|In the NICU - The towel on my head is try and get the dots for the EEG to stick|
|Mummy at my bedside|
But after a couple of days, things slowly started getting better. They got his seizures under control, he was able to come off the ventilator and breath on his own, and he was able to start getting milk feeds through a NG tube. Slowly but surely, things were improving. They began to wean him off all of the seizure medications and slowly he started waking up (the medications have a sedative effect). He remained on the EEG to monitor any seizure activity, and he was still on all of the monitors. I hated it, they'd freak me out. I couldn't touch him without looking at the screen and seeing what they were doing and worrying about his breathing, or looking at the mysterious waves on the EEG and wondering what they meant. He was moved out of the NICU and back into the regular Special Care Nursery where he was placed in a humidicrib. This seemed to be worse to me, because in the NICU he was on an open bed where I could easily kiss him and touch him (and he could be quickly accessed by medical staff in an emergency), and now there was this barrier between us, but they assured us that this was a 'downgrade' and that it would keep things nice and quiet and cosy for him to start getting better.
|My downgraded bed in the Special Care Nursery|
|Having a "feed". Breast milk via NG tube|
When he was 5 days old, we got a nice surprise. We went in to see him that morning and he was being moved into an open cot. The nurses were getting things ready and they said "Here, hold him while we do this". I nearly cried, it was the first time I'd gotten to hold him since the morning he was born! He also had his eyes open for the first time since then too! Later that day, Rod got to have his first cuddle ever.
|Mummy's first cuddle since the morning I was born|
|Hello you! Nice to see you awake!|
|Daddy's First Cuddle|
The following day, we went into the Special Care Nursery and in the place his open bed had been was a humidicrib. My heart sank, had he gotten worse over night? I walked over to the bed and realised the tiny baby in it was not mine. A nurse said "Your little boy has been moved to General Nursery!" This was great news, as they always told us, the closer you get to the door the closer you are to going home, and General Nursery was the last step in that direction. So we went into the General Nursery and the nurse told me she was hoping he could start on suck feeds today, but she was just waiting for the Doctors to come around and give the OK. When the doctor came, he put a finger in Joshua's mouth and he began to suck on it. "Yep, he has got a good suck, give him a try!" (Gee, I could have told you that!) So the doctor proceeded to give me a big speech about how I shouldn't expect too much, and not to worry about how much milk he was getting, to just think of it as a nice bonding experience between us and good practice etc. So I put him to the breast, he latched on and sucked away for 15 mins. The nurse said "Aren't you a smarty pants!?" So then they told me that just because he fed well the first time it doesn't mean it is going to go like that the next time and not to be upset if it doesn't. He did alright though, and we really didn't run into any breast feeding problems, which I know I should be very thankful for. To begin with, I would breast feed him and then he would receive a top up via the NG tube.
|Little man after he was moved to General Nursery|
|Having a top up feed via the NG tube|
|Free at last! We're going home!|
|In his car seat for the drive home|