Memories from my neonatal diary – Lyndsay’s story

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Lyndsay shares some of the memories from her neonatal diary. Keeping a diary is a good way to ensure you remember every step of your baby's journey.

Day One

Dear Indy,

You were born at 7.36 am weighing 1lb 3oz. Penny (Mumma) saw you and apparently you came out wriggling. I couldn't see anything. The doctors and nurses were in the corner intubating you and getting you stable and assessed you for a while and then you were popped in an incubator.

They stopped the incubator as you were wheeled past me and I got a glimpse of a mouth but nothing else. Then you went one way and I went the other. Mumma went to see you after about 90 minutes but I was still numb from the spinal block; not to mention completely spaced out.

After about four hours I was helped into a wheelchair and I went to see you for the first time. I knew that you were 1lb 3oz but I didn't know just how tiny that meant. You would have fit into my hands; my hand could have given you a cuddle! We were not allowed to hold you but we were allowed to touch you through the incubator doors. I couldn't believe that when I put my finger near your hand, you squeezed it.

I'm not going to lie, there have been a lot of tears. My waters breaking, the thought of what was/is going to happen, seeing you so tiny with wires and tubes fixed to you, threaded into your belly button and down your throat but you squeezed my finger. I was elated!

Day Three

Dear Indy,

Guess what? You cried out today! Your nurse was changing your nappy and washing you, and apparently you don't like your ears being washed because you mewed like a little kitten. My heart leaped out of my chest. We were told it could be weeks before we heard you and yet here you were – making sure we all knew you were there.

Day Five

Dear Indy,

Well Day Three ended on a huge low. At around 7.00pm we were told you had a perforated bowel and needed an operation. Mumma and I were devastated. We were so worried about you and what it would mean. You were transferred to another hospital for the surgery. The surgeon explained what they would do (cut out the perforation and sew the remaining bowel back together) and let us know that you were on the cusp of their medical knowledge because you were so tiny. We thought we might lose you Indy, but like the little trooper you are, you not only pulled through but were stable again almost immediately.

Mummy on the other hand was not so stable. I fainted from tiredness and shock and ended up in A&E. My face is a sight to behold, a right shocker. A bit of a lesson Indy, if I want to look after you, then I need to look after myself!

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Day Eight

Dear Indy,

Yesterday you went back onto CPAP. The doctors are so pleased with how you are doing. You were given a gold star for being a good girl in surgery. You're doing so well in fact, that today we get our first skin-to-skin cuddle with you.

It was just amazing. We both held you for about half an hour each, until you did a big poo on Mumma and then started to get a little uncomfortable. Sarah, your nurse, said that if you stay stable we can have a cuddle every day. So proud of you Indy.

Day 10

Dear Indy,

We’ve held you three days in a row now! You seem to like it; a right little snuggler. Your health has not been as good today though. Looks like you have an infection, so x-rays, bloods and a nasty lumber puncture have been done. You've quite rightly been a bit upset.

Day 11

Dear Indy,

Last night you had a very big dip. Sats went down to 14 and you turned blue at one point. It was so scary. Mumma and I didn't cope very well to be honest. The nurse struggled to get your mask on you and eventually Mumma called out for help from the doctors; not the best of nights.

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Day 15

Dear Indy,

You had another very bad night. You de-sated quite a few times and then crashed (I've not asked the nurse what this means as I'm too scared), so you're back on the ventilator. Since then you have been stable and sleeping. Your big sister Isla came to see you too and she blew you some magic kisses.

Day 52

Dear Indy,

Big changes this week! On Day 48 you were put onto high flow oxygen. You don't have a mask anymore - just a tube - so we can see your face again.

Today we were moved to Taunton Hospital, the place where my waters broke. The journey was very traumatic for me; you however didn't blink an eye. It's a big stepping stone, it means that you are no longer sick, just small and Taunton's speciality is helping you grow. I'm hoping that you are halfway through now and we will be taking you home in 10 weeks or less, but no rush Indy, in your own time.

Day 61

Dear Indy,

Darling, today you are two months old. I know I shouldn't say it but when my waters broke, I wasn't sure you'd make it this far. You now weigh 1150g. You need to get to 2.5kg so you can A - possibly go in a big girl cot and B - possibly go home. I lifted you out of the incubator for the first time today and checked your temperature. They seem like little things but it just helps me know I'm able to do things for you.

Yesterday I started speaking to you and you turned your head, opened your eyes and smiled. It was amazing and beautiful and even if it was a coincidence, it was a lovely one.

Day 112

Dear Indy,

Today we get to go home! You are feeding mainly from a bottle with my expressed milk which I'm ok with, as long as you are healthy and growing. It feels like such a long journey and it felt like this day would never come. To be honest I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. The next few weeks/months I'm sure will take some adjustment. We've been out of the 'real' world for four months, I've given up my job, the house has been completely re-decorated to make it safe for you, and your sister Isla has missed her mummy for months. This is a fresh start, wipe the slate clean and start again, you, me, Mumma and Isla, at last a family of four together.

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