Our baby announcement and the story of my surprise 10 day stay in hospital

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Welcome to the world Reuben

I would like to welcome to the world our beautiful baby boy, Reuben Samuel Sully!  Born in Gloucester at 5.36am on Thursday 5th March 2015 weighing 7lbs 3oz.

Here is the very first photo of me and my precious bundle:

4 hours old reuben samuel sully
Four hours old

Finally home

After a ten day stay in hospital for me and eight for little Reuben, I am happy to announce we are now safely home and settling into family life having been reunited with our daughter Bella, who I missed terribly during my unexpected hospital stay.

Poor Little Reuben

The pregnancy and birth did not go smoothly, but nothing prepared us for the sad news after little Reuben was born.  On day two as we were expecting to be discharged, we discovered Reuben had a significant heart murmur during his routine newborn checks.  It was possible this was an ‘innocent’ murmur or the hole in his heart had not yet closed; we just expected this to be the case and to get home rather quickly. 

After a couple of days observation and a more experienced cardiologist performing an echo heart scan, we soon realised it was more serious.  Reuben was transferred to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children via ambulance at four days old where it was assumed they would operate immediately. 

We arrived rather late so they performed their own echo scan to confirm the diagnosis (a type of congenital heart disease called Pulmonary Stenosis) and to ensure the correct procedure was agreed upon (balloon dilatation).

When Reuben was 7 days old, the procedure was performed.  This was quite possibly the scariest, and longest, two hours of our lives as we hoped for the best but could not help but fear the worst.  They inserted a tiny 1.2mm catheter through a vein by his groin right up into his heart to measure the pressure in the heart.  Another was inserted on the other side with a tiny balloon attached to the end which was expanded to 9mm to stretch out his narrow valve and reduce the pressure.

Thankfully the procedure was very successful, the valve was stretched and the pressure was reduced from 140 to 45 (it should be 30).  PHEW! We could finally relax, breath again and collect our precious baby boy from the recovery room.

Sadly it’s a condition that Reuben will have for life, eventually needing a valve replacement from a donor as an adult, and he will need further echo scans quite regularly as a young child and then less so as he grows if all is well.  It’s possible the procedure will be completed again in a couple of years but there is hope his heart will improve as it grows. 

We’ll hope for the best, but for now he just seems totally normal and you’d have no idea he has been through so much in his very short life!

Family Life

Ben, Reuben and I returned home last Friday evening and Bella came home Saturday morning.  I’ve never been happier to return home from somewhere!  It’s now day three of being home and life as a family of four is just great so far.  Bella is so sweet with Reuben, constantly giving him cuddles and kisses and copying Reuben’s care with her own dolls.  It’s truly adorable to watch! 

We are settling into our new family well and hope for a healthy and happy future.

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  1. Felicity Williams

    I would just like to add, that my husband Glyn and I are thinking of you and will keep Reuben in our prays. Doctors nowadays can do remarkable advanced medical procedures and I am sure that Reuben will benefit from their expertise in the future xx

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  2. Thank you for all your kind comments! I have no option to reply here so I have personally emailed you all :)

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  3. Eileen

    I have a son called Reuben too (who is now 10 years old) which made me read your post initially - but I just wanted to wish you the best for the future. I can only imagine how scary those first few days were for you and your family. Glad to hear that the procedure went well. Best xx

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  4. Leanne Robertson

    Hey Victoria it's Leanne. Wow just read this & poor little Reuben, that sounds so scary & I'm so glad the operation went ok. I went through a similar situation when my girl was born prematurely a duct in her heart hadn't closed properly which caused her to have tachycardia & her heart beat would get dangerously too fast. She had to be given special digoxin medicine for the first 6mnths & it was one of the scariest times of my life, she had it monitored & it closed up by the age of 3 thank goodness! I know yours is different & my thoughts & prayers are with you all & I hope his condition won't affect him in such a way again. He's adorable & I hope you are enjoying having lots of family cuddles with him. Lots of love??Xx

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  5. Lyndsey Lee

    Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful boy Reuben. So sorry to hear what he has been through in his little life so far, what a little star he is! Wishing you all lots of happiness & best wishes for the future. Take care. Lyndsey Xx

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  6. Farah

    Hi Victoria, Congratulations on your newborn and I hope and pray it will get easier for you x

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  7. Christine King

    Congratulations on the birth of Reuben, sorry you had some scary days just after his birth but so glad you are all home safely now. Take care enjoy your time with your babies. love Chris

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