Home birth, but hospital stay – part 2

You can read part 1 here.

Sunday 2nd March
We arrived at the postnatal ward around 3 pm, greeted by a lovely NICU nurse who admitted us to transitional care due to poor feeding and hypothermia. She took little man #2’s temperature again which was still 36 degrees, and because of this we put more woolly layers on him and swaddled him up and I had cuddles with him whilst we waited for the doctor. He was doing his rounds on NICU so we still had a bit of a wait ahead of us. At this point I was glad we took the iPad as little man #1 would have been bored stiff, so I downloaded a Peppa Pig app which kept him occupied! The nurse took LM #2’s temperature again after an hour and it had risen ever so slightly to 36.2 degrees. She also took some bloods to test his blood sugar levels. 

The doctor eventually arrived a couple of hours later and took some birth details, and what had happened since his birth. He checked LM #2 over and everything was OK, apart from his temperature still. It had risen a little more to 36.8 degrees, but it still wasn’t satisfactory for us to go home, so we had to stay the night. At this point I got really upset as this was the place I really didn’t want to be after spending three nights last time, and it also reminded me of my breastfeeding failure as it was the place where I gave up too easily. But on the other hand it was the best thing for us as it meant LM #2 would get better and we would have extra constant feeding support from the NICU nurse too. Unfortunately the one who admitted us had to have handover but the new one was also lovely. 

After it was decided that we would be staying, hubby took LM #1 home. Our neighbour was amazing as she offered to look after him whilst hubby came back for a while – he needed to fetch my hospital bag anyway which I packed just in case we needed to be transferred during my home birth. She gave him some tea and then in fact he fell asleep there whilst hubby was back at the hospital so he stayed the night and hubby collected him the next morning. 

As LM #2 still wasn’t latching on and showing no interest whatsoever – most likely because of the hypothermia – we decided that I would express overnight and the NICU nurse would cup feed him as I didn’t want to introduce him to a bottle at this point. Before every feed I would also try him on the breast. Instead of hand expressing, I was introduced to this amazing machine which became my new best friend:

I was shown by the HCA how to put the bottles and bits together and attach it to the pump – and then when I was on it hubby of course had a perverted chuckle when the HCA left the room! This first time I was on it, I got 14 ml of colostrum in total which I’m told is very good. This would be given to him for his next feed and then I would express again – the routine which became very familiar…

Hubby left around 9pm, and I just burst into tears. I so didn’t want to be here – I should have been at home with the rest of my family; my husband and my LM #1. The poor little guy. He had just welcomed a brand new human, and then this human and his Mummy just disappeared. Such a big change for him in such a short space of time. 

When hubby had left I went to bed for some much needed sleep. The NICU nurse would come in every 3 hours through the night to wake me to try LM #2 on the breast, and if there was no success then she would feed him with my EBM. Needless to say, even with her help, he still wouldn’t latch on. I tried to remain positive, but it brought back so many memories of my experience and my breastfeeding guilt with LM #1.

Getting organised for the arrival of number two

In the last couple of weeks in my diaries, I have written about how unorganised I feel with this pregnancy. By this stage with little man I was pretty much ready to go. Obviously this time with a toddler to look after too, I haven’t had as much time or energy but I thought it was about time we got something done. 

I think one of the most important things (if not at the top of the list) was deciding on names. As we don’t know what we are having this time, we have had to come up with boys and girls names. After making up a shortlist of names with various meanings, we have finally reached a decision – obviously I’m not going to reveal them now so you will just have to wait!

We are reusing a lot of little man’s stuff, so we haven’t really had to buy an awful lot. The only thing we have purchased is a double pushchair, which I will probably use a single for little man a lot of the time whilst wearing baby, or baby in the pushchair with little man walking, but it is nice to have the option to push them both. I already have a sling from little man, although I will be purchasing another when baby arrives with a voucher I won in an auction last year. 

We will be purchasing a new bed for little man so baby can go in his cot-bed, but we won’t need this until a few weeks after they are born anyway as they will be in the Moses basket (from little man) at first anyway. 

We haven’t purchased any clothes etc. as of yet, though I have sorted out the neutral items from little man and I won a fab little bundle of various items at the end of last year too, so we are pretty much okay until we know the gender. Obviously if its a boy, we have a lot of clothes from little man, but if its a girl I can’t wait to do a bit of girly shopping! 

My birth plan (or preferences) have been done and noted with the midwife. As I mentioned in my last diary, all being well I will be having a home birth. If I do, I would love a water birth so I will be purchasing/hiring a pool when I find out if it is a definite. Oh and also lots of sheets (this will probably be cheap shower curtains as I have been advised!).

I thought I should pack a hospital bag just in case. Plus it will be easier to find all of my things in one place anyway if I have a home birth. I haven’t got around to this yet, though I have started writing a list! (Referring back to the list I had for little man as I seem to have had a brain freeze in this department!).

I’m sure I have still forgotten something though! 

Hospital/baby bag

So, I’ve come to the point where I’m thinking it’s time to pack my hospital bag. I’ve acquired some lists from the forum I’m on and some sites on the web, and compiled my own, choosing items from these. Some of the items probably won’t go in, in the end, but they’re on there just in case! Some of the items from the other lists I totally missed off as I thought they were a bit silly! (And some of those currently on the list probably are too!) 

I know I may not be in there for long, but on the other hand I like to be prepared just in case… Not sure the bag I have will be big enough for all of the following either…

If you think there is anything I shouldn’t have/probably won’t need, or anything I should probably have (for both lists), please do suggest! 

Labour/hospital bag

  • Hospital/birth notes
  • Lightweight dressing gown
  • Old t-shirt/shirt/nightie for giving birth in
  • Socks (one website said as my feet might get cold during labour! Thoughts from experience?)
  • Comfortable clothes for after birth (including maternity ones)
  • Nursing bra
  • Old/cheap knickers
  • Slippers/flip flops
  • Lip balm
  • Mini toiletries (shower gel, moisturiser, toothpaste, etc.)
  • Face cloth
  • Water spray/hand held fan
  • Dark towel (in case of blood, so it doesn’t show up!)
  • Snacks (rice cakes/cereal bars etc.)
  • Bottled water/drinks
  • Bendy straws (in case I’m a diva and want hubby to ‘feed’ me drink?!)
  • Tissues (do they usually have these in hospital anyway?)
  • Camera & batteries
  • Ear plugs (in case I stay in and there are noisy people!)
  • Eye mask (in case I have to stay in and it’s hard to sleep?)
  • List of phone numbers, for hubby to ring with the happy news! Though he’ll probably have these in his mobile phone anyway…
  • Pen & paper in case of lists for hubby (?!)
  • Plastic bag for dirty clothes etc.
  • Phone charger (probably won’t need this though with not being able to use mobile phones in hospital anyway!)
  • Book/magazine (though I’m thinking I’ll not have time/want to read these, so will probably just skip this one! Seen it on many lists!)
  • Change for payphone – though hubby will probably go outside to use his mobile phone
  • Paracetamol (though they would give you this in hospital anyway?)
  • Nipple cream for breastfeeding

Baby bag
  • Going home outfit
  • Sleep suits/vests
  • Socks/booties
  • Scratch mitts
  • Blanket
  • Hat 
  • Towel (?)
  • Muslin squares
  • Small teddy (?)
  • Ready made formula & a bottle in case of breastfeeding problems 
  • Nappies
  • Wipes/cotton wool pads