Friday, October 3, 2008

The end of the era and a whole lotta pictures to go with...

My first moments with my little baby Paxton!
my first look at him when i got there
the first day i got there and the nice nurse let me hold him for a minute you can see by my look how overwhelming it was
cute little feet
tired looking daddy
words cannot describe how happy i was to hold my little baby finally after 3 and a half days

his bed for 11 days
my bed for eternity or so it seemed, notice what became my bff...the pump

sweeite boy
such a beauty
so many hours spent like this

Looking back at our stay it all seems to be a big blur. All the days run together and all the nights. When people ask be specifics I never know what to tell them, because it all seems to be like on really long day that lasted several months.

I do know that Thursday morning was their last blood count they took it was at 5 in the morning. They wanted to get his levels a little lower and said once they did that they would stop testing all together. That night while I was sleeping, all 2 hours of it, I kept dreaming over and over that they results came back in the 400's! Which is impossible, but I was so nervous. I knew once we got to the point where they stopped testing we were closer to getting home. When I woke up I was so nervous to ask the nurse the results and she told me 45! We had not ever been lower than mid 50's, honestly if I hadn't just had major stomach surgery I would have done a back flip right there in his room. The dr's on their rounds that morning were just as excited. So at this point, the artery line was out and we were waiting for the rest to go too. They told the nurses he didn't need the fluids anymore that I could just feed him from now on, he was off the antibiotic so the IV could come completely out, he was off the artery line and now since his numbers had been getting better they took him down from 30% oxygen, to room oxygen which is 21% and his flow which was at 5 liters which is the most you could have had been taken down slowly and was now able to be stopped completely. So by Thursday at 11:30 he had nothing attached to him. He still had the leads that read his oxygen saturation, breaths, and pulse. Those are just sticky things that attach to his chest. It was so great to see my little guy free of all those things. It was like seeing him for the first time all over again. He finally looked like a healthy baby! It was such a great feeling. So the doctors said that he would be out if 24-48 hours as long as things kept going up.

That night he his weight stayed the same which seemed impossible. The poor nurse weighed him all night and kept trying to get a better reading. Finally the last time we tried it had gone up some. The was such a relief or so we thought. The next night it was back down, now if we had kept the first reading the night before it would not have looked like he lost so much. I was so nervous. When the doctors came in they said let's just keep him here for the 48 hours and you can go. I was ok with this because his oxygen sats were not as high as I would have liked so I was ok being monitored one more night. Friday night the nurses went through all the discharge orders with me and he had is car seat test, which lasted 3 hours. They just need to make sure they can breath ok in the car seat and he did great with that. So Saturday morning came and he was only up less than an ounce from his 5 ounce weight loss. I knew we were in trouble, but I also knew all his swelling had come down, he looked like a different baby not retaining all those fluids from the IV, and I also knew that he was eating pretty good. He only liked nursing, but would fall asleep all the time while eating so I wasn't so sure how much he was really eating. So when the docs came in they were not happy with the weight loss and I could tell where this was going. They wanted to keep him one more night. I lost it. I started bawling and again was SO embarrassed. I am sure I freaked out all the docs. I couldn't talk really even, so embarrassing. I could not believe they were keeping him for something totally unrelated to the reason we were there. I could follow up with his pediatrician for weight checks like I have with my other children, why was my sentence longer now? I was not happy. Seriously at that point I had had it, I didn't not think I could last another moment in there. I called Andy right away bawling. He thought he would be coming over to get us this day and no such luck. I was so sad and mad all at the same time. He wasn't too happy either. I was bound and determined to get this little guy to gain weight this day. I was a little disappointed because they kept saying they wanted him to get down from 10% of his birth weight and he was right on, and now they are saying we have to stay!

my little baby getting some sun and food--my hours of pumping coming in good use

Andy came over and for the first time in 11 days besides coming home one night to sleep, I got outside. It had been so long since I had seen daylight it hurt my eyes. We went down the street to a Hollywood video and bought three movies to take home to the kids, I was feeling a little guilty, and rented three movies for what I was hoping to be my last night serving my time. We also got a bunch of treats which was fun. I watched movies practically all night. I didn't want fall asleep and miss a feeding or something else go wrong, I didn't want to jinx anything so I tried to stay up to make sure things were going the direction I had hoped for. Sunday morning came and the dr's came in and they discussed everything and then said those 4 magic words I had been wanting to hear for so long...HE CAN GO HOME! Had I ever heard four more beautiful words? I instantly called Andy and said, come quick before they change their minds. He did come quick. He brought Bennett which Bennett loved. He struggled by far the most out of our kids. He really is the only one to get it in a way. Poor thing just worried himself sick.

no more oxygen or IV

They got there and I was ready to go. I had the room cleaned up and everything packed. I was so ready to get out. I was finally able to put his going home outfit on. He looked so great. Andy took my bags down and then Bennett and I walked out with the nurse. As I was walking out holding my little baby I kept watching my back afraid someone would come running after us saying they made a mistake he had to stay. I have never walked so fast in my life especially less than two weeks after a c section. I was out, we were in the clear. We were headed home.

We got him strapped into his car seat and off we were. The day had come. I sat in the passenger seat so grateful we were leaving and wondered how I survived. I also could not get the other children and parents out of my mind that I left there at my home away from home. How were they? How much more could they handle? Were their children going to be ok? So many unanswered questions. Now my prayers go out to all of them, hopefully they will be in my spot so soon. All of a sudden now 11 days seemed not so long. I was so lucky I got out in 11 days. There were some there that had celebrated their first birthdays in the NICU never had been out of the NICU before. We have truly been blessed.

I have to say though if my child had to be in the NICU it could not have been better than the one we were at. Everyone was so nice and it was so nice to be there all the time with him. It was kind of nice that I was the only one with him the whole time. I got a lot of one on one time with him. It was something I had been worried about coming home with so many small children I was worried I would not get that bonding time with my new baby. I sure did though. It was nice for that reason. Anytime I felt sorry for myself I would walk down the hall and see all the parents in the rooms with the fragile little babies and see how blessed I was. I knew my baby would be coming home soon, he would be ok, not a lot of other parents could say that in that hospital. I was so lucky. I was also so grateful we have insurance, the rumor around the hospital was the minimum stay there a day was 30 grand...unbelievable! I was also so grateful for the meal plan for the nursing mothers. Free food is always nice. I wasn't able to be with my other children, but I knew they were being well taken care of by people who loved them very much. That was such a blessing too.
when he was coming off the drugs, he was so sleepy and he would just open one little eye at a time

I could feel the prayers from our family and friends literally. It was amazing the kind of recovery he had. The day I got there on Saturday he was still basically in his drug induced coma, hooked up to everything imaginable and looked so sick. Within three hours of me being there he was making remarkable steps. In fact the nurse that was there that night with him came back the next day and she could not believe that how much better he was looking. I knew it was through prayers that he was doing so well. It was over whelming at times how grateful I felt for all the prayers you all had offered. I cannot begin to thank everyone enough. And my parents and Michelle, Andy's sister, I cannot even begin to start thanking you for all you did. And Andy's parents. I am so grateful for the family we have. I can not begin to imagine how much harder those days would have been without all of you. All I can say now is THANK YOU so much

grandma b. visits
great grandma W. visits

*Obviously I have not done this all in order. In the next few days I will post the delivery and pre NICU posts.

*Also, I wanted to be sure and get all my thoughts and things written down, but reading this it sounds so confuing, but at least it has all been recorded.


Anonymous said...

You went through so much. Isn't that how it is, you spend all your time preparing everything with the kiddies and for yourself, making sure all your ducks are in a row and then Heavenly Father shows you how much you can actually handle! You are so amazing. I am so happy everyone is ok. Paxton is such a darling little baby. He is so cute and so precious. You have been so blessed!! It was wonderful hearing your experience. And thinking about those families still there in the NICU. Being at home with Jordan even now this day I am blessed beyond explination. You are too. You have 5 sweet spirits glowing in your home!! I love your famliy and I love you!! You set such a great example to me. and I love learning from you!

Shane, Megan, & Carter said...

OH my! What an ordeal! You have all been in our prayers. I am so grateful that you can start to get back to real life enjoying that sweet new little one now! He is just so gorgeous (of course)! I thought I was doing pretty well handling the baby wait, but you make me really want my next baby now! You're amazing, T!