• James Butler

Day 3 & 4

Updated: Aug 30, 2019

Day 3 started at 7. Soph called to say B had been feeding well and the protein had dropped again. There was however a few spots on her tummy and the doctors had decided to do a Lumbar Puncture. So as far as I'm concerned at this point it's meningitis. Sophie is reassuring me but by the time I get to the hospital at 8:30 I've convinced myself.

However when I get into NICU everyone seems quite positive. The procedure is a precaution and as her proteins are improving the doctors are quite confident.

They take B at 13:30. By 14:30 they call us back and inform us that B will be discharged to Sophie's room that afternoon. Her spinal fluid showed no sign of infection but they would monitor the cultures for the next 48 hours. However, there has been a cock up. Before taking her down to do the puncture B was given an extra dose of antibiotics. She was on some pretty strong stuff and the spacing was meant to be 24 hours! Someone had misread “half 1" as pm not am.

This opened up whole new can of worms. We have a friend whose son has suffered some quite serious problems thanks to antibiotics that did save his life. We talked about the risks of renal failure and deafness but the doctors reassured us that they would monitor it closely and test 4 hourly.

Sophie’s mum asked us to ensure a Datix had been filed, an incident report that acknowledges the incident and acts as a learning tool/responsibility identifier for the hospital. Asking for it seemed to garner quite a reaction from the doctors and nurses who seemed to go beyond in explaining what had happened and why. I wasn't really looking for that, I just wanted to know that there was a record and acknowledgement of a mistake. My wider family have had problems with this painfully recently. That's a different story.

By 16:30 we are wheeling B down to Sophie's new room in the maternity unit. This is all positive as it's low risk, you have health professionals on call and both mum and baby get obs (temperature, respiration and pulse) every 4 hours.

I can stay the night and I am staying after the pretty monumental fuck up from my standpoint. We get our first real chance to chill as a family, on our own, for a few hours. Sophie’s Dad comes in to drop in a few supplies. We get some positive blood results showing B’s protein is down but they won't draw any conclusions on renal failure. She hasn't passed any fluid (done a wee) yet but seems quite strong.

We spend the night together and try to sleep between drugs being administered, obs, doctor visits, handovers and support staff cleaning or delivering food.

18 hours after coming down from NICU she does a wee and the doctor reckons the danger from the antibiotic has passed. He wants to change her cannula though and wheels her out the room to a treatment room with me. He struggles to find a vein, uses a UV light before eventually calling a consultant to do it for him. When we come back Sophie is really upset, the separation was really hard for her and she doesn't want B out of her sight.

Things are looking up by the evening. B's protein is right down, the cultures from the lab look good and we are “out of the woods".

I go home that night so I can get some sleep and take over from Soph in the morning. We also have a mound of baby grows and clothes to get washed.

Sophie’s cousin has been in and cleaned the house for us and I get a little excited about bringing them home. B's new antibiotics will last another 3 days (till day 7) so there is still quite a wait. It all gets a bit emotional with the moses basket and other baby stuff lying around.

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