Marie's Musings

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

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Part 6 - The homecoming

It was interesting to note, Andrew hadnt held Gideon much in the hospital, deferring to me for that. But as we got home, he took Gideon and walked around with him, introuducing him to our home. The really interesting part was that he seemed to recognize the sounds and noise of our home. As anyone might guess, having 9 children in a home is certainely full of noise.

Gideon began to settle in, still struggling a bit with getting him to nurse well. He was still pretty jaundiced and sleepy at that point. I so enjoyed being back in my home, back with my other kiddos and my new little babe. Of course, Ezekiel had a meltdown right after I came in the door, Zemirah was out of sorts as well but thats all to be expected. Everyone wanted to hold the baby but he seemed so much more fragile than the other babies I had brought home. So I deferred for awhile, he really was flopsy in terms of head control and stability and I guess after such a dramatic entrence into the world, I was a little more cautious.

As bedtime drew near, the stress and emotions of the week came crashing down on me. I found it really hard not to be worried or scared. I went from having a baby complete on monitors and wires to nothing at home. So I had to constantly redirect my thoughts or the fear would have completely consumed me.

After making it thru the first night sleeping at home, things eased a little bit. Although I dont think I slept very soundly or much at all. I constantly was checking him for breathing. I continued to struggle with him over nursing. He would latch on well but then fall asleep. I would find out later that really was due to his high levals of bilirubin in his system. So that defintiely added to the emotions. We did get to enjoy one day, thursday, adjusting to our new little one. Andrew was home from work, the big kids in school. I realized I had been desiring that outcome all week, just plain settling in.

But it wasnt to last. I took him in for a weight check and bilirubin leval draw on friday. Not only had he lost weight, he lost a significant amount of weight and was down to 6 lbs 7oz from 7' 9 at birth. The doctor said we need to be feeding him every 3 hrs, for 10 min at least. He was going for 5 hrs and then eating longer but he was dropping weight fast at that rate. My doctor warned me if the bilirubin leval was up, we would have to rehospitlize him. So i prayed madly on the drive to the hospital to test him. They dont do bili levals at the clinic, so we had to go to a hospital 30 min away. I was instructed to have it drawn and then wait for the results while they called my doc.

His levals had gone from 14 on wednesday to 17 on friday. At leval 20 is the risk of seizures. So she tried very gently to break the news to me that we needed to put him in the hospital again and put him under the lights. I had been told previously by the nicu doc, that if the levals were up that we could go home with a bilibed. Unfortunely his just were too high for that option initially. I was so disheartened. It was like , here we go "again". The only benefit of this all, is we were in the hospital closer to home, only 30 minutes away.

They put Gideon under the double lights. He had to wear these funky eye protectors held on by a stretchy gauze band. I had to watch him close, he liked to push them up or down , exposing his eyes to the damaging UV lights. I would take him out every 3 hrs to nurse him. It was really hard to just leave him there, when I just wanted to hold my baby. They had a bed for me in the room, so I could stay with him. Being closer though, Andrew wanted me to come home and eat dinner with the kids. I didnt want to leave his side really. So i muddled thru that for awhile, I finally made the reluctant decision to come after his 6 oclock feeding. My doc came by before that though, and indicated she wanted to test his levals that evening rather than the morning. She knew how much I wanted to be home. She said if his levals were down enough, we could go home with the bilibed.

Praising God, his levals were back down to 13! So we didnt even have to stay overnight that day! God is indeed Good! We got a funky little UV bed, that had a little gown that velcrowed to the light bed for him to get the most amount of light into his little body. I was so happy to be home for the 2nd time that week. It took a good 2 or 3 weeks before he stopped lookign so yellow and several more times of having his levals checked. Thankfully we were able to ditch the Bili bed after that weekend. And I was back to holding my baby!

After the jaundice eased, his nursing improved, although it did take several weeks to stablize. His weight continued to go up. Hes up to 11 lbs 6 oz currently! Thankfully he hasnt had continued problems other than his "fat" foot. The foot doctor isnt sure but hes suspecting a venous malformation but only time will tell on that part. Either way God is good ... all the time. Im praising him for the blessing of my "mighty warrior". As the biblical namesake started out his career of fighting for the Lord by hiding in a winepress, my Gideon had his own rough start into life.

May God continue to bless him and keep him for all of his day!



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