NICU roller coaster
They say the NICU journey can be a roller coaster and this week it definitely was x3! They each had their own little ups and downs for the week and no one came out looking like a rock star. No bragging from mom this week.
Wyatt started off Monday meeting Grandpa and Grandma Johnston for the first time and then his circumcision. I was feeling slightly bad for the poor little guy and Clay didn’t want to think about it. Turns out he slept through the whole event and barely needed any sympathy at all. Wednesday night Wyatt and I had a slumber party in one of the St.Luke’s rooms in preparation for his discharge on Friday. The goal was to see how he does breastfeeding all night. I return after a nice dinner out with Clay and our neighbor and move Wyatt over to the unit where I lived for 5 weeks, only instead of my big private room I got to have 3 walls, a curtain and 2 other families enjoying the experience. I’m sure they loved us by morning. My PJs were on and I was fully ready for my first night of motherly duties. The night started off with one giant BM (from Wyatt) and then someone he managed to roll around in it while I’m looking for the vaseline gauze for his surgical wound and wipes. I call the nurse (in the NICU a few hallways away) to bring in some gauze, a new outfit and the shield I had used to successfully breastfeed for the past week. Unfortunately this thin clear piece of precious plastic somehow got pitched and I was sans shield. After cleaning my sad and poopy boy up in the shared community bathroom I figured surely he was angry enough to latch right on and we’d be okay especially since the shields are locked in a golden cabinet tightly guarded in the lactation office. Over an hour later of smacking my poor son in the face with my bosom and we both begrudginly fell asleep irritaed at the other. 2:00AM he arouses again for round 2 and after 30 minutes of whack a boob, I call the nurse to bring in a bottle. 3-6AM precious sleep. 6:15 5 minutes, no latch and he takes a bottle in 10 minutes while I pump. Much much more efficient and we’re now on speaking terms again. I contemplate permanetly banning him from the girls, but word on the street is the process gets easier so I’ve got a new shield and we continue to work on it. Maybe someday we’ll do it ala natural. Friday I excitedly pull into St.Luke’s ready to take our boy home, but unfortunately he’s now deciding to show us the wimpy white NICU boy stereotype we’d been so proud he’s avoided. Turns out he’s been overly sleepy and just not eating well. They had to put in another feeding tube down his nose to supplement and he ended up getting labs drawn followed by an IV and some antibiotics. Not sure if he has an illness or was pushed to do to much to fast, but he’ll be camping out until he perks up a bit and stops acting like a preemie.
Ava also had an exciting week of trying to figure out why she isn’t a great eater either. She tends to still only take half her bottle at best and get the rest via her NG tube. We also got a couple calls on her this week for misbehaving and having spells where her oxygen levels and heart rate drop and they have to whip out the oxygen bag to perk her back up. Since I don’t plan on carrying one around in my pocket at home, I’d just as soon she stop these little episodes. She had a swallow study to see if fluid goes into her lungs (negative) and then a pH probe to see if she has acid reflux. We’re still waiting on those results and seeing if perhaps a trial Zantac run is next.
Not to be left out, Miss Lydia also caused her share of excitement on Wednesday as well. After a good weekend and a good couple of days with mom holding her, she had a rough early morning on Wed with a bad blood gas and chest x-ray showing a pleural effusion or large amount of fluid that collected around her lung from surgery. So went back to he oscillator vent (no more snuggles while on it) got a chest tube, art line and a new IV coming out of her head. On the bonus side her edema is greatly improved and we can see the shape of her neck again. She’s also ventilating much better and has been kept pretty comfortable with the occasional dose of morphine. One step forward two steps back. Next week we’ll aim for two steps forward.
On a much less interesting note, Clay the cats and I are still hanging at the pad awaiting the beautiful chaos that will someday join us.
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