Tube Feeding and Long Lines

27.7.10

Today had a much more positive start even though David and I overslept by one hour.  We arrived at the unit about 9am in time for the doctors’ rounds.  Both Esther and William seem to be doing well.  The blue lights are off and they are having my milk through a tube.  By tomorrow it could be as much as 1ml an hour.  I need to get expressing!

David was doing Esther’s care today and so washed her and changed her nappy.  She was off the CPAP for her care and breathing well on her own.  She is such a strong and beautiful girl.  She definitely suits her name of Esther. 

After our daughter’s care it was time to express some milk.  We tried the machine again, 15 minutes on each breast, and it really seemed to be working.  Touching the babies helps with getting the milk to flow.

I feel more confident at the hospital today.  After William’s care David will be going home and leaving me here til Michele arrives at about half past two. 

The doctors said today that they had been waiting for our babies since I was rushed into hospital on 10th July and that I had done well to keep them going til nearly 28 weeks.  They will be 28 weeks tomorrow and seem to be doing all the right things.  I love them both so much already.

Today my milk seems much better. At 10.30am I managed to express just under 20mls!  Trying to establish an expressing routine is a good challenge but difficult when babies are not actually feeding.

After 10.30am expression I was able to give William his care.  This involved a little wash, cleaning his mouth and changing his nappy.  I love doing it but always feel a bit scared.  After William’s care David and I had some food together before he went home.  I came back to the unit to find Esther and William having their head scans.  The doctor was very pleased with both of them saying that they were easy to scan and their results were normal.  I sat in the unit for a while before going off to the breastfeeding room to express again.  Just before I left the doctor came to talk to me.  Esther needs to have a ‘long line’.  This is a fine tube that will be threaded through a main vein in her arm to just near her heart.  It is a tricky and tiring procedure which will take a lot out of her.  It may not work first time and so they will have to keep trying until it does work.  The doctor has advised me not to stay and watch as can be distressing .  Esther will have morphine to help relieve the pain.  Apparently the worst bit will be the needle piercing her skin.  My little fighter, I hoep that she is going to be alright.

Came back from expressing at 1.45pm.  I sat with William as the doctors were busy with Esther.

Before expressing I had read each of them their stories again.  How to Catch A Star for Esther and Lost and Found for William, both by Oliver Jeffers.  Great books.

It was horribel hearing Esther’s cries as they fed the tube through her veins.  William seemed to know what was going on too.  I was able to touch him and talk to him and comfort him as they worked on his twin.  It sounded as if the doctors were trying to put the line in and Esther was pulling it back out!  I love her so much.  Our little Star!  Our very brave girl!

As I was about to leave to meet Michele it seemed Esther’s line was in place.  They were waiting for xray and contrast to confirm it was all in the right place.  So now we wait!

Came back to hospital at 5.45pm.  Esther was very chilled after her procedure and slept soundly through David changing her nappy.   She looked peaceful and relaxed.  William also was sleeping soundly.  They both look so well!  I want to take them home!

This evening we saw the babies have their blood tests.  William is doing well and does not need to go under the blue light.  Both twins have low bicarbonate in their blood which means that their blood is acidic.  Acidic blood means that things, bodily functions, don’t happen as they should.  Because of this their blood tests are being changed from every 12 hours to every 8.  If the levels drop then they will be given extra bicarbonate to realign the PH levels of their blood. This will be given through their lines and is apparently very common in preterm babies.

The doctor today has been brilliant with the babies, and with David and I.

Tomorrow will be another day.

Sleep well babies x x x x x

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About willest

Very proud 34 year old Mum of twins William and Esther, born on 24th July 2010 at 27 weeks and 3 days
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