As you will know if you have read my last post our Jubilee weekend was spent in hospital so we didn't really get to enjoy the festivities. As a result of the hospital trip this post is quite late, but I had always been planning to blog about it so here it is.
In the lead up to the Jubilee I had been explaining to A&D the reason for the Jubilee and why there were lots of celebrations. On the last Friday of half term (1 June) A&D had a party at pre-school to celebrate the Jubilee and they (and all of the other children at pre-school) had an absolute ball. As you can see I had to send them dressed in red, white and blue; they had their faces painted at pre-school and they had made their crowns at pre-school on one of the days leading up to the party. I was also asked to send them in with a packed lunch so that they could have a picnic. I have it on good authority from them that they also had a bouncy castle, a puppet show and coloured in jubilee themed pictures.
Oh and A also told me that "Fiona matched; she had nail varnish and blue eyeshadow." Fiona is the pre-school manager and A's key worker and is always very colour co-ordinated which, in typical girl fashion, A always takes note of.
They were sent home with a red, white or blue balloon and the cakes in the picture which had been made by one of the mommies from pre-school and they looked fabulous although I can't comment as to how they tasted as I didn't manage to get near one before they disappeared. We did have a little bit of a drama with the balloons as A's red one burst on the way out so in her typical drama queen style (I love you my darling, but you really can be quite dramatic at times, so much so that I can see you being an actress when you grow up...ha ha!) she cried on and off for about half an hour despite the fact that she was given a white one to replace it!
On the way home though I did feel a little bit sad. They always have lots of fun at pre-school with their friends, but especially so on this day and I started to think about how much they are going to miss it when they finish in July and how they have to start all over again at nursery next year without all of the lovely friends they have made. They have grown so much as people since they started pre-school in September and are looking forward to nursery, but I don't think they, or many of their friends who all seem to be going to different nurseries/ schools, have quite grasped the fact that it replaces pre-school and that they won't be going there anymore.
I know that they will be fine and will make new friends at nursery as well as staying in touch with some of their friends at pre-school, but it still makes me feel a little sad. I am also a a little bit excited though to see what nursery has in store for them.
Well I did have a few posts planned, namely about new fluff (cloth nappies) and A&D's jubilee party at pre-school, but they are going to take a back seat for the time being to allow me to process last weekend's events.
Teeny gave us a bit of a fright last Friday (1st June) and ended up being admitted to Birmingham Children's Hospital on that evening for three days and nights. I had taken him to the GP as he had a temperature and was just generally not himself which seems weird to say about a five week old, but he is normally such a chilled out baby and on Friday afternoon he kept crying out like he was in pain and it was heartbreaking. The GP wasted no time in sending us up to ED at The Children's and within two hours of us arriving he had had all of his obs done, a urine sample and blood samples had been taken and he had had a lumbar puncture; he had also had his first lot of IV antibiotics administered and we would have been admitted to PAU by then too had it to not been for an emergency.
Now I know that there are so many families with children much more poorly that have to deal with so much more than we had to so this will sound a bit OTT, but I have to admit that when they were taking those bloods and he was crying his little heart out and then when I was waiting for him to have his lumbar puncture done there were a few moments when I wondered if I would actually get to take him home and I started to think about the fact that I didn't have enough photographs of him and about the people who haven't got to meet him yet.
For the first 48 hours following his admission I couldn't put Teeny down; every time I tried he screamed and screamed and it broke my heart. I am his mommy and I should be able to fix everything, but I was so powerless! This was then compounded by the fact that I didn't see A&D for a whole 48 hours either; the longest I have EVER been away from them and the guilt I felt about that was immense. They love Teeny so much and wouldn't be without him now; he is the first person they look for when they wake up, but despite that I remember feeling almost selfish for choosing to have another child and turning their worlds upside down. If you ask them though they will actually tell you that they had a ball as they got to spend a few hours with Nanny on the Saturday and Monday and they went to have dinner with my sister and play with their big cousins on the Sunday so I needn't feel guilty, but I am their mommy and so of course I do.
To our relief all of the initial tests were rushed through and came back fine that evening (other than the blood culture which takes 48 hours) so they were followed by a chest x-ray on Saturday and on Sunday he had some more bloods taken to check his CRP and he was seen by a surgical registrar to check his "boy bits" as they did wonder whether they had got twisted as they descended, but thankfully the x-ray, all of the bloods and the surgical registrar's examination came back fine too.
It took a good 36 hours to keep his temperature down despite being pumped full of "Domestos for kids" as the lovely consultant labelled it (I am not being sarcastic here by the way, he really was a lovely man), but by Sunday night he seemed to have perked up a little and even managed to spend half of the night in the cot and not attached to me which was huge progress. His improvement continued and to my relief he was discharged on Monday afternoon, although we still have no idea what caused it. D had had some kind of virus for a couple of days earlier in that week so I am assuming that he caught that, but because he is so small he was unable to fight it off like D. Before he was discharged though they took another urine sample as there was a question mark over something that had shown up in it and they wanted to check again for a UTI and he was discharged with oral antibiotics just as a precaution, although I have had no phone call from the hospital which should mean that was negative too.
This was one of the worst experiences of my life, but I should finish this post on a thankful note. I brought home from hospital a healthy baby who will have no memory of this experience. I cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like for parents of children who spend time in and out of hospital on a regular basis or for the child themselves and then of course there are those parents who go in with a child so poorly that they do not get to bring them home and just thinking about that makes my heart absolutely break for them. I am in awe of the bravery of those people.
Nobody ever wants to be in hospital, but I am also extremely thankful for the wonderful care we received at The Children's. A was treated for pneumonia in a different hospital when she was one and it was a really horrible experience, sadly I just didn't trust them. The care that we received at The Children's just couldn't have been more different. I say we because, although it was Teeny who was poorly, they took wonderful care of me too. As I mentioned earlier they acted extremely quickly in ED. On top of that PAU is a fabulous brand new ward with private rooms and lovely calm lighting so even if they are rushed off their feet it doesn't feel like that. The continuity of care was great; at the beginning of every shift the children are allocated a specific nurse and for that whole shift only that nurse took Teeny's obs or administered his antibiotics. Oh and despite it being a bank holiday weekend the Consultant Paediatrician (and Clinical Director) whose care Teeny was under was on the ward everyday we were there. As far as caring for me was concerned they were always offering me tea and coffee and topping up my jug of squash and as I am breastfeeding they always made sure that I had eaten too, even to the extent that at one point a nurse actually physically made me a sarnie...bless her! They also provided tissues and a shoulder for the tears and when Teeny was really unsettled they would pop their head around the door for nothing other than just to check if either of us needed anything or if I needed a break. I doubt that anybody we encountered in that hospital would ever read this, but if you do manage to stumble across this blog post please know that I am eternally grateful to you.
Finally to my wonderful husband for being the other half of me and completing me. Thank you for the numerous trips you made to the hospital; for running errands; for keeping things ticking over at home and for taking such wonderful care of A&D. As I say to the kids "I love you to the moon and back."