Thursday, December 22, 2011

last month's day in the life - november 17th

1.00pm - the highlight of my day

It may seem kind of extreme to bother posting my Day In The Life over a month late (let it go, woman!) but since the 17th of November was the date I personally chose for Day In The Life, I feel duty bound to share my day. I chose the 17th of November for no reason in particular other than that it was the date of my first antenatal class. Hmm, well, obviously I did not attend that! I did have quite an eventful day though and one that I think is worth recording, even if it is a month and more late, so here it comes...

2.00am - My alarm goes off so that I can express milk for my baby that I wasn't even meant to have yet.

4.15am - I realise I must have fallen asleep again while getting my bosoms out as they are out now but as yet unmilked. This is not a good time of night for me this week and I start thinking about everything that is going on and begin to cry.

4.30am - I have to collect all my urine in cardboard containers for the nurses to measure but I accidentally pee straight in the toilet like a normal person and flush it away. Oops.

4.45am - I am still crying. One of the nurses comes in and takes me along the corridor to sit in the nurses' station with them. They give me a cup of tea (my first caffeinated drink since becoming pregnant!) and a slice of fruit cake and I get to watch all the patients' heart beats zigzagging away on the big monitor. It looks as though we all have rather random heart beats, but I am no expert in these things.

5.30am - No longer crying, I go back to my room and express some milk which I then pour down the sink. The doctors haven't decided whether it's safe for Dulcie to have my milk what with all the medication I'm on, but I am still expressing in the hope they might say it's OK eventually. It is a bit soul destroying at this time of night and I'm fairly certain they're going to tell me I can't breast feed. This is one of many things making me cry this week.

6.00am - The camera at the Southern is not pointing at Dulcie's incubator so I can only see a wall. This is often the case at night, but I would really like a quick peek at Dulcie before I go to sleep. I shout into the monitor to try to attract the nurses' attention so I can ask them to turn the camera round for a minute. No joy - I think they must have me muted at their end. I switch the lights out and go to sleep.

7.45am - I wake up from a dream where I've been walking around with one of the nurses and the wires from my heart monitor keep getting tangled around my ankles and tripping me up. I think the symbolism is pretty self-explanatory! Interestingly, this is one of only three dreams I have during my whole fortnight in hospital.

8.00am - The new student nurse comes in to check my blood pressure and another nurse takes my daily blood sample. I tell her that I heard the consultant saying (while he stood right outside my open door) that I "wouldn't thank him" for sending me for an MRI scan and ask her why this might be. She looks unimpressed at the consultant's people skills and reassures me that an MRI scan is nothing to worry about unless you're claustrophobic, which I am not really. I don't want the student nurse to give me my injection (the one she gave me yesterday is still very sore and lumpy) but I know I won't have the heart to say so when the time comes. I get weighed in the weighing chair. I weigh 78kg. I've lost about 10kg since being admitted nine days ago but I guess some of that weight was baby.

8.15am - I check in with Beverly, one of Dulcie's nurses, via the webcam. She tells me Dulcie is doing very well - she's now drinking 20ml of milk at a time and is still coping well without her breathing tubes. The next step is to move her from intensive care to high dependency, just as soon as there's a space available for her. Hooray! I get washed and dressed and wash my surgical stockings in the sink and hang them up to dry.

8.40am - Breakfast arrives. Today I have been given scrambled eggs. Again. I'm not sure I can face them. I asked for scrambled eggs once and haven't been able to persuade them to give me anything else since.

8.45am - The student nurse comes in to give me my pills and tells me she'll give me my injection after breakfast. Oh dear. I wash the breast pump and my nightie in the sink, not at the same time.

9.00am - A porter arrives to escort me to my MRI scan and he has no wheelchair! I'm getting to walk! This is very exciting - the first time I have been allowed to walk further than five metres in nine days - but the porter walks quite quickly and I struggle to keep up.

9.15-10.30am - I have my MRI scan. Twenty minutes in, I discover I am more claustrophobic than I thought and have to be removed from the tube in floods of tears. I think the hospital will have to bill me for hankies when I leave as I have gone through A LOT. I manage to calm down, go back in the tube and make it to the end of the scan despite having to listen to Robbie Williams.

10.30am-12noon - I go back to my room where Graham is waiting for me. The postnatal psychologist comes to see us. I go through yet more hankies, but it is very useful to speak to her.

12.30pm - The ambulance arrives to take me for my second ever meeting with Dulcie. Since it has been such a busy day, someone brings me a packed lunch to eat en route to the other hospital. It feels like a proper outing now! Stuck in traffic, a minibus full of pensioners look very surprised to see me lying on a stretcher in the back of an ambulance eating a sandwich!

1.00pm - We arrive at Dulcie's ward. She's finished with her antibiotics now so the doctor removes the tube from her bellybutton and then she comes out for a cuddle. The nurse puts her inside my nightie and she goes to sleep looking very contented with life. It's ace.

2.30pm - Time to go. Graham heads back to the flat to feed the cats while I travel back to my hospital in the ambulance. On the way we see a woman collapsed on the pavement and our ambulance driver has to jump out to administer first aid. Fortunately someone has already called an ambulance for her and it arrives soon after so I don't have to surrender my stretcher!

3.15pm - Back at my hospital, I send a few emails to update people with Dulcie's progress.

4.00pm - I express milk again. This is the first time I've been able to do it today so I'm worried my milk supply will have dried up, but it hasn't. Phew. In fact, this is my most successful breast pump session in days.

4.30pm - The nurse and student nurse come in to change my Caesarian dressing. It's like getting a bikini wax and there is much ouching from me and much laughter from all three of us. Apparently my scar is looking good and the student nurse is surprised by how small it is which is reassuring. I haven't seen it yet. Once they leave, I relax on the bed for a while and update my notes for Day In The Life.

4.45pm - I email more people to let them know that Dulcie has been born.

5.15pm - Graham arrives to see me, shortly followed by my dinner. Tonight it is disgusting chilli and not disgusting carrot cake.

5.45pm - My dad (who's in Glasgow for a meeting) arrives outwith visiting hours again! I keep telling him, but he pays no heed. The nurses seem to be turning a blind eye today though and he has cards and presents with him, so we'll forgive him.

6.30pm - My dad and Graham head off to visit Dulcie. I am shattered and want to sleep but email a few more people about Dulcie instead.

7.20pm - I chat to my dad, Graham and Dulcie over the webcam.

7.30pm - I express milk in front of EastEnders. I have no idea what goes on in Albert Square these days.

8.00-8.30pm - I try and fail to crochet the first two rows of a cardigan for Dulcie. I try and fail again. And again. I hate crocheting into the foundation row!

8.30pm - I have a lie down and watch Dulcie wiggling her bum.

9.00pm - Graham gets back and we try to find something on telly to watch.

9.20pm - Toast time! Late evening toast and butter is my favourite thing about being in hospital. Unfortunately, it is always accompanied by tablets and a really painful injection.

9.30pm - More milking.

10.00pm - I get some nice emails from friends and fellow subtitlers. My workmates are so lovely and have sent so many good wishes since I shared all the news with them.

10.20pm - Graham heads off to bed in his swanky room in the hotel attached to the hospital. My nurses have very kindly arranged for him to stay there for free while I'm in hospital so he can keep me company as much as possible. I start half watching Deuce Bigalow Male Gigolo.

10.30pm - I chat to Karen (one of my favourite nurses) who tells me my Caesarian will stay weirdly numb for ever. Nooo! She also checks my blood pressure etc.

10.40pm - Dulcie is wriggling around a lot so I chat to her over the webcam.

11.00pm - I catch up on a few of my favourite blogs.

11.40pm - Deuce Bigalow Male Gigolo finishes so I get washed, brush my teeth, express more milk and get into bed.

12.20am - I say good night to Dulcie and go to sleep at last.

Since I was incapacitated with babies and surgery and heart conditions etc, Claire kindly took over the job of collating posts and choosing someone to pick the date for December. Click on the links to find out how these people spent November 17th.

I believe Nikki is choosing the date for December's Day In The Life but I'm not sure if she has chosen it yet. Keep your eyes peeled!


  1. A hard day :(
    Thanks for sharing.
    I hope the days to come get easier and more enjoyable for you all x

  2. Hiya Laura!

    Sorry for the delay in Date-posting! I'm just about to blog it but was reading your post and thought I'd let you know that I've chosen the 26th of December, aka boxing day!

    Hope you, Graham and little Dulcie are doing well and looking forward to your first Christmas :)

  3. Actually, this was one of the better days of my time in hospital and I thought I had succeeded in sounding fairly cheery about it all! Ha! Maybe not!

    Turns out I'm going to be back in hospital for this month's day in the life too (will share the day if anything interesting happens/I manage to take some notes) but it's all good as I'm moving in with Dulcie tomorrow! Tonight is going to be our last night apart! Woo hoo!

    Lots of exclamation marks in this comment!


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