Leo the baby with Gastroschisis, was born first, his guts
were wrapped in a surgical cellophane bag, and after a quick
hello, he was taken straight to The Royal Alexandra Children’s
Hospital. His surgeon was Dr Mohammed, and he managed to perform
a primary closure, which means that all his guts were put
back in and his tummy sewn up. He was then brought back to
us, and was put in the Trevor Mann intensive care unit. The
first time I saw him he was in an incubator covered in tubes
and machines, his brother was by my side in a wheely bassinette,
and I was in a wheelchair in a lot of pain from my c-section
and quite out of it. I remember looking into his tiny face
and feeling that he looked really angry to be there, and that
made me smile because it meant he was strong!
We went back down to our room, it was later in the evening
now, we were all tired, baby Gee, Leo’s brother, was
in my arms suckling, we slept. A midwife came in at around
2am, to check us, I looked down on baby Gee and saw he was
not right. Baby Gee had died in his sleep from SIDS. I could
write forever and ever about this, and add every minute detail,
but this is Leo’s story. My heart broke that night forever.
Leo continued to go from strength to stregnth, within 24 hours
he was off the life support, and in the high dependancy ward
rather that intensive care. We were able to hold him for the
first time, he was amazing. He opened his bowels after a couple
of days .
We never really left his side, and we were able to stay in
a spare room thankfully, when we needed to snatch some sleep.
Because of this we were able to do all of his care ourselves
and learned what all the different machines and numbers meant.
I was expressing like mad and we had a backlog of milk ready
and waiting. His first ever milk feed was through his NG tube,
we were so excited, Alex held the syringe and pushed the 1mm
of milk down the tube that went through Leo’s nose straight
down into his belly. 2 hrs later we aspirated to see if he had
digested any or not, and so it went on feeds and aspirating,
waiting for the tube to return milk rather than stomach bile.
He did start to digest, I don’t remember when he had
his first breast feed, and I just remember it hurting! He
was good though and didn’t refuse which I had been worried
about. One by one all his tubes came off and TPN came off
and Apnea came off, It was quite novel to hold him without
things attached to him. Leo was in hospital for just 19 days,
and then he came home with us. At three months old he had
to have more surgery as he had scar tissue growing around
his guts from where they had been handled. so the same surgeon,
who we believe is amazing, performed the operation. He was
back home within a week and once again we were able to be
with him the whole time.
Leo is now 2.5 yrs old, he is larger than life, a proud toddler,
my hero, and a terrorizing big brother to his baby sister Cinnamon,
who was born fine and well with zero incidents. Leo eats fine
and poos fine and I am looking forward to him getting out of
nappies! I think his scar looks pretty cool too! We now live
in Byron Bay Australia, and I am more than happy to be emailed
or to meet others who have had similar experiences. You can
contact me on email@example.com