Monthly Archives: January 2013
Life in the NICU is hard. There’s no question about that. Right now it seems like she’s gonna be here forever.
She is healthy, but her suck, swallow, breathe co-ordination seems to be taking ages. Babies all around us are going home, and here we are, struggling to get in even half a feed by breast or bottle, 2 or 3 times out of 8 each day.
Add that to the 3 times daily walk through labour and delivery where all the happy people are coming and going either clutching large pregnant bellies or walking out with gurgling bundles of joy.
I never had a large pregnant belly – mine stalled measuring about 28 weeks. I was constantly asked if I was even pregnant at all. People were always surprised to hear my due date as I looked so small compared to other pregnant women everywhere I went.
The nursery isn’t finished. She was born before her crib arrived. We haven’t cleared out the stuff that’s stored there. We haven’t washed more than the preemie clothes she can wear in the hospital.
It feels like she isn’t really here. Life in the NICU is like life in limbo.
Not pregnant. Not pushing a baby carriage.
Just waiting. Watching the monitors. Trying to convince her to take another 5 mls of milk by mouth. Pumping. Endlessly pumping.
Watching all the other babies going home.
Once the joy of her arriving safe and sound passed, and one week came and went. And the second week came and went, the wind seemed to drop out of my sails.
This post is quite late, but with the holidays, a Santa crazy 3 year old, a sudden c-section and adjusting to life as a parent in the NICU, I haven’t had a chance to let you all know what’s happened.
My last post detailed my hospital bed rest. Or my first hospital bedrest. I was released after 3 nights to ‘house arrest’ after nst after nst was non-reactive. The good news at the time was that each BPP test registered 8/8 so there was no need for concern.
So home I went. I made a trip with DH to the baby store to get a new carseat (we had a raccoon incident in our garage and the old infant seat didn’t fare well), one that would hold a baby in the 4lb range just in case. I went to my tests (same results that week). And I did almost all my holiday shopping online.
The following week I went to my growth ultrasound (Dec 18) and Obi was still measuring around the 5th percentile. So her growth didn’t fall off and for once, she passed both her NST and BPP. Alas, tests on Dec. 21 weren’t so rosy. Once again, she had a non-reactive NST and her BPP showed no practice breathing. So I was sent home to pack my bag, was cleared to make a pit stop at Bubble’s Christmas Concert, and prepared for another hospital stay for closer monitoring. I was assured that practice breathing was often absent if baby was sleeping or just not cooperating and that they would re-test later in the day.
Well that turned into 7 am the following morning. This is where things started to change – and fast.
This ultrasound revealed that not only was she not practice breathing, but fluid had dropped dramatically. And, once again the NST test was non-reactive.
Oh – did I mention she’d been breech for about 3 weeks?
I didn’t eat breakfast. The doctor came by to talk me through next steps at about 9:30. These steps were basically as follows:
Call your husband.
The pediatrician and anesthetist will be dropping by.
We will take some blood and start an IV.
We’re delivering this baby as soon as those 3 things are done.
And they did. Interestingly, my water broke as they were prepping me for surgery so there was no question of whether or not the time was right. She was coming one way or another.
So, Obi was born Dec. 22 at 12:09 pm weighing 3lbs, 12 oz. She had completely symmetrical IGUR and was third percentile.
The IGUR was caused by a large chunk of her placenta dying early in pregnancy, likely the 1st trimester and the cord being attached right at the edge of the remaining living placenta.
Many of the doctors and nurses have commented that it’s a miracle she survived at all.
Our own special Christmas miracle.
She’s living in the NICU at the hospital I delivered at. From the start she has been breathing room air and has not required any interventions other than IV antibiotics (standard) and a feeding tube because she’s too small to suck well enough to take all her food by mouth. She’ll be there until she can.
She was 34 weeks, 4 days at delivery and is now 36w 2d.
I’ll post again soon about NICU, trying to nurse a preemie and more.
Now I must go pump. Again.