Here is the final part of my By A NICU Daddy series. This one is a little shorter following on from Jack’s discharge from the NICU on 14th February 2016 – best Valentine’s Day gift ever!
“On the 14th February Jack got his discharge. As always with hospitals these things take a lot longer than entirely necessary and we had to wait for a bit. Afterwards we did a walk around with Jack, and visited all of the nurses and staff that looked after him throughout his stay. They were all pleased to hear he was fit to leave, and made us promise that we would periodically bring him back in for visits! It was with mixed emotions that we left the hospital. Happiness that we finally get to take our precious little boy home, and nervousness that we’re taking our little boy home! How is he going to cope with the pets? How are they going to cope with him? What are we going to do? Can we cope? When we got home we found some of our worries had been unfounded, the dog fell instantly in love with him, and is always by his side (mother permitting) and the cat tolerates him from afar.
Moving on to his feeding, I touched on this earlier, but didn’t really explain myself. He had been an absolute nightmare to feed. Some bottles taking up to 2 hours to finish, with screaming tantrums in the middle, and constant throwing up, not little possets, but huge white waterfalls of milk coming out of his mouth and nose. This happens two to five times a day depending on how lucky we’ve been. It turns out that he couldn’t handle frozen then thawed breast milk! Poor boy, he also didn’t gain enough weight on Nutriprem 2 and was moved onto Infatrini, which is a high calorie formula for low birth weight, and slow growing babies. This has (touch wood) all but finished now. We get the occasional puke but that is mainly down to something he’s done, like biting too much food off, or not burping after a bottle then rolling around like a baby possessed on the floor!
In the last 10 months since he’s been a home we’ve had the trouble with feeding which has been an absolute nightmare but we’ve also bought another larger caravan, as the last one was too small for us all.
The second time we went away, he’d just had his flu jab, and he had an incredibly high temperature (103 degrees F or 39.4 degrees C) we were locked in the site, as they put the barriers down at night, so there’s no chance we could have driven him to hospital. We undressed him, and dosed him up with Neurofen Baby (he seems to hate Calpol!) By the morning, his temperature had dropped considerably to about 99 deg F or 37.2 deg C, so we were a lot happier with that. He doesn’t complain, as I’ve mentioned before, but did seem a bit lethargic that weekend.
We’ve (I’ve) bought him a forward facing car seat, which he much prefers, after the old baby seat got outgrown (he looked like he was sitting in a small bucket by the end of it) I had a choice between an OMP racing seat, or a Recaro racing seat. I chose the Recaro one, due to the fact its got head side support wings like a NASCAR seat!!!”
Hope you enjoyed hearing from the father’s perspective. I think sometimes that spouses get overlooked in this kind of situation because so much relates to the Mother’s body. Pre-eclampsia and HELLP was happening to me and the doctors were focussed on my health pre- during and post-birth as well as getting Jack over to the NICU. Then it was all about getting me to produce milk and have kangaroo care to stimulate milk production etc. Poor Andy had to stand by and watch everything happen and repeatedly gave up the chance to hold our son so I could get that valuable bonding time, not only for milk production but because he knew that my body was feeling empty and lost.
I’ve blogged about this before and Derby NICU did a brilliant job of making Jack’s daddy feel as included as possible by changing nappies and giving him the opportunity to learn how to do the tube feeds. Thanks to the staff there for that. Please visit the FOBU website for more information on how to donate to our local NICU.
Massive thanks to my husband Andy for writing these blogs, I know it was difficult, but I thank you. Love you Andrew xxx
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