Happy Mothers Day!!! Wow, my first Mothering Sunday being a Mum of 4!!!…. Were looking forward to having our lovely mums to our house for a special brunch with us and Flo, then a visit to our 3 little ladies later!
It’s amazing how the time just whizzes past when your little ones are in hospital, it’s been a week and a half already that we’ve been back in Northampton on Gosset ward with our 3 beautiful girls. They seem to have settled into this next little stage of their lives really well. In Oxford they start the prem babies on hourly tube feeds so the girls would have the few ml of milk through their tubes which were put down their throats as their noses had tubes in to help them breath. Once they got back to Northampton they had already been a day or two without ventilation so when I arrived on the Wednesday morning to see they had their tubes for feeding in their noses, and they also were put onto two hourly feeds it felt like another step forward, every little thing seems such a big deal in these little lovelies lives!
We are sharing a room with a lovely couple Lizzy and Jeff who have had twins, there is a really nice calm vibe to our room, and our children were all born on the same day it seems perfect that we can share this beginning of our multiple journeys together.
It’s nice to be able to have ‘normal conversation’ not just about babies, even though it’s a lovely atmosphere in the hospital and the nurses and doctors are so brilliant at what they do, it can feel really draining, so to have a friend to chin wag to in between feeding, changing or expressing is really good! It’s been great in our room to have Flo come in and spend some time with her sisters. The nurses and Lizzy have been great with her allowing her to be involved and start getting to know her sisters. Flo has been amazing with Eden, Amber and Erin, so hopefully this will help the four of them bond and be great friends for life.
The day’s kind of blur into each other, it’s a constant round of taking temperatures, changing, feeding, changing, sterilising then expressing…then start again!!
The nurses are so good at showing you everything, I felt really nervous at first I was doing things wrong, or worried about hurting them as they are so tiny, but they give me so much confidence and praise all the time it makes me feel like I’m doing a good job being their mum.
I didn’t have a great experience of breast feeding with Flo so I had already made the decision I would formula feed our next baby, then when we found out it was 3 the decision became definite that we’d formula feed!! Through my pregnancy steve and I had chatted about feeding we were both happy to bottle feed, I decided I’d like to try to express my milk at the beginning especially as the babies would be born early I felt it’d be better for their premature tummies. I’ve been expressing since a couple of days after birth, we hired a hospital breast pump which I got on really great with so its made it easier to begin to get a stash of milk together. As I wasn’t producing any or enough in the first couple of days, Oxford used a donor milk, I can’t thank the mums who donate their milk enough, until you experience first hand the needs of these tiny little babies you don’t comprehend what something a simple as donor milk does for them. So my milk was frozen and after 2 weeks of using the donor milk they then went solely onto my milk, and three hourly feeds. They are all now on ‘full’ feeds which is measured by their own body weight so as they get heavier their feed goes up. The nurses asked if we’d like to start giving them all a bottle this last few days as they had all been rooting or sucking a dummy while they were being tube fed, so the clever little girls are now having one bottle to two tube feeds!! It feels so good that both myself and steve have been able to give them their first bottles, it makes us both feel part of it.
Everything seems so positive with their progress, they are making lots of little steps each one is a step closer to being home.
I’ve had a crappy couple of days with pain whilst expressing or sharp pain like hot needles going through my boobs, I’ve developed the start of mastitis and thrush (I didn’t even know you could get that there!!?) it’s been agony, needless to say there have been tears!! Thankfully the nurses told me to get to the doctors and they have put me on medication and antibiotics, so I’ve decided while it’s painful anyway I’m stopping expressing too, I’m really proud of myself for doing as much as I did, it was far better than my first time round with Flo!!
It’s funny I feel so much more relaxed this time around, even though there are 3 babies that are premature I feel like I’m more equipped to deal with any situation, I don’t feel like a failure if I can’t put a nappy on straight away or if I can’t wind them properly, I have no preconceived ideas of what I ‘should’ be doing, I’m just happy to let every situation unfold and I’m making the most of it!!