DIARY OF THE FIRST 50 DAYS

18 September 2011 - 03:06 By SHANAAZ EGGINGTON
Allegra Lategan on the day she was born. She was placed in a bag for three days for warmth and to protect her paper-thin skin. When she was born, 22 weeks and four days after conception, it had not yet developed three layers
Allegra Lategan on the day she was born. She was placed in a bag for three days for warmth and to protect her paper-thin skin. When she was born, 22 weeks and four days after conception, it had not yet developed three layers

THE CRISIS: At 22 weeks' pregnant, Chantal Lategan is admitted to hospital, where a doctor specialising in premature and complicated infant illnesses and his team try to stop her going into premature labour.

THE ARRIVAL: Three days later, on Friday, July 29, it becomes clear that labour cannot be halted, and an emergency caesarean section is performed. The baby is intubated in theatre and transferred to a neonatal ICU. She is placed on a ventilator and an umbilical vein and arterial catheter are inserted. The baby is placed in a ziplock bag for fluid stability and warmth.

DAY 1: First breast-milk feed starts at 0.5ml every 12 hours. First stool passed.

DAY2: Blood sugars very unstable. Ventilation continues.

DAY 3: Special enclosed neonatal intensive care incubator arrives. Baby transferred inside.

DAY 4: Endotracheal tube (breathing tube) changed.

DAY 7: Repeat cardiac ultrasound. Blood pressure unstable. Managed medically.

DAY 15: Taken off ventilator for the first time. Breathing fails after five hours. Back on ventilator

DAY 16: Abdominal mischief. Feeds poorly tolerated. Baby very unstable.

DAY 17: Confirmed to be septicaemic. All feeds stopped, and baby started on antibiotics.

DAY 21: Repeat cardiac ultrasound of heart. Tiny problematic pipe wide open but infection under control. Restart feeds.

DAY 28: Another attempt off the ventilator. Failed due to abdominal distension.

DAY 29: Baby opens eyes for first timeDAY 31: Abdominal surgery.

DAY 33: Feeds restarted, surgery resolves minor problem.

DAY 34: Successfully taken off the ventilator.

DAY 37: Passes first proper breast-milk stool.

DAY 42: Mom holds baby for the first time.

DAY 45: Repeat echo, pipe in the heart finally closed.

TODAY: Tolerating full feeds well, 10ml of breast milk every two hours, and growing well.

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