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.......

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