Day 22: October 8

After the roller coaster and emotional abuse that was yesterday, I was scared to even call the NICU in the morning.  My emotions were ready to boil over, and honestly, I was not sure I had it in me to go through another day like yesterday.  Poor Peter was trying to decide if he should go to work or stay home, and we were both just too scared to call and see if Sam had peed.  We finally worked up the courage and gave Laura a call.  She happily reported that Sam had peed and pooped for the night nurses and was looking pretty good today.  With a HUGE sigh of relief, Peter headed to work and I made plans to go to the NICU.

I got there around 11:30 (after taking Irene for a flu shot, stopping by to visit Dr. Chetkowski who helped us get pregnant, running into Dr. Lanner-Cusin my old OB when I was pregnant with Irene, and visiting mom while she was getting a nuclear stress test to confirm that her heart is doing as great as the doc thought it was doing).  Anyway, I walked in and within about 3 min Sam started to have a terrible apnea event.  This one needed vigorous intervention from Laura over a few minutes to stop.  It was the first of many he would have during the day.  I think after the trauma of the day before, he was just tired out and needed to rest. Laura told me not to worry too much about the apnea events today, but it was hard to watch.

Laura told me that the goal for the day was to bother Sam as little as possible.  All they planned to do was check his diaper regularly to look for pee, feed him a little breast milk through the feeding tube, and get his second head ultrasound out of the way.

Knocked out after a rough day

Sam put out an enormous amount of pee throughout the day- THANK GOD!  Now, we just need him to keep doing this and without the intervention of medicine.  He really scared the shit out of all of us.  His doctor, his nurses, his parents, his grandparents, the huge group of people that read this blog, etc.  I gave him a stern talking to and told him to never put me through this again.  He tolerated his feeds really well today, and they are thinking of increasing the amounts from 2 ML per feed to 3 ML per feed over the weekend.  The best news of the day was the head ultrasound came back 100% clear.  There are NO bleeds in his brain which is a huge relief!

I had to leave around 2 pm to have my own ultrasound.  Mine was not as good as Sam’s.  They are still seeing some “product” in my uterus which means I might still need to have a D&C.  I am just waiting for my OB to call me and tell me for sure what the plan is.  The fun in the family never stops.

I realized that I have talked a lot about the NICU but for many out there, its hard to picture.  So, here is a little view into the world I spend 4+ hours a day in:

Sam's NICU world

What you see above is Sam’s world.  The isolette is in the center with the quilt over it.  The hospital has these cute quilts that are specially made for the isolettes.  Every few days there is a new quilt covering Sam’s isolette.  To the left is the SiPAP machine.  To the right of the isolette are all the machines that help push medicine and his nutrition supplements in.  His milk feeding tube is inside his isolette so you can’t see it.  Above the isolette is the monitor that I spend way too much time staring at:

Monitor

The top green number is Sam’s heart rate.  You want that to be above 100 but below 200.  Anything below that is when alarms start to go off and a brady event is recorded.  In this shot, his heart rate is at 157- a great number for kid of his size.  The white number is his respiration rate.  This one is the finickiest functions to record accurately.   Laura has told me time and again to ignore this one, so I am trying my best.  As an example, today this number was at zero despite the fact that I could see Sam was breathing.  The last number is the yellow and this is showing his oxygen saturation.  The goal is to have this number between 85-93 and to have the wave link nice and even- like in this picture.  When the saturation drops below 60 that is considered an apnea event/desaturation and alarm bells go off.  So, that is just a quick view into Sam’s world.

And now for your moment of zen- brought to you by toes:

Feet

(The gauze is protecting his PICC line and the other leg has his blood pressure cuff on it)

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