Thursday, November 18, 2010

Xander's Story Part 1: The Birthday

I guess it's time I step back a couple months and fill everyone in on the addition of Mr. X to our family. It wasn't exactly what we expected.

My original due date was October 1, but according to ultrasounds I was measuring a little further along, so I expected to go a little early so I wasn't that surprised when around 11 at night on September 22 I started feeling the familiar pangs of contractions that I remembered from the first time around. By midnight, Joe and I were at the hospital ready for the show to begin. I got my epidural and got a few hours of sleep before the doctor came in to break my water. Just like with Rosemary, the water was stained green, signaling meconium. Since we experienced that before, we were not the least bit nervous, but spent the rest of the time waiting to push joking about how our kids like to poop. It wasn't until he popped out and the nurse told us she was going to clean him up and let us hold him for a couple minutes, but that I couldn't feed him because his breathing seemed a little labored, that we got our first hint that something might be wrong. After Joe and I got to see him and give him kisses, the nurse took him back to observe him. Sure that his breathing was not quite right, she called the NICU nurses back (they were in during the delivery to pump him clean from the meconium, but left soon after), who agreed that something was wrong and they needed to take him down to the NICU for observation. We didn't really know what to do. I had just had a baby and now he was gone? It definitely wasn't what we expected. The worst part was when I was wheeled out of the delivery room to the mom and baby room and they play a little song. It didn't seem right since I didn't have him in my arms like I did with Rosemary. We asked them to take us right to the nursery where we found him hooked up to a bunch of monitors and getting prepped for an iv to get some fluids in him. After a period of observation they formally admitted him into the NICU, hooked him up to oxygen to help him breath, and took an x-ray to confirm what the problem might be. The x-ray showed that his lungs were covered in something- confirmation that he aspirated the meconium. They immediately started a round of heavy-duty antibiotics to prevent infection and ran a bunch of blood tests to make sure there was no bacteria or other cause of infection already detected. The next 24 hours were the scariest of my life. Joe and I kept vigil by our baby, mostly staring at the machines that were recording his vitals, watching his breathing struggling to get to where it needs to be. After starting the oxygen, his breathing was finally regulated and he was no longer struggling. He had so many tubes hooked up to him that I can't even remember what they were all for. He wasn't having any wet diapers so they upped his iv to a higher nutritive cocktail. He still wasn't having any wet diapers so they pumped his stomach (again) and a bunch of mucousy fluid came out. They kept a reverse feeding tube (not sure if that's really a medical term, but that's how it was being used), first in his mouth, but he kept pulling it out, and then finally in his nose where it wasn't causing him to gag as badly. It was about another 24 hours before they finished pumping him and nothing came out and we could attempt to feed him (I went back to our room every 2 hours to pump to stimulate my milk glands). We gave him formula to see if his body was going to digest it or what would happen. Luckily, he took it just fine and his body knew what to do and we started seeing wet diapers. I don't even remember when they removed the oxygen, but I know it must have been before we fed him. Things started looking up once he was breathing on his own and he was able to eat. After what felt like an eternity, we received the results from his final blood work and the news was great- no inflammation, no sign of infection, and he could go as soon as he finished this round of antibiotics!!! It ended up only being one extra day in the hospital and they were kind enough to let us keep our room so we didn't have to leave without him.

Our parents came, bringing Rosemary with them, so she was able to see her baby brother for the first time. She wasn't allowed in the NICU, but there was a window where she was able to see him and blow him kisses.

Finally on September 26 at 4:00, we left the hospital and brought him home.

Here are a few pictures from our stay in the hospital.

Here he is when he first got to the NICU for observation

Here he is a few hours later with oxygen, but before the feeding tube

Here he is the next day, no oxygen, but still has the feeding tube (we didn't get a picture of all of them together, it was just a bit much for us to look at and we weren't exactly thinking of taking pictures for posterity)

Here he is ready to eat! (please excuse my lack of makeup or hair style. It had been a long couple days)

And finally all packed up and ready to head home!

And finally, quite possibly the cutest video in existence. Rosemary meets her baby brother.

OK, maybe this is the cutest video in existence. Rosemary singing "Rockabye Xander"

1 comment:

  1. I can totally relate to how sad it is to have your baby whisked away from you after only a couple minutes and taken to the NICU. I'm so glad that he pulled through the experience as well as he did and you were able to bring him home after a few days (even though I know those days were hard).