Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Peter's Story - days 6 - 8

Days six and seven, were Peter's first real taste of home. It's where he got to see his family in action, and where we got to see how everything suddenly changed around this new little person.

After our first bath at home

Peter enjoyed his first bath at home, and Dad was proud to see him wearing the "Doctor Who" body suit he got especially for him. I dedicated a lot of time breastfeeding, which I missed out on doing while in hospital. It was a lovely time.

Of course, speaking of 'hospital' there was a little proviso in leaving - getting a follow-up blood test to check how his borderline jaundice was progressing. On day eight, we had a lactation consultant appointment at the hospital (which was brilliant at helping me) and so we took Peter to do the blood test afterwards. Then it was off to catch-up on some food shopping!

Life was returning to normal. But just as we hit the first shop to collect some bibs for Peter, we received a phone call on the mobile. It was the dreaded paediatricians again, and it wasn't good news. Two hours later and the blood results were already in. They wanted to admit him that night, to do some light therapy for his jaundice. It broke my heart...

Love you Sweetie!

So my little baby boy, got another feeding tube up his nose, he was cooked under the lights for 12 hours and had to wear a blindfold so it wouldn't burn his eyes. My breastfeeding got put on hold again, but at least I got to spend the night with him in the Pediatric ward. On the whole though, I hated it and I hated the whole industrialised attitude at the hospital.

I don't want to mar Peter's story with grievances about hospitals, but I will say that while I respect the need of trained medical staff to save lives which are in serious jeopardy, I'm not sure why they would want to clog the system up with "just in case" patients. One would think a firm diagnosis would ensure necessary treatment, rather than treating every baby as if they were in serious jeopardy.

I can only say this having birthed two children, ten years apart. The system has changed from a diagnosis based treatment plan, to a mass production line of neonates - all being treated as if they're going to die. My son was denied breast milk during those vital few days following birth, in preference for being dosed up on antibiotics, formula and glucose drips instead.

I cannot say if these added measures saved his life or not, because it wasn't a diagnosis based treatment plan. It was explained to me every time, as a, 'just in case', measure.

 Peter loves cuddles

But that part of our lives is behind us now. Our little Peter is going from strength to strength. Whatever lack of appetite he experienced in the past, has been made up for now! Sadly, we had to give up breast milk, due to Peter's tongue being the wrong shape for good extraction, but it was the second bout of mastitis which really did it for me. I'm glad we stuck with it, for as long as we could though.

And now about Peter's name. We had originally selected another one, and it's one I really loved. It was, "Millan". Feedback from relatives however, wasn't very encouraging. We decided to err on the side of caution and stick with a traditional name instead. "Peter" was in honour of David's departed Father.

So in a nutshell, that is Peter's story, of the first eight days of his life. When I look at his older sister though, I know how quickly time flies by. It's why I cherish every smile I give him now. He will linger with us for as long as possible, but manhood will soon call him one day, and I will have to say goodbye to my little boy, once and for all.

In the meantime its lots of cuddles and kisses!


  1. very sweet story. I understand your frustration with the just-in-case thing.

  2. The medical side cannot give guarantees either way, but pressure you to go along with their recommendations. Had I seen what was coming (the spiral of knock-on effects from medical interventions) I would have delayed him being admitted to the Special Care Nursery by one hour. His blood sugar levels were trending upwards not backwards, and we just needed him to stay above the 2.6 they were aiming for. He hit that magic mark, just before the paediatrician came in to talk Special Care Nursery.

    But then I was in shock from a very sudden and traumatic delivery, so didn't have the "join the dots" equations I'm used to thinking through. Cannot take our experience back though - we can only learn from it. ;)

  3. Chris, you could not have known ahead of time to prepare a response for an unknown situation after giving birth-regarding your comment above. The important thing is that he is okay.
    I am sad to hear that you gave up breast feeding. Are you pumping and bottle feeding? When I couldn't breast feed the lactation specialists (God bless those ladies) brought the babies to me, had me strip from the waist up and had the baby strip down to the nappy. This was to replace that special breast feeding bonding. The babies loved it! And it felt that special to me too.

    Well, I am sure things are settling in just fine. I am happy to hear you are both home and healthy. Peter looks very healthy to me in the photos.

  4. Breastfeeding was a logistical nightmare, lol, but not for the want of trying! The lactation consultant keyed me in to the fact Peter had the completely wrong shaped tongue for proper extraction. But she gave me a breast shield to help counter that.

    The constant interruptions with hospital visits meant my milk was constantly building but rarely being extracted, so mastitise. Got over that painful bout to try breastfeeding again and we went really well for nearly a week. But discovered I wasn't attaching him properly and he had developed thrush as a result of the antibiotics.

    Had to stop feeding him as much and wait 24 hours to get the free breast pump to help with extraction. It helped a little, but the thrush made it painful to pump, so bout of mastitise number two!!

    It was so painful, I just couldn't use the breast pump any more either. I decided as much as breast milk was everything he SHOULD be having, I was feeling incredibly ill with so much going wrong that I couldn't continue. The clincher was not being able to hold him without bursting into tears of agony. I decided enough was enough and we'd try formula.

    It's not the magic bullet as it gives him wind, but we're trying some natural remedies to help. Sorry for the long story, but it's why I had to give up breastfeeding. Nothing surrounding Peter's entry into the world, was simple, lol, but at least he's well, I'm well and we're managing. ;)

  5. Chris, so sorry you had to endure so much! NO its not a long story at at all! Some people just cannot breast feed. At least you made every effort. I am sure you will find the right solution for Peter re-formulas.


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