Life of a Prem Baby Blog

Back to the Past – Three day old Jenson

Posted on: 30/11/2010

My husband arrived shortly after 9:00am that morning, both of us excited at the prospect of finally being able to at least partly look after Jenson.

For me this was a big deal, it felt so strange for other people to be looking after my baby, and I felt bad that I couldnt help my son more. To finally be able to help look after him gave me such a good feeling. Up until this point I still didnt feel like a proper mum, being told that I would now be allowed to change and clean him meant I could at least start to bond with Jenson, something that I felt I was missing out on every day that had gone past since Jensons birth.

At round about 9:30am I suddenly had one of the midwifes come tp my bed advising she wanted to check me over, I said to her as long as it was quick as we had to be in Neonatal in 15 mins. She promised me it wouldnt take long. And 30 minutes later I was still sat on my bed!! I was extremely frustrated! Id told the nurse we had to be somewhere and she was still chatting! I finally just had to turn round and say to her we had to go and finally at 10:05am we were talking to Neonatal. Anxious that we were late we hurried to the unit, where we were greeted by the nurse looking after Jenson with the comment (directed at my husband) “Have trouble parking?”. Of course we said no and explained to her what had happened and that we had tried to get away as quickly as possible. But she was having none of it and proceeded to dictate to us “Baby is more important than seeing the midwife!”.

A fact I didnt need reminding of quite frankly. Her attitude towards myself and my husband was disgusting to be honest. I felt angry and like Id just been told off by my mum. The nurse had taken one look at us and quite wrongly assumed that because we were a young couple that we were going to be another set of parents that didnt bother with their child. The excitement Id felt walking into the unit had quickly evaporated. I thought that the nurses were meant to be supportive to us not tell us off for being late!

People that know me will know that when Ive been confronted by someone I tend to shut off and go correct, and my respect for that person goes completely out the window. So of course at that moment in time I didnt particularly like that nurse and I wished that she wasnt the one looking after Jenson. We didnt know how long Jenson would be in hospital for and if this nurse was going to be looking after him for his whole stay then I could see that we would end up having a few minor disagreements at some point.

So anyway after our “telling off”, the nurse walked with us to Jensons cot, again he was in the land of nod with not a care in the world. The nurse explained to us that Cares would involve us changing Jensons nappy, cleaning him, cleaning his face and cleaning his mouth and gums, and that we would need to do this 3 times a day, but to start off with we would do Cares 2 times a day.

She proceeded to show us where everything was, nappies in the cupboard, along with the bowls and nappy sacks on top. Jensons sterile water was in the cupboard underneath his cot, along with the cotton buds that would be used to clean his mouth.

So with everything at the ready she then showed us how to do “Cares”.

Starting with the face, with clean cotton wool and warm water she cleaned Jensons face from top to bottom (at this point Jenson woke up with a look on his face as if to say “What are you doing? Im sleepy, leave me along!”). With his face cleaned she then took one of the cotton buds, dipped it in the sterile water and run the cotton bud along Jensons gums, this he particularly liked as he opened his mouth and started to lick the cotton bud!. She explained that the reason the mouth was cleaned in this way was because Jenson was being fed by a tube through his nose, that his mouth can get quite dry and so the water on the cotton bud helped to quench that thirst. With Jensons face and mouth now clean she then moved onto changing his nappy.

Now this was the part I wanted to pay particularly attention to, having never changed a babys nappy in my life, I was keen to do exactly what she was doing as I didnt want to get it wrong or hurt Jenson when it came to my turn.

The nurse undone Jensons clothes and explained that he had a sensor on his foot that was linked to a machine which monitored his heart rate, this senor would need to be swapped from one foot to the other each time Cares was done. This was because there was a bright red light on this sensor that if left in contact with his skin too long would end up burning him! She swiftly removed this and then quickly removed the soiled nappy and explained the importance of cleaning Jenson properly in order to avoid nappy rash, and what only felt like 10 seconds later Jenson had a nice new clean nappy on and this had all been done without him waking up!. The nurse made it look so easy! I just hoped Jenson would be kind to me when it came to my turn! lol The nurse advised us that we would have to return to Neonatal at 2:00pm that day so that we could take over Cares, and that we would have to supply our own nappies and cotton wool balls.

And what was only 10 minutes later Jenson was all cleaned and sleeping like a log with me and my husband sat next to him just staring once again through the clear plastic tub.

I had my fingers crossed that at 2:00pm when it was my turn for Cares that everything went smoothly!


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