Friday, 25 February 2011

Hemangioma birthmarks

I just wanted to share a video link that I just found. Premature babies are much more likely to have hemangioma birthmarks. Millie, a 34 weeker had/has (it's almost gone) quite a large one on her left thigh, Joe has a big one on his tummy and several small ones dotted around, and Harry probably has around 30 in total, luckily all relatively small and mostly on his body where they can be covered.

This is an amazing, amazing video which shows how quickly they grow and the dramatic effects of having it removed. Stick with it through the talking at the beginning.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

I am such a bad blogger

Despite getting frustrated when checking other blogs and finding them not having been updated for weeks, I am still useless at updating my own.

Since Christmas I don't believe we have had a single complete week free of the babies being ill. It all started of course with Harry's ears, then Joe's ears also got bad, on the night of their birthday Joe started showing signs of bronchiolitis which began two weeks of what can only be described as absolute hell. Although Joe got very wheezy and snotty, poor Harry got incredibly poorly needing breathing treatments and oxygen in hospital. They were both diagnosed with RSV but unfortunately there is no magic cure for this virus apart from time and waiting for it to run it's course.

It took Harry a good two weeks to get back to normal. He stopped drinking, became very dehydrated and refused all food. In ten days he lost over a pound in weight. As a parent I don't think I have ever been so worried about one of my children, I was utterly convinced that he was going to become seriously ill and was very scared about bringing him home. He just seemed too poorly to be sent home without proper monitoring so I took him back to the ward every day for a week to check his SATs which thank goodness, despite how sick he was, remained stable. He came home with an inhaler to use which we are having to do every so often as he has been left with a bit of a wheeze. Thank goodness the RSV season is now almost over.

I am of course kicking myself for not being more pushy for the RSV vaccine that is available. My trouble is that I have a blind faith that my babies will always be fine and just sail through everything. The last few weeks have been a real eye opener about just how fragile they are and how much more vulnerable they can be to illnesses that a 'regular' baby would just shake off. Luck was on our side this time and Harry has made an almost complete recovery but I have certainly learned not to take things for granted again.

Due to Harry being hospitalised, we missed his appointment with the physiotherapist at the beginning of the month. For a while my concernes regarding the stiffness in his arms subsided, but they are back with a vengeance now. I am concerned that he doesn't seem to be able to stretch his arms up past shoulder height. When I put Joe's hands in the air he can do it easily, but Harry just can't. His arms just wont move in that direction and he cries. We cannot get another appointment on the NHS until May and I am sorely tempted to seek a private opinion. David isn't keen but has left it up to me to decide.

Joe has been referred to have his eyes checked as he has a squint in his left eye. It's not too bad and not noticeable all the time. I'm not sure if these things ever resolve on their own but I'm hoping he won't need too much intervention. A little boy of a friend of ours who was also premature had a small operation a few weeks ago to fix a squint but fingers crossed Joe's isn't that serious. We've not had the appointment through yet but hopefully wont have to wait too long.

Next week is the babies appointments about their chronic ear infections. Joe had a hearing test last week which showed moderate hearing loss, probably due to fluid in his ears, so I am really hoping they don't adopt a 'wait and see' approach. I'm not worried about Harry's hearing as he responds to noises much quieter than Joe does, but his ear discharges pus at least once a week which cannot be good.

Apart from the hospital we have been virtually housebound now for about two months. I am hoping for nicer weather and healthy babies so we can catch up with our friends again. I feel like we have lost touch a bit recently.

Benny has just wandered in and told me 'to be honest mum, I think you are wasting your time doing the checks it anymore because you never update it.' Thanks a bunch Benster, but I hope he is wrong!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011