He’s 3kg!

Hugo now weighs 3kg!  Yeah!  Obviously he enjoyed the Easter long weekend, putting on 210g in 6 days.  The biggest change in this time was that the antibiotics that I was taking are finished and thus he is no longer experiencing diarrhea.  We didn’t realise how bad it had been for him until it stopped.  It’s all up from here.

The plan is for only one top up bottle during the day, reduced from 2 from the past week.  We shall see how this goes for weigh in next Wednesday.  I was thrilled with such a great gain. Some of his 00000 size clothes are getting tight so he will progress into 0000.

Eva was 3kg in April 2009 and wore that same growsuit when she was 5 months old.  It’s hard not to compare them.  I wonder what Hugo will weigh in 2 years time?  More than Eva does now I’m guessing!

Hugo has been suffering with a snuffly nose which is to be expected seeing as everyone else in the household has some form of a cough and cold.  He seems to be coping well with feeds regardless but it does disturb him from sleeping at times.

Happy Easter!

What a lovely day of catching up with family and friends and meeting new family members today.  We started with a great celebration at church this morning.  Then we headed to Gran and Pop’s for lunch.  The food was of course delicious then the children had a fabulous afternoon of exploring the “backyard”.
Today we met Eva’s newest cousin, Noah James, who arrived a week ago.  Eva really enjoyed talking to baby Noah and spoiling him with kisses!

Gran and Pop with Noah

Our Nepali friends Srijana and Lokraj came for the afternoon to meet Hugo and enjoyed exploring the backyard too.
Gran and Pop were no doubt pleased to enjoy a quiet evening after the chaos of many adults and 5 grandchildren.  Eva was so tired at the end of the day.  She just didn’t stop all day with so many playmates.
We hope you all have a lovely day full of food and family.
No matter what you did or didn’t do today, we pray you all found hope, promise, and peace in this fact – Jesus is risen.

Hugo’s One Month Birthday

It’s hard to believe that it has just been a month with Hugo in our family.  He has reached 38 weeks gestation today which means he still has a few more weeks of cooking!

We are enjoying lots of cuddles but only a few wakeful moments. Of course this means that for now he settles easily to sleep after feeds so I will enjoy it while it lasts.

Hugo was weighed again and has gained just 45g in 3 days taking him to 2935g. Yes it’s better to gain than lose but still it should be 30g/day with a minimum of 20g/day.  Thus now we are doing bottle tops ups with 30ml breast milk twice per day after breast feeds.  30ml doesn’t seem like much but he only takes 90ml for a full feed overnight.

Hopefully this will get him to have a bit more energy and substance to improve his ability to suck efficiently.  I am glad to have a plan but anxious about the extra bottles in terms of work involved and nipple confusion.

We celebrated Hugo’s arrival by partaking in some delicious champagne.  There are advantages to being able to “pump and dump” milk and use the frozen supply!

We are in the middle of lots of Daddy days where we are going to church to remember Easter, planting vegetables, doing odd jobs, lots of playing and dancing to music and of course lots of cuddling.

Content at Home

Hugo seems to be proving that he is content at home and we are certainly enjoying enveloping him with love.  Eva just dotes upon him constantly asking for cuddles and giving kisses.  She especially loves to kiss his head when I am feeding him which I find adorable.  Of course we have to keep a close eye on her as she would just love to reach into the bassinet and pick him up by herself.

Hugo has continued to gain weight.  He was discharged at 2750g (a 65g increase).  Tuesday a midwife from the hospital visited and he had gained 40g to be 2790g.  On Thursday the maternal and child health nurse weighed him and he was 2840g, an extra 50g.  Today he gained another 50g to be 2890g. These gains are not as big as the hospital but perfectly adequate for him at home with all sorts of new experiences taking extra energy.  Next weigh in is on Thursday.

Hugo is beginning to have periods of quiet alertness everyday which is lovely to see.  Fortunately Hugo is still settling well after feeds so I shall enjoy this preterm phase as long as it lasts.

During the day he is breastfed about every 3 hours which he is managing well.  I express after a couple of the feeds to make sure that my supply stays adequate.  Sometimes little babies don’t suck as strongly as needed for the body to produce enough. The advice from the Nursery on discharge was to give Hugo 2 bottles of expressed breast milk overnight to ensure that he is receiving adequate volumes to keep him growing and hydrated.  I am expressing at these times as soon he will transition to breastfeeds overnight so I need my body to remember that this is the time to produce milk!

Poor Hugo has been have some yucky nappies as a result of the antibiotics that I am on.  We are now giving him frozen breast milk from before the antibiotics started overnight in his bottles instead of fresh breast milk.  This seems to have helped to slow down the flow.

I have continued on another course of the same antibiotics as the redness around the wound and the lumpiness under the wound is still present.  Not my ideal situation but better than further complications.

Nanny has returned home Thursday after enjoying lots of cuddles with Hugo at home. We are sad to see her go as is Eva who wants to know “Where’s Nanny?”.  Fortunately Andrew has been home since then.  Thus up until yesterday the number of adults equaled the children which is worked well.

Overall it has been a good transition to home with our new family unit.  I even survived a day today being outnumbered by children for the first time.

Homecoming Sunday April 10th

Today Hugo came home. Home to sunlight, home to a breeze, home to rain showers, home to a big sister, home to cuddles of said big sister, home to the smells of cooking, home to the sounds of washing the dishes, home to family visiting, home to us. Welcome home, baby Hugo. We think you’ll like it here.

Day 20 Saturday April 10th

Eva had her first cuddle of Hugo this morning.  It was gorgeous to see her jump up to the chair when we suggested a cuddle. Eva enjoyed exploring Hugo’s facial features at close range, something he will have to get used to!

This morning seeing as the unit is so quiet with only 3 babies and we were the only visitors there we took to opportunity to give Hugo a bath with his big sister to help.  Eva enjoyed gently stroking Hugo with the occasional splash.

We all sat in the breastfeeding room for Hugo to have his feed.  There are toys in there and a door to the unit with a handle just at Eva’s height.  Andrew got a taste for what it will be like when I am feeding and have a toddler running around!  Chaos!  She is pretty good but she does like to show Hugo things which tends to involve them making contact with some part of his little body.

Emma and Luke popped in for a visit to the hospital.  They will be Hugo’s last hospital visitors.

Gran and Pop came to collect Nanny for lunch which was lovely for them.  They got to solve the problems of the world instead of scheduling the next car trip to the hospital or nappy change for Eva!  They then stayed to help with jobs and cook dinner.

This evening when I returned for the feed the midwife caring for Hugo went through the pile of discharge information with me to ensure that I was confident and didn’t have any concerns.  All this is preparing for a swift exit tomorrow.

The staff have just been so lovely and keen to get us home without a hitch.  They have all tried so hard to tick all the boxes so that there are no delays.  We now just have to wait for Hugo to be weighed in the morning and prove that he is ready to come and live with us.  Although I’m not sure that he will ever be ready for the change of noise and activity level!

Day 19 Friday April 8th

It has been an exciting day today with a plan for Hugo’s discharge on Sunday!  Yeah!

Hugo is doing so well with his eating and sleeping.  He completed his 48 hours without a tube and had a great weight gain to prove how clever he is.  Hugo’s weight today was 2685g which is a 70g increase.

Hugo passed his hearing test which he had resting on my lap in the middle of a feed.  He was perfectly settled and Nanny was the photographer.

Hugo also passed his newborn check completed by the doctor today and his discharge medications have arrived all ready to go.

Eva visited her little brother today for the first time in a week.  She burst through the door to the nursery in overalls with a little pigtail in her hair, carrying her baba all wrapped up and saying (loudly) “Where’s Hugo?”.  Fortunately the nursery is very quiet at the moment and everyone thought that she was cute.  Eva was keen to climb up to see Hugo and of course poke and prod him.  Hugo was suitably stirring enough for Eva to think that he was communicating.

Hugo fed very well today and seemed to be very satisfied with a full tummy.  The unit manager suggested that I didn’t need to room in overnight with Hugo seeing as we are very relaxed and have previously taken a pre-term baby home.  This is great as I didn’t really fancy another night in a hospital bed with full term babies in the room as well.

Now we have tomorrow to get last minute jobs done around the house before bringing our son home on Sunday!

Day 18 Thursday April 7th

We had an interesting day today with lots of doctors visits for me.  Luckily Hugo is well and happy.

I started the day with a 7am feed for Hugo, during which he was being lazy and making me worried about all the bottles he is having.  I missed out on a few feeds with Hugo today as I was visiting the emergency department in the hospital where I birthed.  I visited the GP to review the ultrasound results from yesterday and the GP decided that it was best to have the collection under the wound reviewed by the doctor at the hospital.

After a few hours at the hospital waiting in the emergency department it was decided to just continue on the antibiotics and no drainage of the collection of fluid was necessary.  Fortunately I had a bed while waiting so caught up on some sleep.  It was strange though as I was in the same room as when I was admitted for the bleed a few weeks ago.

While at the hospital I visited the NICU to use the expressing room and saw the consultant who was at Hugo’s birth.  I was grateful to be able to express our gratitude to him for looking after Hugo.  He was of course interested in Hugo’s progress and will look forward to seeing him at Eva’s follow up appointment in May.

It was a tiring day but I did manage to get back to Hugo for another feed in the evening which was a great feed and Andrew joined us for a cuddle with Hugo after putting Eva to bed.

Day 17 Wednesday April 6th

Hugo is now tube free!  Today he has been set a challenge to suck for all of his feeds either by breast or bottle.  Hugo had taken all his feeds by bottle overnight and gained weight so that’s how we ended up with this big change today.

At weigh in today he had gained another 95g to be 2615g which was very impressive given that yesterday he didn’t have top ups after his breast feeds.

Another change for today is that Hugo’s feeding is now by demand 3-4 hourly so it is no longer scheduled every three hours.  This is of course better for him as he feeds when he is hungry and also this should mean that he takes a good feed.  It’s not so easy for us to organise getting to and from the hospital for these feeds.  We can’t complain about that though as this is the last step and it’s all about helping him to get home!

Hugo needs to pass 48 hours without a tube in for feeds and still gain weight for them to think about me rooming in with him for the night at the hospital and then considering discharge.  Nobody will confirm any plans as it is all up to how Hugo behaves.

It seems that there is a possibility that discharge could be anytime from Monday which is a tantilising thought.  We are all a bit sick of the constant journeying to and from the hospital.  We just want to be together as a family.

Eva is feeling much better today and will come and visit Hugo tomorrow for the first time in a week.  Tonight Eva had a fun swimming lesson where she jumped off the 1m diving board into Andrew’s waiting arms.  The video is here.

I have revisited the GP today about my wound.  It hasn’t improved a lot since the start of antibiotics.  I had an ultrasound of my wound today to check for a collection of fluid underneath where the bugs are growing.  There is a small collection which will get reviewed by the GP tomorrow.  Fortunately I am well overall with this infection being more of an inconvenience than anything else.

Day 16 Tuesday April 5th

Hugo has been set a challenge today with no top ups after his breast feeds today.  This gives us a way of assessing how well he is feeding and how much he is getting.  I am nervous about this step as I wonder if he going to gain enough weight this way.  It does mean less expressing for me which is a bonus.

Today there was beautiful sunshine so in between feeds I managed to catch some outside time.  Everybody keeps commenting on how pale I am but with several weeks of spending most of my days in hospitals I don’t get to see much sun!

I keep being thankful for the move to this hospital with it’s small nursery with friendly staff and most importantly a close proximity to home for easy visiting.  The nursery is very quiet at the moment with just 4 babies.  One was born last week at 1.6kg.  He looks so small that it’s hard for us to believe that Eva was half that size at birth.

Over the past 2 days two friends have had their babies at term and will both be home with them before Hugo is home.  Although I am thrilled for them there is a tinge of jealousy that they will be starting family life before us.  However I have to remember that Hugo is meant to still be growing inside for another 4 1/2 weeks so coming home anytime before that is good.

Eva is still not feeling well today but hopefully is improving.  Poor thing has had a rough week and has kept Nanny busy with nose wiping duties.  At least with sunshine they have been able to get out in the backyard today.

Our neighbours Marta and Lotti visited today.  They were thrilled to see photos of Hugo on the computer and can’t wait to meet him.  I sent them home with vegetables from our garden and breast milk to store in their deep freezer!  Aren’t they lucky?!