My girls are home

I’m pleased to say that lunchtime today I went and collected Kate and the Munchkin from the hospital and took them home. When the doctors did their rounds this morning they basically said that, although they normally like to keep babies in another day, Munchkin was doing so well they were happy for her to go home today if she wanted to. Needless to say Kate jumped at the chance!


Munchkin on the mend

In the end both Kate and I decided we would stay last night at the hospital, so we were with Munchkin in the Intensive Care Unit. Once the anaesthetic had worn off yesterday afternoon she had moments of grumpiness, but we mainly put this down to her being tired and/or hungry and/or not sure where she was. She slept on and off through the night, more on than off following a dose of painkiller! Once she woke up at about 6.30am, though, she was a lot brighter – back to her normal, cheerful, smiley self.

Having made all the friends she could down in ICU she decided to turn her attention to the main ward, so arranged to be transferred up at about 9.30am. She is in a room with three other people – all teenagers suffering from burns as the result of a gas barbecue explosion incident thing. She doesn’t really like being cooped up in small spaces, as she loves crawling around exploring. Unfortunately this isn’t overly feasible in a small room, so we’re trying to find the balance between giving her space to roam while making sure she doesn’t wreak (too much) havoc!

We’re expecting a few visitors over the next day or two, with Tim, Sarah and Henry, Fernanda, Erica, Paul and Rachel, Jody and Madeline all saying they will pop in! At least we’ll have people we can palm Munchkin off to, for a few minutes, at least!

The surgeon popped in to see Isabel at 6pm-ish last night and said that he was very happy with the way the operation had gone. The surgeon putting her grommets in noticed a slight infection brewing on one side, so she will need to be on antibiotics after she leaves hospital, but the palate operation itself had been “text book”. He didn’t expect any further holes to develop, so the main things we need to focus on are simply helping her to recover, then helping her towards speech over the months / years ahead.

We had a visit from the speech therapist who is part of the team here (they have a dedicated team who specialise in everything that could be needed by babies with cleft palates / lips, from plastic surgeons, to speech therapists, to ENT people, etc. They deal with babies from the moment the cleft is first diagnosed, right through to adulthood.) She explained cleft babies tend to focus on sounds made at the back of the mouth rather than those at the front. We will therefore need to encourage her to be aware of, and use, the front of her mouth including her lips, teeth, jaws, etc. If the rate at which things go in her mouth at the moment is anything to go by, though, we shouldn’t have too many problems there!!

Well, I’d better go, as I’ve left Kate on Munchkin watch, although to be fair the little darling was fast asleep. Isabel, I mean, not Kate!! We’ll continue to keep you posted, especially when we know when we’ll be getting out of here.

All sewn up

Isabel’s operation seems to have been a success and she is currently recovering in Intensive Care.

We were able to see her at about 11am – she was very sleepy unsurprisingly and a bit grumpy! She has gradually “come to” a bit more as the day has worn on but remains a tad on the grumpy side – very understandable under the circumstances!

We should hopefully be able to go up to the ward sometime tomorrow morning – she has already had a few sips of water from her bottle so is on the mend……

And so we wait……..

We are currently sitting in the Zoom Cafe at Hutt Hospital waiting for Isabel to come out of theatre – as suspected, she was 1st on the list this morning (well, after someone had had their stitches out!) so should be done soon………

We were slightly disconcerted to spot the anaesthetist here about an hour ago when we thought he was in theatre with Isabel – he came over and assured us that he hadn’t abandoned her and that she was in the capable hands of his colleague whilst he came and had a brew!

We will do our best to keep everyone posted on her progress – this will be a lot easier now that we have discovered that we can get internet access here in the hospital!

And yet more pictures!

Yes, I’ve been busy with the camera again so you lucky people have got another gallery to enjoy!

A lot of the pictures were taken today at the Botanical Gardens – we took the opportunity to make the most of the lovely weather and enjoyed a picnic in the sunshine……. we were even joined by a couple of ducks at one point – not that Isabel was very interested in them!

Isabel15/DSCF0073.jpgClick the photo on the left to go to the gallery.

Isabel’s pre-op……

Not only was tuesday Daddy’s birthday (Happy Birthday Daddy!) but it was also the day of Isabel’s pre-op.

It was a good chance for us to ask all our questions and find out exactly what would be happening next week.

On Tuesday 22nd, we will be admitted at 7.15am and they expect that Isabel will be 1st or 2nd on that day’s operating list. The operation will last about 1 1/2hrs and what they will do is take small pieces of skin from the inside of her mouth and basically move them across to seal the gap.

After the operation is over, she will be moved to the Intensive Care unit – this is not because she will be poorly but more for observation…… you can imagine, having swelling so near to an airway is something they want to keep a close eye on!

She will stay in Intensive Care over night and then will go onto the ward the next day – they expect that she will stay on the ward for roughly 2-3 days…….her length of stay will be governed by how quickly she recovers and gets back to her usual eating/drinking routine.

We had been a bit concerned as we had read that she may have to wear arm splints to stop her from getting at her stitches etc. – we were VERY pleased to discover that this wouldn’t be the case………can you imagine how grumpy she would have been if she had been unable to do any crawling?!

With a bit of luck, we’ll make it home for the weekend and we will be able to get on with things as we were.

Not wanting to gloat or anything…..

november in wellington

For those of you who are currently experiencing the horrors of a British winter, just to cheer you up I thought I would supply you with a snapshot of today’s weather.

It has been pretty much like this for the last couple of weeks – hence why I have managed to get sunburned as many times in as many weeks (including the horrible bright red face incident which Dan found particularly amusing!)

Here’s hoping that it keeps this up – although I, personally, could do with a bit more of a breeze to take the edge off the heat otherwise I will be doing my bestest snowman in the sahara impression and will end up spending most of the summer indoors!

Izzy gets another second cousin

Just thought we’d add a quick note to our site to wish my cousin and her family CONGRATULATIONS! on the safe arrival of the newest Papaioannou. At 1.34am California time on 13th November (approx. 10.34pm Kiwi time) little Oliver was born. We don’t know any more details at this stage, but trust all is well with mother and baby (not to mention daddy and big brother!).

CONGRATULATIONS! (See a link to Jo’s site in the left hand frame.)

What a good Mummy I am…..

What lucky people you are!

2 new galleries of pictures in less than a week!

Don’t go getting used to it mind – I’m not sure that I can keep it up! (so you’d best make the most of it while you can!)

Isabel14/DSCF0041.jpgClick the photo on the left to go to the gallery.

We have lift off!

For the last few days, young Miss Isabel has been wowing us with her ability to CRAWL!

Yes, she has finally figured out that forwards is better than backwards……….so now nothing is safe and nothing is sacred (run for your lives pussycats!!)

We have been doing what we can to try and child proof things – luckily, she hasn’t yet figured out about going too far so we are able to do things a little more gradually! (give her a week and she’ll be off eating the cats dinners!)

We will try and get a little movie clip of her in motion to add to the site so keep those peepers peeled!