Posts Tagged ‘hospital’

Post-op

February 11, 2014

I wrote about two months ago about Baby’s impending operation. He has an undescended testicle and needed it investigating. This involved keyhole surgery under general anaesthetic. You might have wondered what happened. The original operation date was postponed, a day before it was due, because of ‘winter pressures’. But fortunately he wasn’t left waiting too long and had the operation about a fortnight ago.

I had been dreading it. But it actually went remarkably smoothly. Baby couldn’t eat or drink for six hours before the op. But he napped through a fair bit of that time and the rest was spent with him being easily distracted by the excitement of being in a new place. Baby’s daddy took him to theatre and held him whilst they put him under. I think this shook him up but Baby took it all in his stride. An hour or so later and Baby was awake. At first he was rather unhappy and couldn’t hold down any milk. He projectile vomited all over himself and me which wasn’t great given I’d brought tons of clothes for him and none for me. But after a few cuddles, a bit more milk and some pain relief he got much better. I had thought pain relief would be a big issue but actually he was fine after that. I had Calpol and ibuprofen ready but we barely needed it. He slept a bit more than usual the next few days but otherwise has been grand. We came home that same afternoon.

I have to say I was mightily relieved. Everything went so well and it was in large part due to the amazing nursing care we had – they and all the staff were so lovely.

The Doctors say that we need to do this in two stages so we’ll be back at the hospital for a repeat procedure in about five months time. I can only hope it goes so well.

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Home birth debate crops up again

March 11, 2013

Another day, another article about home birth. This time an article in the Guardian called ‘Childbirth: Why I take the scientific approach to having a baby’.

The gist of it is that the evidence around safety of home vs hospital is misrepresented. And it focuses on the rates of planned home births which end up with a transfer to hospital. The research quoted (which is pretty authoritative and which I’d read before) states that around 45% of first time mums planning a home birth end up transferring into hospital. Around ten percent of those having a subsequent child transfer.

I clearly got things muddled up as I successfully had my first child at home and then had a mid-labour, in ambulance hospital transfer with my second.

My main issue with this article is the insinuation that having to transfer to hospital implies some kind of failure. It implies that home birth was a ‘wrong’ choice for someone who has to transfer in. I certainly don’t regret trying to have a home birth on either occasion. But neither do I regret the fact I had to transfer into hospital. The experience itself wasn’t traumatic. In fact it was incredibly professionally handled by all concerned and went very smoothly. It was the right thing to happen at the time and I’m glad things went as they did. At no point was I or my baby ‘at risk’ given the prompt transfer. So it feels odd to consider myself one of the statistics implied here as having had a ‘bad’ outcome.

Home birth isn’t going to be for everyone. And it won’t work out as planned for everyone either. But just because Plan A might fall through that doesn’t mean Plan B equals failure. Or that you might regret trying for home birth even if ultimately it doesn’t work out.

All this makes me wish I’d written up my birth story already but I’ve still not got around to it. Soon I promise!

Day one

February 28, 2013

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Hard to believe our new little one is only just over 24 hours old. Feels like a lifetime has passed already.

Fortunately my high blood pressure in labour came down immediately after the birth and has stayed normal ever since. And Baby is doing brilliantly too, no concerns or issues which is lovely.

He is feeding like a trouper, has a really strong suck on him! I think Bub took much longer to get the hang of it but that might have been more down to me than him. Though I had no idea how bad afterpains can be in second children – ouch that’s been painful!!

We were in hospital for around 15 hours all in and back home yesterday in time for tea. Bub therefore got to meet his little brother at home which was how I’d hoped it’d be. And fortunately Baby had had the foresight to bring Bub a present which made everything pretty much ok from his perspective. Here’s Bub showing the Baby his new Rex toy.
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Am knackered, but did manage a few hours kip last night. More than I did for Bub when I think the adrenaline from the birth and general shock to my system kept me awake for several days. Baby is very sleepy at moment which I know won’t last but I hope to enjoy as fully as possible while I can!

Baby :-)

February 27, 2013

Baby Bum arrived today at 2.22am in the morning. Of course this isn’t his real name – we still need to come up with a blog pseudonym (and a real name!) But for now let’s stick to the name his big brother has taken to calling him – so welcome Baby Bum.

Eventful birth. I’d hoped for a home birth but my blood pressure was too high during labour so we transferred into hospital. Ambulance, blues n twos, the whole shebang. Baby was born literally within five minutes of getting to the hospital. My waters broke immediately on arrival and in four pushes he was out. All rather dramatic and exciting (and so near to him being born on route!) The ambulance men were still in the room apparently when he popped out. Though at the time I was very much out of it on gas and air and am rather hazy on the details.

But that’s a story for another time. Will hopefully write up my birth story as I did for Bub. But for now just want to enjoy my little babe and the fact he’s currently sleeping!

Toddler paracetamol (Calpol) overdose

December 9, 2012

Scary few hours last night. I’m posting this up as a warning to others and in case the info is useful.

Last night Bub (who is 34 months) just wouldn’t settle to sleep. He’s been really good for months but last night just wouldn’t drop off and was instead pottering about his room for ages. His room is like a monastery, barely anything in there. But he does have a chest of drawers (handles removed) and the top drawer has a few things in it like nappy cream and Calpol.

Last night Bub managed to open that top drawer and get out the Calpol. I found him sat on his bed, holding an empty, lidless bottle. He’d spilt a bit on his sleeping bag and a bit on his mattress but most had been drunk. I reckon about three quarters of a 100ml bottle.

We weren’t really sure what to do but a quick google search showed that this could be very serious. We jumped into the car and headed to the Accident & Emergency department. Luckily it’s only a few minutes away.

It was a Saturday night around 11pm when we arrived. It’s fair to say we had to wait around a long time. Fortunately they had a pretty good children’s waiting room with lots of toys.

After an hour we saw the triage team who took all the info, weighed Bub and checked his pulse. Then it was back to the waiting room for another long wait.

The NHS care was fab, but the communication not so great. I guess in a busy A&E on a Saturday night this is to be expected. It turns out they needed to do a blood test to check the paracetamol level. But this can’t be done until at least four hours after ingestion. If someone had told me this I’d probably have popped Bub in the car seat, whizzed him twice round the block, and let the poor lad have some sleep. But as it was we thought we were to be seen ‘shortly’ and that he’d probably be better off staying awake. Poor lad, it was about 2.15am before we finally saw the doctor. Bub was still lively though, very wired. He did amazingly well given how late it was.

The doctors put some cream on his arm to numb it and about fifteen minutes later we went through for a blood test. They took the blood from his hand which he didn’t like and neither did I. I’m not squeamish but seeing your two year old have blood taken is horrible.

After the test we asked if we had to wait or could go home. The doctors said to go home and promised to ring in the next 90 minutes. If his blood paracetamol levels were above a certain level we’d need to go back in and he’d be given a drip and admitted to a ward for monitoring.

Bub finally got to sleep at 3am in the car home… I slept in his room with him whilst his daddy waited up anxiously for the call. Fortunately his levels were below those where further medical attention would be required. Well above any recommended dose but below what might require treatment.

Have read quite a bit about paracetamol overdoses since this happened. What is scary is that you can be fine for a day or so and then get really sick. They can be fatal. So whilst Bub is hopefully going to be ok we still can’t be 100% sure yet.

So what is my advice on the back of this experience?
– Move the Calpol out of your child’s bedroom. It might be super convenient to keep it there but if there is even the slightest chance they’ll reach it then move the stuff.
– Child proof lids are not child proof. Bub probably only opened it by chance but if he can do it any other two year old can too.
– Don’t hesitate to go to A&E if you think you need to. The NHS A&E department was in some ways great (excellent children’s waiting room, kind staff) and in some ways crap (long waits, not enough communication) but I’m incredibly glad it was there.

There isn’t much in the way of reliable information on the web about paracetamol overdose in toddlers. I’m surprised NHS Direct or the Calpol website doesn’t have more. These two websites were the most helpful despite being a bit technical and they seemed to accord with what the doctors said at the hospital.
Paracetamol toxicity (Wikipedia)
Paracetamol poisoning (patient.co.uk)

From holiday to hospital

October 14, 2011

We’ve finally broken our duck with an A&E visit. Most friends with young kids seem to be there regularly and until now we’d never had to go.

Luckily nothing too serious. In fact by the time we got there he had pretty much recovered.

We were walking round our camp site and Bub was getting a bit cross we weren’t walking in his preferred direction. He was holding hands with me and his Daddy and he hung back putting his full body weight on his left arm. I was holding this hand and felt his arm ‘pop’. That sensation will probably stay with me forever… At first I didn’t think it too serious and thought he was upset about not getting his way. But he didn’t get over it and continued to be upset once we got back. Even his favourite toddler iPod game couldn’t console him. His left arm was limp and whilst he could move it was far from normal. By now it was getting onto 6.30pm. I threw some food into a bag and we got in the car.

Fortunately there was an A&E department within ten minutes. However by the time we got there he was much, much better. He was using his arm again and no longer crying. We took him in to get checked out but it was soon clear he was fine. The nurse was lovely and not at all annoyed at what must have looked like a complete waste of time.

Apparently it is pretty common for kids to slightly dislocate their arms, especially at the elbows (called nursemaids elbow, allegedly.) It can be popped back by gently rotating the arm around. The nurse thought we’d probably inadvertently done this when we put him into his car seat.

So pleased he’s ok. Felt very guilty that he hurt himself by pulling away and me not letting go. He’s so boisterous and fearless sometimes I forget how tiny and fragile he is. Thank goodness he’s ok. And thank goodness for the NHS for being there and offering a caring, speedy and frankly amazing service.

From holiday to hospital

October 14, 2011

We’ve finally broken our duck with an A&E visit. Most friends with young kids seem to be there regularly and until now we’d never had to go.

Luckily nothing too serious. In fact by the time we got there he had pretty much recovered.

We were walking round our camp site and Bub was getting a bit cross we weren’t walking in his preferred direction. He was holding hands with me and his Daddy and he hung back putting his full body weight on his left arm. I was holding this hand and felt his arm ‘pop’. That sensation will probably stay with me forever… At first I didn’t think it too serious and thought he was upset about not getting his way. But he didn’t get over it and continued to be upset once we got back. Even his favourite toddler iPod game couldn’t console him. His left arm was limp and whilst he could move it was far from normal. By now it was getting onto 6.30pm. I threw some food into a bag and we got in the car.

Fortunately there was an A&E department within ten minutes. However by the time we got there he was much, much better. He was using his arm again and no longer crying. We took him in to get checked out but it was soon clear he was fine. The nurse was lovely and not at all annoyed at what must have looked like a complete waste of time.

Apparently it is pretty common for kids to slightly dislocate their arms, especially at the elbows (called nursemaids elbow, allegedly.) It can be popped back by gently rotating the arm around. The nurse thought we’d probably inadvertently done this when we put him into his car seat.

So pleased he’s ok. Felt very guilty that he hurt himself by pulling away and me not letting go. He’s so boisterous and fearless sometimes I forget how tiny and fragile he is. Thank goodness he’s ok. And thank goodness for the NHS for being there and offering a caring, speedy and frankly amazing service.


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