part II: separation anxiety

   Posted by: arcanai   in pix, the sequel

so he was born at 01:20 and i started nursing him at 01:47.  he did pretty good on the first side but his nose seemed a little stuffy so it made for slow going.  when we switched to the other side, it seemed like he was having a very difficult time getting air through his nose.  he was basically having to break his latch to gulp air between swallows.  we attempted to suction his nose a couple times and then had a nurse come in to try as well.  at 02:48, he christened me with his first meconium so the nurse took him from me to give him a quick cleanup and get a diaper on him.  during this time, his breathing became more labored so around 03:15 they took him to the nursery for a checkup.  the turkey never left our room so it made me very anxious that they were taking him away from us.  about 03:45, a dr came in without my son and introduced herself as a nicu dr. at this point, i immediately burst into tears and could barely focus enough on her words to understand that my son had been admitted to the nicu for breathing complications due to nasal inflammation and would not be coming back to me.  when she left, i had to ask my husband to explain to me what had happened and when we were going to get our son back.  i was just over two hours post pardem, hormonal, tired, and completely distraught.  i had a brand new baby that needed his momma and they were talking to me about “visiting hours”.  it was an excruciating hour of waiting for them to let us know what was going on and when we could “visit” our son.  we were finally taken to the nicu sometime around 05:00.  we were instructed to stop at the scrub room to do a two minute scrub-in with the little pre-packaged surgical soap scrubber and nail cleaner every time we came to visit.  we were then taken to our little boy’s cubicle where he was hooked up to monitors and heaters. it wasn’t a pleasant sight but i was relieved to see that he was breathing on his own so at least they didn’t have to put him on oxygen.

too many wires

i was also relieved to hear that we would have twenty-four hour access to him and that i could nurse him as needed, as long as it didn’t put him in distress.  thankfully, i didn’t have nearly as much pain as i did after the turkey’s birth because there’s no way i would have been able to do the walk back and forth between l/d and nicu every couple hours with him.  there was definitely no time for momma’s recovery.  and rest was certainly out of the question with the phone ringing every couple hours through the night to tell me he was hungry (never mind that my alarm said i still had another half hour until his next feeding time!). my fabulous sissy, BIL, and niece drove up to take care of the turkey.  while that was always part of the plan, it turned out to be an even bigger blessing than i could have imagined, given the unforeseen circumstances.  we have wonderful friends who would have stepped up without hesitation but family is just such a comfort in these times.  anyhow, my sissy brought the turkey to the hospital that evening to meet his brother for the first time.

the turkey's first time meeting baby brother

first family photo

when they admitted him to the nicu, they told us that they would be doing a minimum forty-eight hour course of treatment with an anti-inflammatory.  when he was still laboring after the first twenty-four hours, they decided to add a steroid to his treatment.  we were tremendously relieved to see improvement within the first six hours after that change.

best big brother

on sunday morning, the dr was optimistic about the sequel’s improvement and indicated that he could be discharged to go home.  it was a long day of waiting on “the next step.”  we sent out several texts letting our loved ones know the good news.  i went back to my room for a quick lunch and to check on my own discharge plan.  while i was eating, hubby called to let me know that he had failed one of the exit tests… the one for congenital heart failure.  cue momma’s panic attack.  the last time i heard those words was the week before my dad’s fatal stroke.  i rushed back over to the nicu to find out what was going on.  apparently, the screening for congenital heart failure consists of adding a second pulse oximeter so that both a foot and a hand were being monitored and compared.  the theory is that when the blood flow is circulating correctly, the two monitors should stay within 2-3 of each other.  the sequel’s was averaging a difference of 5-7.  so we had to wait around for another excruciating couple hours for a detailed sonogram of his heart.

checking the heart

praise the Lord, the cardiologist was able to review the sonogram quickly and we were told that everything looked good.  finally, our baby boy was declared healthy enough to go home!  he was unhooked from the various monitors and machines and we were able to dress him for the first time.

finally unwired

now, i need to take a moment to talk about the care that we received during this roller-coaster weekend. the nicu dr and nurses were awesome. they were so helpful and compassionate.

my care, on the other hand, i found to be lacking. i spent almost all of my time in the nicu over the weekend which i thought was a pretty reasonable thing to expect from a mother whose newborn was in distress in a separate ward. i had exactly one nurse who went out of her way to come to the nicu to introduce herself to me and to bring me my meds. i was so grateful for her compassion and thoughtfulness. all of my other nurses pretty much wrote me off unless they happened to catch me in my room. i had to seek them out to get my meds. my discharge nurse was by far the worse. we were in the nicu dealing with the newest development, namely the question of our son’s heart health, and she kept calling the nicu telling me to come back and fill out paperwork. i asked the nicu nurses to explain to her what we had going on and that i couldn’t leave my child until i knew what was going on with him but she called four times throughout the afternoon wanting me to come back. finally, she did come over but all she did was hand me a stack of discharge papers to sign. she never asked how i was or if i needed anything. she had already checked me out as a patient without asking if i needed any meds/supplies to take home so i was out of luck on that front. she was abrasive and clearly put out by the fact that she had to seek me out. she had no empathy for my situation whatsoever.

once we did get the all-clear from the cardiologist, i was perfectly happy to go back and pack up my stuff and get out of there. and we were overjoyed to pack up the sequel’s stuff and load him up for his big homecoming.

heading home

my sissy put up signs and balloons to welcome him home and the turkey ran to the door wearing his big brother shirt as we walked in. it was such a huge relief to be home and have our family all together.

together and home at last!

This entry was posted on Sunday, September 25th, 2016 at 21:53 and is filed under pix, the sequel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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