Jessica’s Fight Back: Day 4 Jessica | My Life 18 NOV 2010

Jessica’s fourth day of living in this great big world with us went a lot better than the previous day. She had a good night, coming through without any hassles, her jaundice is beginning to show signs of receding nicely, and she appears to be responding just fine to the medicine she’s been receiving to deal with that common open heart valve issue found in premature babies, though this will only be fully confirmed once the course is finished and they can conduct the necessary scans.

Aspiration is still a problem for her though, so she hasn’t been receiving any of Chantelle’s milk just yet, gaining fluids and nutrients entirely from a regulated drip at the moment. Her breathing is nice as stable, and she’s back down to normal oxygen levels via the CPAP machine.

So in other words she’s still doing pretty well considering the circumstances.

Jessica, bathed in ultraviolet light to help draw the jaundice out through her skin

As for Chantelle, her healing continues unabated and slowly but surely she is becoming more and more mobile, though still in quite some pain. In terms of milk production, my Daisy is currently shifting into high gear, and it is great to see the amount of milk she expresses literally increase almost exponentially with each and every session!

And me? I continue my vigil and role of supporting cheerleader next to her bed at all times – except for when I nip out to see Jessica of course! :)

Visitors are still flowing in freely, and yesterday we entertained a surprise visit from Terrance and Andrea, Andy looking absolutely fabulous as she heads into the last month of her own pregnancy. Monty and Cheryl continue their daily visits (as well as acting as unofficial courier from Bellville for Olifant Pootjies), coming in twice to support Chantelle yesterday .

Outside of Ilke and her newborn, no other new entries have come to our ward, and so we’re still enjoying relative peace and quiet in our particular little curtained fort. Chantelle’s blood pressure is at last showing signs of coming down, and that bodes well considering she is being discharged later today.

(Unfortunately for her though, the swelling of her feet haven’t yet decided to play ball).

And now for the most important update of them all.

Chantelle holding Jessica to her chest for the very first time!

Yesterday marked the first day that Chantelle was allowed to sit down and hold Jessica against her chest, skin to skin, just like mother and baby are supposed to. Needless to say, this was the moment we had all been waiting for, and you could literally see the joy creep over Chantelle’s face as she received Jessica and sat there, motionlessly cradling her daughter on her chest and soaking up this momentous occasion.

And Jessica behaved like an absolute angel, just lying there and not triggering her alarm even once. Chantelle must have sat there for just under a hour, before her pain became too great and she had to return Jessica and make her way back for some more bed rest. But the motherly instinct has now properly been awakened and has literally exploded into life – which is going to make coming home all that much harder for my Chantelle because now she won’t be able to see little Jessie every five minutes any more.

Nevertheless, my beautiful daughter is doing fine, my wife is well on the road to recovery and our journey to Jessie’s triumphant homecoming is that one big step closer! :)

About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.