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[Post Natal Care Week 1] Thursday 24th June
After getting into our room at 3pm last night I went to sleep instantly. We were woken up at 7.30am by the breakfast tray lady. Breakfast was the same as the previous morning, Weetbix, bread and jam, orange juice and a cup of tea. At 8.15am the phone rings and it's the neonatal unit asking where we are as they've been waiting for us for the 8am feed. This was the first we knew about it, so we high tailed it downstairs but by the time we got there they said they couldn't wait and had already feed her. This made me feel a bit guilty, but no one had told us. So thoughout the day we had to visit the neonatal ward every three hours to try breastfeeding. Majandra wouldn't have a bar of it and would just fall asleep. We just tried again at 6pm and she seemed to want to feed, but she still wouldn't really suck. So because she seems like she's not interested at the moment we're just going to go back at 8.30am tomorrow. It's best for me to get some sleep as I'm still exhausted. I had a brief lay down at 4pm today and when I got up I felt so stiff and sore. I feel like I've been hit by a truck. All my muscles that I used last night and the positions I was in have caught up with me.
[Post Natal Care Week 1] Friday 25th June
Received a call at about 2pm to say that they had moved Majandra to a new neo-natal unit called Basics, which is an overflow ward. We headed down there at 2.30pm for feeding time. Where they have moved her seems to be in some once disused area that they have quickly thrown together just this morning. I call it "The Basement". It was so cold in there with airconditioning going. The only heating they seemed to have was some electric room heater (but this wasn't going). The proper neo-natal ward is always so hot as the babies need the high temperature. I felt Majandras skin and it was quite cold, so I immediately freaked out and put a hat on her. We discovered that the neo-natal ward had given us a nice present of some knitted hats and booties. The nurses all seemed confused and didn't even have enough nursing pillows or general supplies. This freaked me out even more and all I could imagine was that something bad ws going to happen. DH was happily clucking over Maj and I was fighting back the tears. Wew left 'The Basement' and went outside where I finally did burst into tears. Its not fare that I can't see or have my baby rooming in with me. I went to a physio session this morning and every other new mum had her baby with her except for me. I feel like she's not mine and I can't bond with her. I feel like I have given birth to nothing. I'm very upset today, it also doesn't help that I'm extremely sore downstairs today as well. One of the midwives did a check and she said that it is so bruised that it is black, so that explains why I can barely walk. It has only been less that two days since she was born but it feels like I've been here for an eternity.
[Post Natal Care Week 1] Saturday 26th June
Woken up at 7.20 by the woman changing the water jug. Got out of bed straight away to get dressed ready to go down for the 8.30 feed straight after breakfast. DH broke my bed last night and the back rest we no longer go up and down. He said it wasn't him, but I think it was as he's always randomly pressing buttons (which he was doing at the time it broke). So that means no breakfast in bed. We set our alarms to express at 1.30 and 4.30am last night and each time DH would take the milk straight downstairs to NNW so that they could use the colostrum for Majandra's nightly feeds. Apparently they had their dodgy electric heater going to warm the room. I'm sure that heater is a OH&S fire nightmare. My weird half a cold returned last night, my throat was a bit funny and my nose became blocked and also snuffly. So we'd get up at say 1.30, then get back into bed around 2.00. I'd sniff and carry on for another 20 mins before getting so sleep and the alarm would go off again in two hours. So we probably got about five hours of broken sleep last night. I guess it's just like caring/feeding your newborn, except that mine isn't here. Good news is that I expressed well and managed about 15 mls each time. By breasts are hard as rocks today, so my milk must be coming any time now. I had to have some pain killers at 5am as my cut was hurting me too much. They give two panadol and a voltaren, which is an anti inflamitory. I wasn't bothering wih the tablets at first, but the midwife said yesterday that I'm crazy to let the pian build up so much. I didn't know that the Voltaren was and anti-inflamatory, if I had then I definately would have had more of these yesterday as I'm so swollen down there.
[Post Natal Care Week 1] Sunday 27th June
After expressing at midnight and then again at 4am, it was hard to get up at 6.45 to go down to the hospital. There was a great, young nurse rostered on this morning. She really helped with the positioning for breastfeeding and also with the technique. So at the 11.30am feed, Majandra feed for about ten minutes. This was the first time that she has stayed attached and actually got into a good sucking rhythm. It was very encouraging. At 3.30pm we had a bathing lesson. It was Majandra's first bath. A nurse showed us what to do and we both took turns in bathing her. She screamed and carried on a bit at first, but then when her body started floating, I think she realised that it wasn't that bad. I still don't have a lot of confidence when I'm handling and dressing her. I'm afraid that she'll break. DH has been doing the majority of it as I'm been quite sore and haven't wanted to move around much. I definately have to start her handling a bit more. In between hospital visits I had a sleep for about an hour each time. I'm a total wreck from all the travelling and I think I'm about to crack. People are also pressuring us all the time to come up and visit. DH thinks it's okay for them to pop around, he doesn't understand that I went through labour only a few days ago and now I have to handle being apart from my baby, travelling, expressing milk all night and getting no sleep. I burst into tears today as the inlaws wanted to come around. It's all too much. At the last feed tonight the nurse recommended only expressing once during the night and giving the 7.30am feed a miss. She said that it would also give Majandra a break as well. We're going to take her advice and get some sleep tonight.
[Post Natal Care Week 1] Monday 28th June
We took the nurses advise last night and didn't go to the 7.30am feed. Instead we opted for a sleep in, which was lucky as the nurse said that Majandra had been demanding at 7am. So if we had gone ther then they may have already fed her. We only planned to wake up once during the night at 1am to express. But I woke up a 7.15am with sore, heavy breasts that had been leaking onto my pyjamas as I'd slept. So I had to express again. At each hospital visit today I was bursting with milk and could not wait to express. I'm now expressing about 30ml from each breast. Only a day or two ago it was 15ml per breast. Majandra had a small suckle for about four minutes at the 11.30am feed this morning. They had increased her milk to 40mls per feed last night and this morning they've increased it to 50mls. It seems like quite a lot, and her stomach is a big, bloated ball after the feed. She lost her clamped umbilical cord today. The nurse asked us if we wanted to keep it....uh...no thanks.
[Post Natal Care Week 1] Tuesday 29th June
We happened to be at the 8am feed this morning when the doctor came by doing his rounds. He was a great guy and actually had a personality, not like some of the others that have come by. We also took the time to explain what was happening with Majandra. They were concerned about her size and were wondering if there was a medical reason why she was so small. So he asked me if I smoked, was healthy during the pregnacy etc and wanted to know my birth weight. He then said that it was probably just because we were small as her parents. He examined her and said that she was pump and healthy. He also said that it's now up to her to gain some weight and feed well, but she will probably be able to go home in a week. This puts me in a bit more positive frame of mind, I think I'll be able to cope with another week without her. She had two good feeds today, one for about ten minutes. I expressed about 10 mls less than normal, so I think that she must have feed about that amount. When we came back for the next feed she had spilt all over her blankets and bedding, so she must've had too much. Which was good because it meant that she did have a good breast feed. My episiotomy wound is feeling much better today, I think some of the swelling has gone down as I can walk a bit better. We went to a second hand baby shop today and got a Jolly Jumper and some baby clothes. It was good to get out and have a bit of a break, but it also made me a bit tired. There were more tears from me tonight as I am still feeling pressured by people who want to visit. I only have about two hours to myself in the evening, this time is so precious and I use it to unwind and do my own thing. I feel that this is being taken away from me if I have visitors. I'm just not ready.
[Post Natal Care Week 2] Thursday 1st July
Majandra is now a week old. It seems like we have been travelling to the hospital for weeks and weeks, not just a few days. Over the past few days her feeding has improved. She now feeds for about 8 - 11 minutes at most feedings. DH got a nasty surprise tonight. He was changing her nappy when there was suddenly an eruption and projectile, spray shit blew across the room. It went all over her cot, bedding and the floor. It somehow completely missed DH, I'm not sure how. So there is a lesson to always keep the bum covered. Apparently when they're suddenly expose to cool air, it gets their bowels etc moving. She's now receiving 65 mls of milk at each feeding. Her stomach swells up like a big balloon and looks ridiculous. The doctors said that they need to give her this much not only to gain weight, but to gain the strength to feed. I guess this makes sense, but I'm worried about the stain that it would be putting onto her organs. It reminds me of the geese that they pump with food through a tube so that they're liver enlarges. Apparently it's some delicasey...cruel and disgusting is what it is. We finished up a few minutes earlier than normal at tonights feed, I was excited on the way home as it meant a bit of extra sleep. Sophie our Jack Russell has been feeling a bit poorly today, she's been wheezing and shivering. I thought that she must have caught a cold from spending a few nights outside whilst I was at the hospital in labour. If it didn't clear up in the next day then I was going to take her to the vet. When I got home tonight I took her into the garden for a wee. To get to the garden you have to walk up a small 40 degree ramp. She very slowly walked up and dropped her bum for a wee. She didn't get back up very quickly and suddenly she kheeled over backwards and rolled down the ramp. I picked her up and her body was limp and lifeless. She slowly came to as I ran to the backdoor yelling for DH. Fearing the worst we took her immediately to the Emergency Vet Clinic. She sparked up a bit once we got there but we still saw the vet about it. He said it was probably a virus and should clear up in a few days. Ching Ching, $125 later. But I don't mind spending the money, it's better than risking her life. So I never got my early night, I ended up in bed at about 11pm. I have a baby in hospital and a dog rushed to emergency....who have I pissed off to get such bad luck.
[Post Natal Care Week 2] Friday 2nd July
I expressed 70ml this morning. That's an all time record. But I'm also leaking like crazy, I'm going through bras and breast pads like nobodys business. Luckily I'm using cloth breast pads. Majandra fed for 11 minutes this afternoon. She's gained 75 grams in the past two days, but is still weighing 100 grams less than her birth weight. Not much else to report.
[Post Natal Care Week 2] Saturday 3rd July
Feeds increased to 75 mls.
[Post Natal Care Week 2] Tuesday 6th July
It didn't take me too long to loose the plot over having to go to the hosptial four times a day by myself. Parking is my main problem...followed closely by tiredness. I have to get up at 6.50am each morning, I quickly scoff some breakfast and leave for the hospital at 7.20am...unshowered, half asleep, red eyed and boofy haired. Parking is no problem at this time. I get back home at around 9.30am and have enough time to have a drink and a snack and jump in the shower. I leave again at 11am. I can't get a carpark at this hour as I'm unable to parellel park, so I have to park in the back streets which is a 15 minute walk. After my 15 minute walk back to the car and the drive home, I only have an hour to have lunch before I leave again at 3pm. Today I found a carpark that I could drive forward into, I needed to reverse back a bit so that I wasn't too close to the car in front. Unfortunately I can't handle the manual car very well. It was on a download slope and I tried twice to reverse back but each time I only moved forward to the car in front. I rang up DH in tears that I was about to hit the car, he said to get out and see how much room was between the cars. I said that I would never be able to get out, but the car in front should. So I left the car there and prayed that by the time I got out of the hospital the car would be gone...which it was. But I had another meltdown when I got back to the car. I'm tired, can't find a carpark and can't do this on my own. Today was also a complete right off as I had two interfering nurses who were roughly shoving Majandra on the breast. She'd get so upset, use all her energy crying and then not feed. They gave me a nipple shield to use and that did help to get her feeding, but it reminds me of a bottle so I'm hesitant to use it too much.
[Post Natal Care Week 2] Wednesday 7th July
She had a big 15 minute feed this morning with no fuss. I was left alone to do it by myself and I managed nicely. However at the next feed she was cranky as anything and was just crying and wouldn't settle. She she only had a few sucks. I was there for the doctors rounds, a different, older doctor. He said to cut her top ups in half after a breastfeed so that she's hungry and demanding. He saw that she will be term in another week, so hopefully that means they might look at sending her home in the next two weeks. Sophie is still very sick, I'm going to take her back to the vet again tomorrow for xrays as she's not improving and the wheezing seems to be worse. This is also adding to my stress.
[Post Natal Care Week 3] Friday 9th July
As soon as I woke up at 6.30am this morning to go to the hospital I burst into tears when I remembered what had happened yesterday. I didn't think I could survive the day at the hospital, but somehow I did. Everytime I returned home though I became very upset again. I would look at the places where she should be and wonder why she wasn't there to greet me as I returned home. I keep thinking that I can see out of the corner of my eye and I'll look around and wonder why she isn't sitting in her favourite spots or following me around. I went to the hospital with puffy, red rimmed eyes. Jackie one of the good nurses was there so I thought I should ask her about the bottle situation. She agreed that given bottles would get us out of there sooner and she didn't think that it would interfer with breastfeeding, so we decided to give her bottle top ups and bottles through the night. She also said that she'd only give her 40ml top ups to try and get her to demand today so that the breastfeeding might improve. Unfortunately she didn't demand at all, but we managed to have a good 10 minute breastfeed at 8am and 4pm.
[Post Natal Care Week 3. Rooming In Day 1] Thursday 15th July
I arrived at the hospital at 7.15am this morning so that I could snaffle an all day carpark. I gave Majandra a bath by myself as DH went to work, but I made the nurse stand and watch incase I accidentally drowned her. I then sat around reading, had a cake and drink at the cafe and generally killed some time. The influx of babies has subsided so they were closing the overflow bay on level four and moving the babies back downstairs to the main NNU. So at 1pm we all moved downstairs. At 2pm Majandra started demanding so I gave her a brief breastfeed. I then went and had some lunch in the parents room. At 3pm my rooming in room was ready. By this time Majandra was demanding again, so as soon as I walked into the room I gave her a big breastfeed. The room was just like a hotel room with a double bed (extra comfy) and TV. Outside the room is a kitchen area and bathroom which is shared with the room next door. I watched some TV shows on the laptop until Callan arrived with dinner at 6.40pm. As there was nothing much to do and I was already delusional we went to bed early. We still have to get up for the four hour feeds thoughout the night. They've told us to stick to a four hour limit if she hasn't been demanding, otherwise she'll loose weight etc.
[Post Natal Care Week 3. Rooming In Day 2] Friday 16th July
What a night, I think we both achieved about four hours sleep. Majandra wouldn't seem to settle during the night, even though she had been a silent, sleeping angel all through the day. My theory is that she doesn't like the dark as she is used to the constant light of the hospital nursery. DH jus thinks that she's hungry all the time. So she was making a fuss and a lot of noise all night. In the end we put the light on and I slept with my shirt over my face. We had to wake her every four hours for a feed and the whole process took about 40 minutes each time. So by the time we were done, we had to get up again in three hours.
[Post Natal Care Week 3. Taking Majandra Home] Saturday 17th July
Had about an hours more sleep last night than the night before, I think we managed about five hours. Majandra wasn't settling very well at one point around 4pm, so DH got up to try to put her to sleep. Apparently he gave her a 40ml bottle feed that I was unaware of as I'd fallen back to sleep. Bottles are good for something after all! We were called into the NNU at about 10am. The peadeatrician, Lisa was there to check Majandra. She was the same paedeatrician that attended Majandra at the birth. She said that Majandra was a little bit jaundice and shouldn't be after three weeks of age. So they took a blood and urine sample to test to see if there is anything wrong. We went back to our room to wait whilst they tried to collect the urine sample. As Majandra gained 120 grams at last night's weigh, they're happy for her to go home today.
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