Monday, November 29, 2010

Back At Rainbow"s II


I remember feeling that I was going to be going through this forever. I remember sleeping on that uncomfortable bed they had in Lj's room waiting to hear from the doctors. I remember his cry because he was hungry. I remember felling so helpless. My baby was crying and all that he wanted was to be held and eat. I wasn't allowed to give him what he wanted. I was so angry. I was angry at myself. I was thinking how I could let this happen. How could I have kept him safe inside me?  After a while I realized that I couldn't. If the doctors didn't know what made him come early how could I.


Back in Lj's room he was still crying. He wanted to be held and was very hungry. An IV was place in his hand shortly after the probes were put in for fluids but nothing was given for nourishment. I was tired because I hadn't slept because of all the crying and my worry. A practioner came in after the room about 8:30am and removed the probes so that the results may be studied. Finally Lj could eat and I could wrap my arms around him. He and I both were very quiet during the next couple of hours. I would walk around his room with him and take him to look out of the window. The snow was beginning to melt and so was my heart because our eyes were locked on each other and I remember feeling that we have each other and we are going to make it. I had lost my appetite but I knew I had to eat because I was still breastfeeding. Lj was still gaining weight and then loosing a little. I couldn't be more stressed out.


During the afternoon hours Lj attending doctor came in. I remember him being so nice and patient. He explained to me that the contents in Lj stomach was coming back up into his esophagus instead of staying into his stomach. This alone interfered with his breathing and that’s why his apnea monitor kept going off. The doctor said that it could be happening because Lj was a preemie and he would grow out of it but for now he took Lj off of Zantac and gave him Prevacid. He wanted to give him Reglan but he and I felt that this medicine had too many side effects for me to allow Lj to take it. I wanted to try everything else possible first before letting him use Reglan. The doctor also said that Lj needed to one day see a specialist for oromotor skill therapy. Lj was still having Laryngeal Penetration which also contributes to the vomiting and breathing issues. The doctor said give it time and it will get better. Lj had to stay in the hospital for 2 more days. He needed his weight monitored and lab test done before releasing him to go home. He had to see a nutritionist while we were in the hospital to figure out how to adjust his feedings. He was placed on a higher calorie intake. I had to fortify my breast milk with a higher amount of Neosure in order for him to gain weight. He was still eating less than a regular baby. He was eating about 2.5-3oz of milk each feed. We had to stop using burp cloths for his vomiting to using cloth receiving blankets. He still had milk coming out of his nose with just about every vomiting episode but the Prevacid started to help a little. Once again I had to rely on time and patience to see if things would get better. On the last day of being back in the hospital Lj's NICU nurse Wendy came to see him. I was so happy to see her I hugged her and she went straight for her favorite patient. She washed her hands and she nuzzled him as if he was hers. For a minute I could sit and take a breath and the road to going home began again. To Be Continued........

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Back At Rainbow's

I remember pulling up into the parking lot of the hospital and looking up and seeing the Rainbow on the hospital sign. I started thinking that I would have to witness more tests. I thought to myself, I’m going to have that feeling of not being understood and loneliness again. I remembered the smells of the different testing rooms. I remember the sound of the heart rate monitors, the IV machines, the beeps of the feeding tube. It all came rushing to me in that parking garage. I burst into tears for my baby. I burst into tears because I knew that no matter what, I could not keep Lj from having to go through it all. I cried so hard that my stomach caved in and I felt like I couldn't breathe. I started asking GOD to please give me strength because I can't take this anymore. I asked if he could take my health and give it to my baby. I felt like I would do anything for Lj not to have to suffer anymore.


When we arrived to our room on the 6th floor. Nurses and doctors began to examine his small framed body. He cried because he was aggravated. He had to have another Modified Barium Swallow. Which still showed Laryngeal Penetration. Nurses came in and told me that Lj would have to have another Pneumogram without the PH probe this time. I remember crying because the memory of Lj's scream from the time he had the test before was as loud as a freight train in my ears. I remember how he tried to fight to get out of the straps that held hid little body to the procedure table. I remember thinking he was looking at me thinking, Mom why are you just standing there do something. Save me! I began lashing out in anger asking why did another test have to be done. Why couldn't something else be used to help diagnose what was going on with him. I was angry that I had to bring him back in here. I felt why don't you know what is wrong. You should have never let him go home if you didn't know what’s wrong.


The day before the test was given, Lj's dad found out he had to go out of town for a training class for a couple of days. Once again I had to face this alone. We talked on the phone while he was gone but I needed him there with me. I remember the nurses told me that Lj couldn't eat for three hours so that they could place the probe back into his throat and then another 12 hours after the probe was placed. I felt once again I’m not leaving my baby in this room alone, but once I saw those straps I broke down crying and the nurses kicked me out the room. I stayed on the floor and when I heard him cry I cried even harder. I remember looking out of the window and wished that someone was here for me to lay on. The person that I loved was miles away and I was here facing what I felt was the worse thing in the world. I prayed and gathered my self and went back into the room. My son looked at me with wet face and red eyes and I just took my hand and caressed his soft hair and apologized to him. I said I was sorry for bringing him here and making him go through so much pain. I told him how precious he was to me. I kissed him and vowed that I would always love him more than myself. To Be Continued..........

Friday, November 26, 2010

Home for Now!

Of course more time passed by and Lj was getting better and better. His feeding tube was out. He started gaining more weight and for a minute I started to relax on the fact that Lj was still throwing up. I started having breastfeeding issues because Lj even started drinking more from the breast. I didn’t get to do it as often as I would have liked because the doctors needed to be able to measure how much milk he was able to take in each feed. Finally the day came for time to retake his car seat test and he passed. Then he had to get circumcised and another round of blood work. I was so excited. I get to go home with my baby. After a couple of meetings with Lj’s entire specialist, we were able to go home. Lj was release with an apnea monitor and aspiration tools just in case he spit up into his nose or airway became blocked with the rice cereal. I remember feeling happy, excited and sad at the same time because the NICU became my family away from home. Especially Barb and Wendy! These two nurses went above and beyond caring for my baby. They made me comfortable in the NICU. They always made sure that I had my needs met as well as my baby's needs. I vowed to keep in touch with them because I felt if I were a nurse I would want to keep in touch with my preemie patients too.

Our first day home was a weird one. I got to sit in the comfort of my own home. I was okay until I remembered that I still needed to get a job and finish school because the comfort of my home will be taken away from me if I don't find a way to pay rent. Maybe a week went by of me being up every 30 to 40 minutes because the apnea and then things took a turn for the worst. Lj began to have many apnea episodes. We didn't know why but at first as new parents, we just got home and we are alone so lets not panic. We waited for about 1-2 days and he still was having a lot of apnea episodes. He started vomiting more so we took him back to Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital. We went in through the emergency room and it didn't take them long to see that his oxygen levels were down and he was having a little trouble breathing. We were immediately admitted. To Be Continued.........

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Time For Testing

Well Lj has been in the transitional unit for about a month but on this particular day a nurse said that we needed to be moved to another room because someone else in the unit had the same last name as Lj. We went to a new room. We moved to room 406. Once we were settled in, it was time to concentrate on getting Lj home. But before he could be released he had to go through a series of testing and learn how to get his feedings from the bottle/breast. His first feed was by a syringe that was fitted with a nipple. He didn't take much in. He took in 40ml's. As time went by he would take in a little more but we didn't force it. Next we started on his testing, these tests were not always easy and they seemed to be definitely painful for him and emotionally painful for me. The first test he had was very hard to watch. He had to go and have his eyes tested for ROP. This test was so brutal to me. They put these drops in Lj's eyes and waited for about 30 minutes for the medicine to dilate his pupils. Then I had to pick Lj up with his feeding tube still placed and all his vital leads still on and  I had to take him to a procedure room where they strapped him down and held his head in position for the doctor to look into his eyes with a special lens. The doctor took his fingers and pried Lj's eyes open and placed this silver metal retractor in his eyes. This thing seemed like it was going to rip his eyelids because the retractor had these little metal flaps that fit under Lj's eyelids to open the eye as wide as it could be opened. While my little baby screamed and kicked and hollered for mercy, I had to stand by crying right along with him and let the staff do their job. To watch this thing pull his eyelids apart made me feel so bad. It looked so painful and from the sound of his high screech it was just that. PAINFUL! Once that test was done the doctors came into Lj's room and told me as of right now his eyes looked to be okay and that I needed to see him in 2 months for the same test. I was so upset that Lj would have to go through this test again. After the doctor left a nurse came in and told me that Lj could have his feeding tube taken out. I was so excited. This would be the first time that I would get to see Lj with nothing on his little face.

Once his NG tube was taken out he began to take his feedings by breast and bottle. He still was having trouble keeping his food down but he was gaining weight. Lj was old enough to come off of the caffeine, so doctors wanted to keep him off of the caffeine and let his body learn how to regulate his heart rate and bodily functions.  Doctors decided if Lj had any heart rate drops from now on that he would not give him doses of caffeine. Maybe a week went by and now we had to give Lj the car seat test. He got into the seat and made it to 2 hours and 50minutes and he had a heart rate drop. So he failed the test again. What happened was he spit up and it went into his little nose, which in turn caused his heart rate to drop. Doctors scheduled a Modified Barium Swallow for the next day because doctors thought that Lj was still aspirating into his airway. This test consisted of the baby being placed into this chair that reminded me of a baby car seat and he was to drink from a bottle filled with radioactive barium. The camera recorded his swallowing sequences. It did show that he was aspirating a little so his milk was then thickened with a thickener. Once on the thickener his digestive issue came back. I felt like we were never going to go home. Every time it seemed we were going to make it home something happened. I started running into problems with my older son. He started feeling like I didn't care about him anymore and that I had replaced him with the new baby. I felt so bad because I loved Andre very much. I explained to him that I was staying away from him to be with Lj because Lj couldn't take care of himself and that he could because he was older. I didn't know how to divide my time up between them both. I was so frustrated. I was so emotional because I kept thinking that this is my punishment for not doing what I could to keep Lj in. I felt like my punishment was watching my baby son go through this early part of his life with pain and suffering and for my older son to feel abandoned by his own mom. This was definitely a test for me because my patience was being tested. My faith was being tested. My relationship with my son and Lj's dad was being tested and I couldn't take it seemed. I started prying that things would get better. So from that point on I tried to rely on faith and that things would work itself out. To Be Continued......

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Waiting Game

About three weeks has passed by and Lj has been doing great on room air. He had finally tried on his first onesie and his little eyes are staying open more. He still had his feeding tube in his nose, vitals monitors on, pulse oximeter around his little foot and an IV. With any opportunity I have him in my arms because I feel so protective of him. Lj's dad has been able to see him more often and when he holds him he disappears from site because he is still so little. He has been picking up weight but he still throws up an awful lot. His reflux creates breathing problems and heart rate drops. We are getting closer to going home but I am scared. He throws up so much here in the hospital, what am I going to do if he does it at home. Andre my oldest son was able for the first time to come and meet his brother on Christmas day but hasn't seen him since then except for through the unit doors. Andre was not allowed into the unit because it was Swine Flu and cold season. I was scared because I would have to juggle two kids now. They both have special needs and I was inexperienced in having two children in my life everyday.

After realizing that I would be gong home soon other issues started to peak it ugly head. Lj starting having digestive issues. He wouldn’t poop for days. I would explain to the nurses that he hasn't gone and they would tell me that babies can go up to 5 days without going. What alarmed me was my son's protruding belly. I would complain and finally he was put on medication to regulate him going. He was also given rice cereal to thicken his feeding. The rice was doing its job but then when Lj would spit up into his nose, the cereal would block his nasal passages. I would have to watch my son struggle for air and then when he would take a deep breath in he would suck the rice filled cereal into his sinuses and airway which would cause him to cough and choke. I was beginning to feel like this was going to be eternity. I hated to see Lj's dad leave to go to work. I hated being there all alone. At times I feel Lj's dad doesn't understand the trauma that I had to see. The tests that I watch Lj suffer through seemed to be so brutal.

One day after work Lj's day brings me the mail from home, which had been pilling up. I read a few letters and was informed that a few of my bills had disconnect notices. Knowing that this was going to happen, I talk to a social worker there at the hospital which connected me with a foundation that helped families while they were in the NICU. This foundation kept my bills from being shut off. I was more than grateful. Some days went by and I was informed that if Lj was to go home he would have to pass a car seat test, pass a hearing test, have an Ophthalmologist (eye doctor) check his eyes get an RSV shot, not have a heart rate drop for 5 days straight and have blood work done. I though yes, we are almost home and then my emotional rollercoaster started.

I started having the what if's. What if this happened or that happened. Then I felt like I wasn't going to be a good parent. I was upset because I knew that I was going to have to leave the baby to finish school. I was wondering how I was going to pay my bills. I owed so much back rent and I had no income coming in. How was I going to afford diapers and clothes for another baby? I was scared. At a meeting in the NICU Lj's doctor informed me if Lj went home he would require an apnea monitor. He had to wear this monitor all the time even during his sponge baths. Two Days had passes and he started having heart rate drops. No one could figure out why. Doctors took him off of the caffeine and figured it was his body learning how to regulate his bodily functions. I was still a nervous wreck when those lights and alarms went off. If you’re not a parent of a preemie but have a child let me share the feeling for you. Picture your child in a pool and he or she can't swim and they sink into the water with an alarm around them. Your child is locked into the pool surrounded by a fence that you can't break into. Just picture yourself looking into the pool knowing that this alarm is sound off  letting you know that your child is in danger and you need to help them but can't. That’s what it felt like to me. It was horrible. Lj didn't pass his care seat test. In a car seat test your baby stays in the car seat for three hours. They can not have a drop in any of their vitals. Lj had his heart rate drop. All of my learning classes were done. Lj passed his hearing but he had a series of tests that need to be done. So now it was time to wait for for everything to be passed and for Lj to bed developed enough to go home. The waiting game has begun.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Transitioned to Stress

Now that we have made the transition, Lj, Lj's dad and I are trying to make it home. It's cold and wintery outside and we didn't even have time to prepare for the baby's arrival. Thank goodness we received some of the things we needed at our baby shower. I felt weird having the shower while not being pregnant. We did get clothes, a car seat, a playpen/bassinette which we were so grateful for, but we didn't get the essentials like diapers and bottles. Unfortunately the clothes could not fit our little bundle of sunshine so we needed clothes too. Besides leaving for the baby shower, I never left Lj. Everyone had to convince me to leave him. The only reason why I did decide to go was because one of my favorite nurses was there and I knew she would call me if something happened and I knew she would give him the extra love and care that I would give him. Thank you Mrs. Wendy. NICU nurses have a huge impact with parents in the NICU. They carry on great responsibilities with a preemie and their families. Knowing that Lj's dad and I needed to leave the hospital to go and get things for the baby to go home in was so hard for me. I had a gut feeling that something was going to go wrong. My favorite nurses would not be returning for a whole week and I felt like since the baby might be going home soon, we need to go get the things that he needed. I cried on the way to the store. I felt wrong for leaving because I still felt that it was my fault why he came so early. It was not a good idea. I remember counting the minutes until we pulled back into the parking garage of the hospital. It was exactly 2 hours and 50 minutes. I had a bad feeling going up the elevator. I opened the doors to the unit and could hear my baby screaming to the top of his itty bitty lungs. I was furious. On top of that I found out that he had 2 heart rate drops while I was gone. No one called. When I went to touch him to let him know that I was there, he had milk in his nose and running down his cheek. I went from being furious to being enraged. I called for his nurse and she did not respond. I picture his little body fighting for air because the milk had come up into his nose. I pictured his face grimacing in pain and fear from not being able to take a breath in. I felt so angry at myself for leaving. With that experience I never left him alone again. I didn’t want anything else like this to happen to him. During my stay in the unit I learned that I would have to take classes leading up to the baby's discharge. At first I didn't want to take them because I would have to go to another floor for them. I would wait until Wendy or Barb was there to schedule these few classes. I had to take a CPR course even though I was already CPR certified, a bathing and preemie care course about SIDS. When those two nurses were caring for Lj I felt comfortable. I participated in just about every feed, every diaper change, every test and every doctor's round. I didn't care if I didn't get sleep because the baby wasn't sleep. I was up. Lj's dad would participate when he was there, but I tried to take the load off of him because he worked a lot still. He would come and to the hospital after work and sleep in the unit with the baby and I. With me not having income, Lj's dad sacrificed his time to go to work. I felt guilty because I knew taking care of my oldest son who was 8 at the time, now a sick baby and me was a lot to carry. I appreciated him for that. Even though he worked a lot his job did not pay enough to care for two families. Lj's dad is a caregiver and provider for his mom, grandmother, who at the time was very ill and suffering from side effects from a severe stroke and dementia. His mom was very sick and in the hospital with an illness that could take her life. Because of that my bills at home were months and months behind.  He couldn’t pay for everything between two houses. This added to my stress. I was loosing my mind. All I had time to do was think. I would think of the fact that I could be bringing my son home to an eviction notice. I was thinking about the care of my little baby. I thought about how I still needed to finish school and that I was going to have to leave him to finish. I knew that Lj's would not hurt him but he didn't know Lj's care plan as well as I did. What was I to do beside be stressed? Finally Lj did not have to be on a nasal canula. He could breathe on room air. He was still taking the caffeine and other medications, but he was making baby steps to recovery and going home. To Be Continued........

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lj's Transition

Meanwhile getting Lj ready to go to the Transitional Unit of the NICU, Lj's dad was finally granted FMLA so that he could come and be with the baby and me in the NICU. This came at the right time because I was re-admitted to the women's hospital because I began to suffer from severe pain in my abdomen and chills. The pain was so severe that I couldn't sleep or urinate without cringing in pain. Anything that touched by belly and surgery incision felt my skin was being pealed off by layers. At first I thought that it was part of having a c-section and that complaining was not an option at the time. I felt that way because I wanted to be the baby. I didn't want to leave his side and leave him all alone. Before Lj's dad was able to get his FMLA he would go to work daily and then come to see the baby afterwards. So during the day I was always alone to deal with what was going on. I was alone watching my baby go through a lot of tests and experiencing what I thought was going to be an eternity. Once being admitted and finding out that I had a severe infection from having a c-section I was administered heavy doses of antibiotics. I would stay in my room long enough to get my antibiotics hooked up to my IV and then I would leave my room and make my way back to the NICU. For the next three days every three hours I was making my way from my NICU to my room to get my new bag of meds and back to the NICU. I was determined to be there! After getting better Lj finally got a room in the Transitional Unit. He was in room 404.
 I remember getting there and he was still small. Standing in the doorway of his room it looked as if it was just a balled up blanket in the incubator. After being introduced to the staff, I was told that he needed to have his NG tube moved to his mouth. I thought that I was going to be okay watching it but watching the nurse place the tube into his mouth was hard. He gagged and vomited and coughed and choked and then the monitors went off because he had a heart rate drop. All of the nurses ran in to monitor what was going on while I watched in fear. The nurse stimulated him a little and then he just cried. Still sounding like a baby kitten I opened his incubator after washing my hands and stroked his little head. To know that I was comforting him was more than comforting to me. Lj's dad and I engaged in more kangaroo care and Lj finally after 2-3 weeks being in the unit was able to be placed in room air. His feeds were beginning to be increased 10 ml's every 12 hours. Lj began to have major issues with his feeding. Milk would always come out of his nose and mouth. So much that he would aspirate. That means the milk that he threw up would go into his windpipe and to his lungs. Because he was having so much trouble the doctors had to do a test called a Pneumogram with Esophageal pH probe. This test was required because Lj was having too many heart rate drops and his oxygen began to be low all the time. A Pneumogram is a 10- 24 hour recording of a person's heart rate, respiratory pattern (impedance), respiratory airflow, pulse oximeters, activity (awake, sleep, quiet) and person's position. The pH probe that is attached asses for Esophageal Reflux. This test seemed so brutal. Nurses placed these monitor straps around his torso that had many different cords connected to a portable laptop. Then they strapped Lj down. There were two nurses present. One nurse held his head and the other nurse assisted the practitioner. They then took what seemed to be a dental suction tube that had all of these funny looking wires attached to it and placed into his little mouth and pushed down towards his stomach. He was fighting and crying and all I could do was stand there. I was in so much pain for him. I was enraged, angry, scared and apologetic all at once. My anger and rage came from him being strapped down and not being able to touch him while this was going on. My apologies came from the fact that I still felt that this was my entire fault. I was alone watching this happen to my little newborn. Lj's dad had to go out of town for a training class for his job. This test was placed for 12 hours and he was not allowed to even eat for the first 6. So to hear my baby cry because he was hungry and I couldn’t give it to him was so terrible. Once the test was over, they took the probes out and within 24 hours I was told that Lj suffered from Esophageal Penetration and GERD. GERD is Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease. He was given Zantac for the GERD. Esophageal Penetration was explained tome that it is periods in which he aspirates during feedings. With all of this going on I was a wreck. I felt alone and that no one could possibly understand what I was going through. I felt alone until I met Wendy and Barb. These two nurses were like family to me. I love them both dearly, even today. They help Lj and I start to recover and get on the road to HOMEWARD BOUND! To Be Continued.......

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lj's Journey Part #3

With Lj being in the NICU now, his journey has begun. He would have to kick in his fight or flight mechanisms and he did just that. Lj began to show that he was a fighter. His first few days in the NICU, he began to be more awake and taking in enough oxygen to take his c-pap machine off. He was placed onto a nasal canula with the highest setting of oxygen. At this point he was getting his nutrition through one of his Ivy’s and he was getting doses of caffeine because he was having too many heart rate drops or what is known as Brady’s in the NICU or bradycardia in medical terminology. When he would have a brady, the "bells" and beeps and whistles would go of and then I would break into tears because I felt that this could be his final moment. This could be his last breath. I would be so terrified. He would be breathing hard. His tiny belly would be sunk in and he would be shaking a little, but then he would bring his heart rate back up without any assistance. We were finally happy to say that one of his IV's was taken out and that he could start eating through a nasogastric or what is known as an NG tube that was placed into his left nostril. I started pumping breast milk the second day he was born and freezing it until he was able to start using it. I pumped so much milk that the nurses had to ask me to start taking some of it home. So once he started eating I noticed that he could not keep all the milk down, but the nurses told me that it was normal because of his prematurity. He also had to get under the lamp to reduce his high levels of jaundice. Jaundice is the reason why little babies have a yellowish or orange color to their skin, due to the fact that their little bodies can’t break down the levels of bilirubin in their blood. Soon after he was treated for jaundice, doctors were saying that my baby was very anemic and that he wasn't gaining enough weight. So nurses increased his feedings which led to more vomiting and that led to a lot more heart rate drops. Now that he was taking in more milk, Lj did start to gain a little more weight and he was able to get the extra oxygen that he was getting through his nasal canula dropped down. We were also able to start to give him kangaroo care. Kangaroo care is a therapy that preemie parents can do with their baby by holding their child next to them with skin to skin contact. It was so relieving to finally get to hold my little one for the first time since he was born. I remember touching his fragile little body and thinking that I would break something because he was so tiny. I remember crying thinking is this my fault. Why did I do this to you? He was so small that when I held him to my chest skin to skin he fit right between me breast. He was so small. His cry was so tiny. He was so soft and I fell in love more and more. I hated to have to put him back into the incubator. When I would see the nurses come after about 30 minutes I would immediately start to cry because I didn’t want to put him back in the incubator. But the good news was he could go to the step down unit of the NICU because he had reached the required weight, the required oxygen level and the ability to hold his body temperature to 36.9 degrees Celsius. So off to the step down unit! To Be Continued…….

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why so much guilt!!

At the end of Lj's Journey part 2, I mentioned that I felt guilty for baby Lj being born so early. I felt guilty because in the beginning of my pregnancy I was a busy body. I was trying to finish school because I wanted to be better at being able to provide for my oldest son Andre. Andre at this time was only 8. He was my reason for doing all that I was doing. I was going to school full time while recovering from the last 2 surgeries. It was hard being in pain in class trying to find ways to get focused. Andre at the time was going through a lot himself at school and as a mom I felt it was important for me to put what I was going through to the side and focus on him. Now the bad thing was the fact that I was so stressed that Andre knew that I was going through a lot. He heard me cry at night because I didn’t know when I was going to have some type of income coming in so that bills and rent would get paid. He knew that we could be loosing our home soon. He knew that I couldn't work because doctors did not release me for work. He new that bills were pilling up and that the stress and strain of the cost of living was weighing heavy on my head. When I found out I was pregnant I was scared and I didn’t know what I was going to do. The stress began to weigh in so heavy because my son wanted my full attention and I didn't know how to balance everything out. At about 12 weeks I began to bleed. My boyfriend and I were at the hospital every other week it seemed. Then we got the news that I had a hematoma, which is a large blood clot. It was between my placenta and the amniotic sac. Then I had to have a special ultrasound. It showed that I had a second amniotic sac that had nothing in it. I was told that I had to come every two weeks to be checked out. What was hard for me to take was the fact that I had been put on best rest which interfered with going to school. I would go to school everyday that I had class. I was determined to be finished before the new baby came so that I could provide for both my children. Well nature had a different plan. I began to bleed heavily so I was put on permanent bed rest. The doctor told me that I better make the decision to withdraw from school. I broke down and cried because I went back to school because I needed to be retrained for a different job position at the hospital I worked at. So this was tough for me to deal with. I told myself that I was going to keep going because I was in my last round of classes and then I needed to do my externship. But the doctors, my boyfriend and my doctor snapped me out of being a provider and on the track of thinking if I don't withdraw I could hurt my unborn baby. Well we can see that the bed rest did not keep my little one from being born early. So this is the reason why I feel so guilty for him being born so early. Once he was born and was released from the NICU, I did go and finish my last couple of classes and I finished my externship. I made the Dean's list and had a great review from the doctor's I externed with. Meanwhile I am applying for jobs. I sit for my CMA exam on November 30,2010.With all the help that I have been denied, I'm pushing forward. COMING UP NEXT... Lj's Journey part 3

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lj"s Journey Part#2

Waking up from my emergency c-section was something I'll never forget because; I remember thinking where is my baby. What is happening to him right now? Some of my family members were there and some of Big Johnny’s (Lj's dad) family members were there in my recovery room when I woke up. My oldest son, my two sisters and my mom was there. Big Johnny's sister and nephew were there as well.  I remember thinking as soon as this spinal wears off I’ve got to be with my baby. If I could have I would have slid on the floor to get to him. Lj's dad was there and I knew that he would not let anything bad happen to him, but to me there was nothing like me being in the room with my little one. After about an eternity it seems the spinal wore off and Lj's dad came and took me in a wheel chair to Sunshine Pod room 22 of Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital of Cleveland. If I can paint a picture for you this is what I saw. I saw my little baby in this clear incubator with this little pamper that was too big covering his little butt, no shirt or socks, lying on his back with this giant mask that seemed to cover his whole face. He had two IV's in him. One IV in his arm and one IV in his little bitty foot. His eyes was closed, he had blue, red and black cords that streamed to a machine on the wall. Which turned out to be a monitor that watched his vitals. There were loud beeps and flashing lights. Bells and a lot of nurses. He had no fat. It seemed like he was a skeleton with skin. He was pale and a little yellow and his cry sounded like a baby kitten. I remember thinking is this my fault. Did I do everything possible to keep him in? TO BE CONTINUED>>>>

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lj's Journey Part#1

Johnny L. Bowen III (Lj) was born 10 weeks early through emergency C-section. My water broke latenight on December 10th 2009. I was laying in bed trying to sleep and turned over and I felt a large trickle of water. I went straight to the hospital. The doctors were hoping that the baby would stay in for another 2 to 4 weeks but I had a ultrasound that showed that he was having trouble. He wasn't practicing breathing although I had the steroids and antibiotics. From that point on my life changed very fast. I went from the room that they were giving me the ultrasound in to OR#2. I was scared out of my mind He was born December 12th at 7:54pm at 3lbs 4oz. I was already stressed worried about where my oldest son was going to be while I was in the hospital and what I was going to do if my baby passed away. It was the most scariest thing. I felt so guilty for him being born so early. I though it might be the stress I was under due to the fact that I hadn't had a job for about three years because of my arm being smashed in a freight elevator at work. I had to have 3 surgeries to fix the damage, but the surgeries could not repair the extensive nerve damage. I was behind in all of my bills so I was more than stressed.