Sunday, November 21, 2010

And the Roller Coaster begins...

So I had gone to get settled in my room on the maternity ward, and Rod had gone home.  The hospital midwife came in and told me that Josie had already called to see how I was doing (she had left while I was in the nursery with Joshua.) I was busy texting friends and family letting them know the good news that our boy was here!  While I was doing this, a doctor came over from the Special Care Nursery and told me that Joshua's blood sugar was very low so they had started him on a glucose drip.  They had taken it while I was in there with him and it had come back low but they thought it must be a mistake because there is no way he could have had blood sugar that low and not have been symptomatic (or so they thought).  So they had retaken it, and it had come back only slightly better.  So that didn't sound too bad anyway, he'd have the IV and it would sort it out.  I went to sleep.

About an hour later I was woken up by the doctor, who told me that Joshua had a seizure and that he had stopped breathing, so they had to resuscitate him and that he'd been given an anti seizure medication (Phenobarbital).  They thought it was probably because his blood sugar was so low, and that now he was on the IV to fix that up, he probably won't have anymore.  I cried when they told me this, but again, it didn't sound too terrible.  Of course it wasn't good, but it didn't sound like the end of the world or anything.  I didn't want to go back in to see him though until I had Rod with me.  A short time later though, Josie came back.  She asked how he was and I started to cry and told her that he had a seizure.  She came with me to go and see him.  By this time, he had been moved into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) which in reality, is just another section of the same room in the Special Care Nursery.   He was ok, he was stable and I stood there at his bed and was touching him etc.  While I was doing that, the alarms on his monitors started going off.  The Nurse came over, looked at him and said "This baby is not breathing!"  I stood back with Josie while several doctors and nurses surrounded him, resuscitating him.  Once he was ok, I returned to his side again.  Then it happened again.  They decided that he needed to be intubated with the ventilator, so that if this kept happening they wouldn't need to keep resuscitating him.  I was just standing there crying, so Josie took me out while they were working on him.

I let Rod know and he came back up to the hospital, and we went to see him.  This time, my baby was full of tubes and wires.  He had been connected up to the EEG which was monitoring for seizure activity and there was lots of it.  He was ventilated now so we didn't have to worry about him stopping breathing, and he was breathing above it for the most part.  They said they'd done a CT scan and it was normal, except for a bit of swelling on the brain, and that they'd know more once the swelling went down and they did an MRI as it shows more detail.  They'd had to give him more medications to try and bring the seizures under control and they were saying things like, that the best outcomes are when the seizures can be controlled within a couple of days up to a week, but that any longer than that and the outcomes are not as good.  They even said the word "Death".  We really had no idea what was going on, and every time we went in there, we seemed to be getting worse and worse news.  All I could do was stand beside his bed and cry.  I had also never seen Rod cry until now.

In amongst all of this of course, I had to start expressing.  This turned out to be something I was good at, and I was getting more milk than the average cow.  Of course, it was colostrum to start with and I was quickly filling the syringes they'd given me, first small ones, and then big ones and then I moved on to small containers.  At first I did it by hand, which they recommend you do until your milk actually comes in.  Because I was getting so much though, they said I could try the pump, but it wasn't very good, I was getting more with my hands, so I kept doing it that way.  Liquid gold for my precious baby.  He couldn't have any of it yet, except for a little on his lips when they did his cares, as they didn't want to stress his body out.  He was getting all his nutrition through the IV, but I was getting this milk going, so that when he was ready to have it, I'd be ready to give it to him.

I spent that first night in the hospital, and all I could do was lay in my bed and cry.  It wasn't a private room as they don't have them at this hospital unless you are really sick, so there was another girl with me, with a curtain between us.  She hadn't had her baby yet (thank goodness, I would have flipped out if I was sharing a room with someone that had there baby in there with them!) but was having some other issues with her pregnancy.  I didn't want her to hear me crying though, so I'd just lay there and cry quietly to myself.  I wondered what I had done for this to happen to me.  I just wanted a baby, and first I had the miscarriage and now I have a baby but he is "broken." Why is life so unfair?  There are so many people out there who smoke, and drink and take drugs through their pregnancy and yet their babies are born perfectly healthy.  There are so many people out there who didn't even want to get pregnant and don't even want their babies and treat them terribly, and yet they are blessed with perfect children.  What did I do for this to happen to me?  I didn't even know what this was, we didn't know what was wrong with him and we didn't even know if he was going to live.  It was not supposed to be like this.  I was supposed be at home, after having my baby at home and cuddling up in my own bed with my baby and feeling blissed out and happy, not laying in a hospital bed with my baby in intensive care.

Through the night the nurses kept coming to check on me, I didn't get much sleep that night but each time they came in I would pretend to be asleep.  I didn't express at all that night and I expected that the nurses would make me, but they didn't, they left me be and commented in the morning what a good sleep I'd had.  I told them I wanted to go home.  They said "Are you sure, you just had a baby, most people stay 3 days" but I said No, I wanted to go home.  They offered for us to see the hospital social worker to help us at this "difficult time" and I said No, I didn't want to.  They pushed for it, but I said "Can they make my baby better?  No? Then I don't want to see them"  I had to wait for a doctor to come and see me and give the OK, but I was discharged at lunch time that day and went home.  It was the best thing for me, to be able to sleep in my own bed, and besides, Rod wasn't very good at bringing me the things I needed to the hospital  (like he brought me a skirt but no top, brought me a bra that hadn't fit me in months etc) So I was able to go home and feel more like a person again.  We only live 10 minutes from the hospital, so not too far.  And so we started the daily grind of going back and forth from the hospital.

My poor little baby with all his bits and pieces - 2 days old

Close up of his face - He became quite puffy due to all of the IVs


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