Pither.com / Simon
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Back from hospital

Liz and Edward finally returned from the hospital yesterday evening. While Edward is still a little jaundice, both are generally doing OK.

Their stay in hospital was a little longer than expected due to some bad advice, Edward being jaundice and a small dose of photo-therapy being required:

Apparently this is quite common, but we still found it to be quite a scary introduction to parenthood!

This wasn't helped by what I think was a dreadful service from East Surrey Hospital.

All of the hospital staff we met were very pleasant and helpful (with the exception of one night-shift midwife who was apparently very grumpy!). However almost everyone we spoke to had at least slightly different advice, some had totally different advice!

One of the first midwives on the ward said that we should leave Edward sleeping until he wakes up for a feed. We shouldn't worry that he's been sleeping for several hours already. Later advice was that we should have woken him after a maximum of 5 or 6 hours, probably earlier. Apparently if we had, it may have prevented his jaundice from being bad enough to require photo-therapy!

Beyond bad advice, we also regularly suffered no advice/attention/help/anything!

The maternity ward was already busy when we arrived, and shortly afterwards it was completely full. Not once during the four day stay on the ward did they have enough staff. They are apparently supposed to have 3 midwives on duty during the day, however most of the time had only 1. Even when they did have more, it clearly wasn't enough for a full ward - the bedside alarms would often be going for several minutes before anyone responded!

On the second day in hospital, Liz was seen by a midwife in the morning who said that she should be discharged that day. Soon after I arrived (partners can visit from 10am), a paediatrician visited Edward for his initial check. She gave him the all clear, although did spot that he had a tongue tie (more on that in another post). We then didn't see another member of staff until the evening when I went and found one to remind them that we were supposed to be going home.

Even more time passed and eventually a midwife came to do some final checks. However (after they'd actually completed most of the discharge paper work, including arranging for a community midwife to visit the following day!) they decided that they hadn't witnessed Edward feeding, and at this point told us that we definitely shouldn't just let him sleep, but should wake him every 3-4 hours to encourage feeding! So, they couldn't discharge them yet. This midwife also spotted that Edward was looking a little yellow and suggested that he may be suffering from jaundice. So the conclusion was that Liz and Edward must stay another night, for him to be checked for jaundice and to be witnessed being fed.

Several paediatricians and many more midwives (I'm not sure I ever actually saw the same one more than twice in the entire 4 days) later and the following day Edward was given some little sun glasses and put under a big blue light.

Thankfully he responded well to the photo-therapy and was taken off it after about 20 hours. He was still very jaundice, but out of danger. We've been told that the remaining jaundice should clear up on it's own over the next week or so.

Now, finally, Edward is home. :-)

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