Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Control, Trust And Bonding.

One of the worst things about Smidge being born so small was having to wait so long to be a Mum to her. Waiting like that, it wasn't a good thing for me, it wasn't a good thing for Smidge and it wasn't good for the teams who looked after her, let me explain why.

When she was born tiny and sick, the instinct was that I wanted to protect her, Yet at the same time as wanting this, I knew  the sort of protection I could offer was about as useful as a broken umbrella in torrential rain.

So imagine there was a downpour  and a team of people came running with the biggest and most weather proof kind of umbrella ever ( I'm thinking  ovaltine light  here) You'd be pretty pleased right?

You wouldn't want to snatch the umbrella away from them and tell them that they are doing it all wrong, that you have googled umbrella putting up styles and are pretty sure that the technique they used was open to questioning, would you?

No of course you wouldn't, not unless of course you were a little bit upset that somebody went and did something that you wish you'd done, like got a medical degree for example.

And that's how I was in there,back then in the NICU. Upset, scared and untrusting.

I didn't want to admit it, mind you, didn't want to be seen as not coping.What if they decided I was too messed up to look after her?  that is If and when looking after her became an actual possibility. 

But these feelings I had, they wouldn't just slip quietly in to the background. The need to be a Mum, to nurture, to have control, wasn't going to just dissolve in to complete nothingness like it didn't matter.

So every time a doctor or a nurse stepped in to help Smidge,I felt sort of numb. 

And this numbness that came day after day after day, It chipped away at my maternal being. And every time I lost a part of that, I think I must have felt that little bit more removed,that little bit more shut out, not needed. 

The sense of being removed like that, It wasn't just about being scared. It was about being detached from that instinctual need, the one that drives the desire to connect, to have, to hold.

And when you let go of those things, because you have to, all that you have left to connect you to that child actually, is the fear, the concern, the worry.

So could I put my trust in to the doctors looking after her? Could I jump under their umbrella and be protected from the storm?

No I could not. 

Because in the absence of  cuddles, of contact and of care, The fear was all that was left.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Breastfeeding A Twenty Five Weeker.

There's not many things that I'm proud about when it comes to how I dealt with /am dealing with the whole NICU experience.

Three months in intensive care is a long time, it's a very stressful place and one can only sustain one's good manners, gratitude and grace for so long.

However, if there is one thing I am secretly just a tiny bit proud of, One thing I look back on and think 'I didn't make a complete pigs ear of that ', it's leaving the NICU breast feeding a baby born at 25 weeks gestation.

Smidge finally started to take from the breast at around fifteen weeks of age, weighing four and half pounds at the time, but until then I was a slave to the breast pump. Imagine having your boobs yanked at by hissing green box every three hours, day and night for fifteen weeks! 

The Great Green Mean Machine

Luckily I'd had a week on labour ward leading up to delivery which gave me plenty of time to think about weather I would like to express or not. 
As it turned out, expressing milk was pretty much all I could do because you see, my baby she didn't want be touched and she didn't want to be held. She frowned upon stroking and as for rocking, well, at best it was considered GBH and at worst attempted murder.

Because I'd breast fed before, my milk flow was plentiful and, to be honest, if I'd have had to work half as hard as some of the first time Mum's I met, I'm not sure I would have been able to keep it up.

I was also very fortunate to have the support of One-day Hubby, which just makes a MaSsIvE difference in these situations.

Ironically, despite my pumping for Britain and managing to stock two freezers full to the brim, Smidge was largely disinterested in my milky goodness.

Much preferring the TPN drip feed, she would literally vomit green bile if you so much as mentioned real food.

Getting Smidge to tolerate Milk through a nasal gastric tube was a long and turbulent process with many, many set backs. Establishing real and actual breast feeding was a whole new challenge and seemed a million miles away at times.

Still, I'll never forget the first time she was put to the breast, rooting around wanting me! Needing me! Me I tell you! Me!

Ahem...excuse me nurse..but would you mind removing those wires and tubes, I've got myself a 'newborn' baby!

*Beams with Pride*

Initially, Smidge's attempts at suckling had to be managed very carefully.It was a real balancing act trying to make sure she didn't burn more calories than she gained trying to get her grub, but it the end we worked out together and Smidge carried on breast feeding until she was a little over a year old.

Was it hard work getting to that point? Yes.

Do I get slightly annoyed at Mother's who say they wanted to breastfeed their term babies but their baby 'wasn't interested?' Er yes.

Would I do it all over again if I had to? Absolutely and a hundred percent yes.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Mad Blog Awards.. What Are You Trying To Say? That I Have A Real Baby?

Okay, so you might have noticed that lately I've been talking a bit lot about the Mad Blog Awards and how Diary Of A Premmy Mum has flukilly wangled a place in the finals.

Well nobody was more chuffed about this than me but do you know what amazed me further still? It was being placed in the category of Best Mad Baby Blog.

Now what I'm going to say next may come as a surprise, but I never really thought of Diary Of A Premmy Mum as being a Baby Blog at all.

Of course, now, looking from the outside in, I can see that this is, in fact, a blog about a baby, that Smidge does indeed suitably fit in to that category, the category that describes living small people,infant like in nature, AKA *babies* 

So why does it somehow feel strange? Is it because...

She was a dream, a wonder, a maybe, a glimmer.

Then she was an actual, a gift, a possibly, a might do.

Then she turned warrior, trooper, battler, and endurer.

until finally she became a miracle, a stunner, a legend and winner.

And all of the time that she was all these things, she was also a Smidge, A baby just like any other.

And yet it feels like we, the two of us have walked a thousand miles, we've turned a hundred corners and climbed three million mountains to earn that very simple status.


We've held swords in both our hands, we've sat waiting,willing and wanting.

And so when I see things that make me think baby,

like pastel shades of pink and blue, 

alphabet bricks and Baby blogs too..

I don't automatically think of us.

Mad isn't it?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Is She Or Isn't She?

Several weeks ago I posted about my plans to breed Ruby, Our exuberant and much loved German shepherd dog.

The idea was that Ruby, in a one off gesture of kindness, would agree to help us out with the old cash flow because being a stay- at- home- Mum doesn't come cheap you know.

So the day came, mid-cycle, when the chosen one Zumander, Honest, loyal and strong came to woo Ruby- dog and sweep her off her furry feet.

The first question  is , was it a success?

and the second question is, if it was, what the hell do I do now?

Okay, calm down, I have a book and this book, allegedly, tells me everything I need to know.

But can it tell me for absolute sure weather she's having puppies or not?

Can it stop me fretting over pre-term delivery when I find a cherry tomato squished on the floor?

No. A book can only tell you so much, and the rest is a breeders burden to bare.

Being a bit of a cheap skate, I decided not to opt for a scan to confirm the pregnancy, choosing instead to rely on her general level of fatness instead. The down side of this means I'm left in a permanent state of wonder...

Is she or isn't she?

Leafing back through my own pregnancy diary, I looked for encouraging similarities,the following were noted.

First Trimester

-Both Ruby-dog and I exhibited signs of mild aggression.
-Both Ruby-dog and I favoured shade over Sunshine
-Both Ruby-dog and I ate our way through the nausea, making it somewhat harder to pinpoint a genuine protrusion.

Second Trimester.

-Eating little and often (me, just often)
-Stealing food off people's plates when they are not looking (both)
-Sleeping more often than is usual (both)

Third Trimester

Ruby-Dog at the start of her third trimester


Smidge at the start of hers

So, If Ruby dog is pregnant, She is very pregnant. which means fairly soon we should have some adorable, bouncing puppies. According to my book, I need to prepare in case Ruby-dog rejects her puppies. One of my tasks is to learn how to build temporary incubators. My Very own Puppy-natal Unit where I'm the boss? 

Now don't get me excited.


Speaking of Excited, did you know that Diary Of A Premmy Mum is in the Finals at the Mad Blog Awards... ( I know, cool, isn't it? I don't s'pose you might think about voting for me? we're under the best baby blog category. :0)

Mum and Dad Blog Awards 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012


Having Febrile in my life over the last week or so has made me realise quite a few things.

(a) Ultimately, I'm not in control.

(b) Life is too short.

(c) I should shop at Boots more often.

With reference to (a), It's important not to get hung up on this. I mean when has anything about being a Premmy Mum ever been smooth running? Control is so over-rated, Not only does it take a massive amount of time and energy but it leads to countless disappointments.

Nope. The best thing to do  is to embrace this change, learn to see it as an ugly but meaningful part of the great tapestry of life.

Learning to relax and make the most febrile seizures might be hard and even expensive at times but often  there is no other way, leading me to point (c) Shopping at Boots.

So, today I have been to the new Boots outlet,  to put together a supply of everything that's needed for a short stay at hospital. Having had three admissions in the last month, I'm getting to be a bit of a pro at knowing what's needed. I've put it all together in one handy bag ready to pop in to a car/ ambulance should the need arise.

Check out my list of hospital must- haves!

Presented in it's own little container, this compact baby sponge is ideal for that feverish car trip to A&E. If it's just respiratory issues I'm going for, it will still come in useful for an overnight stay and it's handy tub means I don't have to leave it out where germs may linger. Phew!

No more getting locked out of A&E when popping to the
vending machine, and no more suffering with a dry mouth in the height of an anxiety attack. This heavier- than- I'd- like bottle of Evian has multiple purposes in an emergency and so is worth it's weight in shoulder pain.

Rescue remedy. A bit of an old wives tale but in these   
situations even the placebo is embraced. And if there's a
chance it stops me asking 100 questions a minute, it has to be worth a go.
Dreamy skin face cleansing wipes. Because dreamy skin is so important when you have a sick child.

In the event that the rescue remedy is ineffective, these queezy sacks really come in to their own. Far more stylish than the traditional cardboard model, any on lookers will surely be impressed. If you need a little inspiration on how to use these sacks, see infant on front of packet. It is highly recommended that you remove the durable plastic packaging way in advance.

Really important to have your own bottle of calpol in hospital. This way when your wriggly and tortured child awkwardly turns her head away from nurse mid-administration, you can 'top up' using your own. They don't like you doing this but when done safely it certainly serves its purpose. 

Because we wouldn't want to see our new friend Febrile, not if we could help it.
Johnsons Baby wipes. Strictly for superficial purposes only. Low and behold, I WOULD NOT want to be seen in public with my budget ones.

Annoyingly, the Hip organic range was only available in glass bottles, but it was either a glass bottle or a non-organic plastic one. Obviously I chose to preserve my Earth Mother Status.  

This all- in- one radox gel is a good all rounder and you can use it your hair too.
Not sure what this is for but it jumped out at me on the shelf, I thought it said 'scrub off your life' which obviously was a great selling point for someone like me.
I suffer terribly from cold sores, especially when there's a change in temperature or stress involved. The only way to prevent them is by keeping my lips moist.

For when plan (a) doesn't work. Because the last thing you need (on top of everything else) is a manky cold sore.
Extremely unpopular amongst babies (and if you're lucky other adults too) these peanut M&M's can help to see you through the longest of nights.
The last emergency hospital visit, I left my toothbrush at home. When I woke up in the morning I'd lost half a tooth! I still  haven't seen a dentist yet. Apparently you have to be in pain at 8.30am before you can get an appointment at our surgery, which still hasn't happened.
Because sometimes, those nurses, they get busy, on such occasions  I find it helpful to have my own.
Especially useful for warding off the I.V fluids and it's also a handy drinks container.
All though it makes sense to utilise the hospitals supply where possible, these sometimes come in handy in the A&E, particularly after Smidge has been sitting on a cup for two hours. (don't ask)
Plum Baby food. Because they give five pence from every packet sold to Bliss (the premature baby charity) Or at least they did once!

So, after pacing the isles like a mad and frenzied westerner looking for any opportunity to materialise, I returned home and added some all important extra's to the bag. The sort of things that won't find in a boots shopping store.


Vests. (sleeveless ones) is all the clothing that's needed for Smidge on arrival in a hot environment like this.

Smidge's height and weight record. Because it's no fun being placed on a set of hard old hospital scales when you are feeling like rubbish.
Phone Charger 

Old Knickers!
Laundry liquid. A good old spot of washing will help to pass the time.
Plate and cup hoarding can be something of habit when your confined  to a cubicle 24-7, this nifty little bottle of liquid should help me keep them peachy clean.
A Fast track letter. This is the letter that's lets the receptionist at A&E know that we can skip the queues and go straight in, because there has to some plus's for being 'special'
I try to brush my hair at least once a day in hospital, especially if I want to avoid the 'unplanned beehive' look. Most embarrassing when it only becomes clear when you look in the mirror (after the doctors rounds.)

Last, but by no means least,an Anti feet humming measure. Because humming feet and small cubicles don't go together well. 

So that's it then, My hospital bag is complete. One less thing to worry about.


Disclaimer: I was not paid any money to advertise these products. I was not even given free stuff. I just wanted to look like a professional blogger.

Speaking of professional bloggism, You wouldn't consider voting for me in the Mad Blog Awards would you? Astonishingly, I've been short listed for the Best Baby Blog category.You can vote by clicking on this square..   :)

Mum and Dad Blog Awards 2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012

My New Friend, Febrile.

I don't want to dramatise what happened to Smidge last week because after all, one in thirty small children have a febrile seizure at some point don't they? But OMG!! I soooo want to dramatise what happened to Smidge last week :-/

Febrile seizures? My Smidge? Eeek, naaw..shudder shudder.

Why Smidge? Why?

And of course, If you're going to do something, then do it properly, right Smidge? don't bother with a straight forward febrile seizure, that would be too simple. Make sure its the A-typical kind and throw in a few special features too if you can. That would be much more in keeping with your usual style...


How could someone so adorable cause so much trouble?

I know there's no point in dwelling on it. It's as One-day Hubby and the good Doctor said, If you're going to dwell on anything, dwell on the good stuff. 

One-day Hubby, he's just relieved we got to the hospital on time. 
One-day Hubby, He's just pleased that there was no identified underlying cause, and, One-day Hubby he is altogether happy that (a) We got a take-home kid from NICU and (b) She doesn't have any known developmental problems.

And I'm happy about those things too, but at the same time as feeling guilty lucky, I worry too.

The latest cause for concern is that both Mister G and One-day Hubby have come down with heavy colds. As the seizures are temperature related, a cold may put Smidge at risk of another fitting episode.

In some ways, the more  prepared I feel for another febrile fit, the more relaxed I can be.
But on the other hand the more I think about seizures, the more anxious I feel!

But One way or another, I'm going to have to find a way to make my peace with this febrile friend, because if I don't, I will allow it to sneak in to my life and take over and then all the good stuff, won't seem so good any more, a trend that simply must be nipped in the bud at the earliest opportunity.

Don't ask me how.. but something has to happen because Smidge and Mister G, They deserve better.

Oh and er...speaking of friends,(non febrile)I don't s'pose you might have thought about er...voting for me? I'm a finalist y' know...A finalist!! :D just click on the button below!

Mum and Dad Blog Awards 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Mads? A Finalist? Me? Reaaaaaally?

Before all this palava with Smidge and the subsequent trip to trauma-ville, something truly amazing happened, the morning before our hospital admission.

Recovering from a groggy-eyed sleepy haze, I'd reached out for my i-phone and discovered ten notifications on my Facebook page, Ten!! There must have been an accident, I thought, hitting the little red speech bubble.

And then suddenly and completely unexpectantly came a post notifiction from the lovely Kylie Hodges from Not Even A Bag Of Sugar. Kylie was telling Molly from Mothers Always Right that I, Premmy Mum Leanna had a place in the Mad Blog Finals.


Immediately I ran down the stairs and jumped up and down hysterically in the kitchen screeching at One-day Hubby that I was one of the chosen ones. After a huge hug and silly dance I raced up the stairs launching the bathroom door open. 'Guess whose going to a glitzy London event?' I joyously declared to my scowling, tooth-brushing Pre-teen.


Spitting out his toothpaste and raising his eye brows slightly Mister G  raced in to his bedroom and started up the all time classic tune of  'cel-e-brate good times, come on!' This led to more hysterical jumping and embarrassing dances. I was absolutely delighted.

Last year some of my favouirte bloggers were in the finals. At the time I  a complete newbie to the blogging world. Never for one minute did I consider myself in their league and so I'm mighty, mighty chuffed that my readers and the short listing judges thought that my dear little bloggy was of a high enough standard. *Blushes Modestly*

With that said, may I  say a MASSIVE Thank you to any of my readers who nominated me, it was just the boost I needed.

Obviously the key purpose of this Blog is it's cheap therapeutic value, but the fact it keeps you lot entertained is an absolute bonus and I'd love it if you voted for me in the finals.

The award I am a finalist for is Best Mad Baby Blog, It's a very strong category with some fabulous rival Blogs ,but if you think diary of a Premmy Mum is win-worthy, then please click on the Badge below (or to the right) and make me smile!

Obviously, having far too many issues and being relatively self obsessed, I'm not so hot on the social media stuff. I don't do memes, blogging conferences or any of that  malarkey.
It's not that I don't want to, I'm just rather rubbish at it. This means that your vote is extra, extra special!!

So go ahead, click my badge... you know you want to! :-)

Mum and Dad Blog Awards 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pollyanna And The Glad Game

Today's Post has been written by Chief Premature Baby Blogger, Kylie Hodges over at Not Even A Bag Of Sugar.
I can't tell you enough what a great honour it is to have her feature a post on my blog today as it was she who inspired me to start blogging in the first place!
Below, Kylie talks about how she coped with the up's and downs of NICU life when her Son Joseph was born at 27 weeks weighing 1lb 7oz, the exact same weight as Smidge!

Pollyanna and the Glad Game

My mum has always called me “annoying Pollyanna”. It’s her fault really, she introduced me to the television show and then the book as an impressionable pre-teenager. I loved Pollyanna’s attitude to life, finding the “glad” in everything.
When I was diagnosed with severe pre eclampsia at 26 weeks and 6 days, I struggled very much to see the “glad” and then the doctor told me he would have to deliver the baby the following day at 27 weeks. I really couldn’t see any “glad” in that. The midwives came and put me in a wheelchair for an emergency scan. The baby had stopped growing, I was very confused. I came back to the ward in a mess of tears.
The consultant immediately snapped me back to reality “Look I am delivering a live baby tomorrow, everything will be ok, you must believe in me, in your team, in yourself and in your baby”. I immediately put my “glad” head on. I was glad that I was in good hands, that everyone was working together for the same outcome, a good delivery and a healthy baby.
I had Joseph by caesarean section the following day. One of the midwives came to see me soon after Joseph was born. She gave me a letter from the Primary Care Trust in an envelope. “Oh no” I said, “they’re not sending me a bill are they?” she laughed! I opened the letter and it was advising me that the next baby could be born out the lambing end (perhaps not in those words) and the midwife came back in amazed I was smiling and laughing. “What’s so funny?” she said. “The PCT seriously think, an hour post delivery, I am planning on having sex again!”
I was determined to be happy, to find the “glad” wherever I could, to see the funny side even in the darkest times. Looking back I am almost embarrassed. I was insulated by this “glad game”.
On day 5 of his life, my son Joseph was struggling. He was losing weight, which is really not advised when you’re born at 1lb 7oz, and was very poorly indeed. I took picture books in, I read and sung to him. I had a baby! I was glad because at 35, I finally had a baby. OK he was small, he was sick, but he was mine. And even if he only lived a short time, he was my baby, my son, and I was glad.
A senior consultant was brought in and said “you do not understand. You are too calm”. He didn’t understand the glad game.
Every day I walked into that unit with a smile. I greeted the other parents. I took mums out for coffee. I consoled staff when things were tough, I was nice to everyone. I didn’t allow myself to cry when on the unit. I did cry at home at times, when it all got too much, even for Pollyanna.
One sunny Tuesday, after 9 and a half weeks in hospital one of the consultants came in on her rounds. She saw me sitting by Joseph’s cotside. She smiled. She looked at her notes and said “right, discharge planning is now in place, you will room in on Sunday and Monday nights, and take Joseph home on Tuesday”. Huge tears slipped down my cheeks. I was sobbing. She looked at me with fear and surprise, distaste even. “Whatever is the matter?” she asked. “I’m just so relieved” I said. “I hate this bloody unit I want to take my baby home”.
The other doctors and nurses all looked in amazement “but you are always so happy, you always look pleased to be here”. I sighed. “I’m pleased to be with my baby, but I hate it here, being glad got me through it, and now it’s time to go home”.
The last week flew by, my facade had dropped, and I realised just how much energy being Pollyanna took. And, I put her away for good. She had served her purpose, she got me through, but I didn’t need her any more.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Hard Lump To Swallow

This Blog has turned tragic. My life has turned tragic. I didn't want it to, It just sort of happened and now I'm like a victim who wonders around trauma-ville stuck in a rut.

Smidge has steadily started to improve over the last day or so. She did spend the day pale faced and crying but thank goodness for small mercies, we haven't had any more fits.
She's also had her last canula removed this morning so those tiny feet can pitter-patter the hospital corridors once more.

What I'm struggling with right now is the idea of taking her home. Every time the 'H' word is mentioned my stomach does a little flit and I find myself wanting an unobtainable double vodka probably without any coke.

Can you imagine not wanting to take your own baby home?

Can you Imagine feeling so scared that even if a double vodka without any coke was available you probably wouldn't drink it because you'd be too scared ?

It's ridiculous I know! but I am stupidly fearful that Smidge is going to pull another number on me and if she does what would I do?

From what I understand, there is a 33% chance that this fitting of hers could turn in to something of a habit. If it does, the advice I've been given is to call an ambulance.

I know I have to move past this latest hurdle and I so, so want to but I'm feeling a little ill equipped to deal with any future incidents.

Then there is the emotional side. Right now I'm in auto-pilot mode, just doing and not really thinking. What if it all comes tumbling out and I go slightly (more) crazy?

Last week (when I thought respiratory distress was a serious problem) I had a lovely long chat with a doctor who was kind enough to entertain my anxious ramblings.
A kindly man, he advised me that I couldn't live my life in fear, fretting over the worst. That I should trust that I will know when to get help, when to bring Smidge to hospital...that I wouldn't leave it too late...

'You could live your life like that...' he said 'but you'd drive yourself mad and it would never be worth it'

But this is my life as a Premmy Mum.

This is my Smidge. (well for now anyway)

and this Premmy Mum is just going to have to try to find a way to accept it.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

More About The New Lucky

You remember The Swarm right? Well it turns out that it wasn't even a significant part of the new lucky.

The last 48 hours have been like a living nightmare. The worst in a long, long time.
I'd go so far to say that these past few days have been so terrifyingly horrid you may just want to skip this post altogether.

*NOTE* - Post particularly unsuitable for the faint hearted.

It started at lunchtime on Thursday when Smidge seemed a little feverish. Determined not to be deemed an over anxious Mum, I held back on the usual A&E shenanigans and put my trust in to the local G.P surgery.

Oh why did I do that?

Just hours after making the call to the surgery, Smidge struck me as really quite pale so I asked One -day Hubby to take her to the hospital to be re-assessed.

But almost as soon as they had set off, I started to feel this deep sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. It was so horribly profound, I simply couldn't ignore it. Grabbing my coat and keys I ran out to the car but before I had even turned the key in the lock my mobile rang, it was of course One-day Hubby.

In a trying-to-be calm but somewhat alarmed voice, One-day Hubby told me that he had had to stop the car and call an ambulance for Smidge whilst driving to the hospital.

Glancing in his rear view mirror he had seen an extremely pale and deteriorating Smidge looking sicker than sick. She was suffering what we now know to have been complex febrile convulsions.

Mister G and I raced down to A&E in the car. On the way we were silent apart from Mr. G reassuringly putting his hand over mine and gently telling me that everything would be okay.

Knowing our way around A&E far too well, we ignored the usual entry procedure, by passing the receptionists and cutting through the assessment rooms in an attempt to find Smidge.

After skimming the Minors and majors departments I raced through to resus feeling the panic and not knowing what on earth to think or do.

A call to One-day hubby told me that the ambulance staff were trying to cannulate Smidge En route. Ever tried cannulating an ex prem baby in a moving vehicle? Good luck I thought.

What seemed like an eternity later, an uncannulated Smidge was wheeled in to resus looking pale and unresponsive, however, over the course of the next few hours she settled right down.

The doctor was pleased to see that, using the art of paper towel throwing, we were able to raise a brief smile out of our adorable baby girl. They referred her over to the children's ward for further observation.

Grandma came to collect Mister G and I told One-day Hubby to go and get some rest
'Theres a room you can use down the hall' I told him 'I can stay with Smidge'

Picking up a coffee stained copy of take a break, I settled myself in to the put- me- up bed in the corner. A distraction is what I need I thought, turning the pages of my trash mag.
But a side ways glance over to Smidge's prison cot had me sitting bolt up right in a panic. Smidge was pale again and shaking uncontrollably.

I ran out to the hall and told the nurse to come quickly 'I think Smidge is fitting' I told them.

The nurse entered the cubicle followed by a doctor, I grabbed the oxygen supply off the wall and put it to Smidges face before racing down the corridor to retrieve One- day Hubby who quickly came back to the room.

There were now several people in the room giving Smidge oral drugs to try to stop the fits but the fits were not subsiding.

The registrar doctor from A&E appeared and nurses were getting cannula's ready and starting up the fluids, Once again broad range intravenous antibiotics were being drawn up.

Out side the room Mummy-bot took over as she watched every available doctor and nurse try to stop Smidge's lengthy fit.

Then these words came ..'put out an arrest call please'

At this point even Mummy-bot could not look on any longer, thank goodness One-day hubby was there soothing the oblivious Smidge.

Mummy-bot paced the hospital corridors muttering 'no...no, no, no,' to nobody in particular but not a singular doctor or nurse could stop to reassure her because they were all trying to stabilise Smidge and stop her from fitting.

Every now and then Mummy-bot would sneak a peak through the cubicle window seeking data that would activate positive downloads. But the timer ran out and the system redirected her to another location.

Walking the hospital corridors Mummy-bot searched around for an identifiable source. She located a friendly looking nurse who walked her back to the scene. On the way back she was trying to reassure Mummy-bot that febrile convulsions are quite common and the doctors would soon have it under control but Mummy-bot just rambled at her that it didn't look very under control, not very under control at all.

Back on the scene, more people had arrived, including a consultant from intensive care. The ventilator machine was placed on stand by and Mummy-bot observed the intubation tubes lined up looking like candies in a sweet shop.

The nurse that Mummy-bot had located from the the alternative location had some how got integrated in to the medical activity and once again Mummy-bot was forced to intermittently observe.

After twenty five minutes of fitting, the team managed to stop the fits and a very pale, vacant looking Smidge lay across the cot looking exhausted, intoxicated with numerous IV drugs.

The head doctor explained that one of the IV drugs had successfully stopped the fitting and that it was anticipated that Smidge will be drowsy and vacant for several hours.

The next few hours were filled with I.V medicines. There were fluids, anti convalescents, antibiotic, and anti viral drugs. They gave Smidge everything there was to give.

Soon after,the doctors explained that Smidge had shown some unique signs before and during the fit and they wanted to fully investigate to rule out some very particular problems. A C.T scan was ordered and lumber puncture test to see if they could get to the bottom of what has caused the seizures.

The results were inconclusive and although Smidge has improved greatly she remains very poorly in hospital.

Please send her your prayers.

The Candy.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mummy-bot and me.

When I first started writing about Mummy-bot I did not fully understand who 'she' was.

All I knew was that Mummy-bot played a vital role in helping me to sustain myself when I visited Smidge in intensive care, month after month after month.

And do you know what? there's nothing quite like dipping your toe back in the water to help reacquaint yourself with old coping strategies...familiarise yourself with old behaviours....

Nothing quite like a traumed up trip to resus and a week in paediatrics to pick up that bit of blog inspiration and reignite all that was flickering quietly in the back ground.

Mummy-bot you see, she was designed to deal with these situations, fully trained in trauma, Mummy-bot was programmed to cope with scenes that I was not humanly prepared for.

The thing is you see, I, (Premmy mum Leanna) could only take so much, because there are only so many arterial lines you can bare to see fitted, only so many squeals of discomfort and pain.

There are only so many hours you can sit crunching away at numbers and watching oxygen requirements go up and up and up.

There are only so many times you can watch your milk get rejected for antibiotics and drip feed.

Only so many apneoa's you can observe, transfusions you can witness and transfers you can endure.

How many times can you watch consultants gaze over your baby with a puzzled look in their eyes as they sigh and furrow their eyebrows and tell you about the new plan?

How many times can you hope that the new plan (that is actually just like the old plan) is going to work better this time because it's slower, easier, more gentle?

After a while you just switch off. And yet, you know you have to be there. Yet, emotionally you can not.

So the answer then, the solution, is Mummy- bot.

Mummy- bot know's when to intercept as her radar detects anxiety and feelings of discomfort.

So when that knot forms deep inside my stomach, A surge, a tug, a pull... and I want to turn away because I can't bear to look any longer, Mummy-bot takes over.

And I kind of know it's her because a feeling washes over me and my fear bridles down and quietly re-emerges as 'concerns'

Panic levels stabilise and I appear cool, calm and collected.

Emotions are seen from a far away place, representing themselves as chaotic, pointless, obstructive and unhelpful.

And everything that Mummy-bot see's can now be processed intellectually.

And Mummy-bot see's it all.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Day In The Life Of A Fast Track Paed.

Wait a minute...that's not my ceiling...
and hang on a minute...my toe...what's going on with my toe?

Oh Lordy!  I get it...
We're at the frikin' hospital..but where abouts  is my Udder?

'Udder?'  I'm awake!'

Look Udder!! I'm holding the oxygen!! 
Wait a minute .. this should get her moving...

'Look Udder!! no oxygen!'

Relax!! I was just kidding!!

 So...What's for breakfast then? 

Oh dear..white bread again, Daddy won't be pleased.

 The doctors will be here soon, no prizes for guessing what they are going to say.
 ".Do you mind if I have a little listen to your chest?" 
No, of course not, but you'll have to fight me for the stethoscope.

Hey Udder,Could you make me look cute please? I want to look good for when the doctors come. Do you think you could throw together a healthy look? that pink bow for example,makes me look so well pro-fused!

Oh yes.. those matching shoes will really help to bring out the colour in my cheeks!

I think we all agree that I look pretty healthy right??
Time to start acting healthy too..Can you get me my walker please?

Now you're talking! Time for some natural physio, I'm off on my ward rounds..
 If that doesn't relieve the congestion..nothing will!

I can't fault these hallways for their glide-a-bility.

Oh! Hello horsey!

These dining chairs are always empty! do you think they are trying to say something about the food?

Back to my cubicle.
Suddenly my prison cot seems a little inviting..

Oh yes.. a nice nap and wee bit of oxygen should put me right. Grandma's coming at two and I want to be my best.

Oh  hello Grandma....You're already here and er...kissing my eye! 

Grandma and Me. We have an Understanding.

Well that certainly brightened up my day! Now it's time to play feed the Mummy..

I just can't get enough of this game! it's right up there with my favourites..

Like 'Put the cookie in the storage heater'

and empty the bag on the floor.

In general, My Mummy and I are okay in the hospital because we've got each other which is better than when I was in NICU because she had to go home every night. 

But best of all I like it at my house, where there's My Daddy, My Brother and my dog...
Even though baby walker gliding is not nearly as good.