Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

A Poorly Zachary

I had a comment on my last post this morning, asking for Zachary's birth story! 

This has been sitting typed on my laptop for almost a week, but unfortunately I haven't been able to post it due to little Zac being readmitted to hospital only four days after he came home. So it is difficult to know where to start first, birth story or subsequent hospital stay! I'll start with hospital stay and post about his birthday a bit later! 

On his third day home our precious boy started to get sleepier and sleepier, and after an amazing start to breastfeeding (unlike his big brother, you all may remember!) he started to get fussy, especially on the left side and feeding really poorly, bobbing on and off and not really suckling well at all by the afternoon on Wednesday. It was like he had forgotten how to latch and lost all instinct to feed. We were having to wake him up, and really struggling to rouse him to the point we were spending more time trying to wake and latch him than he was actually feeding. 

I just knew something wasn't right so we popped him along to the GP to get him checked for thrush or something else that may have drastically changed his previously good feeding. The GP was very concerned about the change in his behaviour and his sleepiness, combined with the now poor feeding, jaundice appearance and slight temperature by the end of the afternoon we had been sent to the hospital for a paediatrician check. Initially we were led to believe that because I had been taking co-codomol for pain relief for a few days it was possible that what had transferred to Zac through my milk had made him sleepy and it was just a case of waiting for him to clear it out of his system. 

However, after a long wait in Children's Assessment, being seen by a nurse, then a junior Doctor and then finally a Registrar, the Registrar explained that experience told them that they can't ignore even one slight spike in temperature in a baby so small, and that although the co-codomol might be a factor they had to explore and treat him for infection. She said tiny babies do two of three things when they are unwell; they get sleepy or irritable and they go off their feeds. Zac was excessively sleepy and off his feeds and was presenting like an unwell newborn. So we were admitted and watched Doctors torture treat our tiny tiny boy. He has endured so much during his hospital stay. Firstly having a cannula placed in his hand, and because of his tiny veins of course it didn't go in first time, then needing a lumber puncture, and then having a nasal-gastic tube placed to give him some of his feeds and then cannula replaced after the first one came out with him fighting staff doing the LP and NG. 

 It has been very difficult to watch and hear our baby scream in so much pain, knowing its for his own good but wanting them to stop hurting him all at the same time. It has been an extremely stressful and frightening few days. He has been on high-dose antibiotics but all test results are now indicating he was suffering a viral rather than bacterial infection. Which makes sense when he came home to a house full of colds. 

I've been feeling so guilty. My little boy born because my inability to cope any further into a pregnancy, technically he should still be a bump but has already endured nasty painful procedures and been readmitted to hosptial unwell. Wednesday night through Thursday and Friday I was just getting increasingly scared. Everything seemed to have escalated so quickly and it all felt chaotic and out of control. I'll admit I irrationally convinced myself there was going to be something terribly wrong and that we were going to lose our littlest boy. After thinking those fears could evaporate a little after he was born safely our experiences this week have made me very fearful again. 

Then Friday night through to Saturday he started to turn around. 

His last NG feed was 3.00pm Friday afternoon. A few of those seemed to give him the energy to wake up a bit more and feed for himself. Friday night he kept me awake a lot, which was lovely! As exhausted as I was feeling by the morning I was just pleased he was behaving like a normal newborn again. All through Saturday he started waking for feeds himself after two and a half/three hours instead of us battling with him to wake up. Or if we were having to begin rouse him he was taking only a little persuasion! 

Midweek I thought our breastfeeding journey was going to be over before it had even really begun but it seems he has re-clicked with it now and is taking to it with less trouble than Alexander did. For a start we're currently feeding without shields! He feeds a lot quicker than Xander did and seems to be finished in 10-20 minutes compared to his big brothers epic hours; now I just need to trust him to know what he needs and rely on his wet and dirty nappies as an indicator of taking enough milk. His latch seems mostly good but I do want to get that checked again this week. I'm only a little bit sore, which I think is mostly 'toughening up' sore at the moment than any real damage. I'm hoping weigh in this week will finally show a gain too - that will be reassuring that everything is finally going the right direction.

This morning the Doctors decided he was well enough again to go home and discharged us. I'm so pleased we're home together again, especially for Xander who has been pulled pillar to post these last few weeks and his Mummy disappearing into hospital for the third time in a month. 

But very nervous too, it feels a huge responsibility having him home after being a poorly newborn. I hope we are home longer than four days this time! 

So there we are, Zachary has spent most of his life in hospital so far but we're hopeful this week we can start enjoying Jon's time off with us, doing lovely things with our boys. 

Birth story to follow a little later :)


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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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