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…….