Putting Rosie’s lungs and life in danger
Rosie had difficulties feeding when she was first born. I had tried to establish breast feeding whilst still in hospital, and with Rosie being my first baby I thought we were both getting the hang of it.
But at only three days old and less than 24 hours at home, a visit from the health visitor confirmed that feeding hadn’t been going as well as I’d thought. Rosie had lost over 13% of her body weight and we were both admitted straight back to hospital.
It was only when we arrived and I saw Rosie next to all the other new born babies did I realise just how skinny and dehydrated she looked.
Rosie was in the Intensive Care Unit at Southmead hospital in Bristol, UK for a little over a week whilst we established feeding. First of all a nasogastric (NG) tube was inserted up Rosie’s little nose and into her stomach and a feeding plan was put in place. If we could get Rosie to take full feeds from the bottle at every feed for 24 hours we would be allowed home.
It was a bit of a slow start and we bought a number of different bottles and teats thinking there must be an easy solution to all this! During the week we were in it was suspected that Rosie was tongue tied and so mid-week this was dealt with (we felt it was better for this to be done whilst she was young than for her to possibly need it later in life).
It seemed to help and after 8 days, Rosie achieved 24 hours of full feeds from the bottle. OK… so feeds were taking about 50 minutes for 50 mils of milk but she was able to do it and both Iain and I felt felt that just having time and patience at home would make everything alright.
We got her home and set about maintaining the routine that had worked so well for us in hospital. The first couple of days seemed OK, but then it all started to go down hill. A number of things happened, either:
- Rosie would be so tired that she’d just fall asleep through a feed and I kept on having to wake her and get her to feed
- The milk didn’t seem to be going down so we’d squeeze her cheeks to help her get a tighter seal around the bottle teat – which worked for about 10 mil then she’d tire and fall asleep
- She’d get really worked up, go bright red, choke, splutter and then tire herself out and fall asleep
We knew something was wrong and the week quickly turned from bad to worse.
Rosie hated feeds, I was started to dread every single feed time too. My instinct at the time was to get milk into her no matter what so she didn’t become dehydrated again. I find it unbearable now watching the videos back though seeing how much she was struggling. Knowing what we know now, it pains me to think we were putting her lungs and life in so much danger.
By the time the health visitor came at the end of that week and Iain and I showed her the videos we’d taken of Rosie, she instantly said that something wasn’t right and asked us to be patient whilst she went back to the office to chat with her colleagues.
Within a couple of hours we were on the phone to her, knowing what she was about to say. They’d spoken with Rosie’s doctor and everyone felt she needed to be admitted back to hospital. But this time to the Royal Hospital for Children in Bristol. We packed our bags anticipating a couple of nights stay, popped into the doctors on route to pick up our referral letter and were there an hour later.
Part 2 coming soon…