Friday, 29 February 2008

Photos from Mel

Especially for all the SA stalkers rofl! :) Mel did a brilliant job, these are my 3 favourites, although really, I loved them all! Thankyou Mel! :) Love the BW conversions.

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Friday 29th February

Niamh has been fairly good, but is still having desats.(Oxygen levels drop,heart rate can slow and breathing is affected) Her haemoglobin levels are low so she will be having a blood transfusion today. Hopefully that will help her. She now has a dummy to suck on which she seems to like and I have ordered some special premmie dummies from America which are on their way right now! Niamhs milk has been put up to 3.5ml/hour and her weight is 62og. I will have to find out her length and head circumference tomorrow.

Here is some video from Tuesday 26th when she had just opened the second eye:

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Thursday 28th February

Not a lot to report today. Niamh is still showing signs of having the duct open as she has been a bit unstable. She looked comfortable though and was trying to have a good look around. Im really missing her today and wish I could take her home.

A friend came in today who takes the most stunning photographs! She kindly offered to take some of Niamh as well so we are building up quite a portfolio! We got our photos back from the ACOCP photographer today and they are amazing! We love them! I will put some up later.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Wednesday 27th February

I phoned for an update on Niamh this morning. She has been fairly stable and nothing has really changed. She will be given the third dose of Indocid tonight. I believe the murmour is still there, so it is a matter of time to see if the duct will close or not.

We just got back from seeing Niamh, she looked so sweet. As soon as she heard our voices she was desparately trying to open one eye and have a good look at us! She has now finished the Indocid. Ill be back in the morning to see her.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Tuesday 26th February


Went to see Niamh this morning, she has had a much better morning. She has now opened the other eye and was peering at me and reaching her arm out. She is so cute! They cant hear the heart murmour now so fingers crossed the duct has closed. She will still have the second dose of Indocid today. Edited to add: It seems a bit random re the murmour, some can hear it, some can't so we are to assume it is still open.

I washed her hair for her as it was looking so greasy poor little thing, I cleaned her eyes and changed her nappy. I love doing things for her, its not much, but it makes you feel useful. I took her new clothes in for her today, spent yesterday handwashing them and ironing them! Ironing took about 5 minutes, they are so tiny :) Also went for coffee morning again and met some new parents. They are all so friendly, its great to catch up and hear how their babies are going.

I came home to another parcel on the doorstep, this one is from a very good friend in Queensland, I have to show you these beautiful tops she has made for Niamh! Thank you Becci, you are very talented! I love them! I can't believe you found a NICU friendly pattern and made these so quick! I couldn't have chosen better fabric ;) I lurve red and white and cherries especially! I bought a gorgeous pair of white 'bloomers' for Niamh with red cherries all over them! It will be a while before she wears those though!

Monday, 25 February 2008

Monday 25th February

Niamh has been a bit unstable and unfortunately the fact that her duct has reopened is causing a setback for her. She has been reduced down to 2mls/hour of milk and this morning had a chest X-ray and a cardio echogram. She may be given more indocid to close the duct, but I don't know yet. It is now highly unlikely she will be off ventilation this week as she is too unstable. This is really frustrating as she was doing so well, but these steps backwards are to be expected.

Postie has just been again, so more thankyous for Niamhs gorgeous pressies!

Spoke to Anthony this afternoon as he went to see her. They have started another course of Indocid and have also reintubated her. This time the ventilation tube will go up her nose and not down her throat. She had been sedated so hopefully it will cause her minimum discomfort.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Sunday 24th February

Niamh opened an eye!!!

Look closely, you can see her eye nearest the sheet is open!

Changing her nappy, look at those little chicken legs! :)

She looked so cute today, our little one eyed wonder :) She was looking as hard as she could at us with her tiny dark eye, can't wait until the other one opens up too. I did her cares today, wiped her eyes, tooke her temp, changed her nappy and repositioned her oxygen monitor. I also moisturised her arms and hands as they were looking a little dry. I brought her little hat and booties home to wash.

Did I mention I have sent off for Niamhs very own clothing lables? She has got so many clothes I thought we better lable them or they may get lost. I got small, iron on clothing dots with her name and a butterfly on in bright pink. Despite my earlier misgivings about all things pink, I have joined with armies of other mums with girls and fallen in love with the colour!! Look out!

Anthony is feeling much better today. He wasnt able to see Niamh on Thursday or Friday as he was feeling so rough, but yesterday and today he came to the hospital but just didnt touch her, just in case. Hopefully he will be able to have a cuddle with her next week!

We named Niamh's star today, it is in the Southern Cross constellation.

Unfortunately the little duct that we wanted to be closed and did close, had reopened and is causing her to fluctuate in her levels. Its highly usual for this to happen but frustrating all the same. I think the doctors may give her another dose of Indocid to see if it will close, but she may need the operation to close it. Again, this is a common procedure, but not one we really want her to have to go through. Niamhs milk has increased to 3.5ml/hour and has now been fortified with calories. She will start on the Pippin trial tomorrow. She was weighed overnight and has lost 10grams.

She looked so comfy when we left her, all warm and laying on her side, peering at us with her one open eye!

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Saturday 23rd February

We went and saw Niamh this afternoon which was great. She is doing so well and her feeds have now gone up to 3ml/hour which she is tolerating well. She needed her isolette changed today so it was a good opportunity for a cuddle! She really loves her cuddles! She was so calm and snug and kept flinging her arm around and waving at us :) She has had her cannula removed from her arm now so doesnt have the huge white splint there. Her little finger and index finger looked quite wonky today, we will ask the doctors about it.

Niamh really looked as though she wanted to open her eyes. There are little black slits there now and they are watering. When daddy started to talk to her she was really lifting her forehead and eyebrows to hear him, it was so cute! She is desparate to see us now I think! She also reacted really well to Bailey yesterday.

I forgot to say that I took him in to see Niamh. He had been asking to see her and refused the creche so I thought why not? I was planning a shorter visit anyway and was glad it was as he was pretty restless! He enjoyed shouting 'HALLO NIAMH, IM YOUR BRUVVER' through the 'portholes' in the isolette though and she really reacted to him (unsurprisingly, he was loud) :)

We have also decided to let Niamh participate in a trial. Premature babies need more protein than full termers and the trial involves increasing the level of protein in the formula that is mixed with breast milk. There is no guarentee that she will even get the trial version but the normal mix still has protein in it, just not the boosted level. She will start to get weighed daily now that she is stronger and this is one of the ways of monitoring her progress.

A picture of Bailey today, he looked so cute in his little wellies and he insisted on putting on his hat. He wanted to go outside a pretend to put petrol in the car! I also love the first picture of Niamh, she has her little mouth and face all scrunched up. Bailey used to do this as a baby and it looked really familiar today! So strange how they have similar mannerisms, even the hand up like that is the same.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Friday 22nd February

Niamh is doing really well again today. As you can see she is happily snuggling her wookie and loving her new hat! She has so many comments on that hat, even the doctor mentioned it! ;)

She has been relatively stable and is doing well with her feeds and they have now been increased to 2.5ml/hour. Providing she keeps going well, they are aiming to up it to 4ml by early next week. It will be exciting to get her off the ventilation too as she will start to make little noises! It was changed today to a more gentle method of giving her breaths, so all good steps.

Her eyes looked like they were starting to open today. There are little black slits showing so not long now hopefully!

We have been asked to participate in a research trial. It involves adding extra protein to her milk feeds to help her grow. They already add some to my milk but this is a higher amount. We are going to some reading about it and then make a decision, but it seems to be a good idea. We have the weekend to decide.

Niamhs blood transfusion yesterday went well, and she is much pinker today! She was looking a little pale the last couple of days.

Once again I got home to a pile of pressies for Niamh! The Giddy aunts have really spoiled her! Thank you so much girls, we really appreciate it and the time and effort it took to put it all together(Special thanks to Leoni and her homemade fudge and beautiful artwork). Niamh got some beautiful, special premmie clothes as well as some handmade outfits and new hats for her to wear too! She has done so well, I can't believe it! Niamh is a lucky girl :)

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Thursday February 21st

I am two weeks old!

Edited to add: I am back to my birth weight of 570g as of 20/02/08!

What a busy day! I know some of you have been checking in for news, sorry its taken so long. Tony hasn't been well, so its been a hectic evening on my own trying to get everything done. Bailey didn't get to bed until 8.45pm which is late for him, we got chatting to the neighbours as we went for a walk to the post box. We then ran out of milk so I had to dash up the shop before it shut at 9pm, then bring in the washing, put out the bins etc etc. Ive left the dishes as I wanted to update Niamhs blog and then I am going to bed!

Well, the important thing is that Niamh is doing quite well. She was a bit delicate this morning but perked up when Kate, a professional photographer came to do a photo shoot. Thankyou so much to Lisa for arranging that :). Little miss struck her poses perfectly and seemed to enjoy herself. We are going to have a real drama queen on our hands I think :) Kate was wonderful and I have already previewed some of the photos and they are fab! Kate is from a charity organisation called ACOCP (Australian Charity of Child photographers) They photograph stillborn babies, premature babies and sick children and are fabulous!

Niamhs feeds were increased today to 2ml/hour and she was handling it well. She also needed a blood transfusion today to top up her levels so had a temporary cannula put in. She was given pain relief in the form of sucrose. Apparently in babies younger than 3 months sucrose gives them 5 minutes of relief and enables short procedures to be performed. It certainly didn't seem to bother her which is very good.

The head paed said that if we get Niamh on full feeds next week (4ml/hour) and she handles it well, we may be able to get her off the ventilation! That would be great! She would be put on CPAP, for more information read this:

Bailey was a bit more unsettled today but I think this was because he was tired. He slept for 3 hours when we got home and was very cute when he woke up!


I have a few things to share with you! My aunt (Thank you Aunty Katy) sent me this lovely card today, well, ok this is the back of it lol, but look Giddies, look what it says!!!!! Our Itty Bitty Diddy Giddy has her own range of cards! My eyes nearly popped when I saw this! :)

My friend Kelly sent this card and I thought Niamh might be able to wear this little bodysuit, it would almost fit her! :) Its a beautiful card.

My good friends in Sydney sent me this beautiful bunny, not only is it a lovely soft toy for Niamh, but it also comes with naming rights to a Star! We will choose which star we would like, and where and we receive a certificate from the International Star Registry and a Star Chart. I cant wait to have a look and pick one out for her, she is our very own Star!

Another friend in NSW sent this beautiful, tiny little top for Niamh to wear. Amazingly it is still a bit big but she will grow into it! I put the pen there so you can see how narrow it is ;)

My sister sent this cute little bunny (Thanks Suzy)! It is the perfect size to put next to Niamh and I will use it as a measure as to how much she is growing. It is probably the size of her tummy at the moment :)

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Wednesday 20th February

Morning! I think its all caught up with me today and my adrenaline has run out! I am so tired I just cant get going. Bailey was up at 5.30am this morning which was fun! I did a pump and then went back to bed leaving him watching his very boring steam train video. Then Tony had to get up for work and by the time he had left, Bailey was back in bed asleep!! I thought I may as well go for a lay down too so had a bit of a nap.

We are going to see Niamh this evening so thought it would be good to have a break from the daily marathon today. We are just going to take it easy.

I just phoned for an update and all is well. She has been a little darling. They have upped her feeds to 1.5ml/hour of milk and so far she is tolerating it. Not much else to say at this point.

I have got so many emails from people, sometimes up to 15 a day and Im sorry I havent replied, but I really appreciate them. A question I have been asked and havent really mentioned here is how is Bailey coping? Well, remarkably well actually :) He is a star! He seems to really like the creche here and is happy to go. He even had a sleep one day so must be relaxed. At first he was a little out of sorts, I was in hospital and he was coming in with Tony everyday to see me. He wasn't getting his arvo sleep or having his usual routine and when I first came home he was showing signs of being a bit insecure. We showered him with lots of love and attention, went completely overboard lol, but it seems to have worked and now hes back to being 'Bailey'. We have tried as much as possible to keep his normal routine with playgroup, childcare and Kindergym so as not to disrupt him too much.

Time to read him a story...

Just been to the hospital, Niamh had been good, but decided to play up a bit for us! She soon settled down though and seemed to prefer being on her tummy. She loved her new hat and booties, and I will post a pic tomorrow. Right now I need sleep!

Photo as promised:

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Tuesday 19th February

A good day! I dropped Bailey off at Childcare this morning and made the daily trip to the hospital. I got a longer parking spot today which was nice as it was a much more relaxed visit. I popped up to see Niamh who was doing really well and went to the coffee morning with some other mums of premmie babies. This is a weekly event run by Bec, our wonderful physio :) Its great to catch up and share war stories with them. We are all having such a unique experience as all of our babies are so different and have different issues, but we can still relate to that long, awful stay in hospital and the daily visits. Im the 'youngest' on the journey as one of the girls has already been here for 19 weeks!!!

I got to have another hold today!!! When I got back at 11, I got to change Niamhs nappy, it took a while as the cheeky little girl was taking her time finishing her business lol! At least the milks digesting now and going through. They are even going to increase the amount she gets from 1ml an hour to 2mls an hour which is great! Lets hope she copes with it. As Niamh had been so stable, I got to have another hold, this time an even longer one! It lasted for about half and hour and would have been longer but I was late for expressing so had to reluctantly put her back. She was soo happy being with me, very relaxed and not stressed at all, it was lovely. I hope I get lots more cuddles!!

We also received a really beautiful gift today from a wonderful friend in Tasmania! Kate knitted a perfect little pair of booties and a matching hat in all the colours of the rainbow!! We absolutely love them! Thank you Kate, you are very talented and kind to think of Niamh's fashion requirements, even at this tender age! xxx

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Monday, 18 February 2008

A beautiful Gift

Today a wonderful friend of mine sent me the most gorgeous necklace. I am to wear it until Niamh is big enough, and then it's for her to wear! Thank you so much Saskia, you are gorgeous! xx

Monday 18th February 2008

Tony had to go back to work today so I went to visit Niamh on my own and he went at lunchtime. I managed to get there quite early and got Bailey in the creche, so that was good. Niamh seemed a little delicate today. She had pulled out her ventilation tube (naughty girl) and was manually ventilated while they sorted out a new tube. She also had a drop in heart rate while I was there which was quickly sorted out, but she seemed to be saying she wasnt very happy. She even had her little hand over her ear at one point as if she wanted us to stop talking!

Niamh is still keeping her milk down though and tummy seems ok so thats good news.

I took some cute pics of her little hands and feet today :)

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Sunday February 17th

Not much change today. Niamh was bringing up her milk this morning coupled with some green bile so they stopped the milk again and decided to do an X-Ray to see what is going on. So far there doesn't seem to be anything wrong, but we are phoning up this evening to see whats new. We got to see Niamh today, albeit briefly. Theres never enough time, and definitely never enough time completely alone with her. Its hard to have a quiet moment there. I did some of her cares and changed her nappy and then we had to leave.

I phoned up this evening and the X-Rays were fine. They started Niamh back on milk at 4pm and so far so good. She is back to 1ml every two hours. The blood cultures hadn't grown anything so it looks like she is free from infection too! Hooray :)

And her belly button stump has fallen off!

Saturday, 16 February 2008


Niamh had some visitors today (16th Feb.) Thank you Kelly and Duncan for Niamh's beautiful pressies, the photos don't do them justice!

Saturday afternoon 16th February 2008

I got to hold her!!

It was so wonderful to hold her today, she is so tiny and was well bundled up. I even got to kiss her tiny little head for the first time! She was so precious and seemed to like it. She seemed to want to open her eyes, must be so frustrating for her not being able to see around her. It was great holding her and hopefully it will happen a little more often.

I just had to come back and edit this as in my excitement I forgot to put the reason we got to hold her! Niamh was weighed today! Babies usually lose 10% of their birthweight when they are born so that would have taken her down to 510g if she lost it exactly. She weighed 560g today which isnt bad, her head has grown and I think was 20.4cm and I think she was now 29.8 cm long. I will check with the nurses later and correct it if its wrong. Little trooper growing away!

3rd edit later lol! I also forgot to say that Niamh is back on milk! It was settling in her tummy but she did lots of poos while we were there! Tony changed her nappy and then literally 3 minutes later, I was changing it too! She had to be clean for the weigh in (Sounds like the biggest loser ha ha)! I think thats all I need to tell you now. Jelly brain is not working in the least today :)