It’s little over four weeks since Alexander left Holles St (and indeed since I updated on his progress) and like a lot of things with preemies, not everything went according to plan.
Alexander at Home
Getting Alexander home was amazing, just being able to look at him and hold him anytime he needed was great. I took two weeks off and it was nice to be able to hang out as a complete family. Laura took a few days to get use to her little brother but was happily getting him his hat and soother as needed, as well as proudly saying ‘baba’. We even did a few family trips and a few with Alexander when Laura was in the crèche.
Alexander got into a routine quickly and kept his 4 hourly feeds from Holles St more or less but feeding him on demand as well. The rhythmic click of his apnea monitor was re-assuring rather than bring worry some.
And of course I could do this…
On Alexander’s tenth day and after a good eye test in Temple St, Alexander had a series of Apneas and went blue enough times that we went to Crumlin. Alexander got a bronchial infection that made it harder to breath and hence the need to go into Crumlin.
The upshot of this is three weeks later he’s still in ICU and as I write is trying his third time off the ventilator and on CPAP. Unfortunately once the infection cleared Alexander’s upper right lung is still causing problems so he is back requiring air.
I really had thought that I had seen the last of ventilators and the military planning needed to give Alexander a cuddle. I thought, the toughest part of the road was over and hospital visits, would, in the main, be kept to out-patients. So when days become weeks, it can be hard not to think when will this end and that brief glimpse of normality returns.
Crumlin is a very different type of hospital to Holles St, it’s vast by comparison and the teams of staff make it appear much more impersonal when Alexander was first admitted. When he was in the A&E there were 9 people at one stage crowded around him. The staff, like those in Holles St, are dedicated, but I’d be lying if I didn’t find the smaller, tighter knit community of Holles St a bit easier to take.
Combined with this I went back to work a few days after Alexander was admitted which increased my guilt, even though stilling around in an ICU isn’t always the most productive for Alexander when he needs his rest.
On a positive note, Alexander continues to grow and is now out of his smallest babygrows. His personality is shining through and one thing we do know is that he gets his point across when he’s not happy and especially when he wants food.
Also during this time, Alexander passed his due date so his corrected age has finally got into plus territory and he’s considered an exprem!
I had hoped that my updates would be more about the routine and typical dad stories about getting peed on, but for now I’m still an ICU dad, all be it in a different hospital.