Marie's Musings

Musings from the mundane day to day life of a mom of 9 to more serious ponderings of the day.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Part 5 - The 2nd half of our NICU stay

Tuesday morning, I came up , fervently hoping we had a new doc to deal with.

I so wanted to be home with my family, introducing them to Gideon. Gideon was improving each day and doing better and better. His blood levals were going down appropraitely except for his bilirubin, the tests that were abnormal to start with were coming back fine. Ultrasounds were clear, xrays were clear and I began wondering what was keeping us here.

Thankfully , the new doc that day was much better at his bedside manner. He started by coming over and introducing himself and let me know he needed to review the chart. I cant fully explain the difference but he was just much more willing to talk and be straightforward i think than the other doc. It wasnt too long that morning before he came over and said the words, i had been waiting to hear from the beginning. I could nurse him today! His words exactly" I dont see any reason not to" were cause for rejoicing. He basically let me know that Gideon needed to eat for 24 hr by breast or bottle and then he could go home.

At last, I had a tangible goal to reach for. Up to this point, the other doc wouldnt even address the timeline for going home. She basically said that a million things could go wrong and wouldnt give me even a loose timeline.

So anxious to get started, I figured Id skip my routine and do breakfast a little late. Honestly, Im thinking at this point(a bit cocky i might add) that he'd take right to it. It was the doctors preventing it and once he got the chance to nurse, we would be raring to go. I thought oh i know all the tricks, this will be easy. Boy was I wrong. I struggled with getting him to eat all day long. Each session I would try for 30 min, despartely watching the clock, hoping to get to that magical 10 min mark. I would get him to latch on and hed nurse maybe 2 min and fall asleep. Or he refused to latch at all. He cried, I cried and I prayed a lot. Pressure is on, feeling like I had to get him to eat, not only for his health but so we could go home. And how I wanted to be home.

Andrew came in to visit that day. Moms in the church, helped out watching the little ones so he could come in. He broke me out of the hospital for a bit, took me out to eat at perkins(rather than the hospital cafeteria) and a trip to target as well. It was nice to escape out into the fresh air, cold I might add but nice regardless. And to spend some time together catching up. We mainly had been communicating rather short little conversations on the phone. He left for home shortly after our trip out, as he needed to get back to the young ones.

I went back and tried again with Gideon. People, nurses, friends would encourage me and tell me it just takes time, dont worry, he'll get it. But when you are in the middle of NICU, you want it now. Gideon did eventually start doing somewhat better the next day. But it would be many weeks before he would latch on regularly with ease. Since he was jaundiced, that played into it as well. The higher the levals of bilirubin, the sleepier they get. And its a bit of a catch 22, since the way the body processes out bilirubin is thru the bowels, so if they are too sleepy to eat, their system slows down as well.

The next morning, the same doc I liked, seemed determined to help us get home. He offhandly mentioned we might even go home that evening on wednesday night. I had already prepared myself for being there til at least thursday. So I was sooo excited. I quickly tried to call andrew but he had already left to come visit. I thought for sure, he'd bring the car since it was better on gas mileage, which didnt have the baby carseat in it. It was buckled in the big van. Im on cloud 9 at this point, thinking i might get to take my baby home.

The nurse had unhooked his monitors temporarily for the next feeding. So i got to nurse him without wires hanging off him all over! She even said for the next feeding, we could take him into the lounge to nurse him. Shortly after this, we got word that the chromsomal tests they did came back as a normal baby boy, Praising God ! Somehow though the order for the bilirubin didnt get noted, so that had to be done around lunchtime. It had gone up from 10 to 14 at this point but the doc wasnt concerned enough to even send us home with a bilibed.

Andrew had shown up in the meantime with the van! I was so praising God he brought that vechile since it had the carseat. He had taken it since he had to drop off the little kids, and it had their carseats already buckled in. I let him know of the possibility of getting to go home and he then stuck around longer to see if we could. Around midafternoon, the doc proclaimed we could take Gideon home! I dont think I stopped smiling all afternoon!

We still had paperwork to fill out, took some time to take his official birth photo(we used our digital), gathered up all our stuff and headed on down. I think we were on the road 530 or so. As we are driving home, Im sitting in awe of all God has done and how far we have come. God is sooo good ... all the time! I thought of all God did, from answered prayers like clear chest xray, to prayers unsaid like our car repair being paid for anounymously. From coveting prayers of many many friends, and friends of friends. To a sweet voicemail encouraging me to keep holding on.

We arrived home around 630 pm. Sweet friends of mine, had left a bouquet of flowers and a balloon. I was tired and I think the kids were too. It wasnt long and Ezekiel had a meltdown. Yup Im back home!

Part 6: the homecoming, to follow lol!



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