Monday 31 August 2015

Holidaying at the hospital

News of Jelly Bean since his arrival has been ghostly sparse. 

All intentions of writing updates about my beautiful baby and sharing his birth story has been overshadowed by fun and adventures with Bug and Jelly Bean over the school holidays along with health issues that poor Jelly Bean has been suffering with.

He was born healthy but has had a few little issues since then.

At first he developed a little nasal congestion. Thankfully it was nothing too serious and did not develop into anything worse or be caused by a more serious underlying health issue. However it did warrant a visit to our local children's ward at the hospital to ensure that it was not anything serious. The lovely staff at the hospital cared and treated his so well, with treatment of nasal saline drops treating his nasal congestion.

As his nasal congestion improved and he continued to thrive I assumed and hoped that bar regular visits to the health visitor and GP for immunizations, weigh-ins and other minor health issues that it would be the end of trips to the hospital for Jelly Bean for many years to come.

How wrong was I….

Even though Jelly Bean was his normal content little self, one day I noticed an abscess.

A visit to the children's ward at the hospital via our health visitor confirmed my suspicions. After a number of visits to the hospital for check-ups, a course of antibiotics and the abscess bursting naturally the doctor gave Jelly Bean the all clear.

Again I hoped that would mark the end if trips to the hospital for a long time. But again I was wrong.

At the first sign of the abscess returning I immediately returned to the hospital.

After consulting with specialists it was decided due to his age and the reoccurring health issue we would have to go to the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales based on the site of the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff for specialist treatment. 

So we were transferred to Cardiff, over 100 miles away by ambulance.

As I did not know how long are stay at the hospital would be and how often family could visit us due to the distance I hurriedly packed essentials for our stay with our starry Caboodle bag with its excess room coming to the rescue once more following its usefulness as a maternity hospital bag.

At the hospital the consultant informed us that Jelly Bean would need surgery to treat the abscess and that he was also suffering from a fistula that was causing the reoccurring abscess. During the surgery it was hoped that the fistula could be treated too but that would not be known until the surgery.

It was upsetting seeing Jelly Bean prodded and poked during routine checks along with needing procedures such as a cannula inserted so that he could have fluids when going without food before surgery so as not to become dehydrated.

The worst part of the whole experience was not being able to breastfed him when it became time that he needed to stay nil by mouth for the surgery. It was horrible trying to console my hungry baby who was devastated to not be getting his milk. Unfortunately as Jelly Bean was on an emergency surgery list the hospital staff could not give a time for when he would have his surgery so I had no clue for how long my baby would have to go without being fed - in the end it was over 8 hours…..a heart-breaking 8 hours.

Thankfully the surgery went well and the surgeon treated both the abscess and the fistula.

I am so grateful to the brilliant staff at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales and hope that this is the end of our visits to the hospital except Jelly Bean’s check-up in a few months’ time.

Our brief glimpse of health issues and hospital stays has made me even more appreciative and thankfully that neither of our children have long term health issues. It was tear-jerking seeing my baby having procedures and treatments, having to go nil by mouth and being put to sleep along with worrying about him during surgery. I can only imagine how horrible it is for parents whose stay at hospital is a lot longer and more complicated.

We are now home, enjoying our some more Snuz Love with our SnuzPod from The Little Green Sheep - oh how we missed it and co-sleeping! - and glad to be back where we belong, mummy and Jelly Bean back to daddy and Bug who we missed dearly during our holiday at the hospital many miles away.

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