After a busy weekend with lots of visitors, today was a quiet day in the hospital for Alyssa and me. I arrived just before 8am as I do each day ready to feed her, to find she’d been stripped down to her nappy again (it’s becoming a habit over the past few days) because she’s had another nappy explosion overnight and made a mess everywhere – all over her beautiful knitted dress that Grandmama gave her. So I did her heel prick test and settled down to feed her. I’m starting to get really anxious everytime I need to heel prick Alyssa now and I think it’s because I’ve done almost all of them since she came in to hospital. I know it needs to be done but she gets so upset as soon as you take her sock off, the poor thing. It upsets me that I spend the night away from her and the first thing I do when I see her each morning is stab her foot – at least I get to follow up with a nice breastfeed and cuddles.
We gave her another bath (her second in only three days which is our best record so far) but she didn’t enjoy it as much today. I think the water was a bit colder but she was able to move her right arm around quite a bit again which is good to see. The orthopedic surgeons are pleased with how she has healed and have said they’d leave it up to her general doctors as to how long she will need to continue the antibiotics for but it’s looking like another week at least.
Marion, one of the NICU nurses who cared for Alyssa, came to deliver a new pump to our room and see how she was doing and she commented on her hand still being swollen which surprised me. I had a look and didn’t think it looked swollen until I realised she was looking, not at her arm that was operated on but the one with the iv drip. I noticed too that it was indeed quite swollen and puffy and we were a bit worried that her long line drip had started to tissue and would need to be removed. I had one of her nurses check it and they got the doctor, Rebecca, to have a look. Rebecca halted her antibiotics while she waited for a second opinion but she didn’t want to use the IV until she was sure it was safe and she didn’t want to take it out until she was sure it was useless. She tested it and it appeared to be working fine but her arm was definitely swollen. We knocked the drip right down to 1ml an hour (down from 5mls an hour) – the saline is only running through it to keep the drip open to use for her antibiotics so doesn’t need to be pumped through fast – and the antibiotics right down to 5mls an hour and left her arm unsplinted and unbandaged to keep an eye on it. The puffiness had gone down by mid afternoon so they were confident it would be ok to continue using it so we were really pleased she wouldn’t need to be re-cannulated. Hopefully it will hold up for one more week – we shall see.
I went for a wander around to the maternity ward after lunch to visit Jo and baby Georgia. She is a gorgeous little girl with a head full of dark hair, even more than Alyssa. I felt a little bit of sadness that my baby has to be attached to a drip and it’s not as free and easy to pick her up and cuddle her but mostly I was just so pleased that Georgia’s okay and won’t have to go through the same things Alyssa has done. It really made me wish I could pick up my baby girl and just take her home with me. I hope the next week goes by really quickly.
Tonight I’ve typed up some more of our time from when we were in Melbourne (October 31st and November 1st) if anyone wants to go back and read what was happening. I’m hoping to finish typing it all up in the next day or two but I’ll let you know when I’ve finished new additions to the blog. We’ll try and add some photos from that time as well. The next challenge will be trying to write down what happened when Alyssa first got sick and our time in the NICU at the Launceston General Hospital, as that all happened before I started the journal, but it’s a very important part of the story.