Saturday, June 12, 2010

in the NICU

Thursday, June 3 and the next 4 days...

I was moved to the Mother Baby unit not too long after delivery.  There I waited for some news about Liam.  Finally around 3 am the neonatal nurse practitioner visits my room.  She gives us news that Liam isn't very active and they are concerned that he has a neuromuscular disorder or disease.  He is very flaccid and physically nonresponsive.  His breathing is impaired so they've intubated him and a ventilator is helping him breathe.  With the little activity in his extremities they've had problems drawing blood from his heels and hands so they've inserted a central line through his belly button.  A mother's worst nightmare.  After a very active baby in utero and 11 hours of labor, how in the world can he be flaccid?  He was kicking me during labor!

We were finally allowed into the NICU to see him.  Jason's Mom (aka Drucilla aka Wicky) and Sam (aka Liam's Uncle Sam) were still with us at 430 am.  The neonatologist was baffled about his condition because all the tests they performed were mostly normal.  She did explain that he had metabolic acidosis and respiratory acidosis which is odd, compensation for each is the opposite's alkalosis.  Basically some of his lab work was off but that didn't explain his flaccidity.  Once he heard Jason's voice he moved.  He was able to hold Jason's finger (which was what he was most looking forward to after birth).
By the afternoon and us being able to see him frequently (not hold him but see him) he started moving a bit more.  His acidosis resolved and we were able to hold him.  I just cried.  My poor baby had tubes and wires.  When I was away I had a snuggie type cloth that I kept in my shirt to get my scent.  At night they draped the cloth over his head for comfort.  It worked!  Each day he moved more and they were able to take out the breathing tube and let him use a nasal cannula.

As the days passed he grew more alert but still not opening his eyes long enough to see them.  He moved all his extremities and began fussing at diaper changes.  By day 2 in the NICU I was able to pump and give him bottles several times a day.  His little body just didn't have enough energy to take to my breast for very long, but we did try.
Day 3 we moved out of the critical area and into a private room in the NICU.  Liam began breathing well on his own and the nasal cannula was removed and the central line from his belly.  Yay!  Poor thing has his mommy's sensitive skin and allergy to tape we think.  It took a few days for the rash to clear up from the oxygen pads on his cheeks.  Daddy got a few chances to feed him and we began to transition him for home life.  I was discharged from the hospital as a patient but given a room to "room in" with Liam.  While the nurses were still taking care of us, we got to be parents and do the majority of his caretaking with guidance from our favorite nurses.
Day 4 the jaundice really set in and our little angel was put on phototherapy with a bililight.  Boy was it cool to look at, and he had great "shades".

1 comment:

  1. Well, you made me cry with this post! I am sorry you had to go through that. And I am happy that everything is going better and that Liam is healthy. It is truly a mother's worst nightmare.

    Congrats Cricket- you deserve it!! And I can tell that you are an excellent mother.