Sundays

Sundays are fast becoming my favourite day of the week.  For the past couple of weeks, we have started making a point of having some sort of family outing on the day.

Yesterday we had a little outing to Safari Nursery..  The week before the boy’s had a swim at Zita Park.

Logan - Adventure Junkie wanting more and faster..

WD going safe and steady (which makes for lovely in focus pictures)

The Littlest of the all with his hat

Making a point of taking more pictures together.

Before that we had an outing to Irene Dairy Farm and if my mind serves me well the Sunday before that we spent leisurely strolling through the Unica Market.

 

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The frustrating part is, he planted a seed of hope

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I had my 6 week check up with the gynae yesterday.  Frustrating as it was, the first things he asked me after the general small talk was: “Are you planning to have a another baby” and “don’t you want a girl?”

The frustrating part is, he planted a seed of hope.

The Neo-Natal Nurses blatantly told us that we shouldn’t have another baby, Oliver was green enough and the next baby will be worse.  This freaked Kobus and I out and we vowed there and then to stop adding to our family.

Yesterday however my doc recommended that we have blood tests done in 6 months time and assess the risk in having another baby.

It can’t do any harm I guess, as long as I don’t put my heart on it.  I can get a little obsessive.

the many different faces…

3 Weeks ago I was blissfully unaware of what this short time would hold for my family and I. I was a mother on the brink of meeting my sweet baby boy after what felt like a lifetime of carrying him around in my womb.  I was unaware of any kind of complication.  I was gullible enough to expect everything to go according to plan.

Cuddling after our first feed

During the second day in hospital, we were told that little Oliver had a bit of jaundice and would be placed under the lights for some phototherapy.  It was only the following morning when he was taken to Neo Natal ICU when the severity of the whole experience hit us.  And in many ways we were still completely unaware what the real issue was.  To the normal eye, he looked (even if a bit yellow) like a healthy 3.6kg baby.

Over the course of the weekend, Kobus and I learn a whole lot of new words, statistical counts and information we never knew we needed to know.  All this still meant very little, every bit of information was linked to a whole lot of other factors and no timeframe/ limit could be set to anything.  By the Monday we were finished, we needed answers and recommendations.  We needed to know that “A” is what we hope for, if “A” doesn’t happen we will proceed with “B” and if that doesn’t work we have “C, D and E” to look into.

Oliver was under the phototherapy lights, on the billi-blanket.  (which finally gave in due to overuse)

IV Drip to my arm, tanning away.

Diagnosis – ABO Incompatibility and Hyperbilirubinemia

Timeline:

22 Sept @ 11h31 – Oliver Mackenzie Born

23 Sept @ 08h50 – BilliT 219 / C 73 / HB 12.3 – Phototherapy in the Maternity ward baby room

24 Sept @ 07h50 – BillT 332 / C 151 – Oli admitted to NICU, Fluid given via IV drip.

@14h00 – BilliT 345 / C 172 / HB 11.1

@17h30 – BilliT 362 / C 174 – Oli given a second drip with antibiotics to assist liver to process Billirubin.  Urine sample sent for testing reveals no abnormalities with liver and no infections.  Billirubin count peaks

@22h00 – BilliT 350 / C 179 / HB 9.3 – Billirubin coming down, Kobus and I get very excited.

25 Sept @ 07h50 – BilliT 351 / C200 – Conjugated Billirubin count introduced to K and I, as the count after the blood has passed through the liver for processing.  This count shows great concern due to the fact that it keeps increasing unlike the Billirubin count which seems to slowly start coming down.

Paed requests a sonar of Oli’s liver, gallbladder, pancreas and kidneys.  Although the liver is bigger than it should be at Oli’s age, this is normal due to the fact that it is working so hard at processing the Billirubin, other that this all the organs are normal.

@15h41 – BilliT 336 / C 184 – Conjugated count comes down – great excitement.  Blood sent to the blood bank to be analysed.

26 Sept @ 05h15 – BilliT 342 / C 215 / HB 8.8 – Conjugated count shoots up.  Followed by introduction of HB (haemoglobin) as the oxygen carrying property in the blood.  Complete meltdown, followed by “demand to know answers” session in the Pediatrician’s offices.  Blood is order from the blood bank and was given to Oli the same evening.

Pediatrician also orders a torch screen to rule out a bunch of other things that could determine whether there are any other complication that may have an effect on Oli’s recovery.

The nurse assisting Oli for the day mentions Lactose free formula in hope that this will help with the digestive process, Pediatrician gives the go ahead.

Kobus and I hold our baby for the first time in 3 days.

27 Sept @ 08h00 – BilliT 253 / C 146 / HB 11.6 – Improvement thank goodness.  Blood given to Oli makes a huge difference.  Kobus and I start assisting with bottle feeding (under the lights), bathing and nappy changing like “normal parents”.

Burping a baby under the lights

28 Sept @ 10h00 – BilliT 242 / C 141 / HB 12.5 – Torch Screen results brings good news.  Kobus and I are being taught a hard lesson in being patient and allowing the little body to recover at his own pace.

29 Sept @ 09h00 – BilliT 180 / C 110 / HB 10.4 – Great excitement as we stop the phototherapy and antibiotics.  Inevitably this means more cuddles with our baby and holding him when we give him his bottle.

No More Lights

30 Sept – BilliT 172 / HB 11.4 – Good news – IV drip removed and Oliver is allowed to drink breast milk again (all my hard work expressing milk finally paying off).  Bad news, his saturation levels have dropped and he requires some oxygen to assist him in breathing.

01 Oct – BilliT 150 / C 82 / HB 10.8 – Little Master Swart is doing so well fighting the Billi all on his own – no meds, no lights, no fluids.  But we can see he is very tired and for the first time since he has been in NICU we can see that he is a sick baby.  Our baby is fed his milk through a nose pipe to the tummy.

Forehead in great need of some intensive moisturizing TLC

02 Oct – Sunday. Day of rest.  No blood tests.  Incubator heaters switched off, littlest is dressed in clothing (for the second time in his little life) and maintains his own body temperature.

03 Oct – Oli is still getting oxygen when he needs it, the nurses are trying to wean him from the oxygen.  We breast feed from the breast for the first time since he has been admitted to NICU.  So proud of my little monster.

04 Oct – BillliT 141 / HB 10.4 – Pediatrician prescribed some iron drops to help Oli’s body create haemoglobin.  He thinks Oli needs time to recover and that no more blood/ additional medication is needed.

05 Oct – As I arrive at the hospital the nurses tell me that the pediatrician has been in to see Oli and that if everything remains as is, he can go home the following day :)

06 Oct – After 13 long days in NICU and two weeks after he was born, Oliver is discharged from hospital.

First day at home and taking in my surroundings

Early morning cuddles with my big brother

Ready for my first outing

The Nursery

We have had so much fun with Oliver’s Nursery.  Bless my husband, he worked so hard!  I remember the first day we started clearly, he asked:  “So where do you want the stripes” as if there would only be a stripe of two… I have to say he has a sense of humour and perseverance to match my ever ideal!

At first the idea was to paint white stripes over the already beige walls, in a sort of minimalistic way.  The beige stripe weren’t potent enough to my liking and the room felt heavy and warm.  Luckily my husband felt the need to repaint the beige and we very quickly decided to try an alternative colour!

The theme is Vintage Mickey, inspiration was found here, I love this nursery!  I adore this man’s talent and I wish I had his vision and 3 months in which to complete something similar.  To view more of the images, follow the link to Joey Ellis’ flickr album.

I do however think what K and I managed to accomplish with our little one’s nursery is awesome and I love it.

The nursery is *almost* complete, apart from a couple of imagines I would like to frame and hang on the walls.  I really should get a move on with them, however I see things – these kind of things like a work in progress, so I will take my time!

The next project is the boys’ bedroom.  The whole while planning the nursery, I have been thinking of themes and way in which to create something magical for 2 very different boys.  Something they can feel inspired by and grow into.  Something that captures something of both their personalities in some way.  I am so happy to say I have found this theme.  I will however keep it for myself for the moment!

Mr. Swart legally and otherwise..

  When I started this post, the idea really was to tell you about our little trip to Home Affairs due to the fact that I now need an unabridged birth certificate to enroll my kid in school.  An unabridged birth certificate that will take 3 months to be processed.  An unabridged certificate that will only be attached once I have it, to the application that I will submit on Monday by the latest!

Now that I have it off my chest, I can tell you how our trip to Home Affairs was pretty productive since I managed to have Logan’s surname changed from Thompson to Swart.  Or at least gotten the ball (that will take approximately 6 months) on the roll!

It was easier than I imagined it would be!  It it took was a little letter explaining that the father of my child (that was born out of wedlock) had disappeared, along with the empty promise of marrying me.  And a second letter from Kobus saying that he has no objections to Logan being called by his surname, because we are married.

So in a couple of months when you ask Logan “What is your surname?” and he answers “Mr. Swart” it will be legally and otherwise true!

26 Weeks vs. 29 Weeks

When looking at best friend’s photos of her pregnant belly one can see a defining difference from the photo taken at 26 weeks and 28 weeks.  Naturally I have been holding my breath up until now – 29 Weeks in order to see whether this pattern will have the same effect with me.

I can report that there most certainly is a difference between 26 weeks and 29 weeks, however nothing too dramatic in my opinion:

I have to report being 29 weeks pregnant that I am relieved that I am this far, day-dreaming for the next 10 weeks to pass swiftly and petrified the baby comes too early!

I can say for certain that I am trusting the medical professionals that have been telling me my baby is a girl.  We’ve been shopping girl; deciding on a name girl and planned a girly nursery!  We’ve been speaking to a little girl and our boys are referring to the baby by name.

We’ve come a long way!

Tomorrow we are off to see the gynae and afterwards we will have a 4D scan.  I am positively thrilled!