Friday, April 18, 2008

Home is where the Heart (with 3 holes) is..

Yay! April 18th and we are home! No more feeding tubes and ICU beeps!

The super family had our house immaculate and full of food and flowers. We were beyond happy to be home. My nieces and nephews made signs and me and the Duffo had some champers.

We had such a good 2 week boot camp with the ICU nurses that it was a breeze. We were expert nappy / bath / feed people!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Auntie Masie and the Fancy Shoes

Auntie Caroline aka Maisie brought some incredibly fancy shoes in so I dashed down and let madam try them on real quick. I washed my hands before and afterwards so dont worry.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Two Weeks in Jurys / ICU

So for two full weeks we worked on the feeding in the ICU.

improved and we moved into the Jury's across the street for the fortnight. The Rotunda sent really nice social workers and again our families were superb. Everyone was such a great help.

Ava slept for most of it.

We were given the all clear on her heart with a follow up to come in Crumlin.

Some highlights from the two week ICU extravanagza:-
  • The Parnell junkies, how we miss you so.
  • A father to be arriving at Rotunda at 10am drinking beer. God help his child, coming to a robbery near you.
  • Being asked by an Indian ICU Nurse if myself and Duffo "were related"*
  • Getting flashed in the hotel bar by a semi naked Geordie Hen. "Wanna buy a watch?"
* We are not related thanks very much

Call Me Ava

I have discovered that life in ICU is not just about beeping sounds and washing your hands repeatedly. There is a nice tradition where people make little signs on the incubators with the babies name on it. I mentioned this to super niece Rachel who made one, she is a designer of the future and here is her handy work taped to Ava's ICU incubator. Have to go wash my hands, be right back.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

ICU? Heart Problems? Huh?

So Ava went straight to ICU to learn how to feed.

Myself and the Duffo sat in our room (watching Judge Judy) trying to adjust to our new reality. Our friends and families were without exception awesome. Poor Duffo was post-op so was stuck in bed. I would divide my time between Jurys Parnell Street, Duffo's Room and the ICU.

We were told today that Ava may have a heart problem and maybe a stomach issue? What? Can I please go back to where I was yesterday? I would like regular old DS back now as I am not too keen on heart conditions etc thanks very much. It transpired she had 3 small holes in her heart which would sort themselves out and for that we were very thankful.

Ava spent two full weeks in ICU where between us all we taught her how to feed. She had a feeding tube and it was a hard slog for all of us to get to the point where she could get home. The day we left we were ecstatic! We will be eternally grateful to the nurses and doctors of the Rotunda

Here is a video of Ava when she was in the ICU complete with feeding tube which were 'in' at the time.

Friday, April 4, 2008

"They love singing and dancing!" (Jazz Hands)

Ava Charlotte was born in the Rotunda the afternoon of April 4th 2008. She weighed 7 pounds 7 ounces.

I have to be honest and admit that I had a strong instinct that she was going to be Down Syndrome and when she finally arrived into the world (for me) it was more a confirmation than a total shock. I think there was something I spotted in the last scan before she was born rather than a Derek Acora style premonition.

I have reflected upon this difficult day often and remember every aspect of the the delivery room in detail. We were obviously very upset but am proud of how myself and Duffo handled it.

There was a most bizarre moment worthy of mention however. As I sat talking with Duffo (who was lying on a table following the C-Section being stitched up) a very nice foreign doctor in a headscarf appeared at the other side of the table. She uttered the immortal words as some form of consolation:-

"They (DS babies) love singing and dancing"

She did so with a large smile on her face and accompanied the statement with a full on 'jazz hands' action while rocking left and right in a 'dancey' movement.

This was barely minutes after we were told and we often look back on this and laugh (Seriously)

Note I am not making fun of this excellent doctor but it was a most bizarre moment. I have nothing but praise for the Rotunda and am a registered "Friend of the Rotunda".