© 2014 mikeandbrynne

A Week in the NICU

Day1-7:58 Arrival–A pink screaming 5 lb 6 oz bundle of joy.  So happy to hold her in our arms!IMG_4474

Day 2- Sunday-After grunting and retracting they moved her to the NICU and they hooked her up to “Vapotherm” which is a humidified oxygen delivery system.  It pumps the air into her nose, but doesn’t dry out the nasal cavity like a nasal cannula and allows higher flow of oxygen.  She did really well on this and her oxygen saturation went up significantly.  They also put a decompression feeding tube into her belly and put her on a dextrose (sugar) IV solution because they felt that nursing (even though she nursed awesome within the first hour of life) would be too strenuous on her until she got her breathing under control.  IMG_4498 She did NOT like all the wires and was constantly trying to pull them out.  This irritation and “fire” on her part gave me great comfort that she was going to fight her way through this.IMG_3716 It was so fun to have all the kids come and visit, but they would only let Taylor and Jake (they made a slight exception as you were supposed to be 13 and his birthday is on the 21st) go and see her in the NICU.  This was devastating to Daisie and Luke.  Luckily, a friend had brought cookies right about this time which helped appease them in the short term.  They wouldn’t let us hold her, but at least the older kids could see her.IMG_3713

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Day 3-Monday-Today they slowly weaned her down off her oxygen and let me attempt to feed her.  She didn’t do very well, but at least it gave me an excuse to hold her every 3 hours!  Her oxygen saturation continued to dip at random intervals.

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Day 4-Tuesday-Her weight dipped down into the 4 lb range and her bilirubin counts went too high.  I still couldn’t get her to nurse well, but they let us try and attempt to give her a little through a bottle.  She learned how to breathe on her own!

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IMG_4516 They put her under these cool neon Bili lights which made her glow in the dark.IMG_4511

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Day 5- On Wednesday night I had to leave her in the hospital and go home.  It was not fun.  I had had a pounding headache every time I got up for nearly 24 hours that was unrelieved by tylenol or motrin.  Her bilirubin counts were still too high and her weight was still dropping.  I found myself exhausted with the headache and having flashbacks of leaving a very sick Drew in the NICU when I went home.  Reminding myself that she was not sick like Drew had been and that she just needed to eat and grow we left her in the care of competent nurses and I went home to visit the other kiddos, coming back into the hospital for her feedings every 3 hours.

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Day 6- Thursday-On Thursday they increased her calories, but she was still not feeding well.  When they took her off the warmer she had trouble regulating her body temperature.  I finally came to the realization that my headache was not just from hormones or lack of sleep, but that I had a spinal headache that dissolved every time I laid down, but returned with a vengeance every time I sat or stood up.   The cure is to lay flat and try to get some caffeine into your body.  If that doesn’t work a blood patch is the preferred treatment.  Caffeine is not usually my drug of choice, but I headed off to the cafeteria in desperation.  There I had a lovely older lady ask me when I was due.  I smiled and told her I was due in December.  🙂

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Day 7-My headache finally dissipated and her weight went up like 10 grams which is practically nothing, but at least she hadn’t lost any more weight.  Her bill count crept back up, but her color wasn’t too yellow so we weren’t overly alarmed.  She started to eat like a champ and late Friday night they moved her over to the well baby side because the NICU was overflowing with babies.  As a result of this, I feel like she got a less competent nurse.  During the entire week we were  in the NICU this was the only nurse I wasn’t thrilled with which considering the fact that I have worked in the medical field and know far too much is quite a compliment to the little NICU at Banner Gateway.  However, I determined that it was time for us to go home.  I felt like everything that needed to happen now-increased weight gain and feedings, decreased bili count, decreased stimulation-I could do at home.  All I needed to finalize was her name which Mike and I kept vacillating on and finally solidified:

Lilianne Layne Dalton, but you can just call her Lily for short–the kids have been calling her that for months.  🙂

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Day 8- I went in early Saturday determined to stay until they let her out.  Luckily the neonatologist was an easy sale.  I promised that I was a nurse, that I had had a sick baby before and that I would get her in to see a pediatrician first thing.  After another blood test, a weight check, a bill check and a car seat test we finally escaped!  I felt like I needed to hurry and race out the door!  Knowing that with a C-Section I wasn’t cleared to drive for two weeks, I felt a little chagrined when they walked me out to my car and I drove away.  Thankfully, they didn’t press the matter.  With the hospital so close it just made a lot more sense for me to drive than to try to find a chauffeur for myself and all the kids activities.  I was so grateful to have her whole and well.  The kids reception was perfect (see next post).  They couldn’t have been happier.  Thanksgiving came early this year.

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