My first six weeks by Elijah... (pic heavy)
When I was born I was very sick. I didn't feel like breathing much so the doctors put me on a machine that did it for me. I needed a rest after spending so long in Mummy's tummy - they gave me special medicine to help me relax.
My Mum and Dad were very worried - I wish I could have told them 'I'm a strong boy so don't worry'. During my first week I didn't really make any progress. I was on 100% oxygen and a whole lot of other IV drugs which made me really puffy. I looked like a little Buddha.
My doctor in NICU(Neonatal Intensive Care Unit)was very clever and with help from other doctors and nurses, fixed me up within two weeks! I was as good as new. Poor Mummy had a sore tummy from where the doctor pulled me out so she stayed in the same hospital as me so she could be near and look after me.
After eight days Mummy went home because she was getting sad in the hospital and needed some fresh air. I didn't mind because Mummy came to see me everyday.
After two weeks, I took another ride in the ambulance back to North Shore Hospital. There I stayed in SCBU (Special Care Baby Unit). At first I didn't like it because it was so noisy and all the other babies were so tiny!!!
Then the doctor found out I had an infection called MRSA so I had to go into isolation. Mummy panicked when she saw my cot wasn't in the main unit - she thought I had gone back to NICU and they hadn't told her. But I was just around the corner in my own special room.
After a week the nurses saw I was getting bored and far too big for my little cot so they found a big one for me. You could have put ten babies in that cot and there still would have been room to move! They also found me a mobile to watch and a bouncinette to play in.
I only had two tubes in, one for my oxygen and the other for my food. It was possible that these would still be in when I went home but it was up to me to decide. While I was in SCBU I was on a strict feeding regime. Mostly I was tube fed but I tried hard to breastfeed. Then I tried a bottle that they had given me in NICU but I found the cross-cut silicone teat very tiring to suck on. The speech language therapist decided I should try a Pidgeon bottle which has soft teat with a special valve. It was alot easier to get the milk without choking on it.
What I couldn't drink from the bottle was put through my tube. But I kept spilling for the nurses, it was too much for my little tummy. Mummy told the nurse and after asking the doctor they agreed I could have less. I still got alot of wind but I was getting really good at burping and farting.
I thought Mummy had been through enough so one day I decided I didn't need the oxygen, so I pulled it out and the nurses said they weren't gonna give it back! Mummy and Daddy were so proud of me.
On the 6th of February the doctor said Mummy could stay in the parents room with me and if I fed well without the tube (because I pulled it out) and put on weight then I could go home. Well guess what - my Mummy did so well even thought she didn't get any sleep. I slept all night but Mummy got me up and fed me anyway. I loved being with Mummy all the time and I'm sure she liked it too.
On the 8th of February, the nurse weighed me early in the morning. Mummy was so proud because I had put on weight. The nurse told the doctor and he said I was good to go home - how exciting!!! About lunchtime Daddy came to pick us up. We said goodbye to the nurses and Mummy carried me carefully down to the car. It was the first time I had ever been outside but I was fast asleep so I don't really remember much. Daddy drove home carefully while Mummy sat next to me.
I was finally out of hospital and in my own home.