Before I begin I must tell you that being a mother of twins has ruined my memory (which was pretty poor to begin with!). Also, the constant appointments, hospital visits, made my brain go crazy too – we were in and out that much I was on first name terms with a lot of the staff (well, actually Jack was and still is – i am just known as Mum). So that explains why I forgot to mention about our visit to Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath, back in December 2015 (in between Jack’s stays in hospital), which was to ‘sign off’ the twins from Brighton Special Baby Care Unit care. This is what happened and what followed for us and our appointments – I am now very well versed in medical terminology!
My Mum came with me to the appointment, it was a horrible day, wet, windy and cold. We arrived at the hospital and bundled the babies into the buggy – bear in mind that Jack had only just come out of hospital, so I was fretting that the cold weather would get to his chest. We waited patiently for our appointment with the consultant and, as is standard when you go to any appointment, the twins had to be weighed and measured before we got seen. It was soon our turn and we trotted into the consultants room. He asked how they were doing and we started with Jack, I let him know about his recent stay in hospital and he checked Jack over for me confirming that he still sounded chesty but seemed ok. He gave him the all clear to be discharged from Brighton’s care – yippee! Then we came to little Jessica – he was happy with her weight and how she was feeding. I then expressed my concern about her belly button – it was huge! (see pic). He immediately dismissed my worries stating that, “a lot of babies have that”, insinuating I was being a paranoid mother! He took her clothes off to examine her and gasped “oh, you are right, it is rather large!”. He wanted to talk to his colleagues about it before deciding if Jessica would need an operation to remove it. It didn’t seem to bother her and you could push it back in (I couldn’t do it as it mad me feel sick!), so I was happy that we would need to wait and see what they wanted to do. Although the thought of her going under the knife was not a very pleasant one, I can tell you!
Jack’s next appointment was for his full heart scan, which was in early March. This had to be done at Brighton Hospital, because that was where he was born. Bit of a pain for me as it isn’t the easiest of hospitals to get around. I left Jessica with my Mum again, as the appointment was at the same time as they would be due a feed and the thought of having to juggle that with them both was not a happy one! We got to the hospital early as Richard had warned me how hard it is to park at that hospital. Just as well we did – we had to queue to get into the car park, for 45 minutes! Jack was starting to get hungry and I was starting to panic that we would miss our appointment and that he would really start to kick off! I asked the attendant if there was anything he could do to get us into the car park as my little man needed his bottle – his response was “just feed him in the front seat and move the car when the line moves” – I really don’t get some people and their thought processes! Needless to say I did not take his advice! We did make the appointment in time and I managed to feed Jack half his bottle before we were seen. The heart scan went well, as I expected as I had managed to get the heart specialist at East Surrey to check for me. I shared that information with the consultant who informed me that each NHS trust will not share patient information! Seems to me that if they did then that would have saved us having to go to Brighton and saved the NHS a bit of cash too?! But the good news was that Jack has no heart problems and will not need another scan until he reaches the age of 3! Another big win for the Grover’s!
We got through the next few weeks appointment free. Then it was Mother’s Day – my very first one, a day that I had only dreamt of in the past and finally I was a Mum! Richard was away on a stag do in Tenerife so the twins and I went and stayed at my Mum’s. My sister and her two kids came too. We had a lovely evening on the Saturday and I was looking forward to waking up on Mother’s Day to cuddles with my small people. The day did not go well… Jack had a high temperature that morning and was not interested in having his milk – a sure sign that something was a miss. I checked his breathing and that was fine, it was something else. I gave him calpol and his temperature went down but then came up again. I changed his nappy and to my dismay found that his testicles were quite large and red – you know that angry looking red when something is infected. I rang 111 and was given and appointment to take him to Worthing hospital – as that is the nearest hospital to my Mum’s. A new hospital to visit, oh joy! The doctor listened to Jack’s chest, as that was my worry, and that was fine. I told him about his ‘bits’ being red and swollen – he had a look and said he wasn’t sure why they were like that. If they were still the same the next day, take him to my doctor! Richard wasn’t due home till late on the Monday, so I didn’t bother him with this as there wasn’t much to tell him and I didn’t want him to worry about it when he was meant to be having fun. My Mum (who is an angel) came home with me to stay the night, in case Jack got worse and I had to take him to hospital, so she would be there to look after Jessica.
The next morning I changed Jack’s nappy and they were even more swollen, poor little man. So as soon as I could I rang the doctors and we went to see Dr Rapheal – as soon as he looked at them he rang the Child Assessment Unit at East Surrey and we were off there again (my familiar place where the nurses love Jack). I packed a bag for Jack, just in case we had to stay in overnight, and off we went. Karen greeted us at CAU and we got settled into a room. She took Jack’s obs and his temperature was still high, so we gave him more calpol. She also needed to take a wee sample. Well, that was a funny experience! She came in with a little bottle and we took his nappy off and waited. Luckily Jack was in a helpful mood and he pee’d and it went straight into the bottle – I was very impressed with Karen’s pee catching skills! Jack was diagnosed as having a UTI (urinary tract infection) and we were going to be admitted overnight. Balls and nuts! And, I had packed stuff for Jack but had forgotten my things! So I rang Lisa and Eve (Richard’s Mum) to let them know we were in hospital again and they came to see us. Lisa bought me some overnight supplies, thankfully! After they left Jack did the biggest poo EVER, I mean EVER. I am sure no other baby has poo’d like it! I was mid changing him and boom! He exploded again, all over me! I was covered in yellow, stinky poo! I couldn’t stop laughing. I rang the nurse bell and Karen shot in and then she couldn’t stop laughing too! She attempted to help me and he did it again, getting Karen this time round! How was there so much of the stuff!? I had no other clothes to wear so Karen had to get me a set of scrubs to wear! As we were going to be in overnight I thought that maybe I should now tell Richard about it! Also, I knew he would be coming home late and I didn’t want him getting into bed with my Mum! Of course I couldn’t get hold of him – his battery was dead! So I had to message a few of the other wives of the lads who were away and get some numbers I could ring. Luckily one of them answered so I could fill Richard in. He turned up on the ward that night at around midnight to see us and give me a big hug. I needed it, Jack had to have a canular fitted. Firstly to take blood from him to check the severity of the UTI and also so that they could give him antibiotics to start to get him better. It was awful. He got so upset about it and I then was in tears (trying my best not to be upset so I didn’t make him worse) it was awful. I soon calmed him down after they had finished, but the doctor took so long doing it I nearly gave her a bloody canular to see how it feels! There’s more to tell about this hospital stay, but this blog has gone on waaayyy too long now, so will fill you in on the next one!