0

This time last year

20140331-214827.jpg

Monday, 31 March 2014: Fifty Two Weeks Old.

It’s hard to believe that this time last year I was in hospital, pacing up and down my room in the birthing ward trying to control my contractions.

Tonight, I sit with my daughter in her room while she feeds like a champ and drifts off into dreamland for the last time in her infancy.

Tomorrow Ayla will be one year old.

So much has happened in the past year that its hard to remember life before Ayla.

But at the same time it’s been the fastest twelve months of my life.

There is absolutely no way I could go back and explain to “in labour” me what to expect when 4.03am comes around and I get to hold my Baby Ayla for the first time.

There’s also no words to explain the days, weeks and months that follow because it is simply, and beautifully, a live-it-yourself experience.

I am so happy and proud that Ayla is turning one, partly because its a celebration of her life to date and partly because its only the first of so many wonderful, enriching, challenging, beautiful, enlightening and precious years to come.

0

Twinkly

20140330-210312.jpg

Sunday, 30 March 2014: Three Hundred and Sixty Three Days Old.

Ayla’s eyes are getting more twinkly by the minute and its such a relief.

Last night was gratefully and gloriously uneventful, and when we spoke to the hospital this morning it was music to our ears to hear that Ayla is on the right antibiotics.

It means we’ve now been officially discharged from the hospital and Ayla will be right as rain in no time.

Hubby and I have been overwhelmed by the love, well wishes and support we’ve received from Ayla’s friends and family around the world.

Even people we barely know have made heartfelt efforts to share their regards and I can assure you every “get well soon” was so very much appreciated.

Having a sick Baby Ayla was an awful experience and no matter how hard I tried to stay strong and positive, on the inside I could feel my heart breaking and my mind reeling.

I am just so thankful Ayla’s illness was easily curable and I can only hope and pray that’s the sickest she’ll ever be. Touch wood.

0

Diagnosis

20140329-212802.jpg

Saturday, 29 March 2014; Three Hundred and Sixty Two Days Old.

Ayla had a restless night last night and although she hasn’t had a fever since yesterday, this morning Ayla’s stomach was still upset and she was miserable.

Considering this is Ayla’s eighth day of being sick Hubby and I decided more need to be done than simply sitting around waiting for ‘it’ to ‘pass’.

So at lunchtime we demanded to speak to a paediatric supervisor to try and get some answers.

When the paediatrician came to see us she said that Ayla’s urine results had “only just literally come in that second” (conveniently) and that it was riddled with bugs.

I’d had a sneaking suspicion for a few days now that Ayla might have been suffering a UTI but the doctors kept telling me “not to worry” about catching a sample because it was probably only gastro.

Lucky I persisted.

Apparently Ayla’s UTI has stemmed from having had gastro in Thailand, which created the perfect environment for the e-coli bacteria to spread.

Ayla was immediately given the first dose in a seven day course of antibiotics and we waited at the hospital to see how her body would cope.

Ayla took the antibiotics like a champ and managed to keep it all down, so after a second dose at 7pm this evening we were sent home on ward leave.

Ward leave isn’t exactly discharged though… It means we are still awaiting final urine results tomorrow that will confirm if the generic antibiotics Ayla’s been prescribed will kill the particular bug she has.

It also means that if anything happens overnight we can go straight back to hospital and bypass the emergency room.

It was SO good to get Ayla out of the hospital, and out of that damn isolation room!!

Ayla seemed excited to be home too, crawling straight over to Cat Cat for a pat then off into her room to reacquaint herself.

I decided to treat Ayla to a special homecoming supper to celebrate so I put her in her high chair and presented her with a fresh strawberry and some chocolate custard.

Ayla was a sticky chocolatey mess in minutes and it felt good to have my little girl back!

If all goes well tonight Ayla could be back to her normal self by as early as tomorrow and if not well, lets not worry about that just yet.

2

Isolation

20140328-191107.jpg

Friday, 28 March 2014: Three Hundred and Sixty One Days Old.

We’re still in hospital and although Ayla has perked up a bit her symptoms haven’t changed.

After being on a drip all night Ayla had put on 200grams by this morning and we thought she was on the mend.

The doctors removed the drip and asked us to give Ayla 10mls of an electrolyte fluid every 15 minutes or so via a small drinking syringe instead.

But since then Ayla has had four bouts of diarrhoea and a massive vomit, which meant that by her evening weigh-in she’d lost 75grams in just a few hours.

Ayla definitely seems happier though and despite having a mild fever all day she’s been smiling and waving and blowing kisses at everyone.

But Hubby and I are worried Ayla’s health is simply restarting the same cycle it’s been on for the past seven days; mild fever > upset stomach > lack of appetite > high fever > severe lethargy > REPEAT.

I guess only time will tell (or the test results we’re still waiting on!) and for now it’s another night in the isolation ward.

4

Hospital

20140327-175813.jpg

Thursday, 27 March 2014: Three Hundred and Sixty Days Old.

I am writing this from Ayla’s bedside, in hospital.

Last night as we flew out of Singapore, I fed Ayla on take off as usual.

Ayla was very limp and lethargic and fell asleep in my arms almost as soon as I laid down in Hubby’s lap, ready for the four hour flight ahead. But an hour into the journey Ayla vomited, a lot, and her temperature shot back up to 39 degrees despite having only taken panadol a little over an hour earlier.

The air hostesses on the flight were lovely but advised that Australian Quarantine officers needed to be informed if a passenger returning from overseas presented with a fever and vomiting on the plane.

When we arrived in Australia all the passengers on the plane were told to stay in their seats until the Quarantine Officer had boarded and spoken to us. Fortunately the conversation was very brief and we were told to go to straight to the hospital when we cleared immigration.

So that’s what we did and Ayla’s been in the hospital ever since.

The current diagnosis is viral gastroenteritis, but given Ayla hasn’t eaten solids for six days, has been off her milk for two and has had a fever, diarrhoea and vomiting on an off nearly a week no ones taking any chances.

For the past nine hours, after a smorgasbord of pain killers this morning that finally calmed her cramping stomach and helped her settle, Ayla has done nothing by sleep in a scary coma-like haze that’s making it hard for us to get her to drink the fluids she needs.

So Ayla has been put on a drip and just recently was given some more panadol when she suddenly woke with a 40 degree temperature and red (probably fever related) blotches on her belly.

Ayla’s back sleeping now and we’re waiting for the paediatrician to come and check her.

I’m sure she’s going to be ok, and she’s in the best place possible for getting better, but we’re all keeping our fingers crossed Ayla will be back to her happy, healthy little self in no time.

0

Australia bound

20140327-161725.jpg

Wednesday, 26 March 2014: Three Hundred and Fifty Nine Days Old.

Our little family is Australia bound today.

Our departure from Thailand has come with a strange mix of feelings between being sad that our holiday is over and being a little bit relieved that we’re heading back to the comfort of home.

As Hubby and I sat at the airport this afternoon, after a relaxing morning at the resort swimming, packing and saying goodbye to all of Ayla’s newfound Thai friends, we made a point of listing all the wonderful things we’ve done on this family holiday so the illness that struck each of us down wouldn’t win out.

Ayla met and rode her first elephant and she played putt putt in a dinosaur park that took us through an active (replica) volcano.

Ayla also made destroyed her first sandcastle on the beach, she felt the buoyancy of ocean waves for the first time, she visited Fantasea theme park and even won her first prize on a carnival game!

Ayla hand fed thousands of tropical fish, she saw monkeys and lemurs, and iguanas. Ayla rode in a tuk-tuk, rang the bell in a bar and fell asleep on her Dad’s head.

We also made new friends from the other side of the world, dined in luxury restaurants, floated in stunning swimming pools and relaxed on a tropical island.

So all in all, we can’t complain! It definitely was a great holiday with lots of great memories to bring home.

But it seems the dreaded illness isn’t finished with us yet!

Ayla has had an upset stomach all day despite this being her fifth day without eating solids, and as I write this now in Singapore’s Changi Airport her temperature has climbed to 39.5 degrees…. Only four and a half more hours for red eye flying until we’re back in Australia.

0

Sun, sand and saltwater

20140326-082019.jpg

Tuesday, 25 March 2014: Three Hundred and Fifty Eight Days Old.

Miraculously, I awoke this morning with a full nights rest and hardly any trace of illness… I don’t know how it happened but my goodness, am I grateful!

It meant that we were finally able to have a family outing for the day, our first one in five days and I couldn’t wait to take Ayla on the short boat ride over to Coral Island for some sun, sand and saltwater.

Ayla had a ball crawling around on the beach and Hubby and I found myself keeping track of her by following the strange markings she left in the sand in her wake!

The water at Coral Island was so clear that when we took Ayla in for a swim could see the fish darting in and out amongst the coral.

Ayla also made friends with a couple of young children who were on the tour with us, and at lunch when they started playing hide-and-seek-tickle with her Ayla was so happy she nearly squealed the place down with delight.

On the way back to the mainland the tour stopped for a snorkel in a beautiful bay where we could hand feed thousands of colourful fish within meters of the boat.

Ayla was mesmerised as she looked down at the water from the boat’s flybridge, seeing the bits of bread I was throwing turn into a splashing, shimmering whirlpool of aquatic activity.

All in all it as a great day out, partly because it’s the best we’ve all felt in nearly a week and partly because we are half way around the world, making special precious memories as a family… and there’s not much better than that!