Friday, December 30, 2005

51 weeks

Friday, December 30, 2005

Well, my little duck will be 1 this time next week!! I can't believe how much she's grown and each day she surprises me more and more!!

Not really much to update though, she's crawling like a champion and can go from one end of the house to the other! We play peek-a-boo and she crawls into different rooms looking for her Mummy and Daddy

Still hasn't put on much weight, seems to be stuck at 8kgs but eats like a horse. But still, she's getting longer!!

She went for her 1st swim on Xmas day and adored it loved it so much that her little jaw was chattering because it was getting cold in the water, but she kept giggling her head off...Today Nanny had to stay in the pool with her because she screamed when she tried to take her out!!

She's a real babbler now, baa is still her favourite, but also says Pa, Yum & I-yah which is her best effort at Isla - funny how she won't say Mum or Dad - Guess who runs this household

Her physio is going really well, we went from weekly visits, to fortnightly, now every three weeks. Our physio is so impressed with her progress, he, like the rest of us, is so very proud of her Isla is now pulling her self up on the furniture and is trying to stand! Although she's on her tippy-toes, she's doing it!!

Isla will be fitted for her AFO's on the day before her birthday (what a great present ) so we're not looking forward to this, but alas, it needs to be done!

Her naming day is in a week and a half, I still have nothing organised, have no idea who's coming, but hopefully it will be a good day

Thursday, November 24, 2005

CT Scan

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Yesterday had to be the most heartbreaking & exhausting day of my life.

I took Isla to the hospital for her CT scan and blood tests. We were admitted at 9.30am and went for our CT scan at 12.40..She spat out most of the drops that they gave her to sedate her, so she wouldnt sleep for the CT - after 1 hour and 45 minutes of me trying to rock her to sleep!

So back up to the ward we went to have a cannula put in and her blood tests...they'd left the numbing patches on for 3 hours and her skin was red-raw poor little thing, they're meant to be left on for 45 mins max...

It took 4 people to hold her down to get the blood tests done (and this was with Isla wrapped in a bed sheet with only one arm out!) She cried to hard and for so long and there was nothing I could do about it but cry along with her....The cannula and blood tests took 20 minutes...

So back to Radiology to have the CT - this time she was given sedation through an IV - which only made her drowsy and floppy but worked well enough to get the CT done. It was so scary, they had a Paediatrician stay with her the whole time in case something went wrong because they weren't sure how much sedation they'd given her and thought she may overdose

Anyways, our Paediatrician met us at 5pm, both of us utterly exhausted and dying to leave...He gave us the fabulous news that the Cerebral Palsy is so mild that it there is absolutely no indication of it in her brain (it's that mild & minute) I was ecstatic, he checked her legs again and said that there's still stiffness, but it's getting better. He said with physio it should be corrected almost 100% and if not, then she'll have Botox injections to relax her muscles. He said we wouldnt have to see him again for a few months He showed her reflexes to some medical students and described her as having "True Spastic Depligia" but he didnt say it to me.

He's still worried about her weight, she's only 7.8kgs So he said he'd better see her again in 3 weeks just to check her weight.

All her bloodwork came back completely normal but we still have to wait 3 weeks for her chromosome inspection to come back

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Well, today was the day, we took Isla to the physiotherapist to be assessed for Cerebral Palsy.

She was so tired when we got there, and screamed in frustration, so he didnt get the chance to look her over properly, but he did say that there is increased muscle tone in her lower legs which could possibly be Cerebral Palsy, but without further assessment and diagnostic testing, couldn't confirm. He said whether it is CP or a gross motor development delay, the treatment is the same. He gave us lots of exercises for her to do to try to relax the muscles in her calves and to try to bend her foot into the 'proper' position (Her feet are pointed, like she's on tippy-toes) We now have a weekly session with him, and he is fabulous (and married to a girl I know as it turns out!)

So we were feeling confident going in to see the Paediatrician straight afterwards. He checked her again, and is still concerned about her muscle tone and said that he is convinced that she has Cerebral Palsy Poor little munchkin. He said that while there is signs of improvement from our last consultation (2 weeks ago) it's still not enough for him to think that it is a developmental delay.

Next step, this week sometime (awaiting call to find out when exactly) Isla has to be admitted to Hospital for bloodwork and a CT scan The Paed is going to meet us at the hospital to go over the results.

He told us it very common in prem babies and those with low birth weights and would have come from lack of oxygen during her delivery - - Which is news to me, I had a GA so Ian couldnt be in with me, but we were told she had no problems at birth (Apgar score of 9) and she went straight on to the ward. The physio was very surprised that it wasnt picked up when Isla was checked by the paediatrician before we were discharged from the hospital. I might have to chase this up with the hospital...

It still doesnt seem real, it will hit me when I least expect it I guess.

I am happy though, because other than her little legs not doing exactly what they're meant to, she's a very happy and healthy little girl, and I love her more than the stars in the sky...

I think that's all from us for now...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Well, there's still another 5 days til we see the Paed and the physio, but my little angel is trying desperately to crawl!!

It's just the cutest thing. The Paed said she wasnt crawling properly (she could only go backwards) because of the problem with her legs. She's now gone 9 days without the walker and the Jolly Jumper and she's up on all fours and bunny hopping!!

What a daggy proud Mum I am...

We're still doing our best to stay positive, and each day her sitting and crawling attempts are getting better and better, it gives us more hope, but we're trying not to get ahead of ourselves.

We know that we're blessed by just having our little Isla - regardless of whether her legs work properly or not, she's the greatest thing in our lives and we'll do whatever it takes to help her get on the move

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I took my Isla to the paed. today to have her tongue checked out because she's tongue tied.
He looked at her and said, "it's no real problem and will fix itself, I wouldnt worry about it"

Great I thought. So he asked if he could weigh her, and thats when the nightmare began.

She's 10 months on Sunday and still doesnt sit unassisted - so she wouldnt sit on his scale things properly. Thats when he noticed that her legs are always rigid..He asked if it was always the way, and yes, it has been ever since she was born. My ECHN said it was a sign that she wants to walk.

He tested her reflexes then tells me, he thinks she has cerebral palsy.
I'm sitting here with her now, and Im a mess, she see's the tears and laughs at me, cheeky little bugger.

I was told to make an urgent appointment with a paed. physio - who cant see me until next Tuesday - the wait is going to kill me.

The Paed. said that there is a slight chance that it's not CP and that she'll correct herself by 12 months, but it didnt seem likely.

My god, I went in there to have her tongue checked out now it seems my whole world is collapsing. I should point out though, that he said that it's not mental, she's very bright according to him, it's just that she has too much muscle tone in her lower limbs and her reflexes dont respond properly. So we have to have lots of time in the zoo pillow, lots of time in the bath and throw out the walker and the jolly jumper...

I dont know what to do, I know I have to be positive and think that it will only be a minor set back and that she'll fix herself, but what if she doesnt? I dont know what happens if it is diagnosed as Cp - at the moment I think too much info will scare me too much.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

We're hitched!

So, we did it...we're married...

I am now Mrs Farr :)

We had the greatest day, so much fun and laughter, I couldnt have wished for a better time!

Our ceremony was in the Japanese Gardens in the grounds of the local Art Gallery and they were stunning. It started raining just as I was leaving home for the ceremony, and when I got to the Gardens there was a big beautiful rainbow - must have been an omen!

As i walked to the garden aisle with my best friend Bonnie, we were approached by our celebrants assistant who introduced himself then said, "there's a slight hitch!" Ian had forgotten my ring and his brother had driven off to find it and still wasn't back. I had to laugh, because as it turned out, I forgot Ian's ring too!!

Our celebrant Wendy, was so wonderful, and the ceremony itself was short and sweet, just how we had planned...and once all the paperwork was signed the rain started again...

Then we were off to the reception, wonderful food, good music (daggy 80's!) and great company...

All in all a wonderful day!

Here are our vows, I just love them. So simple, very us!

"You are all I could ever need in my life,
My friend, my soul-mate and my favourite pest.
I promise to enter into this marriage
With respect for your identity and freedom
And I promise to stand by you
Through all we may face together"

And just because I can, a pic of 4 generations...My Nana, my sister, me, Isla and My Mum :)

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Isla sleeps just like her dad, so funny. Put your hands up in the air...

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Isla's arrival

I couldn't wait until my appointment with the midwife in 2 weeks so I opened my 19 week ultrasound and the report indicated that my placenta was completely covering the internal os. I kind of knew that this meant I would more than likely have to have a caesarean, but I wasn't too phased about this (at this point anyway!)

At my 22 week appointment with the midwife, Renae, she informed me that she'd have to refer the report to the doctor. I told her I'd already read the report and knew what it entailed. Renae was absolutely wonderful, told me to ease off activity, to engage only in "gentle sex" and should I bleed at all to report to the birthing unit immediately. It all seemed a bit full-on, I thought it was just a placenta - what's the big deal??

Well, 3 days later (22+3wks) I woke at 5.00am to find myself bleeding and in a mad panic we raced to the birthing unit of Bankstown Hospital where I was told it wasn't a big bleed and that I'd have to stay in hospital overnight. Overnight turned into 3 days then I was released. From that point on, sex was cut out completely and I wasn't allowed to do any heavy lifting or vacuuming etc.

I remained in really good health until I reached 29+4wks when I was out at a sporting event and started bleeding heavily. I was quite embarrassed to be lying on the ground behind the grandstand with a cafe umbrella shielding me from the dozens of people who had come to "see what was going on" - an announcement was made that the races had to be halted as there was a "pregnant girl in distress behind the grandstand". So I was taken by ambulance to the Birthing Unit of the hospital again.

This time there was more concern from doctors and midwives. I was given steroid injections to help my little girls lungs develop in case I needed an emergency c-section. My hospital didn't deliver before 34 weeks so there was some concern that I would have to be transferred to another hospital if the bleeding didn't ease - but thankfully it did. Another 3 days in hospital and I was released on the proviso that there was someone staying with me 24/7 in case I had another APH episode.

A day and a half later, another 1.30am drive to the Birthing Unit with another APH. This one was small, but still scary nonetheless. I was given 2 cannulas in case I had to go to theatre straight away. The doctors came in and advised me one more APH and I would be transferred to Liverpool Hospital as they had a NICU and this was the third bleed and I couldn't continue to have bleeds as it was too risky for both my little girl and myself. The bleeding stopped pretty much straight away and I spent another 3 days in hospital.

I was given another ultrasound to see if the placenta had moved at all, it hadn't and I was told that my dates were off by 1 week, which pushed me back to 29 weeks again.

I was feeling very much on edge from this point onwards, as the bleeds were occurring without warning, without any strenuous exertion - in fact, they seemed to happen when I was sleeping. So I walked at a snails pace, I sat down in the shower, I lazed on the lounge all day in an effort to take the weight off the placenta. Then, 10 after my last bleed I again awoke with bleeding.

We rushed to Liverpool Hospital and once we'd finally found our way to the Birthing Unit, we learnt that the bleed was "old" and that I should go home after 24 hours. This 24 hour time frame was increased to 48 hours after consultation with the VMO, and following the high risk meeting on the Tuesday morning I was informed that I would have to stay in hospital until I reached 34 weeks, which was a fortnight away. Needless to say I was very upset, and determined to leave. I toyed with the idea of discharging myself, but then I realised that it was important for the sake of my baby to stay. I was advised that I could transfer to Bankstown Hospital once I'd reached 34 weeks.

That weekend I had another APH episode, this time it was a large gush and I was prepped for theatre. I was absolutely terrified that my baby was going to be born so early - even though I had the steroid injections and there was a NICU I just wasn't ready. The male midwife seemed incredibly concerned with the amount of blood I lost and was continuing to lose (i'd soaked the sheets, my legs were covered and it was all over the floor), but the registrar said it was only moderate - citing in the notes it was approximately 50mL - although she never saw the actual loss. I was contracting off the charts every 7 minutes and was offered pain relief but didn't need it.

That night it was difficult to sleep as the realisation set in that there was a serious risk to my baby with each bleed, and the next bleed could bring us closer to the Operating Theatre, and the NICU.

The following day I had another APH, this one was quite large again, but not as heavy as the day before. Once again I was strapped to the CTG machine and my little girls heart rate was monitored. At this stage I was having some mild contractions. The doctors said that they would not give me any medication to stop the contractions as the baby was now in charge and we would go by what she wanted to do. I was to have another ultrasound at some stage in the coming week to check my placenta and the baby's growth.

The ultrasound was wonderful, although quite painful. It was the first time I'd left my hospital bed in 11days. It was amazing to see my little girl moving around and sucking her thumb. I spent that afternoon in bed staring at my photo of my baby, who was now 4lb 4oz or 1950g.

Later that afternoon, I started bleeding yet again, APH number 7. The midwives assured me that it was old blood which had been spooling. Another 2 days later, and I awoke with another APH episode, so once more I was strapped to the CTG. Thankfully my daughters heartbeat was perfect, as it had been in each other instance, which meant she was happy and content and willing to stay put for a while yet.

I was beginning to feel more confident as I had gone several days without an episode of bleeding, however, that confidence was shattered when after 5 days from my last loss, another one occurred 4 days before Christmas. The doctors were advising me that it wouldn't be much longer before I'd have the scheduled caesarean and that much closer to leaving the hospital. On Christmas Eve I was desperate to leave the hospital however, the doctors refused to let me leave - even a day pass was denied to me. So after many tears, some contractions and a restless night's sleep I awoke to have my first Christmas away from my family.

It was an awful day, even though I had visitors, it was still depressing and lonely. Boxing day came round quite quickly, and so did another bleed coupled with more contractions. This bleed was probably the largest and quite painful. At this stage I was very anxious for my baby to be born as the constant bleeds and the stress they cause was taking its toll on me emotionally. Due to the public holidays, there were no Consultants or VMO's working in the hospital, so no decision would be made regarding the date of my caesarean.

I had developed the 'flu over Christmas, and on the 27th, I sneezed which caused another APH, again quite large - this made number 11.

Once the doctors had returned from their holidays, my Registrar Jennifer, informed me that they'd made a decision regarding my caesarean, that it would occur after my next 'significant bleed' which meant enough blood to soak 2 pads. I was terrified hearing this as I didn't want my daughter to be born as an emergency caesarean, it's not at all how I planned it. Upon seeing another doctor, he informed me that my notes indicated that I would be delivered regardless of the significance of my next APH episode. Jennifer said that there were no elective Caesars performed for another 3 weeks and that, in the absence of any significant bleeds, they would like me to hold on until after this time.

New Years Eve came and went while I was sleeping, and on the 2nd of January, 3.30am I had another bleed. Part of me was reluctant to call the midwife because I was terrified of what would follow. I lay there waiting for the cannulas to be inserted, as was standard practice whenever I would be actively bleeding. The midwife didn't put the CTG on my belly, instead she listened with a doppler. She also neglected to write in my notes anything about the bleed I had experienced, which explained why no doctor was sent to review me, and why no cannulas were given to me.

From 3.30 onwards, I lay in bed scared stiff, absolutely terrified because I was not ready or prepared for my baby to arrive. At this stage I was not due for over another month.

When I was reviewed by another doctor later that morning, he was astonished to find that I had not been delivered and that there was no mention of what occurred the night before. The following day, my registrar and VMO visited to inform me that I had been booked in to have my caesarean on Friday, January 7th. I was the only person to be scheduled for that day, and providing there weren't any emergencies, I would go to theatre at 1.30pm. I informed the family and friends that we'd be welcoming our baby on Friday and tried to relax as much as I could for the 2 days until the 7th.

On the Wednesday evening I passed a clot the size of a tennis ball and was strapped to the CTG yet again. This time, baby's heart beat was more erratic, jumping from very high 170+ to under 100 bpm. I was becoming more and more concerned, yet when the doctors arrived I begged them to let me deliver on the Friday.

Once baby's heart beat settled, after 2 or so hours, they were happy to leave me. Thursday morning, my room-mate and I awoke grumpy and tired, and planned on sleeping the whole day through. I thought that by doing this I would be relieved of the anxiety I was dreading about Fridays Caesar. We'd darkened the room and snuggled into our beds when my VMO enters the room and states that I will be delivered that day. I was third on the list and I should expect to go to theatre around 3.30 - 4.00.

I cant explain the emotions I felt at this time, because I was numb. Part of me was terrified, part of me was hysterical and the rest was in complete disbelief that in a few short hours, I would be someone's Mummy. It was all too overwhelming.

I called Ian who left work to be with me . I had visits from the anaesthetist, a social worker popped her head in, and the midwives were especially accommodating of Ian laying on the bed with me, holding me as I shook and cried with fear. I slept some of the day, and stared into space the rest.

At 3.45pm theatre was ready for me and I was taken to the Operating Room to deliver my baby.

I had a general anaesthetic and woke up in agony and itchy in recovery, where I repeatedly asked everyone who walked past me if I had a girl, which I did. The remainder of the night is a blur, thanks largely to the morphine drip. My daughter, Isla Ruby Maddalyn was born at 4.39pm Thursday, Januray 6th 2005 (at 35.2wks), weighing 2585 grams, 49cms long with a Head circumference of 32cms. Despite being early and small, Isla was healthy and went straight onto the ward.

Although the Caesar was the worst pain I have ever know, I look at my little baby now and smile just for her. Everything that I went through, the 49 days in hospital seemed so insignificant and trivial once I came home and started life as a Mum to my beautiful baby girl.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

We're home!

We're home! A picture of me and my little lady, having a bottle when we got home.