April 8th, three years on

Ok, so firstly I’m aware this is a day late! Reading my old blog and writing this can be draining, and I needed a days break from it. This is kind of ironic, when you read what I originally wrote on my blog: 

“We were spending every day sitting by Oscar’s bed, aside from short breaks to eat and stretch our legs. There isn’t any place else i would rather have been and I don’t regret a single second of our time spent with him, but it was quite isolating.

While our family were able to visit (once the quarantine had been lifted) our main contact with our family and friends was via text messages and Facebook. I can imagine it would have been a lot more difficult for us to get through our time in hospital if it weren’t for my mobile phone. It became my lifeline, and it is the place where most of Oscar’s life is recorded. Without my phone I would have felt very isolated in that hospital.

It also has the added bonus of my being able to piece together what happened each day due to the information stored on it (my memory is good, but it isn’t date specific good!)

On April 8th I posted on Facebook for prayers and good thoughts for Oscar. I posted that his lungs and kidneys were not doing that good and that because of this his operations had come to a standstill.

This was a devastating time for us, as the little hope we had that he didn’t have that fatal lung condition began to fade away.

It was also the time when we made some of our positive memories, as halting the operations meant Oscar could be weaned off some of his sedation and was more alert.”

April 8th was the day i first discovered “Oscar hand.” Each time I discovered a new little quirk of Oscar’s I tried to photograph it, not knowing if i would get a chance to again.

Oscar had a particular way of holding his fingers on his right hand that we called Oscar hand. Everyone who visited (and some of the nurses) couldn’t help but try to copy him, but of course Oscar was the best at it:

Oscar didn’t do this at birth, and it was possibly the result of him having a line in the back of that hand at one point, but that doesn’t mean it is a negative memory. It’s those little quirks, no matter why they occurred, that made Oscar into our Oscar.

Being attached to tubes and wires, plus sedated and on a ventilator meant that Oscar could not move as much as a newborn should. This could have resulted in his joints becoming stiff. Oscar saw a physiotherapist during his time in hospital, and we were taught to move his joints for him to help prevent them from stiffening up. We could move his Oscar hand and straighten his fingers, but this is the position he liked to go back to.

Oscar had a very good grip and co-ordination for a newborn. In fact he seemed to make it his mission to try to grab as many things that he shouldn’t as often as possible. For a baby surrounded by such temptations, watching him you could almost imagine what he was thinking:

“Ooh look shiny wire. What happens if I pull on it. Ah, Mummy puts the phone down and pays attention to me” or “Hey Nurse, you left that thermometer under my arm again…no worries, I’m pretty sure I can get it out for you.”

On one occasion we gave Oscar an empty syringe to play with. It looked like he was doing baby weightlifting (I don’t seem to have a photograph unfortunately.) …You may have guessed he got that to distract him from a wire that he wanted to pull on!

The nurses commented that Oscar was “full of character.” I’m pretty sure what they actually meant was “He’s full of mischief and we can’t take our eyes off him for a second.”

There are a couple more photos from April 8th which aren’t that great, but they give you an idea of how mischievous Oscar could be: 

“If you look at my mischief makers right foot above you can just see it is resting  on a piece of plastic. That plastic is designed to hold up the pipe from his ventilator, unless your Oscar and then it is a footrest. 

I moved Oscar’s foot away from that plastic several times fearing he would move the ventilator accidentally. He moved his foot back at time, clearly having no such concerns. In the end I just let him keep his foot there, because of course Oscar knows best!”

“April 8th was also the day Oscar received his Superman socks. They were a gift from his Grandad, something I requested as his feet were always cold. Socks were one of the few items of clothing Oscar was able to wear due to the tubes and wires. He would also have been able to wear hats, but we all knew how he felt about them! 

Oscar’s socks became his trademark, and we got so many people commenting on them. Doctors would actually comment on them when they were supposed to be discussing medical related things! 

Those socks (there were two pairs) also gave us another of his many nicknames “Baby Superman.” 

One thing to note is that the socks were very cute, but they held no special powers…Oscar’s super powers were all him!”

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