*this entry is kinda long…
Based on their corrected age, hArith and athirAh turn one today. Yup, there are suppose to be 1 year old today, not 3 ½ months ago (6th June) It is nice to see them grow gracefully. I assume most of you know that I gave birth at 26 gestational week, that’s 14 weeks early (3 ½ months). I could still remember clearly just how tiny their little fingers and toes when they were born at 760grm and 600grm respectively. Oh of cause arwah alesYa was even smaller, 564grm.
How tiny they were…
I’m sure it is something common for every parent to walk down the memory lane of raising their son / daughter when their child turns 1. What we went through was totally different than those moms who give birth to a full term baby. It was the starting of a very long journey for us. Doctors did brief us that the first one week would be very crucial for them, a matter of they can survive or not. As they entered the 2nd week, what we fear would be virus infection. Trips to the hospital were our daily routine for the first 4 months. Of cause the first 2 months were the most critical moments, at the third month, hArith showed good progress and it was just a matter of gaining weight. athirAh’s progress was slower because she had PDA (patent ductus arteriosis).She had a ductus between her lungs and heart that wasn’t closing. This ductus is supposed to be open in fetuses in utero. It supplies oxygen directly to their blood while their lungs are developing. It usually closes upon delivery with the first few breaths of air. Al-hamdulillah it closes or else she need to undergo a surgery at IJN (Institut Jantung Negara).
Well, lately I’ve been doing blog hoping of other premies. All the medical terms they used in their writing makes me feel dejavu; oxygen level, intubate, extubate, wind off,apnea, ROP, PDA, C-PAP, nasal canula and many more. Reading their moms’ writing brought me back to the experience we had to endure. At that time, whenever I see any survival preemie, I would tell myself that there are hope for my tiny tots hArith and athirAh. It would be such an inspiration each time I see a premie being discharged from the hospital. But then again, I couldn’t put hope too high cause mine was a multiple pregnancy. That’s totally different than the survival rate for preemie of a single pregnancy. But they were such a fighter.
Perhaps when u see these photos you would feel sad and sorry for them. Well I was at first, but each time I go n visit them, (despite all the tubes) they would open their eyes wide as though telling me everything is fine. Thus I didn’t want to shed tears cause I want to be as strong as them.
their hand kena ikat coz they will cabut their tubes…kecik2 cili api!
So today, I would like to jot down the lil’ experience we had with our tiny tots and post some photos of them hoping that it would give some hope and light to other premie moms. I’m sure Allah knows best.
After months doing our regular visit; day and night, we became so familiar with all the equipment and procedure. In our morning trip, we would hope to bump with the Prof doing his morning rounds so we could ask him on our babies’ progress. If we miss him (because his rounds has no specific time) we would then asked other doctors and nurses. They were very friendly and would answer to our questions willingly. I can still remember one of the days when Prof was doing his round and approached athirAh. He asked me “how is athirAh?” I was confused with his question so I replied “aik, I thought I should be asking you that question?” With a smile, he answered; “but you are her mother and I’m sure you look at her in details…so anything today?”. Of cause he has a point. Every day we would see our babies in details and whenever we spot something wrong we would inform the staff. And on that particular day, I did spot something amiss….athirAh’s private part was a bit swollen. Thus I pointed it out to the Prof.
25th and 28th July was a remarkable date for me. I had the chance to change hArith’s and athirAh’s diapers for the 1st time. Some parents would reluctantly change their babies’ diapers whenever the made ‘business’, but I on the other hand been waiting for the moment to attend to my babies’ need. After almost 2 months we had the opportunity to hold our babies in our hand. All the while we could only touch them tenderly, rubbing lotion on their small fragile bod
Our first hug =)
I would look forward to every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday because those were the days that they took the babies’ weight. That would be the first question I asked upon seeing the nurse “hari ni berapa berat diorang?” Even the slightest weight of 5gram would be very much significant. And of coz I would be happy when they increased their feeding. They started off with only 2cc of milk. Try taking a syringe and see how much 2cc are. It’s just like few drops of milk. They drank using a tube.
-they no longer needed ventilator to help them breath but they still need their tube for feeding
Any phone call from the ward would make my heart drop. Almost stop. Fearing I would need to hear a bad news. When they had to undergo their laser treatment for their eye (ROP) I became so scared. Days before the surgery I would be surfing the internet to read up on ROP
. About the risks my babies had to undergo. It was terrifying. Since they would undergo general anesthetic, we fear that they would have difficulty in breathing once the surgery completed. She was prone to apnea
. We wouldn’t want them to be too dependent with the oxygen. After all too much oxygen could worsen their eye condition. Thus the faster they wind of the oxygen, the better it was.
athirAh went through more compared to hArith. Besides her having problem with PDA and ROP, she also had hernia that required a surgery to repair it. And also till today she have gag reflux problem. Reflux occurs when the ‘valve’ or opening between the esophagus (tube that connects the mouth and the stomoch) and the stomach is not tight, thus she tends to spit out her food because the ‘valve’ that supposed to prevent the food from going upwards is not really matured (read: does not fucntion at times). Well I’m not talking about small amout of spitting out but it comes out like a water fountain from her mouth.
We really admire how dedicated the doctors and nurses. Sacrificing their time for others. Some doctors spend more than 24 hours in the hospital and nurses who did double shift. We even made friends with the nurses. And we still keep contact with them till today.
Well looking back, we spent a majority of their early days worrying about the kind of future in store for them. hArith came home after 99 days and athirAh joined us after 124 days. We now feel very blessed to look at them today playing and laughing like everyday children.
**from time to time I would caught myself thinking of late Alesya Zara
I would wonder how life would be for us if we have all 3 with us. And I always wonder, how she would look like if she’s alive? Would she have a face similar like any of her siblings or a totally different look…