Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Hospital Part II

James was born in the wee wee hours of Friday morning, so we expected to go home sometime on Sunday. As I mentioned in my last post, I tested positive for Group B Strep which is not usually a big deal. They give you an antibiotic during labor and that's it. However... it needs a few hours to work. And as you may have realized, I didn't have enough time. Ideally you get two doses of the antibiotic, but my doctor and I were hoping to even get one. They gave it to me, but not with enough time to be effective. It was probably an hour before he was born. So the standard protocol for that is to keep the baby for a full 48 hours for observation. That would make 2 am Sunday morning our all clear and ready to go home.
Emma came up to the hospital on Friday and met her baby brother. She immediately wanted to hold him and kept cooing over his "little nose" and "little eyes" and touching them softly. It was adorable and I was melting seeing the two of them together.
Everyone was tired on Friday - even our visitors! (Well, not Emma over there watching Netflix, but she's never tired).
James gave Emma a special gift - a baby of her own to take care of while Mama was taking care of the new baby. 
She was pretty thrilled. The magnetic bottle was an especially big hit.
Saturday evening, it was just James and I hanging out while Hans was home with Emma. A nurse that I didn't particularly like told me she was concerned about James' breathing. She said it was too rapid and shallow - he was kind of panting. I didn't hear it and thought she was making something of nothing. She even called his pediatrician who basically told her the same thing - it's just normal baby breathing. But then a few hours later, I heard what she was talking about and it scared me, too. He kind of sounded like he was hyperventilating. I took off our clothes and got skin to skin with him and after a short while, his breathing returned to normal.  I thought that was the end of it. But it started again, later after Hans had come back for the night. We both heard it and were worried. The night nurse looked at him and thought he was just congested. She sucked some junk out of his nose and cleared it with saline and again his breathing returned to normal. I was so relieved. She offered to take him to the nursery around midnight so we could get a couple hours sleep.

At 1:30 we were both shaken awake by the night nurse who looked very concerned. She told us we needed to come to the nursery because James had taken a turn and needed to be admitted to the NICU. The weird breathing had come back, worse, and had not gone away and they'd had to put him on an oxygen machine. They were concerned that he had gotten a Group B infection.

I was so sleep deprived and there was so much information coming at me and it was so terrible and scary seeing all the things being done to my 48-hour old baby. He had blood work, IVs, an x-ray, all kinds of stuff. I was a sobbing mess. They went ahead and preemptively started him on IV antibiotics to fight infection while they started a blood culture. They told us we would be there 3-7 days.
Guys, Sunday was one of the most stressful and emotionally taxing days I could have imagined. I was discharged, but James was still in NICU. Since we had expected to be home, we had no arrangements for Emma and we were scrambling to find people to watch her for the next few days. The hospital, thankfully, had a "nesting room" available for me to stay in so that I could go up to the NICU every few hours to nurse. It's like squatting at the hospital. It's an old wing of the hospital that's not really in use. It was remote and dark and the room was so bare. Basically just a room with a bed and that's it. I felt like I could scream and no one would hear me! Creepy. But at least I could be there and go up to the NICU. I tried to sleep when I could and dragged myself to the NICU every few hours to scrub in and sit with him and feed him.
At least we got lots of sweet baby cuddles
His x-rays showed that his lungs were "murky," but there was no obvious sign of infection. He didn't have a fever and his breathing actually improved enough to take him off the oxygen machine. By Sunday afternoon he seemed totally normal, we just had to sit there and see what the blood culture would show. It was a little strange being in the NICU with my nearly 10 lb, totally healthy looking baby. All the other babies in our bay were so teeny - one little girl was so small, she still had translucent looking skin. I'm guessing she was 25-26 weeks gestation. I don't think any of the other babies were over 5 lbs and most were on one kind of machine or another. It was a good reality check that however scary our experience might have seemed to me, our baby was pretty dang healthy and we were pretty dang lucky.
Hooked up to lots of monitors, but they don't seem to bother him
At noon on Monday, we were awaked (again!) by a doctor who came in to tell us that Surprise! He was clearing us to go home. We were half awake and shocked because we were prepared to stay at least through the end of the week. He told us that nothing was developing in the blood culture, James had had no breathing issues for over 24 hours, and he'd received a full course of precautionary antibiotics. He said given all that, he was inclined to believe it wasn't Group B strep, but rather just a bunch of fluid that was stuck in James' lungs because of the quick delivery. He didn't see any point in keeping us any longer.

The rest of the day was a whirlwind. They whisked him off for his circumcision (he did so well!), we were scrambling to make arrangements for Emma and pack up our room and get ready to go. Finally around 6 we left the hospital and headed home, exhausted, but relieved and happy.
Leaving the hospital as a family of four!
While it was a stressful experience trying to juggle Emma and scary not knowing what was going on, it was thankfully much shorter and less serious than we expected. The NICU nurses were AMAZING and really made the experience so much better than it could have been.

The greatest blessing of all is that we have truly amazing friends. Emma was well looked after and when we arrived home Monday night, we discovered that three of our mama friends had been to our house - one did some laundry and cleaned, one did grocery shopping for us, and one had left a hot meal on the table. I was truly touched and cried because I was so grateful. They are better to us than we deserve. So good to be home!

But stay tuned for Hospital Part III...

No comments:

Post a Comment