SouthSea's All American Baby thread

(316 Posts)
duchesse Sun 13-Feb-11 09:42:26

New thread for well-wishers to leave messages! And for Southsea to leave links to photos of the Pebble (hint hint) [you don't have to Southsea)

duchesse Sun 13-Feb-11 09:46:58

For those who want to read the fantastic back story:

Part 1

Part II

Teaandcakeplease Sun 13-Feb-11 09:50:58

<bookmarking my place>

I hope everything is going well. smile

DanJARMouse Sun 13-Feb-11 12:04:19

Wonderful news!

TheNewStig Sun 13-Feb-11 12:31:39

<marking my place>

Hope everyone's doing well.

Hey, thanks for starting a new thread! I was wondering where it might go so this is great.

I'm just working on adding some pics but I'm not sure how to yet..... Maybe you can help?

Baby Thomas is doing really well. He's off he c-pap and looks a lot less bruised and puffy. I'm trying to pursuade DP that Samual would be a good middle name (as in Uncle Sam) as I'd like a US connection. Jefferson was mentioned but um..... hmm grin

Lovely doctor has just been in. I'm going to be discharged tomorrow! I'm getting out!!
grin grin wine After 48 days I think. That feels weird. I've loved being looked after in the bubble. I've become used to it. Is this Stockholm syndrome?? grin No, seriously it will be hard to say goodbye but amazing to be getting back to a bit of normality.

I've been reflecting a bit on my pre and post birth understanding of the whole baby experience. Things like the pain factor -totally unexpected. I though my first lot of contractions were not toooo bad and got complacent but then.... good god.... And my post about the hands free double pump thing - and look at me! Double pumping away thinking how useful it would be to have something to hold them on with grin.

I have to say I am finding the breast pump a bit strange, and one nipple hurts a bit. The other is well away. No milk yet but I can tell it's going to come. I can't wait to breast feed.

My goodness, look at the time! I've got to go and see my baby, he'll be wondering where I am!

Back later with pics X

duchesse Sun 13-Feb-11 13:03:12

You sound really well Southsea! Just remember to rest!! Day 3 can be a bummer.

Teaandcakeplease Sun 13-Feb-11 13:06:38

Click on "mymumsnet" in the pale blue bar above, then enter your e-mail and password, then scroll down to "share photos"

Are they feeding him by tube your expressed colostrum for now? Tiktok et al are great in the breastfeeding/ bottle topic area grin Although you might as well post here with any questions with all these mumsnetters routing for you wink

Can't wait to see the pics later.

diddl Sun 13-Feb-11 13:15:23

Thomas Samual sounds lovely.

Any of the Docs have a name that you could use as a middle name?

Congrats again!

ednurse Sun 13-Feb-11 13:22:00

Congratulations! How about Kennedy for a middle name? Quite American grin

titchy77 Sun 13-Feb-11 13:31:45

Huge congratulations you and Mr Southsea on the birth of baby Thomas! Well done!!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MABS Sun 13-Feb-11 13:46:07

brilliant,you are doing so well

Medee Sun 13-Feb-11 13:48:52

any of those middle names would be nice, and a great connection to the land of his birth. 48 days - blimey!

oooggs Sun 13-Feb-11 13:59:12

an 'American' middle name would be very fitting.

Can't wait to see him

midtowner Sun 13-Feb-11 14:00:43

congratulations!

queenoffairies Sun 13-Feb-11 14:05:49

Massive congratulations Southsea - I have lurked from your original thread, and am so pleased for yousmile

CointreauVersial Sun 13-Feb-11 14:16:58

Isn't it normally spelled Samuel, rather than Samual? Or is that an American spelling?

But it's a great idea having a "US" middle name. A friend of mine gave her dd the middle name Louise, to commemorate the fact that she was born in their downstairs loo (true....).

But I still think Pebble as a middle name has great potential. It rocks, in fact. wink

sparkleshine Sun 13-Feb-11 14:43:56

Marking my place on new thread

Glad to hear from you again southsea. You sound in excellent spirits and I'm not suprised. I'm sure he is beautiful...cannot wait to see a pic of him.
As for middle name....well we have a Thomas and 2nd choice was Samuel, so it's lovely. An american association is a nice idea if family names aren't an issue

I couldn't imagine double-pumping, I had trouble doing 1 at once and sure it looks strange but hey if it works and gets your milk flowing then keep at it.

Sorry, you are right - Samuel!

Photos now available I think if you click on my name.

Just had a cuddle and another little weep at all we've been through, and happiness smile. I love him so, so much already! It's going to be hard to leave him here tomorrow. He's under a lamp now as he got a bit of jaundice yesterday due to the bruising (the nurse said). So we can't take him out too much today, which is a shame because all I want to do is hold him.

I'm feeling really achy and my bum is hurting loads (sorry if that's tmi but it really is!). A bath would be a wonderful thing this morning envy.

Thanks for the tip about breast feeding. Am going straight over to have a look at the advice there x

CrispyCakeHead Sun 13-Feb-11 14:51:41

Wow southSeas, Congratulations to you and Mr S grin and welcome to the world baby Thomas Samuel!!!

I wasn't online yesterday and was wondering how things were! Obviously busy, lol smile

Will baby be going home with you? or staying in for a bit? I thought they would keep you in until you had got BFing established? difficult enough at the best tof times, but hard with a preemie as the suck reflex isn't fully established till about 36 weeks. Make sure you are happy to be at "home" without any support, or see if you can get some support. Lots of skin to skin/kangaroo care in the meantime, and you'll get there smile

Well done!!

LJ29 Sun 13-Feb-11 14:51:41

He is gorgeous! And you look so happy! Huge congratulations.

SimplySparkling Sun 13-Feb-11 14:51:53

I'm a late comer to your threads, having only spotted the second one yesterday, but I just wanted to say congratulations and best wishes to you Southsearocks. smile

Congratulations to you and your family southsea. Thomas is gorgeous, he looks lovely and strong; I'm sure he'll be out and on the plane home in no times at all. Well done you! grin grin

CrispyCakeHead Sun 13-Feb-11 14:54:10

pics are just gorgeous <wipes away a wee tear> and you look radiant!

I wish I had looked that well after any of my three births, even after an elective section I looked like I had been dragged through a hedge backwards confused

Medee Sun 13-Feb-11 14:56:06

lovely photos!

duchesse Sun 13-Feb-11 15:00:54

Ooh he looks like a fine little chap! He looks bigger than 4lbs definitely.

belgo Sun 13-Feb-11 15:04:56

Congratulations! Beautiful photos, especially the one of the kangaroo care.

diddl Sun 13-Feb-11 15:18:20

He looks absolutely gorgeous!

And OP-you´re looking pretty good as well, considering what you´ve been through!

Foreverondiet Sun 13-Feb-11 15:19:26

Not sure where you'd buy them in the USA but you can buy special pumping bras from express yourself mums - I think they are sourced from the USA so you may be able to order one from a US website.

link

My friend runs the website and they give support / help to those struggling particularly with premmies.

Congratulations to you all. He's lovely .

KnottyLocks Sun 13-Feb-11 15:22:32

Lovely photos. What a gorgeous baby grin. You look so happy.

Yesterday's mission accomplished: got you a copy of The News to mark the event. Fabulous front page story about a local drug baron grin. Bet you're missing home!

Also, have a pebble from the beach for you. I'll write Thomas on it, date and time in my bestest writing - like a Not on the High Street special but crappier grin.

AntPants1 Sun 13-Feb-11 15:25:14

Oh congratulation south sea. I remember your initial post about waters breaking but then lost track of you. Am so pleased to hear of the arrival of thomas. X

TanteRose Sun 13-Feb-11 15:29:17

Great photos - he's a little poppet, isn't he smile

Habbibu Sun 13-Feb-11 15:32:40

Wow! Congratulations, he's lovely. He looks bigger than 4lb, definitely.

kensworth Sun 13-Feb-11 15:37:19

Thomas is Devine what a perfect little man . He does look bigger than 4lbs well done you xx

Ba8y1 Sun 13-Feb-11 15:40:22

Huge congrats southsea! He is absolutely adorable! smile Hope you all arrive home safely soon!

newmummy2lucas Sun 13-Feb-11 15:43:57

Congratulations southsea have been following and am so delighted for you. Well done! Xxx

CointreauVersial Sun 13-Feb-11 15:51:23

Oh he's gorgeous! Making me broody now....

flamingtoaster Sun 13-Feb-11 15:53:51

Thomas is adorable! Thank you for letting us see photos!

kampakat Sun 13-Feb-11 15:57:42

Aw....He looks absolutely perfect and i have to agree with other posters - you look soooo relaxed and fabulous, and not at all like you should after all you have been through!
<<kampakat makes note to remember hair brush for post birth photos...>>

jasmine51 Sun 13-Feb-11 15:57:49

Hey Southsea, have got us a big table at the 10th Hole <<pats chair>> but did you know they dont allow prams or pushchairs grrrr - if 200 of us turn up all with a buggy do you think they would get scared enough to let us in?

kampakat Sun 13-Feb-11 15:59:55

just saw your posts knottylocks what a fabulous idea about the pebble. My eyes are leaking grin

TheOldestCat Sun 13-Feb-11 16:03:43

Congratulations! Thomas is gorgeous.

weblette Sun 13-Feb-11 16:05:52

Aaargh I don't do teary but the pic of your beautiful little Thomas has me very red-eyed. What a gorgeous little splodge!!!

FoghornLeghorn Sun 13-Feb-11 16:16:02

Message deleted

StormBird Sun 13-Feb-11 16:21:14

He is just scrumptious and you look so radiant! Congrats again X

pearlgirl Sun 13-Feb-11 16:21:21

Congratulations to you all and welcome to little Thomas. What lovely pictures.

Fenouille Sun 13-Feb-11 16:32:58

Congratulations from another long term lurker. Thomas looks a bonny chap (as my Mum would say) and you look great after all you've gone through. Hope they discharge him soon and all the best for the trip home!

Canella Sun 13-Feb-11 16:36:33

Aw Southsea - gorgeous photos of Thomas and you!! You look really well!! Too exciting that you get to get out tomorrow but can see how strange it'll be to leave esp when he'll still be there!! I'm sure he'll get out soon enough and then you can finally make those exciting plans to bring him back to the UK!!!

Jacksmania Sun 13-Feb-11 16:37:01

Oh my goodness, what a little muffin!!! He's adorable!! He does look bigger than 4 lbs - must be that cute little rounded tummy. Awwww... I love newborns!
Congratulations southsea!!! (again)

I must have missed the double-handed pumping post... LOL!
xxxxxxxx

BonzoDooDah Sun 13-Feb-11 16:41:31

Congratulations Southsea! Wonderful news and gorgeous photos. So glad you are both okay after this ordeal.

Good luck on your first trip out - wow it's a whole different year now grin

lostinwales Sun 13-Feb-11 16:43:20

Gorgeous, so many congratulations and you look so beautiful too. I have a big tear in my eye, lots of love to little Thomas (I have a Tomos, same but Welsh version) So lovely, I'm going to grin for the rest of the afternoon.

Truffkin Sun 13-Feb-11 16:45:13

Huge congrats and dramatic to the very end! You sound over the moon, am very pleased to have got to this good news end to the story! Enjoy your son and your new found freedom grin

franke Sun 13-Feb-11 16:47:41

Aw, what a lovely little baby smile He looks very robust.

Ahh he looks gorgeous, I'm sure he's being spoiled well looked after by those lovely nurses!

Southsea, when you get discharged, remember he IS in the best place for him at the moment. Take a few hours, go and have a lovely relaxing bath, and DO NOT FEEL GUILTY for leaving him for a little while so you can take care of yourself.

Thanks so much for posting the pictures, he is gorgeous! and doesn't he look big!

Hands-free double pumping with 4 hair elastics and a nursing bra here - no special equipment needed!

Eglu Sun 13-Feb-11 17:14:17

Just lovely to see pictures of Baby Thomas. Samuel is a great middle name.

He looks great.

Doobydoo Sun 13-Feb-11 17:16:02

Fab pics.Thanks so much He looks a really good size!
WELL DONEgrin

ozzysocks Sun 13-Feb-11 17:16:08

Aw lovely pics he is beautiful, glad you are doing so well!

ohboob Sun 13-Feb-11 17:21:41

What a gorgeous boy.

Lovely to see photos so thank you!

BoobyMcLeaky Sun 13-Feb-11 17:25:13

He's beautiful Southsea. Congratulations (again).

eatyourveg Sun 13-Feb-11 18:53:45

I'm sure someone said it way back somewhere in the first thread, but you really should print off these threads and put them in Thomas's memory box. It is such an incredible tale to tell him about when he's older.

Love the pics too

oooggs Sun 13-Feb-11 19:24:17

great pictures he looks yummy

<<<<<<disclaimer: not broody at all>>>>>>>>>>
wink

Oh wow! Thomas is gorgeous! And you don't look too bad for all those hours of labour either! [gin] Such a shame I'm miles from southsea, I'd love to come to a meet up!

HalleLouja Sun 13-Feb-11 19:50:45

Photos are beautiful - well done you. Small babies doesn't mean less pain well that is what I heard!

Lcy Sun 13-Feb-11 19:51:29

He is gorgeous. Well done you xx

smokeybacon Sun 13-Feb-11 20:04:33

<kicks self for not checking thread last night>

What a gorgeous boy! Well done you.

sparkleshine Sun 13-Feb-11 20:06:21

Awww he is adorable and sooo cute, I could just take him home myself.
Well done...you look great post birth.

Also agree he looks much bigger than 4lbs, but sometimes I guess you can't tell unless they are compared to another object IYKWIM

Have a lovely long soak in the bath, you deserve it.
I'm sure you will be having so many mixed feelings about leaving tomorrow but the frsh air will do you good for starters.

muddyangels123 Sun 13-Feb-11 20:13:42

Southsea,He's beautiful.
Well done you.

bubbles12 Sun 13-Feb-11 20:19:30

Another congratulations message!
Such a lovely name and such a special time for you all.

tadjennyp Sun 13-Feb-11 20:26:51

Aw, Thomas is lovely southsea grin . I have a baby Samuel Jude born in the US 8 days ago on the 5th - so I think Samuel is a great name to celebrate his American-ness! smile

mejon Sun 13-Feb-11 20:26:56

Well done, congratulations and welcome little Thomas! I've been following your story but not as closely this past week or so as I have my own newborn keeping me awake all night feeding so my MN time has been limited. Great photos too.

Pumble Sun 13-Feb-11 20:51:15

Congratulations to you all! My DH and I have been following your thread lurking blush from the beginning and are so pleased that you are all doing so well - and Thomas is beautiful.

Coppernoddle Sun 13-Feb-11 21:12:55

He's beautiful! And you look well after a long few days!! Really hope tomorrow goes well for you! I'm sure as soon as you leave it'll be a sigh of relief! Either way, think it'll be very moving for you x
Have a lovely day and hope the sun shines for you x x x

Dysgu Sun 13-Feb-11 21:42:20

What a gorgeous little boy you have, Southsea. DP and I have been lurking since the beginning but have never posted.

We had a 4lb-er born after my waters went early - admittedly at home on the IoW rather than in USA - but now, 4.5years down the road, you would never know she had been so little and early.

It is hard to leave them in hospital whilst you 'go home' but they really are in the best place with people who really know about getting them to the point where you can bring them home.

I second the earlier suggestion of printing off these threads - and also of asking for all the bits and pieces they use for him in the hospital. Our DD loves looking through her memory bag of stuff from her earliest days - and you have a fabulous story to tell your little boy when he is bigger.

I hope Thomas (Samuel?) continues to do so well and that you manage to bring him home soon.

Congratulations to you and Mr Southsea.

jenga079 Sun 13-Feb-11 22:31:54

So good to hear you're doing so well. CONGRATULATIONS again!

How about mumsnet as a middle name? wink

Lovely news. Have a cuppa! xx

mathanxiety Sun 13-Feb-11 22:50:54

What a fine pink little baby, and you look radiant smile.

Here's a preemie site you might like to take a look at.

Make sure you have something really warm to wrap up in when you leave the hospital. It's a lot colder in Philly now than it was when you went in.

I took home everything I could pay my hands on from my DCs when they left hospital. They wore the hospital clothes until I dressed them to go home and they love looking at the little white items, hats, wristbands, etc.

Sparklies Sun 13-Feb-11 22:52:50

Awwwww.. he's lovely!! You're looking great too! Congratulations again!!

I bet you're going to feel absolutely knackered when you walk out of the place. You do anyway after pregnancy and birth, but after 48 days lying in bed - bye bye muscle tone! I spent 4 months on bedrest (to be fair, the last 6-8 weeks I would hobble a few hundred yards every now and again) and I felt so shattered. BUT - without baby in my belly I actually managed better than expected so hopefully this will be the case for you too.

It'll come back pretty quickly though, and you'll be hiking along the seafront back home in blustery gales watching the hovercraft and taking Thomas to the SeaLife museum in no time

Louii Sun 13-Feb-11 22:57:01

Congratulations! grin

He is absolutely lovely, not a wee skinny thing either.

DancingThroughLife Sun 13-Feb-11 23:07:51

He is an absolute smasher. Well done all of you!

I like someone's suggestion on the second thread of Lincoln as a middle name, in honour of being born on Lincoln's Day (or whatever it's really called blush)

Thomas Lincoln has a ring to it.

Enjoy your gorgeous little boy. Can't wait to hear how the rest of this journey goes. Tears and wine all round I think smile

Keziahhopes Sun 13-Feb-11 23:29:06

Massive congratulations to you all.. I followed you since the first thread, but only delurking now!! Off to look at photos! Enjoy being more active and hope your American new family spoil you too x

EveryonesJealousOfGingers Sun 13-Feb-11 23:40:20

Huge congratulations and well done to all of you and your fab team - what a lovely ending to this story, and an amazing beginning to your life as a family! grin

Hi,

Thanks and congrats to all you new mummies too! What a special time. Thomas's cousins are so excited, they can't wait to have him home either. Think I'm going to get plenty of help smile.

The kangaroo care is really lovely. I'm going back in a few hours for another hold. Only 20 mins or so as he has to be under the UV light most of the time but every minute is a joy.

I'm a bit puffy and my legs look like seal pups, and feeling quite washed out and lightheaded but apparently I lost a bit of blood yesterday so that's why. I remembered that at one point the doctor was kneading my stomach to try to move the placenta and a big jet of projectile blood shot out and covered him with a loud squeltch blush He had to go and change. I laughed and apologised, thinking this was quite normal.....

I'm going to try and pump through the night tonight although what I'd really like to do is kid myself that I don't have to and sleep through. But I do want to get the milk going so needs must! I hope I can get used to it. It does feel strange and I am a bit sore already. Using the Lansinoh each time. I'm getting too little to hoover up in a syringe just yet but there are blobs of the good stuff coming through so I'm sure it will happen.

I've discovered there is absolutely no glamour in child birth. I've had umpteen people rooting around in my foo, examining my backside and checking my lady bits. The dinner lady came in today while I had a pump on each breast and was typing away on the laptop (she said she's used to it and I believe her), and now I'm stripping when I go to visit the baby. It feels like the world and his wife have had access to the most intimate parts of my body these last seven weeks. Poor DP has seen the lot, and watched me go through labour. I will aim to re-glamourise for his sake once things are more settled grin.

cloudydays Mon 14-Feb-11 01:08:59

Aw Southsea I just had a look at your pics and now I'm all teary. You did so well to keep Thomas safe and sound for all those weeks until he was ready for the world, and now there he is in your photos, a good-sized, gorgeous little boy.

Just wanted to wish you well (again) after seeing Thomas' lovely little face.

Hope you get some sleep between pumping sessions.

Sparklies Mon 14-Feb-11 01:41:44

Yep, no glamour in childbirth You do tend to lose some inhibitions though - I am incredibly shy and private normally but when it comes to medical stuff I don't bat an eyelid now - like you I am just too used to having a medical team peering up where the sun don't shine with a torch for hours on end..!

Oh dear at your doctor getting covered in blood! I managed to (whilst unconscious) squirt a registrar in the eye with my last operation. We both had to have blood tests. Glad I am not a doctor!!

So glad you are able to do kangaroo care. Not every hospital does it, so it sounds like yours is very progressive. It must be lovely cuddling your special man

Sympathy on the having to get up and pump.. it's bad enough having to get up and feed the baby but at least you get to be with the baby! It's really hard to adjust to having only a few hours sleep but keep on remembering it's not forever - it's a cliche but this too will pass! I never knew I could fall asleep whilst walking until I had my first child!

Any news on a likely return date to the UK? Guess you're going to be in paperwork hell for a while longer yet.. so much sympathy!!

Glad to hear from you southsea will be off to look at your photos in a minute

I remember from when my nephew was in the nicu it's so hard to leave and even after 7 weeks of him being in there he still came home to sleep in a drawer cos the cot hadnt arrived !

So happy shopping- he ll be the best dressed baby at baby groups you go to back home

Bicnod Mon 14-Feb-11 07:01:08

Oh congratulations Southsea - have only just seen this - he is beautiful grin and you look so happy and knackered and new mummy-ish gringringrin

I'm expecting DC2 in July and reading about little Thomas made me weep over my muesli - can I blame the hormones? blush

Sounds like you're doing brilliantly with the pumping. Keep at it - your dolly parton moment will come - I think my milk kicked in around day 3.

He's so lovely. Well done you

DebiTheScot Mon 14-Feb-11 08:36:44

Congratulations on your gorgeous baby boy smile I had to check this thread on my weekend away just to find out if he'd been born yet!

propercrimbo Mon 14-Feb-11 09:26:39

Massive congratulations again Southsea's grin

jomummyof3 Mon 14-Feb-11 09:38:59

im in! great seeing the thread continuing! i am new to mumsnet and this has been a fantastic introduction.
Samuel would be a fab middle name. maybe im a bit biased as my littlest is Sam (Samuel on his bc)

right where are those piccies....

Woodlands Mon 14-Feb-11 10:22:58

Many many congratulations - he's gorgeous!

Flisspaps Mon 14-Feb-11 10:27:34

What a gorgeous boy grin and you look really well!

crapbarry Mon 14-Feb-11 11:27:59

aww, he's gorgeous southsea - brought a tear to my eye! and he looks much bigger than 4 lbs (sorry to echo all previous posters )

many congratulations!

mohara Mon 14-Feb-11 13:45:51

WOW !

What a gorgeous little boy-congratulations! You look brilliant in the pics, considering what you have been through-well done!

BonzoDooDah Mon 14-Feb-11 13:48:17

Hey Southsea I found pumping incredibly difficult but a hint someone gave me was to look at a photograph of baby whilst pumping. It reminds your brain why you are doing it. Maybe that would help you or having a blanket or babygrow near you with his smell on. Also it's not harder and faster is better but a more rhythmic stop start sucky motion that helped me. I'm sure it will get easier ... good on you for persevering.

SindyW Mon 14-Feb-11 14:02:01

I've follow this thread from the beginning and am over the moon that you and the baby are doing great. Congratulations and all the best for the future.
Many years ago (1992) we were living in Newcastle and about to move to Essex. I was 28 weeks pregnant with 1st child and my waters broke whilst visiting Essex. I understand a little of how it has been for you.
Good luck for the future.

What absolutely lovely pictures, Southsea - he is a lovely little boy (and gets his looks from his mum, clearly).

And Samuel sounds like a lovely middle name - it goes well with Thomas, and as you say, it is a nice reminder of the circumstances of his birth.

CrispyTheCrisp Mon 14-Feb-11 14:44:53

Fantastic pics Southsea, you look amazing for not having slept and gone through childbirth and a knockout op. Thomas is gorgeous and i hope he escapes SCBU very soon.

I got pretty good at pumping in the end and remember playing cards with a group of friends and thinking nothing of it grin. I hope they felt the same way blush

Liz79 Mon 14-Feb-11 18:17:50

What a gorgeous boy!

I'm dischaged!!

I am no longer a patient at Riddle Hospital grin. However, we're going to be here loads over the next few weeks so I will be here really but it will feel different.

We're just waiting to se the social worker about getting a social security number to move along the passport issue. I'm pretty sure we have to have one to get back. The doctor said Thomas should be able to fly back one week after discharge! So really all we are waiting on is the documentation.

DP has had his bills for his broken ankle shock. Not good. He had a less than 1 hour consult and was given an ankle boot support, for which he's already paid $200, and they now want another $800! And that wasn't even the diagnostic apppointment. The hospital bill for A&E and an x-ray was $500, which under the circumstances seems a lot more reasonable. I'm not happy....

But, had loads of cuddles with Thomas this AM and tried him on the breast again. He is latching on but then just falls asleep! But this is what preemies tend to do apparently. It's very cute smile.

Oop, social worker is here - have to go x

tadjennyp Mon 14-Feb-11 18:40:35

My Samuel is 8lbs 11oz and also falls asleep on the breast southsea - you are not alone! Sorry about the bills, but they do seem quite reasonable compared to what I've heard about here in the States. Ds1 had to have something removed from his nose. It took 5 mins and they charged $800 for it! Lucky we are insured. Good luck with the Kangaroo care, it sounds like it's going brilliantly!

Mrsfred Mon 14-Feb-11 18:42:56

Oh Southsea, congratulations. Thomas looks fantastic and I am glad to hear you are both doing so well after such a long journey!

DirtyMartini Mon 14-Feb-11 19:25:41

Just caught up after posting ages ago on your first thread. What a rollercoaster it's been for you all. Sorry to hear about the bills, ugh.

Thomas is just gorgeous and I remember so well what that intense love feels like when it first hits you - it's amazing. You have a beautiful son - and you kept him safe all that time! Congratulations!

<looks at photos>

AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

<gets even broodier, if that is even possible>

<wipes tear from eyes>

MelinaM Mon 14-Feb-11 20:34:04

Congratulations again Southsea, Thomas is such a handsome little chap! x

Tigerbomb Mon 14-Feb-11 23:06:53

oh isn't he a little Bobby Dazzler.
Congratulations to you all x

I'm another lurker, just wanted to say many congratulations, I am a similar number of weeks PG to you so well done for hanging on for so long! I've looked at your pics, he looks wonderful! Congratulations again! x

Jacksmania Tue 15-Feb-11 07:18:10

Ok, so have just caught up on the thread (monster paperwork day, AAAAGH) - and I'm so happy you've been discharged!! Wonderful! How does freedom feel? Do you feel like you're floating - no heavy baby belly, no monitor?

Hope you're ok leaving Thomas in hospital, that must be tough
((((((*HUGS*))))))

MrsDollFace Tue 15-Feb-11 09:42:55

Name change so need to re-mark place

So lovely you've had lots of cuddles with Thomas

sparkleshine Tue 15-Feb-11 10:19:33

Great news you've been discharged Southsea...must be hard to leave Thomas every night though.
Hopefully he will be home soon as he is continuing to do well.

We are all thinking of the 3 of you. Sorry to hear about the hospital bill for DP.Must have been a shock for you.

I presume you are staying with the in-laws. Have they been to see Thomas yet or is it just parents at the moment?

supersalstrawberry Tue 15-Feb-11 11:15:02

lovely news, congratulations!! grin

ckny1 Tue 15-Feb-11 11:24:28

Thank you for posting the pics of your new sweetie-pie! He IS gorgeous, and I agree with crazybutterly, he does look strong!

Hope you have an easy transition leaving the hospital, and Thomas will be joining you soon enough!

DirtyMartini Tue 15-Feb-11 13:34:40

<checks in for news of sweet Mr T>

TeenageWildlife Tue 15-Feb-11 15:21:25

Thanks for the lovely threads Southsea and your lovely spirit always smiling through. Congratulations to you all and to little T.S.S

SpecialC Tue 15-Feb-11 18:17:33

Southsea I am so happy for you! Thomas is just lovely and you make motherhood look good! Hope you enjoy you are able to get back to the UK quickly with 2 healthy boys wink

duchesse Tue 15-Feb-11 18:40:55

Have to say I think those hospital charges for dp are quite steep! I went to a French hospital on boxing day with a broken ankle and was charged 143 euros for the visit, x rays, bloodworks and anticoagulant, and back brace for the ankle. Pales into insignificance next to your us bill!

galwaygal Tue 15-Feb-11 20:57:13

Southsea - so good to hear you are finally free ! I am sure that walking out of the hospital doors felt wonderful!

Breastfeeding preemies is not easy, but hopefully you will have tons of support to get you going. With pumping I found that watching tv or reading a good book helped me the most, the more I was thinking about the pumping the less I got, I think relaxing with the pumping is the best way. Some say use picture of the baby, but this just made me miss my little one (not a premmie!) too much and the let-down reflex hindered rather than helped. Anyway I am sure you will get masses of advice from people.

Can any of your dh's relatives go in and see Thomas? or is it just restricted you your dh and yourself? I am sure you are enjoying every minute of being with Thomas.

allyfe Wed 16-Feb-11 03:33:34

I loved the pictures He is gorgeous. You looked impressively lovely post birth! I looked shocking in our newborn family snaps. Obviously that shouldn't be the point, but still!

Hope you are settling back into life on the outside.

FoxyRevenger Wed 16-Feb-11 11:00:10

Aw Southsea he is lovely lovely lovely!

I LOVE this thread!!

flamingtoaster Wed 16-Feb-11 16:08:19

Great to hear you are discharged. Hope it's not too long before Thomas can join you.

Hi all!

Thanks Galwaygal, that is very helpful. I'm on the milking machine all the time!! My nipples are sore, and my boobs are feeling tender. There's more coming but it's taking a long time. I've been told to try to do every two hours through the night as I'm a bit behind (took a while to sort out a hospital grade machine for home) so I'm also knackered! But I guess that's parenthood and of course he is so worth it. I think I'd find it easier if he was with us and not still being cared for in hospital. I still don't feel he's quite ours yet.

It's been nice to be sleeping in a really comfy bed, with DP. I'd forgotten how nice it is to be with him. Life is really hectic now what with breastfeeding, coming to hospital, and life at home with a family of 5. I was a bit stressed yesterday but a bit more relaxed today. There seems to be so many decisions to make, about whether or not we need to buy rather than borrow a car seat, whether we should get a stroller in case we're here for weeks, etc. It looks like it's going to take a while to sort out the passport still but we are trying to expedite it. You have to have a social security number and for that you need a birth certificate. These can take weeks to get. It means as well we're going to end up overstaying our visas unless we get on and contact the immigration board, but for that you need an appointment and for the appointment you need to cal a number that you can never get through to. It's never ending.

BUT..... And the end of it all we have the most beautiful, wrinkly nosed, squeaky little man who makes everything fade away when we have the chance for a cuddle. DP has changed his "diaper" today and fed him his bottle (which contained a precious few of my hard earned drops!). He's not under the UV light today so we've been able to spend more time on cuddles. The rocking chairs here are dreamy. You just want to drift away with him sleeping in your arms..... In fact the nurse had to go over to a mum who was snoring her head off earlier with her tiny babe in her arms. I don't think I'll ever forget the sense of peace in the NICU.

weve got lots of 'thank yous' to do for staff that bought us gifts. I'm planning on doing a hamper with lots of British food, including tea, chocolates, biscuits, I thought Marmite if I can get it. Any other ideas?

Xxx

CrispyTheCrisp Wed 16-Feb-11 18:56:55

Well done on the pumpimg Southsea. I was doing it every 1.5hrs with my two and it is painful, tiring and not enjoyable. However, if you can carry on it is well worth it - i only had to do it for about a week IIRC with my 36 weeker and it certainly gets easier once the milk is flowing smile

The admin & logistics sound like an absolute minefield and bogged down with beauracracy. I hope you manage to wade through it as soon as possible. Can the insurance people help in any way as i would imagine they would like to see you home asap?

The hamper sounds like a lovely idea smile. British cheese is quite different from American and baked beans are always a must IMO grin. Our French friends like us to take them Ribena and Philadelphia when we go over

Re car seat and stroller - these will be allowable within your luggage limits so why not get the one you want in the US and bring it back with you? Probably cheaper too

TheDuckSaysMoo Wed 16-Feb-11 19:04:01

Congratulations! Your photos are wonderful and what a fantastic story Thomas has to tell of how he came into the world!

Southsea, I'm American and definitely did not have to get the DCs a social security number before they got their US passports. Hope you aren't getting the runaround. Haven't read whole thread, but if you are coming back to the UK, why not just get him a British passport as if he arrives in the UK with an American one, he may need proper visas etc. Call the British Embassy as they will be very helpful and can arrange for an emergency passport.

ssmile Wed 16-Feb-11 19:15:32

Savory Cabbage leaves can help sore boobs, take them out of the fridge and for some reason they do help! No joking worked for me

ssmile Wed 16-Feb-11 19:17:02

If you get very desperate as I did, nipple shields (silcone vsoft) but some midwives / health visitors advise against them as can interupt feeding. I was SO sore I had no choice or give up feeding. It worked for me.

paddyclamp Wed 16-Feb-11 19:18:23

Hi Southsea...glad to hear you're doing so well...love the pictures and the name...i have a Thomas although he's a Tom unless he's naughty!!!!

I agree with ilovemydog...my mum brought us into the UK to live on US passports and she got into all sorts of trouble, we were almost denied entry!!! I'm not sure but isnt it possible to get an emergency UK passport?

I know it's federal law to enter the US on a US passport and leave on a US passport...but i don't remember them ever checking passports when you leave a country :S

jemw Wed 16-Feb-11 19:48:32

Hi southsea, I had a premmie baby 34 weeks....ds was in scbu and i was using the pump, the nurses gave me a photo and also a hat he had been wearing as they said the sight and smell would help with the expressing, was able to bf later, hope it goes ok for you.
How are you finding it out of hospital - I was in for about 2 weeks with ds and when i first left I found the outside world very load and noisy and busy, real shock to the system after my hospital room!

Lovely pictures of Thomas, have enjoyed following your thread, take care x

tadjennyp Wed 16-Feb-11 20:55:46

My little one has got his social security number already and he was born on the fifth, so I think they are hot off the mark usually!

ghansell Thu 17-Feb-11 16:21:28

Congratulations southsea, he is adorable.
R.E the hamper what will go down well is some british flavoured crisps as they have very few over there. Also biscuits and marmite.

I would also go out and get a nice strollee and carseat there much much cheaper than here.

fridakahlo Thu 17-Feb-11 17:01:54

Pumping overnight is a really good idea, apparently it's at the night time hours that our hormones linked to milk production really peak, and also having a picture of bubba to look at is really good advice too.
Again congrats!

geordieminx Thu 17-Feb-11 19:48:53

Congratulations south sea. Thomas is beautiful!

oooggs Thu 17-Feb-11 20:19:15

southsea well done with the pumping smile

Jacksmania Fri 18-Feb-11 03:50:46

Any updates? New pictures? How's it going? xxxxx

madwomanintheattic Fri 18-Feb-11 04:39:29

cabbage inhibits milk production - don't use cabbage until you are trying to dry up your milk supply... definitely not when you are trying to increase production!

but congrats from over the border grin

chimchar Fri 18-Feb-11 07:58:55

southsea...its great to hear that things are going well...your posts sound really upbeat. smile

thomas is beautiful....and you look fab!!

what a journey you've been on...be sure to keep all the little reminders, and print out these threads to keep....thomas will love the story when he's older i'm sure.

hope you are feeling well, and get lots more snuggles with thomas today x

Hi,

Thanks for all the great advice about the pumping. I'm feeling totally fed up this morning with the whole thing. I get conflicting advice from the hospital nurses about how often is ok, with one saying every two hours day and night (I tried it, it's fine if you can sleep in the day but we're at the hospital the whole time) to another saying every three hours and onlyonce in the night is sufficient. One boob feels full but simply isn't functioning. One has been great until last night and that now feels empty and soft and isn't doing anything this morning. I can't afford to pay for a private consultation. DP's bill for his broken ankle has come to £1600 for a&e X-ray, boot and 10 minute consult. I'm not in my own home, all my friends and family are a million miles away, DP has his own needs because he can't walk or carry anything, we can't drive ourselves anywhere, I feel totally, totally useless sad sad. I'm going to ask to see the breast Feeding nurse today to get a straight answer to my questions. Grrrrr..... And sodding iPad changes all my words when I don't want it to!!!

On the positive side, Thomas is doing well and is just a little tiny poppet. But I'm just so fed up.....

No closer to getting home. Am going to finish pumping and go and have a shower and get ready to go to the hospital again. Sorry to moan but it's a struggle at the moment to feel good. Need a brew

Odelay Fri 18-Feb-11 14:42:23

Oh Southsea, you know it'll be crazy hormones making you feel hopeless as well as tiredness and and the aftermath of having been through a massive experience.

I remember only too well searching for answers and finding nothing but conflicting advice.

someone will be along soon with good advice for you, but how about posting something on the feeeding bit of MN for some realy expert advice, i found the ladies over there invaluable when i was learning to BF

you ARE doing a fab job, and you AREN'T useless X

weblette Fri 18-Feb-11 14:44:21

Southsea - agree totally with odelay. It must be so so strange for you, you've done BRILLIANTLY and useless is the last word I would use atm!

Have a biscuit to go with your brew x

madwomanintheattic Fri 18-Feb-11 14:54:01

i pumped every three hours day and night for the first 6 weeks, but dd2 wasn't prem, just v poorly. it's really normal not to be getting too much at this stage - just grit your teeth and carry on, lovely.

you've done really well, but now's the hard bit lol. grin back to real life with a bump and a newborn, and a good dose of hormone blasted blues to start you off. (plus everyone ignoring 'mum' and focusing on 'baby' - it's quite normal to be invisible for a few days lol. grin

don't depair, it will all be fine. take it easy for a day or so and then ask again in rl if you are still having issues expressing.

and use the feeding boards, they're lovely.

chin up! you've done fabulously!

moonbells Fri 18-Feb-11 15:08:02

Hello Southsearocks - I haven't actually said congrats yet so, many congrats!

You sound like you have a bit of baby blues... all to be expected a few days after birth!

On car seats, the US is actually rather better than Europe. Where we have baby ones, toddler ones (all with 5-point harnesses) then booster seats which use adult seat belts from 4, the US has some with secure 5-point harnesses which go to age about 11. I have been trying to source a US-style one for when DS grows out of the current one. And I think you can get ones suitable from babies all the way to 11 - (checks) yes the Sunshine Kids one (Radian) is suitable from 5lb to 80lb and goes from rear-facing to forward. Britax also do one over there but not over here...

CointreauVersial Fri 18-Feb-11 15:45:15

Oh you poor thing, it sounds so frustrating for you. Please realise you are not alone in feeling like this a few days after a birth (as Moonbells says, baby blues), but I can't imagine how you must feel so far from home.

Things will get better, honestly. Just focus on your gorgeous son, and take every day as it comes. And don't beat yourself up about the pumping - you are doing your best. Make sure you are eating/drinking/resting enough to keep your supply up.

geordieminx Fri 18-Feb-11 18:00:01

iPad problem

"settings"
"keyboard"
Auto correct OFF

Sorry I can't help with the b/f ing, but just keep doing what you are doing, I am sure you will be just fine.

Although FWIW I always managed better expressing by hand?

Love and un-MN like hugs from Scotland

tadjennyp Fri 18-Feb-11 18:18:13

Make sure you drink lots of water while expressing. If you give yourself more sleep at night, you might find that your breasts are fuller and therefore you are more successful at expressing. It might be worth a try and at least then you will feel better for some more sleep. Expressing is hard work, especially when you are tired, emotional and worried about all sorts of stuff. Has Thomas received his social security number yet? Oh and you are not useless at all. You grew a baby and you are feeding him yourself. What more can you do????

mohara Fri 18-Feb-11 18:42:07

Ah southsea, sounds like your hormones are all over the place, hugs from me.......you are SO not useless - look what an amazing little miracle you and DP have created.......things will smooth out emotionally (I remember what my hormones were like and I didnt have HALF the things to contend with that you do).

As for the British hamper, how about some Yorkshire Tea, shortbread, maybe some nice chutney or relish, and some 'British' chocolate ?

Have a brew, biscuit and lots of wine from me ! xx

Teaandcakeplease Fri 18-Feb-11 19:17:43

((hugs)) lovely Southsea. start a topic in breastfeeding? I always got conflicting advice on BF and I didn't have a preemie. Wish I'd discovered mumsnet sooner as the advice and support here is amazing.

This website I used to find helpful: www.kellymom.com/bf/preemie/index.html But please please please post a topic in BF area for some top tips x

I had to express to bring in milk, and the best advice I got was to pump 8-10 times a day, and not worry about the time in between, IYSWIM. So, if you pump at 7am and again at 8am, that's fine, and you've "bought" yourself an hour or so later. Babies can have irregular feeding patterns too, so you're mimicking nature. The idea is to empty the breast a similar number of times to a typical newborn. Once your milk starts flowing the whole thing is much more rewarding - promise!!!! I remember how depressing it was trying to hoover up the two or three drops I'd managed to extract after 20 mins.

galwaygal Fri 18-Feb-11 22:13:55

Hi Southsea - it does sound like you have a touch of the babyblues, so I also want to add my reassurance that you are doing really well.

I am going to write a mammoth message here about breastfeeding as you seem concerned about it.

Regarding expressing, if you are getting sore nipples, it will tense you up when you go to express and this will hinder the let-down reflex. Has anyone suggested a warm flannel on the breasts to help with the initial part of the expressing? You may be one of many women (like myself) who don't get much success with expressing. As for number of times a day to be expressing, I think you will get as many answers as people asked. Timing is as important in expressing replacing feeding, so you do need to be pumping very regularly to keep the stimulation going so that your supply is kept going strong. One other thing is the idea that if the breast is soft that there is not much milk there, this is not so, a full breast is nice and reassuring, but not a sign that there is "more" milk really. It is more to do with the body adjusting to times of day it expects to be used. Even an apparently "empty" breast can still provide milk to a suckling baby, unfortunately this is not true for breastpumps!!!!

Just to give an example that might help explain things a bit more. With my children I would be successfully breastfeeding for weeks..... but attach a pump and nothing would come out. If I pumped the next day at the same time, I would get a couple of drops only. If I pumped the third day, I might get a ounces or two if I was lucky. Clearly not enough to replace a feed. But the body adjusts to the times of pumping, and the stimulation of pumping does work whether or not you get anything out.

For me to pump enough to get some stored so that I could have a night out, I often pumped on one side then attached the baby to the opposite boob, the let-down on the baby side meant I would get much more than trying before attaching baby!!!! Does this make any sence to you??!!!

One thing I would be cautious off is irregular pumping, this does not allow your body to build up a natural pattern. Ideally yes you would be pumping to equate to when you would normally be feeding a baby, this with a newborn would be every two hours during the day and maybe three to four hourly at night (depending on the baby!)

Can you pump while at the hospital, just after visiting Thomas? It would be good to be pumping at times while you are there, especially to get your body used to the idea of feeds while with your baby (again I hope this makes sense to you)

But I think mostly you need to be kind to yourself too, don't let yourself get too sore, try to aim for times that don't stress you too much. If this means that you are only pumping every 4 hours day and night but getting good rest between (for body, mind anbd boobs!), then why not! Your body will adjust to a change in pattern in about 3 days, when the time comes to switching to you feeding Thomas directly. And compared to pumping, breastfeeding should feel like a doddle to you with all you are going through.

Finally, you mention a boob feeling full but not functioning well, be very careful that you do not get mastitus, warm flannel, massaging boob towards nipple to encourage flow. Watch for any red patches and or soreness, get help immediately from nurses if this happens. Do not wait for it to get worse (mistake I made twice!)

Please, please don't let this put you off trying to breastfeed. A baby is much much more effective at getting milk out of a breast, more than any pump can do! Are you being encouraged to put Thomas to the breast as often as possible without tiring him? Please be reassured that you are doing absolutely fantastically at the moment, even if the hormones are running riot on your confidence!

OK enough breastfeeding talk from me!

Folks have already given their opinions on carseat and stroller. In my humble opinion, I think would definitely get a stroller, the quality and price alone would be worth it, in addition to the using it on the journey home. As for the car seat.... they have different regulations in europe to US, but I believe that the US rules are stricter, so again, it might be worth saving a couple of pounds to buy it over there.

I hope all the passport / visa complications get sorted soon too, a headache you could do without on top of everything else.

Remember you are doing really well, and try not to let the hormones get you down too much! Will come back and check how you are doing soon.

piprabbit Fri 18-Feb-11 22:25:08

Southsea, congratulations on Thomas' safe arrival. I'm so sorry that you are feeling low at the moment - it's a tough time and you haven't had the ideal preparation really, so don't be hard on yourself.

I was wondering if you had tried looking at the NCT Information Centre, they have lots of information on everything from BFing to having a premature baby - it might help supplement the info you are getting from the hospital??

Anyhow, good luck, you are doing a great job.

galwaygal Fri 18-Feb-11 22:25:27

See yet more conflicting advice!!! grin, actually I agree with Blunder, the spacing between feeds does not need to be equal, but it is best to keep the number of expressing times the same, and if possible the approximate time of the expressing sessions, so if you do 7am and 8am one day if possible do the same the following day, not essential but does help the body to have a pattern.

Jacksmania Sat 19-Feb-11 01:37:51

I second the suggestion of putting Thomas on one breast and pumping on the other breast. Did that with Jackbaby and was completely amazed at the amount I was able to produce. Even if he's not strong enough to really suck, just him nuzzling your breast will stimulate the let-down.

Don't give up. The early days are hard - no, the early days are crap, even if you've had a perfectly normal lead-up to the main event. Which you, my peanut butter-sweetiepie (JB's favourite made-up name for me), have not.

Don't feel useless. YOU made a baby and kept him in there safely long enough until he could be cared for outside of you. Your fabulous body actually gave birth to him. You're amazing in keeping so positive and strong all this time.

And even if fully breastfeeding doesn't work out right now - and I'm not being Ms Negativity here, I firmly believe it will - so what? You'll bottle-feed Thomas, and you can keep pumping a bit every day, even if you only get drops, and then when he's strong enough to really suck, you can try again. It's called re-lactating, and a breast-feeding counsellor should be able to help you with it.
He'll be nourished regardless, and he'll thrive fabulously. Your ability or inability to breastfeed does not in any way minimize the truly miraculous thing you've done.

Now go have some chocolate. Much, much love. xxxJM

ozzysocks Sat 19-Feb-11 09:49:07

Yes, everything that Jacksmama said!

I will add that with DS1 I had awful problems with breast feeding. He was healthy, full term but had a traumatic birth ending in emcs. Anyway he wouldn't latch on and I found it nearly impossible to express much at all, holding baby and letting him nuzzle did help a bit with let down. My midwife suggested having a glass of wine as I was very stressed by the whole thing, this helped me to just feel less of a milking machine for a little while. We had to cup feed formula to DS for a couple of weeks. With hindsight I'm not sure how I carried on perservering! However I did end up BF very happily for 8 months so am very glad I did. Once he started feeding there was not stopping him!

Having said all this I really wish someone had said to me:
He'll be nourished regardless, and he'll thrive fabulously. Your ability or inability to breastfeed does not in any way minimize the truly miraculous thing you've done.
This is so true and would have helped me so much emotionally.

Good luck and I hope you feel a bit brighter soon.
xxx

ozzysocks Sat 19-Feb-11 09:51:36

jacksmania doh!

PeppermintFreddo Sat 19-Feb-11 13:25:32

Hi Southsea,

I'm really sorry that you are having troubles with your milk and getting so much conflicting advice.

When I was first establishing my milk with my DS(born 3 months early), I used to pump every 2 hours through the day and then 4 hourly at night (I used to set the alarm for 12 midnight, 4am and then 8am). Pumping at the same time every day certainly helped me.

It is also really important that you drink lots of water (I used to have about 3 litres per day) and that you eat regularly. Eating a chocolate bar just before you pump works wonders.

There are lots of threads regularly on Bliss about establishing breastfeeding as it is a common problem amongst mothers of premature babies. Here is one of the threads. I hope it may help you.

Good luck with establishing your milk and please try not to stress.

Jacksmania Sat 19-Feb-11 16:14:59

Ozzy, I was Jacksmama until galwaygirl renamed me

paddyclamp Sun 20-Feb-11 11:23:33

Hi Southsea
After what you've been through it's no wonder you feel a bit down...breast feeding is damned hard work even with a full term baby...sounds to me like you're doing brilliantly

ozzysocks Sun 20-Feb-11 12:14:47

Jack Ah my heavily pregnant brain does work just slowly grin

Ah, thanks guys!! I should have come back earlier to read these posts, they are so helpful! And yes, it was definitely baby blues, with a big dollop of anxiety on top. I still feel anxious and a few mm away from tears most of the time but not full of doom like I was that day. I recognise that this has been a difficult time emotionally and physically and it is starting to take it's toll. Me and DP are snipping at each other but really we're just tired.

It's getting busy as you can imagine so there's been a bit less time for MN. We've been going backwards and forwards to the NICU and the rest of th time is pumping and food. The pumps fall off if I try to type so I've not even had that luxury smile

The big news is that we're currently in the hospital doing a dry run. I came in this morning as was told Thomas could be discharged tomorrow! They want us to stay tonight to make sure there are no issues and see that he puts on a little more weight. So here we are. He's had two changes and two feeds. The nurse has been helping to put Thomas to the breast and I've tried pumping to stimulate them and then putting him on, but I think his mouth is so little and my boobs are quite large so we're a bit mismatched for now. I've tried squeezing my nipple into shape and he does latch on but isn't sucking. I feel that when we go home there will be more time to try in a more relaxed environment, so I'm trying not to worry.

It is so exciting to think he could be home with us tomorrow, after two months in hospital between us. He's so little still, I hope we don't hurt him! We have to get a paediatrician here for the next few weeks although we still don't know for sure that he's covered by medicaid. We both feel bad about having to claim that.

I had more presents from one of the nurses today. They have been so generous, it will be hard to leave them all but I intend to stay in touch with the ward and send photos and updates. As part of the hamper I got some British flags and a Keep Calm and Carry On Poster with a union jack and a crown on it, to remind them of their little British family. I'm going to stay in touch with one nurse in particular who was there during the labour and has been the most inspiring person. She was like a mother to me while I was here.

Thomas keeps making noises that sound a bit worrying but the nurse says it is just preemie noises and nothing to worry about. It's hard not to be though confused. It's all so new to me. Where is that baby manual......??? X

Ps I still loath the pump but i am getting more out now. If anything it will make me more determined to conquer breastfeeding so I wont have to use it anymore!

DuelingFanjo Mon 21-Feb-11 00:40:38

I haven't posted on your threads before but have been following. Missed this one completely. Massive congratulations and keep going with the breastfeeding. Such great news that your baby can come home with you.

Jacksmania Mon 21-Feb-11 04:25:59

Oh dear and at the mismatch - I have a friend whose baby boy was quite small and she has humongous bazooms and seeing her wee one breastfeeding was hysterical at first. One breast was almost bigger than the entire baby! She would tell you the same so I'm not just being a cowbag

I really think that you'll do better in a more relaxed atmosphere. Stress hormones probably inhbit letdown (I have no scientific proof to cite but if makes sense to me.)

My goodness, I'm ridiculously excited that you're taking him home tomorrow!!! I would be really nervous, too - he's had all this high-tech back-up and now they're just giving him to you and there's not even a test or anything!! Major eeeek moment. Holding your hand all the way from here. Remember you won't hurt him, and being with his mummy and daddy is the best thing in the world for him. Yes, you'll be crapping yourself but you'll be fine!
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx LOVE JM

ghansell Mon 21-Feb-11 09:38:46

Hi Southsea,
My first born wa born at 35+5 and she couldn't get latched properly due to small mouth and huge boobs anyway i literally had to put my finger in her mouth to open up then tickle her chin. Thats how i managed it.
Also preemies do grunt sometimes it's not a problem only if they start to expel thick saliva then he will have to be checked. If you ask one of the midwives there is a tea you can drink which i think is mothers milk tea which helps with milk production.

Good luck at taking him home.

Coppernoddle Mon 21-Feb-11 09:45:09

Good luck south sea! I remember the journey home in the car being terrifying, wanting to drive 10mph all the way home and any idiots that got close to us I'd get dead mad!!! But it'll be fine! Wow, your going to be a family all by yourselves soon which is exiting but I guess very scary too as you've had all that help! Bet you'll be brilliant!!! Keep up with the breast feeding and I hope he latches on soon for you. Don't really know much about prem babies and the sucking reflex. Will he eventually get it? Or will he stick to the bottle as that's what he's been using? I do hope so, it's suck a lovely experience and hopefully with all the pumping you've gone through a lot of the soreness. Good luck for tomorrow and have a little celebration glass on me!

galwaygal Mon 21-Feb-11 10:25:36

Oh how exciting to be taking Thomas home grin so happy that he is doing so well for you.

On the feeding front (tell me to be quiet if I am annoying you!!!). I have huge boobs and small baby issues, One trick I was shown as well as what ghansell says, is that when finally latched, if the baby is not sucking, tickle his feet!!!!!! yep sounds wierd, but it did work. I guess is it some reflex or other, but never bothered to find out why it worked, it just did. However holding baby and supporting huge boob and tickling baby foot is quite a task, I often recruited someone else to do the feet tickling!!!!

Also when feeding with huge boobs, I found that supporting the boob (not squeezing) and baby on cushion on my lap helpful, not a technique that they show in books but it worked best for my huge boobs with small mouth situation!

I think we can all remember that feeling of "oh help" I now have to take care of this baby. It is exciting, scaring amazing. I hope you get lots of support where you are staying, and that you are able to enjoy those precious first few days as a family at your home away from home.

sparkleshine Mon 21-Feb-11 11:38:15

Great news about taking Thomas home Southsea....I bet you are so excited and of course very nervous.
I don't think any first time parent isn't scared about leaving the safety of hospital and being home alone.

Glad the baby blues have eased, though they may not have gone completely. It's gonna be tough, but hope you have the help and support from DP family.

As for expressing, well I can't give any more advice than has been given. I lasted all of 6 weeks {also used formula from 3 weeks}, ony because I didn't pump enough during the day.

Please keep us updated. Lovely idea with the hamper

Teaandcakeplease Mon 21-Feb-11 14:01:32

Is it fennel tea? I remember drinking that and taking fenugreek and brewers yeast tablets from Holland and Barrett in my bid to up my milk supply grin

The La Leche web page and Kellymom both have lots of helpful tips and hints. You'll both get there. Just relax x

Teaandcakeplease Mon 21-Feb-11 14:02:41

Day 3 after the birth of both my babies I cried for most of the day and my babies were both full term and I still sniped at my H for the first few weeks. Good luck Southsea, post when you can smile

jasmine51 Mon 21-Feb-11 16:46:37

Well done Southsea and really excited that you are on the homeward run. The south coast is still grey and rainy but we'll make sure the sun comes out for when you finally get here!

Beasknees Mon 21-Feb-11 16:49:05

Congratulations - i've been a secret lurker for ages but had no helpful experiences to add. Your baby looks beautiful. Hope it's not too long before you get to take him home.

The breast feeding bit is a toughie. I've been given a nipple shield now and it works a treat! Thomas is actually able to suck although I don't know how much he's getting. Last night he got a mixture of breast, expressed and formula all in the same feed smile.

The good news is we are definitely going home today - he's been discharged! We've been here exactly two months today between us. It will be hard to say goodbye, believe it or not, but we'll be coming back with some goodies for everyone and keeping in touch.

It's time for a nappy change and feed. There's not much time in between is there? I'm going to try tickling his feet as you suggested Galwaygal. Looking. Forward to some sleep and a beer later (in that order) smile

Mumsnut Mon 21-Feb-11 17:02:50

My PROM ds (born in the US after 8w of bed-rest in hospital!) wouldn't latch on either. I did find that nipple shields made ALL the difference - he just seemed to need something to get hold of. When he was bigger and more awake I was able to wean him off them, and carried on bf till he was 18m. So if all else fails ...

Another trick I was taught by my expensive but worth it bf consultant was to use an otrhrodontic syringe - a syringe that ends in a soft, curved rubber tube. This could be filled with ebf and the end slid neatly under the nipple shield; pressing on the syringe shot a few drops into it, which ds promptly guzzled, thinking it was all his own work. So then he worked a bit harder at sucking, having tasted the carrot so to speak. Giving him a few drops this way every few sucks kept him interested.

piprabbit Mon 21-Feb-11 18:09:07

So very glad you are finally leaving hospital together.
grin, and a nice brew of tea.

Fab news! Try not to worry too much, you'll do fine. Do try to relax and finally enjoy your time together as a family.

I found a wonderful book in America, Girlfriends Guide to the First Year, it is full of REAL advice from a mum, absolutely brilliant (and made me laugh too). It is very 'american-ized' but really really useful.

CrispyTheCrisp Mon 21-Feb-11 21:18:09

Good to see you coming out of the blues. I was awful - just bursting into tears whenever the MW's said anything nice to me blush

For my sleepy little jaundiced premmie versus large bazookas with not much milk, i was advised to try a number of things:

- Use the rugby hold (less chance you feel like you are suffocating them) grin. This worked brilliantly for me on one side and not the other, so i always fed her lying the same way IYSWIM?
- Tickling toes (didn't really keep her awake)
- stroking from behind the ear, down the neck (this worked fairly well to stimulate the muscles used for sucking). Also if you can see this muscle really 'drawing' rather than just a mouth movement, you can be fairly confident they are actually getting some milk
- laying cold flannels on her forehead during a feed. Now i know this sounds a bit precious, but this was the best help i could give her
- stripping them off to keep them awake & sucking (this didn't really work for us, but can for some)

All the VERY, VERY best for going (not quite) home. Enjoy your beer and being with your new family. Stay strong. You have been amazing. smile

<<<<Shakes pom poms>>>> grin

Jacksmania Mon 21-Feb-11 23:18:52

<climbs on Crispy's shoulders and shakes own pompoms a la football cheerleader stylee>

<attempts a daredevil somersault>

<falls on arse>

I second the Girlfriends' Guide. Hilarious read.

No, there is very little time between feeding and nappies and cuddling!!!

Have a Guiness, your boobies will love it!

CrispyTheCrisp Mon 21-Feb-11 23:28:43

warbles <sings>

'she ain't heavy, she's my sister' grin

<upends Jacksmania from her perching place and performs a triple salco>

hellymelly Mon 21-Feb-11 23:42:48

brilliant brilliant news.Huge congratulations and welcome to the world baby Thomas who does,as mentioned look pretty solid for a little 4lb er! Read your first thread so it is just amazing to be able to share your happy ending x x

galwaygal Tue 22-Feb-11 06:27:40

Seaside - hope you are enjoying your first night at "home" now. I am so impressed at how well you are doing.

weird confrssion - I woke up in the middle of the night dreaming of you and the things written here about lactation consultants and nipple shields!!!!!

<galwaygal asks Jacksmania to stop jumping around with the pop-pops and call the men in the white coats to come and take me to a little padded room>>

Anyway the upshot of my dream was that actually I wanted to say that mumsnut and crispythecrisp have just given excellent advice.

It reminded me of what the lactation consultant that I went to said to me.
She adviced stopping the nipple shields as soon as possible (they had been my lifesavers!!!!), but until I did there were things I could do to help.
Firstly before putting the baby to the breast hand express a little to get the flow going, (I always finished by pulling at the nipple as it seemed to help, another wierd thing of me!). When there is a bit of milk coming out, put some on the end of the nipple shield (like mumsnuts excellent advice using syringe but only at the beginning).

The lactations consultant also said that weaning the baby off the nipple shield is important as the nipple shields reduce the amount of stimulation your boobs are getting, so less stimulation to produce more milk. Also harder to get letdown, hense hand-expressing (or pump expressing) first is good to ensure instant reward for the baby making first few sucking efforts.

To wean off the nipple shieild my lactation consultant suggested cutting a bit of the tip of the nipple shield and then the next day a little more.... etc, you get the picture (interestingly I read a website advocating this for weaning older children off of dummies, any way I digress!)

If possible also have a day in bed with Thomas. Have lots of rest and skin to skin contact. This really makes a huge difference in terms of milk production and interesting Thomas in nussling for milk...... Also helps you catch up on some much needed rest after all the to-ing and fro-ing to the hospital over the last few days.

Congrats again on Thomas getting out of hospital.

Anyway, I think it is time that Jacksmania came and gagged me now, as I am talking too much.....

wine

weblette Tue 22-Feb-11 12:07:39

Hooray!!!!!!

RipVanLilka Tue 22-Feb-11 13:00:50

Congrats!! He's a lovely little thing

Jacksmania Wed 23-Feb-11 01:30:21

<steps gracefully out of Crispy's way to prevent getting squashed a collision>

<picks up pompoms and a handy straightjacket for galwaygal>

Come here my love, let's stop this silly jumping around and go get pished have a glass of wine instead.
Coming, Crispy? Hum, that triple salco looked a bit precarious, perhaps we should keep a neck brace handy

Southsea, I second everything galwaygal has said. She doesn't talk too much, she says just the right things. Here, gg, have some more wine. In fact, we all should. winewinewine


The only problem I see with all the wine is that I just finished work and am supposed to go to yoga now...

CrispyTheCrisp Wed 23-Feb-11 07:31:23

I think I had one too many of your lovely wine wine last night jacksmania <hurty head>

Hope you manage a quiet day in bed as galwaygirl suggests and that today is a good one. Just remember that every day iis one day closer to making it home smile

knittymum Wed 23-Feb-11 12:04:02

I'm so glad to hear that he's been discharged! I hope that everything is fandabbydozey from here on in, and that you'll be back in Blighty in no time!

CointreauVersial Wed 23-Feb-11 13:21:20

Well done, Southsea, so pleased for you!

Sparklies Wed 23-Feb-11 14:03:46

You've had some great breastfeeding advice from the ladies here, yay!

So glad to hear you'll both be leaving the hospital. I felt weird leaving after just 8 days so I imagine it will feel super strange for you especially with an extra external person in tow. As for your eventual return to the UK.. it's a culture shock. You're so used to the amazing care and all the attention you get (even just for being British, never mind the high risk pregnancy stuff!) and suddenly you're just one of millions again and medical people appear largely indifferent by comparison and often critical of certain aspects of care you may have had. Takes a while to adjust. BUT - it is always good to be home grin

Now.. HAVE FUN SHOPPING!!

And I hope the breastfeeding gets more sorted - it can be a fight in the beginning but as others have said, the time saved later not to mention the benefits are worth it so many times over. I've been breastfeeding for over four and a half years (with just a short break during my second pregnancy for reasons you can guess at!!) and it is the most amazing thing once it all works out. It sounds like you're making a fantastic effort so there is every chance you will be successful, and if you're not, at least you know you tried your best.

Mumsnut Thu 24-Feb-11 11:29:53

Hope the hospital bill for Thomas wasn't too traumatic, Southsea.

Hey,

I'm not getting as much time to get on here, not surprisingly. Your bf advice is just what I need! I'm trying the tricks. It must be having some success because all of a sudden I'm producing pints of milk! Well, ok about 3 - 4 oz per pump. But even the rubbish lefty side is producing a little more. The right side is squirting it out, I'm amazed and very very happy.

We saw the paediatrician today in the local practice. She said they'd heard all about us. Everyone is amazed with our story smile. Anyhoo, she was so reassuring. All the questions I had and worries she told me was normal or suggested it was the right thing to do. For example, the feeding schedule is out the window. It's still every three hours but now it's a mixture of breast, expressed milk or formula, or a combination of any of these. She said to just do what was manageable and not slog my guts out trying to do the same regime as was used in the ICU. Thomas has out on a couple of oz since Tuesday so is gaining weight so whatever I'm doing it has worked to some extent. She also reassured me about the quantity of food he having. He can't feed on demand yet but if he has a little one time and more another that's ok.

He's started to be sick after feeds and it really worried me, especially when we found a wet patch around his head this morning in his crib. We had to change the sheets as it was so wet. I'm worried he'll choke in the night? I've bought some gas drops so hope that will help. It's not nice to see him spluttering away with milky snot flying out his teeny tiny nose! Poor sausage. And that's another thing. He's a baby that likes to be held, so when he's in his seat (I dont know what you call them) during the day he's moaning and groaning, but if you pick him up he's content. With him being so young and little I feel like he needs the contact, but am I making a rod for my own back here??

No further news on the passport. The birth certificate hasn't arrived yet. However DP did challenge one of his bills and got a whopping $600 odd of the original cost! And rightly so. He spent most of the consultation waiting and when he saw the doctor the doctor spent half the consult talking about England. It only took 10 minutes in all and they wanted over $780 for it. So well done DP!

I got a bill through today for the anaesthetist which must be for the epidural - it was $2700. Can't wait to see what the surgery cost with two doctors, the anaesthetist and several nurses in attendance!

Thank you wonderful ladies for your great advice. It's hard work but I'm loving little Thomas more and more every day xxx

tadjennyp Thu 24-Feb-11 22:22:35

You can't spoil a baby and if he wants holding, why not while he's still light enough?! Cuddles are what make it all worthwhile, after all. Glad the feeding is going better. You're doing a great job!

FannyLogan Thu 24-Feb-11 22:23:34

Buy a sling and hold him close.

The rod will be the one that holds your family together

Jacksmania Thu 24-Feb-11 22:31:07

He needs contact!!!!!! He doesn't even realize he's a separate person from you yet, the best thing in the world is to be near you.
I held JB all the time and he was a term baby. He was the calmest, happiest baby in the world. He's three now , so a bit different, but still a cuddler.

I'm glad you've got more milk and that you have a paed who is telling you just to do what works. Wonderful!
Am at work so just stealing a few seconds.Gotta go &#9825;&#9825;&#9825;&#9825;&#9825;&#9825;

Jacksmania Thu 24-Feb-11 22:31:52

&#9825;&#9825;&#9825;&#9825;&#9825;&#9825

This is supposed to be a bunch of hearts!! I guess MN doesn't speak Mac. Oops.

paddyclamp Thu 24-Feb-11 22:45:59

Nah you're not making a rod for your back...my DS (also a Thomas!) was exactly the same..he's now 7 years old and is still very cuddly!

My DD (now 5) was also a premmie and she was sick a lot when she was tiny and also was very mucusy and i also worried that she would choke..we had a monitor for her that would sound an alarm if she didn't move for 20 seconds which helped me sleep a little better.

Keep up the good work!

Medee Fri 25-Feb-11 11:08:45

skin to skin contact is supposed to help stimulate the milk-producing hormones too.

diddl Fri 25-Feb-11 11:15:19

My PFB was born pre 30 weeks & was in hospital for 8-and was only just over 6lb when he came out!

I used to spend hours & hours cuddling.

Well, of course when he was in hospital there wasn´t anything else to do.

And when he came home-nothing else was as important!

mathanxiety Fri 25-Feb-11 15:23:15

Hold that baby!

Dump the seat. You and he both need the contact. He needs the warmth and you need him close to keep your milk production coming along.

Some of the spluttering is due to still learning to suck and swallow at the same time, and breathe. Newborns are messy, drippy little things at the best of times.

Well done for the weight gain. A few ounces is huge smile

He's putting on weight! Well done!

Don't feel guilty about holding him all the time. As long as you put him down for naps so YOU get some free time, it won't hurt him at this stage to spend every waking second in your arms. It's later on that you need to step back a little and let him find out that the world around him consists of more than cuddles and boobs. grin

duchesse Fri 25-Feb-11 17:45:42

Hooray! Weight gain! 2oz is what my full-term girls grew per week from the start. I know that's not representative, that most babies grow way faster, but just to say they are perfectly healthy.

I second the sling + holding recommendations. You cannot spoil a baby with love and human contact. What you will teach him is that his needs are met when he cries and that other people are nice on the whole.

banana87 Fri 25-Feb-11 18:42:38

Congratulations Southsea!

I totally third the sling recommendation...he is so little he needs to be held a lot. Don't worry about making a rod for your own back, DD was the same (I held her and we co-slept) and she is now a very independent 2 year old! They don't want to be held forever so enjoy it! Hasn't all this time in America convinced you how much better it is there than here? (can you tell I am a little biased )

flamingtoaster Fri 25-Feb-11 18:43:30

Another vote for holding him as much as he needs. My DS was full-term but was an emergency cs. He cried inconsolably if put down when awake during the day - so for the first six weeks I carried him around all the time (no slings then!). He then turned into the happiest, easiest, most content baby I could have wished for - so it was obviously what he needed at the time.

Great to hear of the weight gain!

Southsea - not checked in on you for a while, great news on him coming out of hospital, and pretty quickly in the scheme of things too grin

I'm sure i read/heard somewhere that preemie babies should be held/cuddled/carried in a sling/etc absolutely loads at least until their due date. Then it's a case of them still needing to be near you while they slowly realise there's a big world out there, but it's totally up to you, his Mummy, how much you hold & cuddle him.

Having worried about over-cuddling DS1, I just went with the flow with DS2 & intend to make the most of those oh-so-precious early snuggles with DC3.

oooggs Fri 25-Feb-11 19:25:59

just enjoy snuggling smile

Yeah, it is lovely to carry him around and snuggle him. I feel better about doing it now, thanks. I do have a moby sling and got it out yesterday to see how it works. I think Thomas is going to get lost in it, he's so wee! But I might have a go later because it would be nice to be hands free.

I'm having problems with the nipple shield now sad. It's really hurting sometimes when I breastfeed, which still isn't very often I have to say. I bought a different type but that's too big for his mouth at the moment. I will persevere but could really do with some 1:1 help. If I was at home I'd have contacted the breastfeeding nurse or joined the local group. I do have a list of lactation consultants here but I'm reluctant to spend more money, I'd rather wait till we get home and really tackle it. I'm trying to keep Thomas interested in at least some breastfeeding in the meantime.

Talking of which, we spent most of yesterday on the phone and Internet trying to talk to someone about the birth certificate. It is so bureaucratic! You call a number, you are given several options, you choose an option, you are redirected to the website that you found the number on, or you are given more options, then you end up back at the original message! This happened with several agencies. Eventually DP talked to a HUMAN BEING at Vital Records (not a music label grin ) and was given the name of someone to call on Monday who might be able to help speed things up. And I eventually found an email for the British Embassy in Washington and emailed saying we are desperate to get home, and was contacted shortly after by a real live person! Hallelujah!!

A lady from the Embassy phoned and is going to ring back on Monday, so with a bit of luck things may start moving then. Shes suggesting we apply for a uk passport but we still need the local birth certificate for Thomas to do that and our own from home so it wont be any quicker. What DP did learn was that once the birth certificate papers have been filed (they have been) the Vital Records Dept keep the birth certificate for 58 days before sending it out shock and we simply can't wait that long. What's really sad is that the travel insurance people phoned to say they could fly us home next week if we wanted and we had to tell them we couldn't as we don't have the passport yet. It's maddening!

Luckily DPs family are smashing and the food is just great over here. So much choice, no wonder Americn's like to eat! Not losing any of that pregnancy tum here.... smile

CointreauVersial Sat 26-Feb-11 20:49:34

What a bureaucratic nightmare; I'm sure you are dying to be on a plane home.

I would really put pressure on the embassy to help you out - claim financial hardship if you have to. It seems a bit daft to keep you stranded in the US.

Keep going with the BF. Do they have an equivalent to the NCT in the US, i.e. a charitable group offering support?

You'll get there in the end....just think how nice it will be back home. fingers crossed the embassy pulls something out of the bag next week.

I cant really help much with the bureaucracy, just to say keep trying, ring lots. The more you pester people the more they want to get rid of you so actually do something!

You could consider contacting your MP back in the UK, just to see if they have any further advice/tips/people to contact.

I'm sure the La Leche League in the US are a charity that wouldn't charge for bf help, could you try calling this number?
I do think the more help you get earlier, the netter off you & Thomas will be.

Chin up, you're both doing brilliantly

tadjennyp Sat 26-Feb-11 21:41:08

I can't believe they are sitting on Thomas' birth certificate as we got Samuel's through the post less than a week after we registered him. Is that particular to the state you are in? There must be cases where people have had to fly abroad soon after a baby was born and they expedited it for them. You can't be the first. Definitely put pressure on them. I'm sure La Leche League is free too and knowing Americans they would be very excited to help you with your birth story! I hope you get the paperwork sorted really soon and manage to get home.

duchesse Sat 26-Feb-11 21:44:32

Can you register his birth at a British embassy and then get a UK passport on that basis? Might be quicker. Is that even possible? (trying to remember if one is allowed to hold dual UK/US nationality and think I remember that a couple of friends do).

I second contacting a LLL counsellor. You sound very calm despite the hideous upheaval in your lives over the last 2 months. Getting home is going to be so weird... Did you even have a cot or basket ready? (cardboard box or drawer will do just as well if not)

Crossing fingers that you manage to negotiate the bureaucratic maze asap with the help of the embassy.

duchesse Sat 26-Feb-11 21:55:48

This might help.

paddyclamp Sat 26-Feb-11 21:56:48

It's definitely fine to hold dual UK and US cos i hold both

Jacksmania Sun 27-Feb-11 00:57:32

Southsea, seriously - if a breastfeeding counsellor costs money to see, I will front it for you, or pay it if you can't. I really will.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

mathanxiety Sun 27-Feb-11 01:54:40

You get your bc through the county department of vital records. In the case of Riddle hospital this would be Delaware county?

Here's some info for Delaware County LaLeche League; LLL are very supportive and knowledgeable.

A forum with preemie breastfeeding questions discussed

Awww.. Thanks Jacksmania smile, that's a really kind offer. It's not that we don't have the money, I just don't want to spend it on overpriced care when we can get it for nowt back home. But I will look into the LLL on Monday too and see what they offer locally and also see what other local groups there are.

Thanks mathanxiety, that link was very helpful and it looks like they were in the same boat as me. It's good to know that people can try for a long time and eventually succeed. Thomas also takes a whole bottle after a bf so I identified with that. I have been worried that my milk supply will go too but perhaps not. I will persevere!

Re the passport, yes we can get both and may end up putting in an application for both and seeing which arrives first! I'll know more on Monday.

Time for bed and another sleepless night.... X

ilovesprouts Sun 27-Feb-11 04:16:20

awwh congrats hes so cute x

galwaygal Sun 27-Feb-11 07:27:17

Southsea - how frustrating with the passports... hope on monday you get decent help with fast-forwarding the process.

On the breastfeeding - yep I found the nipple shields wonderful and first and then just painful, that is when I saw the lactation consultant. Another thing to try is to start with the nipple shield, get your flow started, and then remove the nipple shield and have Thomas on the nipple directly. This was how I got my little one to open his mouth wide enough for me, once he tasted and smelt the milk he was better at going directly on the nipple.

Yep babies will guzzel away on bottles after a feed even if they are not hungrey or don't need it. It is so much easier for them to drink from a bottle, but it is also easier for then to take more than they need. Please do consider seeing LLL or lactation consultant before you leave, as well as having someone ready to contact at home. It is good to have the support in the early days, having said that it took me 3 months to finally get sorted with breastfeeding and stop the all bottle feeds totally, so it is a process and with the right help you will do fine. Are you still expressing as well as bf-ing?

CrispyTheCrisp Sun 27-Feb-11 08:26:46

GGGRrrrrrrrr for the bureaucratic nonsense angry. Hopefully one of the links above will provide the final breakthrough you need smile

Great news that the insurance company are ready to bring you home. So, with that i will just start a chant

<<COME ON THOMAS's PASSPORT>>

<stamps feet impatiently>

ilovesprouts Sun 27-Feb-11 09:42:57

southsea if you look on my profile you will see a pic of my ds1 who was born 21 years ago

Jacksmania Sun 27-Feb-11 17:46:14

<hands Crispy a glass of wine to soothe impatience>

mathanxiety Sun 27-Feb-11 18:03:34

Or maybe it's the State office in PA where you can go for the BC?

DP was in the bathroom and offered to wash the pumping equipment, which I was impressed with and very grateful for! I went in after a few minutes and asked where the 2oz of milk was that I'd pumped half an hour earlier?

He'd thrown it down the sink.

Cue tears and a minor tantrum sad

Today has been a toughie....

Jacksmania Mon 28-Feb-11 05:33:13

NOOOOOO!!!!!

Why??? Why would he do that??
What an utterly stupid, brainless thing to do!!!!
angry
Gah!!!!!!!


(((((((*HUG*))))))))?

Or wine?

Or a handy stick to whack DP with?

Teaandcakeplease Mon 28-Feb-11 06:34:45

Second Jacksmania angry Many ((hugs))

I'm not sure what pump the hospital provided you with but the best pump that I found, that got the most milk out for me was the Medela Swing. Espensive but worth every penny. So well worth investing in one at some point imo.

Oh God Southsea shock

I well remember the feeling of knocking over the open bottle of several ounces I'd just expressed (& I wasn't in the high-stress/preemie baby situ you are).....not good.

He'll learn, I'm sure simply from the expression on your face, let alone what choice words you used!!

Chin up & hope the paperwork gets sorted this week.

diddl Mon 28-Feb-11 06:52:21

I found a hand pump the best-other than the electric one that I used in hospital.

With DS I had a battery operated pump, and found it hard to express anything. With DD I had the Avent Isis breast pump. It was far and away the better pump. You can get an adapter to pump straight into storage bags, and then feed straight from them. IMO definitely worth a look.

Teaandcakeplease Mon 28-Feb-11 11:40:44

It's ironic on our different experiences with breast pumps I found the isis didn't work very well for me and I couldn't get anything out with a manual pump smile Even more conflicting advice wink

Hope things are a bit better today.

CointreauVersial Mon 28-Feb-11 12:55:14

I don't envy you, Southsea; I couldn't get anywhere with a pump, even without a meddling well-intentioned DH. So no helpful advice from me on this subject!

But keep soldiering on....and let us know if you have managed to untie any of the red tape that's keeping you from home.

sparkleshine Mon 28-Feb-11 19:11:10

Not seen updates for a few days.

I'm angry and frustrated for you Southea with DP throwing away the expressed milk. I can imagine how long it took you to get 2oz.
Keep your chin up....I'm sure it will get easier the more you do it....just practice and the flow will get faster

Did you get anywhere with phone calls today? Hope you get sorted soon.
I'm guessing your family here are eager to get you all home so they can cuddle and spoil little Thomas. I presume you are Skyping all the time.

mathanxiety Mon 28-Feb-11 19:26:15

Gaaaaaah. exH did the same and I could have murdered him. It was expressed so the babysitter could feed DS while we were at a child-free wedding [grrrrr]. So we went home after the church.

oooggs Mon 28-Feb-11 19:52:13

southsea - is dh still living??????? wink

CrispyTheCrisp Mon 28-Feb-11 20:09:39

Oh my goodness, why can't they think????? confused. I'm sure you H A D W O R D S grin

I remember having to pump and throw milk away as i was at the Albert Hall seeing a show. Used the first aid room to express and then poured it straight down the sink. Very galling not to get to use it but i couldn't carry it around all evening.

I also agree with Saggy - the Avent Isis was great for me. If you want to try it when you get home i will more than happily post it to you to try smile. It is nice also because it is quiet, unlike some of the Medela's

Hope you have got somewhere with phonecalls?

<Crispy hopes the phone wasn't the nearest thing when DH threw away the precious milk and is now firmly embedded where the sun don't shine>

shock Noooo, I can't believe he would do that!

Actually I can. Because my dh did it too angry, ah, men, don't you love them. hmm grin

Persevere with the pump, it's still early days.

When dd was born, I could bf ok but wanted to express so we could go out for more than an hour or so without dd (she bf on demand and she DID demand, every couple of hours!).

It took me ages to get the hang of pumping, at first the best results were with her on one boob and the pump on the other and I'd struggle to get 2oz.

By the time she was six weeks old I could have fed the entire bloody hospital on the milk! I could pump both at the same time and get a full bottle from each. My party trick was to put the pump on one side and hold a bottle under the other, I could fill them BOTH cos once one boob got going the other would follow.

Poor dd had to suck with a huge towel over her to catch the let-down from the other boob.

It eased off when dd was about 3 months old. I lost count of how many bottles I had to pour away. What a shame they didn't take breastmilk donations back then.

Ah, poor DP. He's forgiven, especially as I've since knocked one bottle over into the sink myself! (Didn't tell him that wink).

I'm using the Medela symphony, which I think the NCT rents out too. The NICU nurses were adamant I should have a hospital grade pump, it led to lots of chasing around and lots of stress. One was quite bossy about it. But it is worthwhile. I only get about 20 mls out of one breast and anything from 1 - 3 oz out the other. Usually less than 2oz. I don't know if that is normal or low? I think it's gradually improved and I bought some special tea today to try to boost it a bit.

I went to Babies R Us earlier with SIL and spent more money on things I might not need but you never know. I also bought a stroller for the car seat, just a metal frame really but since we're likely to be here for yonks I wanted to get out the house a bit.

We've got an appointment with the immigration Dept in Philadelphia on Friday to plead our case for extending the tourist visa. God knows if it will be the right way to go about it or if we'll even be successful. The Pebble will need to come with us so that was another reason to get the stroller.

The birth certificate fiasco continues. It's so bad it's funny. You simply cannot just ask one person if the paperwork has been received. I spoke to five different people in a row this morning. Each directed me to the next. Eventually I got put back through to the voice message I got when I called the other day. I just hung up. It's crazy!

We had a better night last night ( I did anyway, DP often sleeps through) with Thomas going straight off to sleep after his feeds. He's waking every two to three hours - it's a killer! Must be harder on my 40 year old body though smile. I try to catch up in the day but find I'm wide awake. It's the morning when I'm most tired and want to hide under the duvet.

Still, I'm loving him more and more every day! I think he's getting a bit bigger too......

Jacksmania Tue 01-Mar-11 21:32:20

<hopeful look>

New pics please?

Thinking of you. Am at work so can only steal a minute or two... xoxoxox

tadjennyp Wed 02-Mar-11 01:18:30

Good grief, I just can't believe it about the birth certificate. I must live somewhere really efficient in the States then. I think I have lots of milk, but only express 2oz off either side, unless it's first thing. You are doing really well and of course he's getting bigger. I hope the appointment goes well and immigration can help you get the birth certificate sorted for you, as you can't get a passport without one. Good luck!

sparkleshine Wed 02-Mar-11 11:05:21

Aww Southsea..must be so frustrating that things are taking so long to get sorted out.
Hope the appt goes in your favour on Friday....I'm sure under the circumstances they will give a little more time for you to stay there. Maybe try and ask if they can push the paperwork along faster.

Have the doctors said when Thomas is safe to fly back home? Or are you just waiting for paperwork then you can go?

Lack of sleep is annoying isn't it....it will get easier to handle and your body adjusts. Persevere with the BF but don't stress yourself out about it...doesn't work for everyone

mathanxiety Wed 02-Mar-11 15:12:57

Your experience reminds me of trying to get hold of Immigration back in the late 80s. I eventually found a route through the voicemail and spoke to a real person when I got a tip from someone else who had 'been there'. It was a labyrinth.

I would be tempted to go to the nearest state office and speak directly to a person, bring all your own documents, baby Thomas and all his gear...

Or call the hospital and see if the hospital office that registers births and deaths can give you any help, direct phone numbers that bypass the public phone number for instance.

Though it may not be the most enjoyable experience for you smile, the fact that Thomas is waking and looking for food frequently round the clock is actually a great sign -- and you're going through the worst part now. It gets better and better once you've passed the 10 to 12 lb mark.

Target is a great place to find all sorts of lovely baby paraphernalia and sweet little clothes btw.

Grizzle grizzle grizzle. It's been a night of grizzling. I'm ready to kill someone grin. DP is aware and hiding behind his laptop.

Poor Thomas, I don't know what's wrong at the moment. He was fine in the day yesterday and then last night he just kept crying and whining. He's still at it.

I tried Infacol, Saline drops in his nosey, and gripe water (not all the same time!) but nothing worked. So didn't sleep until 4am and then awake again before 6. DP was kicked out of bed got up to feed him then went to do some work upstairs (we're in the basement) so I put little man in bed with me and we both slept for a couple of hours. He doesn't feel hot at all. I'm guessing from what everyone has been saying that this is pretty much par for the course! Hopefully tonight will be better.

The Mother's Milk Tea seems to have worked. I woke up with a big wet patch on the front of my jimjam top and have just expressed over 3oz. I'm so proud grin. That's two feeds sorted for today. I am starting to get into the the timelessness of the day, you know, where I'm not checking the clock or being concerned if I'm not dressed by midday. I've been so used to running on a schedule with working full time for many years. You have to lose that sense of order to some extent and just do what needs to be done as it happens. Now I understand why people say it takes them an hour or two to just get out the door with young babies.

I've been out a couple of times to get essentials. Target is a great shop for getting everything you need in one swoop! I wish I had more time and a bit more independence here but DP's gammy leg means we can't go far. The number of people who have asked if we are going to "the wedding"! They are mad for it over here smile. I don't know that we'll even be back in time at this rate...

I'll stick some more photos on my profile today. There are some funny ones! brew

Jacksmania Wed 02-Mar-11 16:13:57

Good morning sweetie!
I feel your pain re days and nights mixed up. It's painful until they figure out that when it's dark, we sleep. Yes, you do have to throw routine out the window, and yes, life does seem like a great big blur for weeks at a time. I have no other advice, I'm sorry... the only thing I'd tell you is to try to get out of the house once a day, even just for a walk around the block. My goals for every day were: a shower every day, no matter when I finally got around to it - even if I showered at noon, that was ok. And I told myself that I would not wear PJs all day (yoga bottoms and a T-shirt were ok though, not sure what the difference is, LOL), and I had to leave the house once every day.
I didn't always manage but the goal was important to me.
(((((*HUGS*)))))

mathanxiety Wed 02-Mar-11 16:14:59

Huzzah for the Mother's Milk Tea! Hang in there with the sleep (lack of sleep). Sleeping with Thomas is a great way to sneak some half sleep. Some mums find you don't sleep with the weather ear alert so much when the baby is close, and actually find yourself relaxing a bit more.

Jacksmania Wed 02-Mar-11 16:17:50

I always slept better with JB in the bed with me blush.

Sounds lovely & normal if you don't mind me saying so

By the way, Infacol can take quite a few doses to actually kick in so persevere if you think he needs it.

Lol re wedding questions!

moonbells Wed 02-Mar-11 18:35:04

Sounds normal here too. As another first-timer at 40 I can also relate to the sudden removal of all time references! DS used to wake early, and after feeding, DH would take him and the Moses basket downstairs, leaving me to sleep for an extra couple of hours. It made all the difference and so I found night wake-ups fairly easy. Most of them I'd lie there propped on a huge pillow with baby feeding away, while I was reading one-handed or writing a little diary.
I am now glad I have this record of his early days and also my feelings.

It goes so fast - you've had a rough ride so far; I hope you get chance to enjoy the first weeks!

Teaandcakeplease Wed 02-Mar-11 22:20:07

<fly by visit>

Sounds normal to me. Slings helped me to keep my hands free in the early days a little, co sleeping rocks, as does baby massage with wind. I found gripe water worked better for my boy but infacol was good with my girl.

You're doing so well, so glad the tea is working smile

CrispyTheCrisp Wed 02-Mar-11 23:20:14

Southsea, don't forget that you were also pushed into a massive routine based environment in the hospital - doctors rounds, meal times, shift changes, lights out etc that i expect it is hitting you harder. Most people have a few weeks of ML where time starts to blur a bit before the bedlam of night time reversal

Sounds like you are doing great though and so pleased that the Mothers Milk tea is working smile.

FIngers x'd once more for the passport and i agree with asking them to chase up the relevant paperwork/departments for you. However having said that, when i was interrogated about going to do some work in the US (why couldn't a US citizen do it?) and i said i had no intention AT ALL of staying beyond a week, they then got upset as to why i wouldn't want to stay in their wonderful country for longer confused

sh77 Thu 03-Mar-11 14:14:30

Many many congratulations! You and baby are probably the most popular members on MN. So many people rooting for you. Your journey has been epic and will be a story and a half to tell Thomas. Beautiful pics of you both. x

jasmine51 Thu 03-Mar-11 15:26:51

Just to let you know that I'm still here reading your updates. Glad you are all well and progressing through the paperwork (slowly)! xx

CrispyTheCrisp Sun 06-Mar-11 20:25:40

Hope all still going ok Southsea and you are making some steps forward into getting home. x

Hi,

It's still so reassuring to read your posts and makes me feel so much better. It's so hard to get up at night but this morning DP did just what you said moonbells and took Thomas upstairs to watch footie (live, bizzarly) while I carried on sleeping. He forgot to feed him mind you but the thought was there grin. I will ask him to do this again, it made a huge difference to have an extra couple of hours sleep. Little man was up every two hours last night and after the 5am feed was full of mucus and couldn't settle. I tried aspirating him through his little nose but it seemed to be well stuck in there.

Today he has had two washes in the sink. The first he was due, and the second came a couple of hours later after he did a giant poo and was sick on his head (it dribbled out while he was lying on his back). I didn't know which end to deal with first and consequently chose the wrong end, so he ended up with runny poo all over his feet and all over me. Ah, the joys of motherhood!

I'm a bit worried about him this afternoon. He looks a bit yellow. He had jaundice in the hospital but I thought it had cleared up but now he's got that yellow hue about him again and the whites of his eyes area bit off-white. I will probably call the doctor tomorrow. I wonder if I'm not feeding him enough or regularly enough? One of the problems with time flying by is he's not always getting a feed every three hours, and I know that pooing helps to get rid of the terrible 'Billy Rubins' from the body. I think as well he may not be getting enough when I bf. I was giving him a top up afterwards but have stopped that as he seems content enough afterwards.

I need to see the doc anyway because there is a good chance we will get the birth certificate this week! I was finally able to talk to a human bean on Thursday, after DAYS of trying. I spoke to a very friendly man at Vital Records who told me someone who deals with these things would call me back, and she did! She said she could send out a birth certificate the next day but it wouldn't have DP's name on it, although Thomas's surname will be the same as his. She assured me it won't be a problem when we go to get the passport hmm. I just have to have a bit of faith...

So if it does come the travel company will want the paediatrician to give the go ahead for Thomas to fly, and we'll need some evidence that we will be flying in two weeks from the travel company in order to get a passport in a day, which you can do by going to the Philadelphia office. This week is going to be stressful I think! We still don't know for sure that Thomas is insured by Medicaid and need to call the hospital to find out, which I'm scared to do. We need to give the number to the community paediatrician as they have been asking for it. A trip to the paediatrician costs $170 (we got the first bill) and I bought him some medicine for reflux (ranitadine)and that was over $30... He's put on 7oz by the way! He's now 4lb 10oz.

We did venture into Philadelphia on Friday to the Immigration office to enquire about extending our tourist visas. It was Thomas's and my first proper trip out! The staff there made a big fuss of him - I was so proud smile. But the outcome was a big, fat "No". It can't be done for electronic visas, so if it comes to it we just have to outstay our welcome and hope we can get back into the country at a later date. It's worse for DP because he has to work here sometimes. I'm hoping the discharge summary from the hospital will be enough to pursuade immigration officials at the airport.

So there is suddenly lots going on. We still have to take the British hamper in to the staff at the hopital to say thanks! I'm hoping I can cope this week, my mood is still pretty erratic (tears on Skype on Friday talking to parents). Poor DP is getting it in the neck a lot, but then again, he gets to sleep at night! Oh how I miss my sleep..... wine

CointreauVersial Sun 06-Mar-11 23:06:44

Bizarre, isn't it? You are doing your level best to get out of the country, and they're telling you they won't extend your visa to stay!

everythingchangeseverything Sun 06-Mar-11 23:06:46

Following your amazing story..
Sleep deprivation is killer, hang in there. Thomas is a little poppet. galwaygirl has given top advice. Hope he is less yellow soon.

tadjennyp Mon 07-Mar-11 04:56:26

Oh I hope you get the passport and birth certificate really soon so you can be on your way! 10oz is brilliant, well done you.

Gahhh! Visas and immigration are a nightmare. Common sense seems to just go out the window when there's red tape and paperwork. I do hope they get you sorted SOON!!!!

Sleep when you can, try to take catnaps when Thomas is sleeping during the day. I found even a 5 minute snooze helped me get through the godawful sleep deprivation of the first few weeks. It will be so lovely for you when he gains that extra little bit of weight and starts sleeping a little bit longer each night!

Fingers crossed for the paperwork. We need little Thomas back home!

Hopefully the paperwork will start inching forwards now.

Re the jaundice - if he's content after bf then don't top up, but try and judge if he's really content or tired, as jaundice can make a baby sleepy.
Can you rouse him slightly to feed more?
Also don't know what the weathers like there, can you get him into the sunshine at all?
Keep an eye on the wees as well as the poos, roughly 6+ wees in 24hours for the early days as a rough guideline.

Definitely don't let DP forget a feed again, whether the footie is on or not, lol!

mathanxiety Mon 07-Mar-11 15:33:07

I think every two hours for a bit might be a better feeding schedule too. <And no missed feeds, Southsea's DH, if you're reading this!>

sparkleshine Mon 07-Mar-11 16:48:21

Hope you get the birth cert today Southsea then you can try to sort out the passport.
Can't understand why they won't 'legally' allow you to stay a little longer under the circumstances. If you applied originally electronically, can't they issue you with a paper one there and then? (Sorry not sure how it works)
Hopefully you shouldn't need to wait too long now things are moving slowly along.
When do your visas expire?

As for lack of sleep, time awareness, not getting dressed and feeding confusion/difficulties.....normal early days and weeks....well for me it was.

I'm guessing DP family willl be making the most of thie time they have with Thomas.
Just curious Southsea....Is it just his brother and SIL that live there or is DP originally from America?

Hi southsea, just spoke to my dh who is American and he wondered if you could apply for a normal visa before your electronic visa expires? I have no idea how it all works but it sounds bizarre that you can't get a passport so can't possibly leave and yet they won't extend your visa.

mathanxiety Mon 07-Mar-11 19:09:42

You could send your DH home in time before the visa runs out (which wouldn't be nice for you, but Immigration are real sticklers for rules and you don't want to jeopardise your DH's immigration/visa status for the future). Then you could just sit there and wait for them to deport you, which could happen without a birth cert... Or maybe I could lay off the wine The wheels grind very slowly when it comes to applying for visitor visas, etc., but deportation is sometimes very quickly achieved. Another option is to try to contact a local congressman or even someone from further afield (Rep. Peter King from NY for instance has a reputation for sorting things out for Irish people with visa problems). And the British Embassy may be able to help too.

Well there's some movement. The birth certificate arrived yesterday! Hooray!! And today we got the all clear for Thomas to fly. So all we need now is the passport. I think we're going to get photos tomorrow, send the doctors report to the insurance company, who will then book provisional tickets, and then we can go into Philly and get an expedited passport which takes 48 hours or less. Could be home in a week or so! Seems so hard to believe after all this time.

Sparkleshine, DP and his brother are from Warrington! SIL is also British but she and BIL moved to the States over ten years ago to work and never left. They've got a great lifestyle here, I have to say. Their house is lovely and big and in a safe neighbourhood. We'd pay a small fortune to live somewhere close to it in the UK.

We went into the hospital yesterday to say thank you and goodbye to everyone. It was quite emotional. I think they liked the hamper! I'm going to meet up with one nurse before we go. She was really special and I'm going to keep in touch when we get back to the UK.

Phew, im soooooo tired. I can't think straight today.

Not long now though and I'll be able to close this amazing chapter in our lives! smile X

Wow Southsea - possibly home in a week!!

It will be so wierd walking in your front, with a baby grin

You'll probably have a mountain of cards (get well soon & congratulations mixture) to open

mathanxiety Fri 11-Mar-11 15:22:10

Southsea, you and Thomas have touched so many people in such a wonderful way throughout all of this ordeal (and when you think about it, it has all been a bit stressful really) and you've kept your spirits up with tremendous grace. Wishing you all the best with the passport and the trip home.

CrispyTheCrisp Fri 11-Mar-11 15:26:53

Fantastic news Southsea smile. And just imagine sitting on your own sofa for the first time in ages. I am sure everything will seem eerily quiet and odd. You have had SO much to deal with, between you, DH, Thomas and all the red tape that i'm sure life at home will seem a breeze in comparison!

Fingers x'd for the 48hr passport

Oh how fantastic! It will be so wonderful for you to relax in your own home.

Sparklies Sat 12-Mar-11 01:37:41

Popping in to read your great news about hopefully escaping back home soon!! Yay!!

Hoping everything goes a bit smoother from now on - how long have you been in the country now? Will you make it home in time to avoid the 90 day rule?

That is so sweet of you to get that hamper for everyone - I'm not surprised they are touched!

How's the jaundice looking?

duchesse Sat 12-Mar-11 21:47:00

Home in a week? Huzzah! Fab!!

Hi,

I'm just waiting for confirmation from the insurance company that they've booked provisional tickets for next Sunday. We've got an appointment with the passport office for Tuesday. Omg, I've got everything crossed it works out. My folks are really excited!

We've been here 80 days today, can you believe? So if we do go next Sunday it will be three days before the visa runs out. Also, we'll get back to the UK on the 21st - my due date! How ironic..... smile

SIL has given me an extra suitcase for all the baby bits people have given us. I haven't needed to buy very much at all as neighbours and nurses have given us so much, including clothes, nappies and tons of formula, bottle, teats... You name it really. I'm so grateful to everyone.

Thomas is waking every two hours in the night now - it's a killer! It will be so good to get home and get set up for daytime naps. I think it will prompt me to go round and sort out my neighbour once and for all. She plays music really loud in the day and that's going to drive me more nuts than usual if I'm tired. I feel like I have an excuse now to tell her to keep it down. Unfortunately the walls are really thin where we live. We're looking to move but can't do so just yet.

Oh wow, listen to me. I'm thinking about being home. That was inconceivable a few weeks ago!

Oops, better go. Dinner ready upstairs. Stay tuned MN'ers, we are nearly there!!! grin

Ps. The jaundice seems to have sorted itself out. I've tried feeding him a bit more and putting him by the window in the day, and we've been out for walks. That seems to have done the trick. He's more adorable every day. I can't wait for a little smile though! X

CointreauVersial Sun 13-Mar-11 22:09:00

Fingers firmly crossed for you, Southsea. Good to hear Thomas is thriving too!

tadjennyp Mon 14-Mar-11 06:50:22

Good luck Southsea - hope you get the passport and the tickets and get home asap!

A weird & wonderful set of coincidences if you get home on your EDD

Good luck!

diddl Mon 14-Mar-11 10:52:11

Have been reading but thought I would post to say I hope all goes OK for the journey home.

Sympathise with the 2hrly night feeds, though!

ssmile Mon 14-Mar-11 19:48:32

Good luck really hope it all works ok and you get on that plane as planned. xx

PS I think half my antenatal group moved in the first year of having a baby once they reflected on their homes and child suitability so thats perfectly normal!

MrsSnaplegs Mon 14-Mar-11 20:00:06

Well the weather here in Pompey is still reasonably nice although snowing in Scotland so should be nice for your return!! It took me ages to realize how near to me you live - the name should have given it away!!! Good luck on trip home! There's a few of us on the Portsmouth local site planning to meet at Easter - feel free to join us if you feel up to it

Also crossing fingers (and toes and cat-paws etc) that all goes well for you next Sunday!

CrispyTheCrisp Tue 15-Mar-11 21:14:34

Hope your appointment went well today Southsea? Do they think you are on track for a sunday departure?

5 DAYS........

sparkleshine Wed 16-Mar-11 15:47:37

How did your appt go yesterday Southsea?
Hope it went your way and you will be on your way home Sunday....how exciting.

Wonderful of everyone to offer you gifts and goodies...I'm sure you are overwhelmed by the whole experience.

2 hour waking...yes those were the days....I feel for you Southsea but it does get better

Let us know any updates as soon as you can

I hope you're busy packing and saying your goodbyes Southsea!

CrispyTheCrisp Thu 17-Mar-11 20:06:29

3 DAYS??? <hopeful>

shamrock I am sure they celebrate St Patricks Day in the US grin

Well, three long months, one baby, one broken ankle, a gallon of grape juice (courtesy Riddle Hospital) and a pile of Brewster's Ice Cream later I can finally announce.....

WE ARE GOING HOME!!!

I can't believe it! I didn't want to say too much in case there was yet another twist in our tale but we collected the passport for Thomas today (it's very fancy) and the tickets for our flight back have been confirmed so I think it's safe to say we are definately on our way back to the UK. My God!! How exciting!

The cat is going to hate us grin. He's going to be thinking 'where the hell have you been and what is that??'. Poor Catty. We can't wait to see him though. I know he's had a great time staying at our friend's house where it's very peaceful and he's top cat but tough, quite frankly. He'll have to put up with the new arrangements grin. Seriously, it is going to feel sooooo good to be in our own home. I'm sure SIL and BIL, who have been marvellous are looking forward to getting their home back to normal too.

There are still a few things to sort out bills wise. We keep getting them sent through for various treatments for me or Thomas and the Medicaid hasn't even been approved yet hmm. Hopefully these will get sorted and paid... It would be nice to see the end of that worry.

I've got Super-Nurse Carol coming over tomorrow for tea and cake and goodbyes sad She was so amazing while I was in hospital and is just so lovely. I'll definately be staying in touch with her and will catch up with her next time we are over (which may not be for a couple of years now).

The bags are being packed as I write and arrangments for getting picked up at the airport made (thanks Dad). Sadly my dad doesn't think there's room in the car for my mum, which is a bit dissapointing as I had pictured the whole running and arm-flinging scenario. But I guess with three bags, hand luggage and other paraphanalia he must be right. It is going to be SO lovely to see them, and Thomas's other Aunt, Uncle and Cousins.

Happy St Patrick's Day btw shamrock! It is HUGE over here. You wouldn't believe how many people consider themselves to be Irish! Even if it's a distant relative from Ye Olde Days people will still say they are Irish and not American. Very odd. We have found it odder because DP and his brother's dad was Irish and they consider themselves English. It's like Christmas here. Everywhere is festooned with green and shamrocks and leprachauns! Mad....

The Pebble continues to do well and is feeling heavier and, I think, might be growing out of his Preemie-sized clothes! Still dinky though. I'm seriously lacking sleep and it's another good reason to get home to our own environment. I wonder how he's going to be on the plane? We've been given bulkhead seats with a Sky Cot (which for some reason makes me think of Flash Gordon) so hopefully we'll be comfortable and he'll be able to sleep a bit. Not long now!

I think I am going to sign out for now and will update when I'm home, so it will be Monday or Tuesday probably. And then I'm going to draw a line under this uber-thread - it feels like the right thing to do and I'd like to join other discussions and support people in the way you've supported me.

But I will post again and it will be a big blub-fest on my part that's for sure!

Til then thank you all and see you on the other side of the Atlantic! Hip hip hooray!!!! grin shamrock wine wine wine

CointreauVersial Thu 17-Mar-11 23:31:12

Oh I am soooooo happy for you - I can feel your joy from here! Do let us all know when you get home safely. I'll be sorry to see the end of this tale - it has been such an epic!

Happy Paddy's Day to you too shamrock - my resident Paddy is currently snoring on the sofa after overdoing it on the wine. grin I'm toasting your safe return to this side of the pond. Safe journey to you all.

Jacksmania Thu 17-Mar-11 23:33:38

Happy St. Paddy's and CONGRATUATIONS on going home!!!! So happy for you!!!!! xxxxxxx

tadjennyp Fri 18-Mar-11 01:26:26

Yay, congratulations on going home Southsea! That's amazing news. Best of luck with the flight!

So so pleased for you all

Look forward to hearing you are all safely home, with cat. Bet your Mum can't wait to see you once your Dad gets you home!

Well done Southsea, DP & Thomas!

Woo Hoo!!!!! grin

Hope you have a safe flight home, and Happy Due Date for Monday smile

Coppernoddle Fri 18-Mar-11 09:35:55

Fantastic news!!!! Brilliant! Very happy for you and hope everything gets sorted soon x x

ghansell Fri 18-Mar-11 15:58:11

Huge congratulations. Have a great flight home. I always find it weird ging back home after some time away it feels like you are on holiday again until you get back into routines. Hope the jetlag isn't too bad for Thomas.

paddyclamp Fri 18-Mar-11 16:09:26

Awesome news! You must be so relieved!...Can't say as my US passport is any more fancy than my UK one though..the info is in the front rather than the back though and the pages are a tiny bit more colourful lol! Don't forget to get the UK paperwork sorted out too though cos my mum nearly got in trouble for taking us into the UK to live on US passports...times may have changed though!

Hope you have a good journey home...it's a beautiful spring day up north and it's usually warmer down south!

Ah that is excellent news!

We flew with dd in a Sky Cot - there is a shelf in the bulkhead that folds down and the cot is a box sitting on the shelf. There is a problem - sitting in the seat you can't see into the box. You might want to get a clip-on mirror so you don't have to bob up and down to check on Thomas! You have to hold the baby for take off and landing but can use the cot while you are in the air.

Make sure you take LOADS of nappy bags and changes of clothes and wipes. Seriously, you can't take enough. The altitude changes buggered up dd's system and she pooped for England. Bf whilst landing if you can, it will help equalise the pressure in Thomas's ears so he won't scream blue murder.

If you can find a fold-up changing mat take it and change him on your lap or on the floor (bulkhead seats have loads of legroom). Changing a baby in those weeny loo's is Not Fun. Doubly so if they're wriggly. Bf babies don't have smelly poo so it shouldn't be a problem with your seat-neighbours - and if it is, well tell them to suck it up because you'll never see them again anyway grin

Enjoy your trip home!

jenga079 Fri 18-Mar-11 17:17:58

Whoooopp!!!!! Congratulations grin

Sparklies Fri 18-Mar-11 20:41:49

Yay!!!!! So pleased to hear this!

I hope the flight goes smoothly and England doesn't feel too weird when you get home - you'll soon adjust anyway I am sure! It'll be guaranteed to be raining when you get home - always is whenever I return from the US anyway.

It's been a real privilege sharing this journey with you as I'm sure everyone else will agree - and the happy ending just makes it perfect grin

LoopyLoopsChupaChups Fri 18-Mar-11 21:02:20

So lovely to hear you'll finally be coming home soon! Hope the journey goes well, take care.

diddl Sat 19-Mar-11 10:08:31

Safe journey & I look forward to the next installment]grin]

diddl Sat 19-Mar-11 10:08:45

Oops!

fannybaws Sun 20-Mar-11 07:44:12

Congratulations Southsea you are probably home by now and marvelling at your little man all over again with your family, enjoy every minute.
Cormac waving a chubby little fist to Thomas too xx

Teaandcakeplease Sun 20-Mar-11 07:47:03

I'm so happy to hear you're coming home Southsea smile I'm sure Thomas will sleep well on the plane anyway with the white noise. Looking forward to hearing about you home safe and sound.

CrispyTheCrisp Sun 20-Mar-11 07:53:43

Hope you are home now and it's not all TOO strange. Did the GP's cry at finally meeting their little grandson? <wells up>grin

CheerfulYank Sun 20-Mar-11 07:58:32

I'm so happy for you! Yay!

(We do love us some St. Paddy's over here, don't we? )

MABS Mon 21-Mar-11 16:22:01

so pleased for you all

CointreauVersial Thu 24-Mar-11 19:25:09

Well??? Are you back in blighty? Let us know how you are getting on.

Woodlands Thu 24-Mar-11 19:33:09

Hope you're all home safe and well!

I hope Southsea is back home, safe and sound, and enjoying her peace and quiet with Thomas far too much to want to spend time on the computer!

Hi, here we are! It's been a whole week since we got back and it's flown by!

The flight was actually great. We got a row of three bulkhead seats to ourselves so uber-room for us all. Thomas liked the sky cot for a good few hours although you do have to semi stand to peer in as it is quite high up. The stewards were really lovely and one got the pilot to sign a little log book for Thomas's first flight - another sweet momento of his first Big Adventure (I'm hoping he'll have many more in his lifetime).

It was an emotional reunion with my dad at Heathrow. It was soooo lovely to see him and to be fair he was right; there wouldn't have been room for my mum in the car smile. Poor mumsie... But anyway, she saw Thomas soon enough. It was magic just to see her face. And we spent the night there with brothers and Thomas's cousins coming to meet him.

Then we came home properly on Tuesday and it's been hectic just trying to sort out all our luggage and all the baby things that my brother colected from friends in our absence. I went straight out and bought two huge chest of drawers to put things in, one for the baby and one for DP who has had to move his stuff out of the spare room. And of course we've had lots of visitors most days and so working around them. It's been nearly impossible to get into any kind of routine yet!

We think that Thomas has been approved for Medicaid as something came through the post for him at SIL's to that effect. Thank God for that! We've still got a few bits to sort out that end but now it feels so far away...

I'm waiting to be seen by the Health Visitor as unfortunately my midwife didn't inform them that the baby had been born (I did tell her!) so it wasn't set up for me on my return, which I would have hoped for. Never mind... I'm going to the weighing in clinic (or whatever it is called) tomorrow so will be able to speak to somebody there about him. I don't really have any worries, just his spewing up which seems to be quite often and despite having medicine for reflux it is still like cottage cheese.

I think the biggest thing for me this week has been the realisation that we have an awful lot of adjusting to do. We have all been looked after by somebody else, whether the hospital or SIL and BIL, for a long time. But now for the first time we're looking after ourselves and it's all quite different. Me and DP have to get used to different roles and and a new dynamic in our relationship. We've been very niggly with each other and i think a lot of that is down to me tbh. I'm used to being independent and in control and I felt the workload was shared before. Now it feels like the opposite...

Anyhoo, I did say this would be my last post for this thread and quite rightly I think. It has been an amazing time in my life! Not just everything that has happened to us in the last three months but also the whole Mumsnet episode - I have been humbled by the response of MNers to our plight, it was completely overwhelming at times and I shed a few tears reading your messages over the weeks, especially while I was in hospital. It's a very powerful thing and it is hard to explain to people how a bunch of strangers with a common interest can be soooo supportive of each other smile. I never imagined so many people would be interested in what was happening.

I'm not ready to go back to the beginning and read everything again yet but one day I will and I will of course be putting the whole thread into Thomas's (quite considerable) journal for future years. If he has a little sibling it will be hard to do a comparative record for them but i sincerely hope that next time it is a boring, straightforward pregnancy! I won't care. And fear not, I will not be going anywhere, that's for sure. Although the idea of a multi-national family is appealing... grin

So a massive thank you, everyone, for getting me through the looooong days and nights and for all of your amazing advice and hand-holding. I'm so grateful. I will be posting elsewhere now, when I get time, and look forward to catching up on other threads and for people who live nearby I am very keen for a Southsea meet up! Let's do it so I can say thanks in person.

Sending you lots of love and good vibrations from Thomas "The Pebble", DP and myself in sunny Southsea (hoorah!) xxxxxx

Teaandcakeplease Mon 28-Mar-11 16:37:14

Sometimes as the baby gains weight the reflux medicine needs adjusting, or perhaps he's be better off with a different type, there's ranitidine as well as gaviscon. Keep going back to the GP if it doesn't improve and of course post on mumsnet x

I'm so glad to hear about everything and I'm delighted you're home smile

CointreauVersial Mon 28-Mar-11 17:23:57

What a lovely last post, so glad you are back safe and sound.

ssmile Mon 28-Mar-11 20:09:27

Good luck with life post baby. It does take some adjusting and I also found our previous equal relationship with DH rather unbalanced for those first 6mths. But we got there and the equilbrium slowly returned once DD starting more on solid foods and less reliant on me. Hope all goes well now you home and life settles down again xx

Sparklies Mon 28-Mar-11 20:25:12

Lovely to hear from you! Don't be a stranger!!

Oh fabulous! You're HOME! grin

sparkleshine Tue 29-Mar-11 10:42:36

Oh great news southsea
glad you are all home safe and sound.
I'm sure meeting back up with your family was a very emotional moment. Don't be scared to ask for help and advice, and let them help and dote on Thomas if you need a break.
Also don't forget about each other. I think this is where me and DP have gone wrong and now there maybe no going back.

Hope all the paperwork and medicaid etc does get sorted for you soon then you can relax into parethood more knowing that is behind you.

Good luck for the 3 of you for the future and any other babies you may have
xx

Coppernoddle Wed 30-Mar-11 16:38:09

Brilliant news, glad your all home safe and getting back to your life here! Big hugs to all of you x x x

trumpton Wed 30-Mar-11 22:59:40

Been looking for you ! grin So pleased you are all home safely. Enjoy being a family .

ozzysocks Sat 02-Apr-11 22:41:19

Ah lovely , so pleased you are home, a lovely last post I haven't been on mumsnet much recently as I had my daughter Laura on 21st Feb and time has flown since!!! But I often think about you and am so glad all is well

Enjoy your new family and sunny Southsea xxx

Flisspaps Sat 02-Apr-11 22:42:46

I am so glad that you are home. Best wishes to the three of you grin

So glad you're home grin

We (DH & I) also found it quite an adjustment having DC, me in a way more so I think as I often felt 'stuck at home' whilst he swanned off to work & had a much more interesting life.
Talk about it, don't let resentments build up & find some baby groups to go out to so you have other like-minded people to speak to during the day - and something to talk to DP about when he comes home.

Good luck with the reflux too.

Welcome home Pebble

DayShiftDoris Mon 18-Apr-11 21:53:37

Southsea

I read your first post in the middle of an insomnia episode in december and 'watched' your thread. I was fascinated by the story and lurked for a while... I drifted away from MN for a while (3 months actually!) then the other day I remembered you! I had to come back for a catch up!! A million (well seemed like it!) posts and 2 new threads later and I have discovered your happy news x x
Congratualtions on the birth of Thomas (I have a Thomas too and they are trouble! Lovely but trouble indeed!!) and for being so strong. I am so glad to see you are home.

Heres to it all coing together for you know... make sure you get out there and meet other new mums as you've effectively left your support crew in the US.

You are lovely mummy and young Thomas has had an amazing start x x x

ilovesprouts Thu 02-Feb-12 20:34:47

hi i just re found this thread how are you all doing now

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