Comments 5 Aside

OK, Apologies first methinks

Yes, I am a dreadful blogger, I haven’t blogged about Bertie since November last year! Scandalous! What a bad bad blogger I am.

Lets do a catch up.

We had our first Christmas and our first Easter,which involved lots of presents and fuss over Bertie, and Mummy eating his chocolate Easter Eggs as he’s far too young to indulge! You gotta help the little ones.

We have had three episodes of bronchiolitis, two quite serious, one ride in an ambulance (a first for me) and a week long stay in hospital getting Bertie stabilised again. That coupled with over-exposure to the quite dreadful cafeteria food and the poor sick people of Dorset being subjected to mummy sans makeup, it was a bad January and February all round.

We have had a bad rash develop over Bertie’s face, and as yet do not know what the cause is, although its looking likely to be something he’s touched not what he’s eaten.

We have cut our first two front teeth and boy have we known about that!

We have had appointments to see the ENT Consultant a few times now since November regarding Bertie’s vocal chords, and the verdict is that the left chord has remained paralysed. However the right chord is overcompensating very nicely, and whilst she thinks he may have quite a husky voice,  which none of us are overly concerned about as I think it could be a winner with the girlies when he’s like 30 and starts to date nice girls only, we do need to stay vigilant regarding chest infections, as the vocal chord lays open it can mean easier access for food and liquid to fly down into his lungs and cause problems, so we are on a heightened state of alert for any sort of chest infections. ( Man down as I write, lets hope its not a bad bout)

Bertie does struggle to drink water as its thinner than milk and he chokes and splutters lots, so following a visit to the dietician she has prescribed us something to add to the milk to thicken it so he can drink it without struggling.

Bertie has been somewhat slower than most hitting his milestones, but then we must remember he was three months premature, I’m not expecting him to sit his GCSE’S right now.

We had a six month check up with Bertie’s consultant some time ago, and they were concerned that Bertie wasnt using his left hand and that his legs were quite floppy. He hadn’t rolled over and he hated being on his tummy. They mentioned Cerebral palsy, and in truth it hit me for six. I don’t know why really, given everything we have gone through, but I soon got over myself and remembered the deal I made with God in the early hours when I was lying in that hospital bed, praying I didn’t lose my babies. I just wanted them to live and I stand by that, I never got specific on what career they were to forge themselves or anything like that, because I didn’t care, i just wanted them to be alive, and I would take care of them and love them regardless.

So we now see a physiotherapist every three weeks who monitors Bertie, and gives us exercises homework.

Bertie’s Daddy think he’s putting it all on,and Im slightly inclined to agree, as rumour has it there is a rogue gene on my side of the family that has a tendency for the old theatricals, so I think a little bit of the amateur dramatics are at play here, with Bertie giving a rather rousing performance to his audience just for kicks.

He is rolling over now, he’s happy on his tummy although not crawling (far too much hard work darling) and he is able to sit up but not quite unaided yet. Oh, and he’s using that left hand they were concerned about, ALOT!

And so, we are nearly at his first birthday. I don’t quite know where the last year has gone, at times I don’t know how we have got through it.

I feel nervous as although its the happiest day of my life, its also one of the saddest as my darling daughter is not here to celebrate with us as a family, like it should be.

Rest assured she is always remembered, I am having a birthday cake made out of flowers for her grave, and a few girly pink balloons as its her day too after all.

Her headstone is ready, it has been for a while. But every time I sit down to write her epitaph, her final words to mark her footprint in this world, I get rather upset and just can’t seem to finish it. Maybe its a closure thing…

So, with a big smile I will carry on.

Here’s to the next twelve months and all they bring

Bertie, I love you so very much and I am so proud of you. You are quite simply my world.

Love Olive xx

 

IMG_1407 IMG_1953 IMG_1571 IMG_2795 IMG_3175 IMG_3336

Bert and Olive – A Bertie update with a nod to Delphine

Comments 32 Standard

Its been a while peeps, so I thought it was high time for a catch up on our favourite little boy.

Bertie had a 24 hour SATS monitor in October to see how his saturation levels were doing with his oxygen. The monitor drove me up the wall all night, I actually had flashbacks and thought I was in hospital again. I was half expecting the hubby to take my blood pressure and fluff up my pillows (Definitely dreaming).

The consultant reviewed Bertie’s numbers and agreed that he could come off the oxygen in the daytime but when he was in a deep sleep he dipped below a certain threshold that they have, and decided we needed to keep the oxygen on at night. Its been fantastic to finally see that little face without the prongs and ted stickers, and at night-time we have good old fashioned fisticuffs to grapple the prongs back on the little munchkin again, but as I type, we are doing a 48 hour monitor to see if we can finally take the O2 away at night too, so lets keep our fingers crossed.

Bertie also saw the Cardiologist who looked at Berties heart to check if the murmur was still there, and we were over the moon when we were told its all perfect! They think the murmur might of been his heart settling down and adjusting from the previous heart surgery, but everything is now as it should be, and that was just the best news ever.

The one area of concern for me is Bertie’s vocal chords. Whilst we are treated to his very soft dulcet tones he’s no Soprano ( Singer not Mafioso).  Also, I have not had any giggles yet, but I could be plumping a bit early for them, I have to remember that Bertie’s corrected age is only 3 and a half months.

The Health Visitor is pretty chuffed with Berties progress too, he’s weighing in at 13lb 4oz! We are finally filling out the 3-6 months clothes, although some are still a little loose! She even said he was starting to look a little “chubby” which is not a word we would of associated with Bertie a few months ago.

We took our first little trip away as a family and headed up North, staying with family so Bertie could meet his cousin Ethan, and spend some time getting freaked out by Auntie Claudine. He also met his Great Granny for the first time in Oldham and she was treated to lots of smiles, I think he’s a sucker for the Northern twang.

We have more appointments for Bertie coming up with the dietician to talk about his feeding and specifically weaning, and also with the consultant about his vocal chords, so really hoping for in-depth conversations at these.

As the seasons change, and winter creeps in, whilst Bertie and I snuggle up in front of the wood burner, my mind has been drifting to Delphine. She is in my thoughts daily but lately more so as I plan celebrations such as Christmas and Bertie’s Christening.

There is a dull ache in my chest that started the moment she died. I think my heart actually broke that day in May as no matter what I do, I can’t shake this little pain that resides there tormenting me.

I long for her to be here, she has missed so much and we are only six months into our little adventure.

I am quite resolute that she always be included and remembered in everything we do as a family. She will be the brightest star at the top of our tree this year, and for every year after, having purchased a lovely star engraved in her memory and also personalised baubles for her and Bertie. I also bought her a little Christmas tree to place on her grave, so she doesn’t miss out on the festivities.

Sometimes I think being so fright-fully British we are completely naff at talking about our feelings, especially grief. I know it must be hard for people to talk to me about the twin I lost, but at the same time people,  I had two babies. I don’t want her to be forgotten, her name brushed under the carpet like she didn’t exist. She fought for so long to stay alive in my womb when the odds were completely stacked against her, and then gave me nine precious days in this world to spend with her, I want to shout her name from the roof tops! She was amazing! She was a real little trooper! She showed me more bravery in nine days than some people show in a lifetime. She was my daughter…

Someone told me she was a little angel, sent from heaven to protect Bertie as he grew inside me, so I am honoured that I got to meet a real living angel here on Earth.

So don’t shy away from talking to me, don’t treat me any differently, don’t think you can’t talk about certain subjects, Im still ME, I’m still that ever so slightly deranged, clumsy, ditzy bird from Kent, albeit a somewhat bashed and bruised version of me.

As always, I will maintain composure and a British stiff upper lip, and then probably go and sob my heart out alone when no one else can see

Olive xx

20131127-163139.jpg20131127-163157.jpgPhoto on 04-11-2013 at 16.46

Bert and Olive – Night lights for little people

Comments 4 Standard

Back in the day when I was a little girl I was far too scared to sleep in the dark because I thought that the boogeyman lived in the cupboard or under my bed. I would insist on the hallway light staying on.

My mother, keen to bring down her electricity bill bought me a beautiful porcelain nightlight of     ” Old Mother Hubbard’s” house, and every night after she had tucked me in for the night, she would turn on my magical light, and the most wonderful scene would illuminate, and light would fill all the corners of my room so that I could sleep sound.

Fast Forward to the Twenty-Tens and I have stumbled across a company making beautiful night lights for delightful boys and girls that are reminiscent of my childhood.

Now Bertie has been lucky enough to inherit the rather vintage “Old Mother Hubbard” but if my beautiful daughter Delphine had been alive today, I would of definitely purchased the very pretty rambling rose cottage for her.

The company is White Rabbit England and they have an enchanting array of wonderful gifts and goodies for our treasured little ones.

The night light prices range from £45.00 to £58.00. They currently have 10% off for Autumn, so get your plastic out and order one today. Enter code AUTUMN1 to get your discount. They also have free delivery and returns, which keeps the price down even more for you. How very considerate during these austerity years.

ImageImageImageImageImageImage

Love Olive x

Bert and Olive – Keeping the bugs at bay

Comments 14 Standard

As Bertie’s P.A, I can tell you its been a hectic few weeks managing his diary. My little exec is in demand from every corner of the National Health Service.

Bertie was penciled in to visit the ENT specialist. Ever since he had his heart operation to close his PDA when he was a few weeks old,  his cry has been MIA. At best it is a rasping breathy whisper-cry, it really does break my heart.  I used to lay awake at night worrying that the SCBU and Neonatal nurses couldn’t hear my miracle man, therefore they wouldn’t know when he was upset to comfort him. I think I developed quite a psychosis about it. I would ring them randomly in the early hours to check he was ok, and to see how he had been in the two hours since I had left him. I’m sure they cursed me behind my back.

The specialist confirmed that his left vocal chord had been damaged during the operation, and we are to wait a few months to see if it can heal itself, or if they need to act on it. An operation might also be required to see if his voice box was damaged by the ventilator. It can affect breathing and eating as well which hadn’t even crossed my grey matter, so I am super happy that we are in the system and being monitored.

He also visited the dietician, who was happy with his weight gain, he’s now a whopping 10lb 3oz! We discussed weaning but it has been agreed to leave it for a few months, as we use his corrected age for this particular milestone, and not his chronological age. Its a minefield for a premature baby with what to expect and when, and I failed maths GCSE miserably so my face resembles a smacked bottom when they start discussing subtracting this age from that…. I just nod with conviction to ensure they think I am a genius.

Today we had Bertie’s RSV jab.  RSV is a virus much like the common cold, except in babies whose health has been compromised a weeny bit in the early months, it can turn into a serious lung infection leading to pneumonia and bronchiolitis.  As Bertie has inherited my immune system, I can guarantee he would catch every single germ that would pass under his nose and may as well take to his moses basket for the winter and hibernate until Spring arrives if we couldn’t get this immunisation.

Now I thought I was going to have to fight for this jab, as its not given out willy-nilly, its an exorbitant price and you have to hit certain criteria to be entitled to it. Luckily no dirty tricks from me required because Bertie has Chronic lung disease and because of his prematurity he is entitled to it. Although this won’t stop colds, it should ensure they dont develop into something more sinister that could hospitalise him.

I am also booked in for the flu jab this winter, again another avenue of preventive care to halt these germs from crossing our threshold.  Ive been lucky enough to get mine free of charge as I still have on- going high blood pressure from Pre-Eclampsia, (maybe not so lucky, BIG BOO to the Pre Eclampsia)  however I have booked in the other half to have his jab at the local Boots pharmacy for only £12.99. Lord thats peanuts to pay for keeping the lurgy at bay for six months.

Image

Love Olive x

 

Bert and Olive – Double Take

Comments 12 Standard

‘Tis fair to say that I am turning heads at the moment. Unfortunately not for my devastatingly good looks but because my baby is on oxygen and where-ever we go, so too does the O2 canister.

I have to say I was a little daunted by the prospect of attempting any kind of normal life knowing I had this canister in tow, however after a few weeks its not proving too bad, the key is in the planning.

We were given four canisters, two very large ones for home use, and two portable ones which are in a back pack so at best it looks as if I am about to get my crampons on and scale a Mountain.

Its not light, so ideally I use it with the pram and stow the canister under the pram, however if I am just “popping in” somewhere, a concept that is ridiculous to even suggest with any baby, least of all one with oxygen then the three of us go in together. Without doubt it has saved me money, as I have so much to carry before I even enter the shop that I really cannot browse and therefore just grab and go.

What I have experienced on my travels so far is that lots of people do like to gaze, sometimes wide eyed whether they realise they are doing it or not. I imagine its out of curiosity more than anything, most people seem to guess Bertie’s a premie baby and will talk about their experiences, others ask how old he is, but the worst offenders seem to be the older generation (not all) who have come bouncing over to me cooing as they have spotted the pram, and are ready to pounce on the little bundle inside and then when they take a peek and see Bertie, they seem to freeze, recoil and act a little strange. Anyone would think I had Bubbles the chimpanzee in there.

Rest assured ladies, you do not offend me, nor Bertie, I am sure its not something you see every day, same as that dreadful blue rinse you have upon your head, which has me running for the hills, so me thinks we are even.

One lady in a well known supermarket where every little helps even came up to me, and suggested that I should carry some sort of flag so people could see I was carrying oxygen and try not to ram me in the aisles with their trolley as she so nearly had done.

So the lessons learnt so far is that having a baby on oxygen not only saves you money, it minimises trolley rage, but best to swerve golden oldies due to awkward pauses.

I am looking like an overly worked pack horse at the moment, so one thing I have invested in, is a jolly good baby bag. I have so much to carry, that I cannot balance that delightful little Mulberry off my shoulder any longer.

Yes I am aware I have to be practical, but you can be stylish with it too.

Enter Storksak. The upper echelons of the baby bag world. They have a plethora of scrumptious bags to choose from, I spent hours comparing the masses, and hedged my bets on the Storksak Elizabeth in tan, which I literally drool over every time I am packing for a trip.Enough space for Bertie’s bits, and mine too. Heck if the O2 canister wanted me to carry something for him I would oblige, theres oodles of space. Its a luxurious soft leather and comes with a changing mat, insulated bottle holder, removable vanity case ( nice touch, they knew I was coming) and wipe clean lining throughout, which trust me is needed if you are clumsy butterfingers like me.

This bag is a dream purchase and one of my staple buys in mumsy world and if my other half asks you, it cost half the price.

Storksak Elizabeth £198.00 sold in John Lewis – Free standard delivery for all orders over £50

Image

Little Bertie update: 8lb 3 ounces at 4 months old and doing well.

Curse of the Colic

Comment 1 Standard

I will readily admit that I have spent zero hours researching anything into babies and motherhood.

When my pregnancy started to go horribly wrong, it seemed that every time I purchased something for the babies, karma would come and kick my ass and the situation would lurch to a new low, to the point that I stopped looking at anything remotely baby esque as It simply tempted fate every time I even thought of the little munchkins.

Colic …

I wasn’t really versed in what the hell it was, until a seasoned veteran of the nursing profession advised me Bertie had colic and was going to be a difficult baby to wind.

I knew I had trouble on my hands.

I had always intended to breast and bottle feed, as I wanted to give the other half the option of picking up the slack a little bit and also giving him some bonding time with Bertie.

Bertie was born weighing just 2lb, and when he reached two months of age , he just plateaued and didn’t put weight on for what felt like an eternity. He had fallen below the 9th centile, and the hospital were not going to let me leave until they could see he was growing well.

I knew I had to act fast to get the pudding on my little chap.

We turned to the bottle for most feeds so I could be sure exactly how much he was drinking as I had a sneaky suspicion that he was using me as a dummy and not really feeding as well as he should. I had a dairy load of expressed breast milk so we used that in the bottle with a fortifier for extra calories.

Premature babies get tired very quickly from any type of feeding, especially bottle, so I had to help him out a little bit.  I needed a bottle that would give him a faster flow so he didn’t have to work as hard, as well as helping with his colic. 

The SCBU nurses recommended Dr Browns Bottles, and I have never looked back.

They have some kind of widget in the bottle that seems to cut down the vacuum and air bubbles and this improves feeding problems such as colic and wind and gas. Bertie fed really well on these bottles, starting off with the Preemie bottle for a slightly faster flow before graduating to the more natural flow as he got a little bigger.

They can be bought in an array of sizes, and they have just introduced some special edition coloured ones, so we will be making a cheeky additional purchase of the blue bottle, as I am a sucker for any marketing ploy like that.

The prices range from £4.50 for the Preemie bottle which holds 60ml to £6.29 for a 240ml bottle. They are also BPA free and come with a vent cleaning brush. 

One of my solid investments in the world of all things baby.

Image

Olive xx