Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bad Night; Terrible Morning; Better Afternoon

Before I get to the "Bad Night" part of this post, I need to update you on my Saturday. My mom and kids were able to come up with Heath to visit with me. They brought a picnic lunch and we ate sandwiches and chips down in the cafeteria together. Afterwards, I hung out with the kiddos and let my mom and Heath spend some time with Kimble. It was very nice.
After they left, the rest of the day was pretty quiet. I got to hold him whenever I wanted to, and we kept on trying to get him to wake up enough to breastfeed. At times we were successful, but they were very short successes. He would latch on for a few minutes before he fell asleep again. Those few minutes were milestones, though.
Into the night, we tried to do the same thing. However, his stats kept dropping frequently, and it happened most often when I wasn't holding him, and he was back in his bed. His "stats" are his blood pressure, oxygen levels, pulse, and whatever bunch of crazy machines all his tubes are hooked up to. Anyway, to comfort me, and help stimulate Kimble, I held him throughout much of the night. Normally I would be able to sleep just fine while holding him, but because of all his tubing and cords, I have to hold him in such a delicate way, that there really was no way I could sleep while doing it.
Thus, I was up throughout the night. One night wouldn't have been bad, but I honestly haven't slept more than an hour here and there since Monday night. I am completely wiped out. Add that to post partum hormones, and you have one seriously emotional momma. My nurse throughout the night was very kind, but didn't really know what to do with all my crying.
So, this morning, when I was trying to find some showers I could use, and completely broke down in front of the poor lady who was just finishing up her shower, I tried to pull my overtired-self together. A shower helped. Then I made my way back to the Cardiac ICU.
When I came back, after having been gone less than an hour, there was a team of doctors around Kimble. It seems he had a few more episodes of "forgetting to breathe" (which is a huge side effect of the medicine) and his blood gas levels reported a continuous dip in his oxygen levels from the day before. Anyway, all of that had them deciding that he needed some help. As they were explaining to me a certain headgear thing they would be putting on him, which came down to the nose and pumped in oxygen in a "not-so-gentle-way" in order to help him remember to breathe correctly, I was alright until I mentioned that it had been a few hours since I had breastfed, and was it ok to do that while they were waiting for the equipment.
Then I was told that he wouldn't be able to breastfeed with this equipment. I completely broke down. I'm sure they had no idea how to handle me. The Respiratory Therapist came in to try to explain what they were doing. The head doctor came in to talk to me. I was really trying to hold myself together, but completely incapable of doing so.
Anyway, I tried to explain why I was so emotional about this. I knew they were trying to do what was best for him, and were worried about his levels. I explained that we had just barely gotten to the point where he wasn't so completely asleep, that he was making progress on breastfeeding, and the last time he had latched on, he ate for 15 minutes. That was so huge. I felt like just when we were taking a step forward, we were now jumping back. Also, since he has hardly gotten any milk from our attempts at breastfeeding, I was worried about his nutrition levels. Oh, and my feet are hugely swollen. I've never had swollen feet before. Am I not drinking enough fluids? I feel like I am.
So, the doctors discussed things further, and I overheard words like "didn't sleep last night..." "wants to breastfeed so badly..." "emotional..." and they came back with a different solution. They decided to just have a little tube across his nose, to allow for "room air" (not oxygen) and as it is puffed into his nose, it stimulates his breathing. Also, they started him on caffeine (not sure exactly what's in it), and that is helping him not be so sleepy from the prostoglandin.
They also prepared a back room for me to get a few hours of sleep, away from all the beeping and noises of the ICU. Before I went, we tried to give him some of my freshly pumped breastmilk in a bottle, to see if he would drink that a bit better than straight from the breast, and he did great. So with the realization that he had some of my milk in his tummy, and the assurance that I would get woken up if anything changed with my baby, I went to the back room to sleep.
One hour later, I was up and needing to pump. Seriously, my boobs are huge. Anyway, when I walked back in the room, Kimble was up and showing that he wanted to eat. So I pumped first, because I was just too engorged for him to latch on, and then I came back in the room to try to feed him.
However, his tubing across his nose prevented Kimble from latching on. He's got such a tiny face, that it just wouldn't work. That's alright, though. We fed him a bottle of what I had just pumped, and he gulped it down. I feel great knowing that his belly is full right now.
During the hour I was sleeping, his stats stayed high. His blood gas levels came back great. He was breathing fine. Chest X-ray was good. Things are looking much better.

As soon as he was done eating, the Ultrasound Tech came in again to do another Echocardiogram. It was just a short one, but the news was good. His openings that need to be open are, well, open. That is very important, since it's what is keeping him alive.

He also opened his eyes for the first time since he was born. That means the caffeine drip is doing it's job. I have high hopes that the rest of the day will be completely opposite from this morning.

Just look at that sweet face. I know I can't stop looking at him.


Ryan said...

He looks so tiny next to that huge technician! What a sweet baby. I am so glad that they got a room ready for you--can you be in there during the day when you are visiting? I'm sure a nap here and there is just what your post partum body needs--you just had a baby for heaven's sake! XOXOXO (This is Nicki)

Pam said...

He is so precious and I know that you have had a very long week. I pray that these bursts of rest will sustain you.

"Hello... It's Me Again..." said...

He looks so sweet and kissable. I hope you are able to get rested. I'll be watching for more good news.

Take care!

Jen Sue Wild said...

I miss him so much allready and you too. I am sorry I wasent there for your hard night.

kdaygirl said...

Remeber what i said about calling, no matter the time? Next time u need a shoulder I am here!
Glad things are better today. Hope tonight it a good one!

runningfan said...

I saw your mom at church today with Heath and the kids. She reported on your lack of sleep. I can't imagine a postpartum recovery without sleep! Take care, my friend!

Dan and Katie said...

He is so beautiful Shaina! You are an inspiration of strength! Try to get some sleep :)

Jenni said...

What a night...sure hope you can get some more sleep tonight and keep strong for your little guy. And oh my goodness..those eyes!!! SO cute!

Jed and Kera said...

He is just so sweet. I couldn't help but sing I Am a Child of God while looking at his sweet face. I hope the rest of your day went well.

Sharon said...

you probably stayed up all night listening to him breathe, who could blaim you? I love his sqinty eyes, he's so tiny and lovable!

Jeff and Lori said...

What an absolute sweetheart. I love seeing him with his eyes open. I know that a good night's sleep is probably out of the question, but I pray you'll get enough naps to get you through. Hang in there!

Carolann said...

I'm glad you are doing better. I hope you can get some sleep soon. What a great picture of his eyes open!

The Robinson Family said...

He is completely precious, so handsome!! Your family is in our prayers daily. Thanks for the update Shaina. Your an amazing mother.
Sarah Robinson

julia said...

congrats on a sweet little baby I'm going to pray for you and your family God Bless

Jennifer said...

I can't tell you how much we all miss you. It was nice meeting your mom today and your family looks great! That baby of yours is just angelic and you are all in our prayers daily. You look beautiful by the way! Hugs!

amy said...

OH Shaina. Things sound like you are being blessed to know what to say to the doctors what is best for Kimble! Good for you for being there and saying what you think is important! Really am so totally thinking and praying for your little family. Take care of yourself.

Love Amy

Queen of Chaos said...

You're doing great, momma!
You're where you need to be and Kimble feels that. The tears don't matter...cry as hard as you need. Remember we're all crying with ya! Seriously.

I'm impressed the doctors and nurses seem to be willing to help out as much as possible. Very cool.

I feel so blessed for you... to have things going smoother then maybe expected, your hubby getting so much time off and mom being there to help out.

Thank you for the awesome updates. Kimble is such a sweet angel!

Maynards said...

Oh Shaina, my heart goes out to you. What a road you will be traveling. I sure hope there are more ups than downs in the future. Just hang in there and TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!

Carol said...

He is so beautiful!! I remember how hard it is to get the rest you need when your baby is in the NICU. My now 6 yr. old twin girls spent some time in the NICU following birth... they both have mild pulmonary stenosis (thick valve.) So many tests, and wires and tubes and issues, lots of worries and fears and on top of that, those darn hormones... It's a hard time, but you are so strong, and you have an amazing support network and strong faith... And I do believe very firmly that we're not given more than we can bear... I am thinking of you all!

Sara said...

Shaina, your baby is just so sweet-looking. I feel for you ever step of the way. My own new-mama hormones are only now subsiding, and I just so thoroughly feel for you and how you must be feeling at times, despite the fact that you are one of the strongest women I know. The no-sleep, swollen, achy body, plus the concern for your little guy--I so admire your courage and ability to hold it together and still somehow remember to do the little things still that mean so much to all of your children. You guys are such a fantastic and inspiring family . . . wow.! Your in our thoughts and prayers!!!

ModernMom said...

He is beautiful.. Congratulations.