Rooming at the hospital

Falling behind a bit with everything, I’m afraid. Still, at least we’ve painted the living room and it’s ready for the furniture to go back in – we can finish off the rough edges and stuff later on…

Christ, decorating’s wearing down my heart like three months of hospital never could. 😦

As for Millie, I’m home briefly this evening to grab some dinner, pick up some things and  update this website before heading off to Lewisham Hospital one penultimate time. Tonight and tomorrow night the Lovely Melanie and I are “rooming in” there, which means we get given a little private room with a bed, and Millie comes in with us, to be looked after by us and only us, unless something goes wrong.

It’s meant to teach us how to look after Millie, but I think it’s a waste of time; we’ve been “looking after her” for weeks now – we’ve got far more experience of nappies and feeding and comforting and carrying and cleaning and general baby behaviour than the parents of any common-or-garden newborn baby have, and they get sent straight home, so I’m at a loss to understand why we should have to go through this rigmarole, as it’s,
frankly, a pain in the ass.

But on the plus side, Millie’s had eye-tests and two vaccinations – she cried at the first (BIG!) needle, but only yawned when the second one went in – she’s nothing if not a brave little girl, we knew that, but she’s also quite a cocky one, too. She also, finally, hit 4lbs today. Hooray!

And now I have to go to the hospital – the next update will probably be on Friday or Saturday, when Millie’s home – did I mention she’s definitely scheduled to come home on Friday? Barring something unpleasant happening, that is, so fingers crossed one last, final time, eh?

Free at last!

Well, some rather shocking news today – Millie feeding tube is out, she’s now sans any kind of lead or tube or monitor at all. She’s completely on her own. And not only that, but they’re very very seriously talking about her coming home – with us, for good – on Friday! This Friday, in four days time!

Wonderful wonderful news, but also a bit sudden – especially considering we were once told (many moons ago) that Millie was “extremely unlikely to go home before her due date” – the
same due date that’s still a whole month away…

Personally I think Millie’s ready, but they’re keeping her in for a bit longer mainly just to check that she can keep up her remarkable progress. Even so – Friday!!

Millie042If you can’t wait that long (like us) then here’s a picture of Millie completely au naturelle

All good news

All kinds of news to report from yesterday, all of it good!

Dad got to give his girl a bath, and I think both dad and Millie were a bit surprised by that – Millie because dad has bigger, rougher, hairier hands than the Lovely Melanie, and dad because it wasn’t nearly as scary as everyone had warned me. “Ooh, a wet baby is a slippery baby – they have no friction whatsoever and will go flying out the window as soon as you touch them!

Which isn’t entirely true.

The most worrying thing was having her mother standing over me going, “Careful she doesn’t  get cold! Oh, watch out you don’t drown her. Oh, make sure you don’t stick a rusty pole up her bottom!” Et cetera et cetera. I pointed out at least four times that I wasn’t a complete idiot, but it didn’t make a blind bit of difference. “”Oh, careful you don’t accidentally take her out of the hospital, fly her over to China and expose her to bird flu, thus precipitating a global pandemic!

But that aside, the bath was a lovely experience – Millie cried when I first put her in, but she soon got used to it and just looked absolutely amazed by the whole experience.

I’m sure I had the same expression on my face, too. 🙂

Just being able to pick her up and carry her around is a real gift at the moment, as we’ve waited so long to be able to touch her, hold her and just do all the stuff “normal” parents do within seconds, literally, of their kids being born. It’s not been so bad, because we both hadn’t really quite known what we were missing, but now we can touch her, hold her, etc. it’s like a drug – you just want more and more. It’s very very hard not to stroke her face or hold her little hands all the time while she’s asleep. Little babies need their sleep however. 😦

Then, of course, it was feeding time again.

This took a bit longer than usual, mainly because the poor little mite was exhausted from having a bath and being absolutely amazed. She’s on four-hourly bottle feeds at the moment (mostly her mum’s milk but still given via bottle), which is a step up from the last few days when she
was on three-hourly feeds. They’re seeing if she’s happy moving to four hours and using the bottle exclusively, instead of the feeding tube which is still up her nose. However, we were told if she can take all of her feeds via the bottle for a whole 24 hours then the tube can come out of her nose; then a nurse happened to casually mention that with the tube gone there wasn’t really any reason why Millie couldn’t go home “next week”.

The Lovely Melanie were a bit gobsmacked by this (and I’m sure we both thought the same thing at that moment – an image of the boxes, dustsheets and paint pots littering our flat at the moment) but…well, there you go. After all this time the drama really could be over within
6-7 days.

And what I keep thinking is that I’d like to be able to do something like in one of my stories,
and go back a couple of months, just to tell us back then that everything was going to be all right.

Sorry, had to stop there for a minute for a little cry.

Just typing that “everything was going to be all right” suddenly hit me rather hard. I’ve only cried once during this whole thing, and that was before Millie was born, when Mel was in hospital; but now it’s actually true, isn’t it?

Everything really is going to be all right. 🙂

Hard to hear

Millie040 Millie041Ooh, hark at me going on about Muslim bookshops while there are cute pictures of Millie to be putting up!

These were taken on Thursday when Millie had her hearing test (she passed, by the way), hence her looking a bit like a DJ in the first one. And she looks as though she’s asleep in the second one because, as you can see, she’s coming to the end of her bottle, and drinking a bottle of milk still requires quite a lot of effort from such a wee little girl. Millie usually has to be kept awake to
finish the end of a bottle.

Against the Standard

A quick bit of London-based but non-Millie news (“what?” I hear you say, “Is there such a thing?”)

Just wanted to stick the knife into the hate-mongering, bilious rag that laughingly calls itself “London’s paper”, by pointing out that a month ago (on July 28th) the Evening Standard  printed an article about Dar Al Taqwa, a small Muslim bookshop here in London, basically
accusing it of being a hotbed of Islamic extremism and hatred.

Which was a lie.

Unlike the Standard, Dar Al Taqwa has always stood for peace, tolerance and understanding – and the reporter who wrote the story has been shown to have known that. He knew, and he still wrote the story.

Now, despite this little shop having been the subject of a torrent of violent threats and abuse ever since the article was published (with the Dar Al Taqwa address and phone number included, for good measure), the Standard has refused to apologise or print a retraction.

And to those of you who can buy/read the Standard, might I suggest that you don’t?

Sorry to interrupt the Millie news flow, but I really really dislike the Standard, and this is simply one more reason why…

She’s coming home…probably

Just two weeks until Millie comes home.

“Could be,” not “will be”. I’m still assuming it’ll be three
weeks.

The doctors have told us, only half-joking, not to take too long over our DIY at home (about which, I do not want to talk).

Millie was 3lbs and 14 ozs yesterday and still going strong, so she’ll almost certainly hit 4lbs sometime over the weekend! As well as that, she’s had all of her monitors removed, the last one (on her foot) went on Wednesday night. The only trailing wire now is the feeding tube from her nose, but even that will probably be gone by Monday as Millie’s just about mastered the whole feeding rigmarole. The nurses want to keep that tube in until she’s consistently been feeding herself for another two days, as it can be very tiring for such a small baby, and Millie can sometimes benefit from saving the energy involved in gulping down a whole bottle of milk,
and having a wee sleep instead.

Although, that said, since she mastered the art she’s shown no such signs yet – quite the opposite in fact!

What else…?

Well, the Lovely Melanie gave our girl a bath on Wednesday, too, and dad’s going to have a go tomorrow. I’m looking forward to that enormously – just as much I look forward to feeding her. When you feed your child the whole world around you seems to disappear and nothing else matters, it’s just you and her doing just one fairly simple task which you both enjoy, and it’s wonderfully relaxing. It easily beats clubbing, nights down the pub, a really good gaming session on the computer – in fact, just about anything. The perfect antidote for the stresses of trying to get a new home painted and liveable. I just wish I got to do more of one and less of the
other…

Mobile phone pictures!!!

Still no computer at home (and the decorating has very temporarily ground to a halt thanks to incompetence on the part of Argos).

But thanks to the magic of my brand-new mobile phone, bluetooth and my computer at work, here are some pictures I took last night with the aforementioned phone. The pictures of me with Millie were taken just after I’d been feeding her and was trying to wind her.

Millie036 Millie037 Millie038 Millie039Millie is taking to the new feeding very very slowly – she seems to almost get the hang of taking a bottle into her mouth, sucking and then swallowing, but tends to forget the exact order these things should go in, or she just plain forgets she has a bottle in her mouth. At the moment she does better with her Dad feeding her (which I’m secretly quite pleased about), but we’ve only been trying for a couple of days, and fully expect Millie to get the hang of it all of a sudden (as she does with most things) very soon.