Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Best birthday ever!

Lex, Beth, Charlie
Lex, Beth, Charlie and Mummy
Lex, Beth, Charlie and Daddy

Lex, Beth, Charlie, Mummy and Daddy. The Cunnington Family.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012


To be released into the wild a premature baby needs to be able to maintain their temperature, feed without a tube, breathe either in air or in a stable amount of oxygen and be gaining weight.
Beth is missing something...

Charlie and Lex pass all of the above except feeding without a tube (they are getting better at bottles and still faffing with breastfeeding) and are having tests to find the right level of oxygen for them to come home on. So both are a few weeks from home.

Beth on the other hand passes all these tests except last weigh in she'd lost 20 grams. I requested a recount and the next day she weighed in 40 grams up. We've been told if she's gained enough on Thursday we can take her home.... She needs to gain 40-60 grams by Thursday.

Lex and Charlie
Argh! Fingers and everything are very crossed. We will keep you updated.

In the meanwhile what's new about this picture of Beth? Plus I went to see the boys about 3am one day, they were both crying and soothing each other by patting hands. It was super cute. The picture below isn't from then but captures a similar moment.

Friday, 25 May 2012

What's this outside place?

Beth outside
Today was a very exciting day as we got to take Beth out for a walk. They kept the boys in as hostages so we would bring her back.

The buggy we had bought was not suitable for her (she's too tiny) so the hospital leant us their silver cross pram. We caused a bit of a stir around the park.

Beth was rather unimpressed but I have really missed the outside. Two months spent in hospital during daylight hours will do that.

Daddy and Beth outside
From now on its 'operation bottle' as one thing that babies need to be able to do before they come home is eat without needing a feeding tube - which can be by mummy milk or bottle but for both they need to be awake and premature babies are very sleepy. Except at 3am when all premature babies around the world wake to howl at the moon.

Beth was not as excited as us
So Matt and I are spending the next few days getting the babies used to bottles and hoping they carry on waking up to feed. So far Beth and Charlie have taken to bottles really well. Lex is unimpressed. He seems to prefer just lying there and being fed by tube. Hopefully he will take to it as all three need to be able to breastfeed and take a bottle in order for their mummy and daddy to have time in between feeds to do everything else - wash, sleep, wash clothes, clean, sleep - did I say sleep? At the moment we're on about 3-4 hours a night on a good night and my brain has gone on holiday somewhere.

It feels like we are SOooooo close now to getting them home. Weeks rather than months, days maybe for Beth. It's both exciting and a little bit scary. I was cuddling Beth today and thinking 'it's crazy but I think they are going to let me take her home!'


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

It's all go here, hence the lack of updates. Charlie is doing so well they moved him into a cot - with his brother and sister. As you can imagine this was extremely exciting!

Then to raise the excitement we were offered the chance to live in at the hospital in a room with Beth to get ready to come home.

Bex, Mike and Babies

We stayed over the weekend, which was great if tiring and now we're here until Beth is released into the wild - somewhere between a week and ten days.

The boys will be a few weeks longer and we still don't know if they will be on oxygen or not at home.

Plus as added excitement auntie Bex and uncle mike came over on Sunday and granny Coleman stayed Monday night to cuddle babies.

For now our job is to get all the babies breastfeeding and bottle feeding. Matt gave Beth her first bottle today. She didn't take loads but she's getting there.

So hopefully we're not so far from the door now.

The babies seem less pleased to be reunited. Beth hits Charlie.
Charlie returns the favour

Thursday, 17 May 2012

The Cunnington Wing rides again!

Beth and Lex settled into sharing a cot and decided to go camping together
Loads has happened this week and there are lots of pictures to illustrate it.

All the babies have continued to grow. Lex is still leading the pack at 4 pound 7. Beth is now 4 pound 1 and Charlie 3 pound 11. They have all been put on 1/4 Aptimil formula to speed their growth up a bit.

Lex and Charlie reunited
Charlie went onto low flow and did so well he was moved back to room 7. The refurbished Cunnington Wing has been reopened.

This was completely fantastic for me as it meant I could see all my babies at the same time.

It also meant that we could reunite Lex and Charlie. I got the first hold. They held hands pretty much straight away, then Lex tried to pull Charlies finger off and I had to seperate them.

Matt with his boys
Of course once this had happened we had to do it again. Next was Matt with his two sons. Nice to see that he was introducing them to Arsenal at the same time.

Today I had another chance to hold them. Both were crying but stopped as soon as I held them. They stared at each other and then held hands. Both I and the nurses got a bit sniffly.

Of course Beth was not to be left out and she met Charlie again too. They both waved their arms about.

Next plan is to hold all 3 but I want to wait until Matt is there as well for that momentous occasion.

Beth, Charlie and a knackered person
All the babies are doing very well. Next plan for Charlie is to get him into a cot. He weighs enough so he just has to maintain his temperature with the incubator set at 28 degrees. The nurses turn it down bit by bit. This evening it was at 29.1 and his temperature was 'great' so hopefully it won't be too long.

He will be in his own cot at first then move into the maxi cot with his brother and sister.

Could be the best picture ever
We had a meeting today about the babies and plans for the future. It looks like we're looking at another few weeks with Beth in the hospital and maybe a month with the boys. They might come home on oxygen - we're just going to see how they go.

To come home they all need to be waking up before dinner time and demanding food. They're still all quite sleepy at the moment....but gorgeous.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Quiz Result

We have a winner!!! Julie you are right! The answer was:
a) Beth
b) Lex
c) Charlie

 Julie - You win a cuddle with the baby of your choice*

*Cuddle redeemable against a Cunnington baby only. Cuddle can only be taken when permitted by medical advice. Cuddle length to be determined by the baby in question. The end of the cuddles will be indicated by crying and/or an unpleasant smell. At that point the baby should be carefully returned to its handlers.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Quiz and a Rant

Baby A
Todays blog is livened up with a picture quiz. Guess the baby - who is Baby A? Baby B? Baby C? Post your answers either here or on Facebook. First with the right answer wins!


Lex is still snotty and snuffly but that hasn't prevented him from piling on weight. He's now 4 pound 5. He is still on oxygen and might have to come home on it. Apparently this would only be for a short time (weeks rather than months or years). Hopefully he won't have to but both him and Charlie have something called 'chronic lung disease of prematurity.' It's caused by being born early and put on ventilators.

It's worth a mini rant here about the language used in hospital. 'Chronic' sounds awful doesn't it? What it actually means is 'will grow out of it in a few months and probably be unaffected in later life.' Beth is not free of such language as well. She has some tiny holes in her heart - the first nurse who told us about them used words like 'heart failure' and 'open heart surgery.' We asked to talk to someone else and a doctor told us that they would probably not affect her at all, were not affecting her now and in 95% of cases close naturally. See the difference? Yes - one causes parental heart attacks and the other doesn't.

So my point was that if you see me carting around oxygen its for Lex (or maybe Charlie- we haven't had that chat with them yet).

Baby B

Beth is still chilled although she wriggled like an eel today when Matt was trying to get her nudey for weigh in. She's now 3 pound 14. She is obviously a devotee of Star Trek because she puts her head on her right side without fail and is now the proud owner of a folded pointy ear. I keep lying her facing the other way but she just moves back. Apparenty I need to talk to the physio as they have some gadget for this. Probably called 'Baby ear tormentor' or something equally dramatic.


Charlie is still in room 2 but he's doing a lot better. They've taken him off the fortifier as it caused him tummy ache and he's a different baby. No more grumpy baby. Now he's chilled and very mellow. When I hold him, instead of crying at first he just watches me then grabs my hand or top and doesn't let go until I have to put him back. I wish I didn't have to!

He's still managed to put some weight on and is 3 pound 8 (16 grams off 3 pound 9). I hope that's enough because the next option to get more calories in him is formula. Obviously this isn't poison or anything but the whole idea of breast feeding them was so they could get antibodies etc from me and Charlie, being the littlest, is the one who needs them the most. We shall see what the dietician says this week.

Baby C
He has managed to get onto low flow today. Fingers crossed that works and we can have him back in room 7 with his brother and sister.

All of them

The nurses and doctors at the hospital tend to treat each baby seperately, which is a good thing but also bad sometimes. For example yesterday we turned up and were told that Lex had been moved to 4 hour feeds and was next due at 12. This was a nightmare for me as Beth is fed at 12, meaning I had nothing to do at 11 (when Lex normally feeds) and then had to try my first tandom feeding at 12. It did not work, they both fell asleep and I got stressed. I spoke to the Sister who agreed to tell everyone to keep Lex's feeds at 11 and Beth's at 12. We got in today and they've moved Lex back to 3 hourly feeds 'Not sure why they moved him to 4 hourly' the nurse told me. Argh!

Anyway (I'm very ranty today!) we have been officially spoken to about Beth coming home before the other two. I've asked to speak to someone about all 3 babies as we need to know how long before the others come home, if Lex will come home before Charlie etc etc. I have visions of myself going into the hospital carrying 2 babies and wheeling oxygen - so I'd like some idea of how long that might be for. We shall see what they say...

So which baby is which?

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Grumpy Angels

Another eventful weigh in day.


Charlie has been quite grumpy this week. He's been getting a bit of a reputation. A nurse told me he'd been crying a lot overnight when he needed his nappy changing. 'He's a demanding baby.' she says. I just figured something was up and it looks like I might be right (rather than judgemental nurse). He's been on fortifier with his milk to try to get his weight up quickly. Now they are thinking its giving him tummy ache. They gave him 2 feeds without today and he's been an angel baby.

The problem is that it is working. He's 3 pound 7 today (up 3 ounces). He's catching up! He's still in High Dependency on high flow but hopefully not for too much longer.


Lex has had a grumpy week too. He's had his first cold and his nickname has been Mr Snuffleupagus. It has been quite cute for me though as the best thing to settle him has been cuddles with us.

Today he has weighed in at 4 pounds! Giant baby! There is also further big news but this will come below...


Beth has not had a grumpy week. She sleeps and then looks around serenely, occasionally she squeeks. Today the Sister warned me that we should start planning for what we would do if Beth was sent home before the boys. 'It won't happen this week.' she said.

She's 3 pound 10 today (up 2 ounces) so is doing very well.

Today was very exciting as, as well as Aunty Elaine visiting, Beth and Lex were moved into a shared cot. They didnt exactly cuddle but there wasn't tears and violence either.

Beth tries for a high 5 from Lex
It was also super cute and I had to be dragged away. Can't wait for Charlie to be in there too.
Beth ignores Lex after the high 5 incident
Seriously - how cute is that?

Gorgeous presents received this week - onesies from Uncle Gareth and Uncle David, knitted hats, mittens and booties from Aunty Alex and Uncle Mike, handmade quilt from Aunty Linda and Uncle John (pictures of this to follow once there is sunlight enough to do it justice!).

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Wireless Baby!

It was weigh in day today. Todays news is illustrated by Hannah's photo's, which is why they are much better than normal.


Charlie was moved back to High Dependency and put back on CPAP. He was also put on antibiotics and something must have worked because he is off CPAP again onto High Flow. Once he gets back to Low Flow then he's back with his brother and sister.

The better news is that he's gained A LOT of weight and is now 3 pound 4 (up 8 ounces - I think there may have been an error somewhere!)! Giant baby!


Lex is doing well in his cot. It's really lovely to be able to pick both him and Beth up whenever we like - something other parents take for granted! He's taken to grizzling when I'm feeding Beth so a few times this week I've ended up feeding Beth with Lex over my shoulder. He's now 3 pound 12 (up 2 ounces).


Two nurses have asked me this week if we have been spoken to about Beth coming home! No-one has but she's obviously moving towards it quicker than the other two. We have been assured that they'd try to send all 3 home together but I suppose it depends how things go.

Beth has only put a few grams on so is still 3 pound 10 but she's off all monitoring so is now wireless (except for a feeding tube). It means dressing her so much easier than the krypton factor version of before.

Me, Lex, Hannah, Andrea and Ted looking a bit happy

Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Cunnington Wing

It has been both a wonderful day and a worrying one.


Charlie has been put on fortified breast milk in the last few days to try to get him fatter quicker. Today he weighed in at 2 pound 14 - up 4 ounces - so its definitely working. He's also now in the same room as his brother and sister.

On the down side though he's been struggling on the level of oxygen he's been on and they suspect an infection (again!). They've started him on antibiotics and he might have to go back on CPAP - which would mean moving him back to High Dependency. Two steps forward...

Quite Happy Mummy
Beth is piling on the weight and is now 3 pound 10 (up 4 ounces too).She's doing well in her cot.

Lex now weighs 3 pound 10 (up 3 ounces) and is now also in a cot! This meant that today I got to hold them both.