my knees beginning to appear!
Daddy counted a total of 16 staff in the room at this point and realised that we were dealing with some serious shit. Mummy was also in a bit of a flap now. Surely her baby wasn't arriving yet? She wouldn't be cooked enough! Mummy was scared and Daddy was heading in the scared direction.
One of the nurses rigged Mummy up to a monitor and they found my heartbeat. This made Mummy feel a little bit better but she was still very nervous. Daddy was relatively calm and telling Mummy not to worry.
Mummy wasn't having any contractions or anything, it was all a bit weird. The doctors explained that they were going to deliver me right away (or at least as soon as the Senior Consultant and Head Midwife arrived). An incubator was brought into the delivery room along with enough medical kit to open a small field hospital. A nice Doctor was explaining to Mummy and Daddy that when I came out I would need a lot of attention and then, worse still I would have to be taken immediately by a special ambulance to another hospital because Warwick wasn't equipped to look after me.
The doctors didn't know at this point where I would end up, it was a question of which hospital had space for me.
I was desperate to get out but someone was going to have to grab my legs and pull. I'd managed to wriggle as far as my waist but I was going to need some help with my head! At this point the Senior Consultant arrived. He was about 75 with swept back long grey hair. He was carrying the Telegraph under one arm and wearing a Cotswold tweed check shirt. He looked for all the world like he was on his way to a horse auction!
Then another man arrived in the room. This one was dressed top to toe in tight Lycra cycling gear with a bunch of keys on a bunny rabbit keyring attached to his belt. Daddy asked him if he was the entertainer... and was ignored! Without anyone saying another word the cyclist got down to the sharp end, grabbed my legs (which were now turning blue!) and started to pull! Turns out he was the Senior Midwife! He'd just cycled home when his bleeper went off so he came straight back!
Mummy was told to push, even though she had no inclination to do so, and after two pushes and a couple of 'aargghs' from Mum (in quite a loud voice by the way!) I was pulled out, popped into a plastic bag, messed about with, connected to tubes and wires, and put in an incubator.
I was out! If I had known then what I know now, maybe I would have waited a bit longer but at the time I was just happy to be here. Poor Mummy was out of action for a bit - she still had a placenta to get rid of - but Daddy came over to see me. He'd been really good up to this point but he took one look at me and started crying. I would soon learn that this was to become the standard response to meeting me for the first time!
I was weighed and thankfully it was good news. I was a bit of a porker for my age coming in at just over a kilo. Mum and Dad were told that this would help me in my next hours, days and weeks.
Mum and Dad were then told that I would be moved to Walsgrave hospital in Coventry. This was good news as it was the closest hospital to them with a neonatal unit.
And that's where I am! Mum and Dad were given one last look at me in the middle of my life support unit. I must have looked so tiny and out of place in the middle of all that machinery! I didn't like saying goodbye to them. I sort of knew even then that the next few weeks were going to be tough and I wanted them close!
Mum had a cry when she said goodbye and I heard Dad say that it would help if they sent me off with a name. 'Poppy' said Mum without hesitation. 'Lola' said Dad.
'Popy Lola' they both said to the Doctors, and so my name was written on the card and attached to the incubator.
Poppy Lola - 1st March 2012