NICU – The Start of the journey

Finley was 530 grams when he was born! He was rushed straight to the neo natal intensive care unit where they assessed everything they would have to do for him to keep him alive.

Some of those first weeks blur together for me and some of it I don’t think I even remember, I was in a sort of haze. I seemed like I was ok and focused and powering through but my mind was so fragile for those first few weeks.

Ok so what we had to deal with, grade 1 brain hemmourage from delivery, that didn’t get any worse, so that was ok. He tolerated my breast milk so his gut was ok. He had an open duct in his heart and very immature lungs. The ventilator he was on was a necessary evil, it’s not good for his lungs but he needs it to breathe. He was given two rounds of medication for the duct and they seemed to work and then we had to focus on the ventilator!

One of the consultants sat down with me to explain why he needed to come off it and why they would be giving him steroids, he explained all the side effects! This day was particularly hard for me as we were about 5 weeks in and the thought that we still might lose him had left my mind. So after my chat with  that consultant I lost it! I couldn’t get the words out to explain how I felt, I couldn’t physically say that in my head, I thought that the possibility of him dying was behind us! It even pains me to write those words down!!

But Finley went on the steroids and came off the ventilator, near the end of his dose he got an infection that went into his blood and needed antibiotics so we had to finish the steroids early! I thought he might end up back on the ventilator but no, he’s tough out and stayed on the biphasic sipap!

Let me explain between the ventilator and sipap! The ventilator is breathing for him, it is helping him take his breaths. The sipap is supplying his oxygen but he is breathing all on his own!

Over the next couple of weeks it was bringing him off biphasic sipap onto normal sipap then onto high flow and then down to low flow! All of this took time around 8 weeks.

Around 2 months in my milk supply dwindled and disappeared! This was hard for me as I felt like I was failing him! Before my milk supply started to dwindle Finley had been getting 2 feeds a day of nutri prem 1 milk to help him gain more weight. So I stopped pumping and Finley got half nutri prem and half breast milk to use up all the milk I had in the freezer, the breast milk only ran out 2 weeks ago so now he is on all bottles.

His eyes had been fine every time they were checked until 2/3 weeks ago! All of a sudden they weren’t good and we were going to Dublin for laser surgery. We stayed there for a week and came back to Cork!

I think they are most of the struggles our little man had faced to date! That boy inspires me so much, he never gave up, he never stopped fighting! How could you give up and let it all consume you when you see your little baby fighting so hard with every breathe they take!!

After this journey, my outlook on life is so different! I only worry about the things that matter, I don’t let stupid things bother me, I don’t sweat the small stuff, and I keep all my focus and energy on my kids and my family and my home and my salon, all the things that matter to me!

Finley John Colville, you are my hero!

Thank you so much for reading!

Love Coia Xx


3 thoughts on “NICU – The Start of the journey”

  1. It is so hard to deal with prem labour but prem babies r a definate blessing they r so strong it really is inspiring to us parents. U feel like theres no end to hsp visits etc bit there is. Finley u r in our thoughts and prayers as r Mammy and Daddy as well as Nanny Fiona and Grandad Frankie xxx

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