Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Preemie Land The Conclusion

Now that my hair woes are over, I can now bring you the conclusion to Wonderboys Adventures in Preemie Land. For my new blog party friends, I suggest you skip this post and head to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 ...Don't worry we'll wait for you to catch up, take your time.
While we're waiting how 'bout some preemie pics?

Last we left off a lot of stressful things were happening; like say the birth of a 28 week preemie and then two weeks later we rush to C's dad's bedside to make it in the nick of time to see him before getting the cold hearted news of his passing from the motel reception clerk written on a piece of yellow paper, handed to us through the door.
I can visualize that yellow paper as if everthing else were in black and white nothing else mattered at that moment.
As shocked and numb as we were we somehow muddled through the next few days of funeral arrangements and family gatherings and the funeral. We also knew we had to get back to our baby 250 miles away, as one life passes on another clings perilously on.

Hard times were in store for us in the next few weeks after Wonderboys birth. We had our up and down days. One day his O2 levels and stats would be stable and the next day the docs and nurses would struggle to keep him stable. I'm not sure the number of times he had pnuemonia during his stay but it was atleast 3 maybe 4. They all just seemed to run together. It was very unnerving as we just hung on hour by hour and day by day and hubs and I would sometimes expect the unthinkable,yet try also to think positively.

The docs began to run vigorous tests to find out if there were some other cause than under developed lungs causing him such problems. We would continue this fight even after his long stay in the hospital.

The one thing that seemed to keep the little guy stable was kangarooing him. This entailed taking off my shirt and putting on a hospital gown back wards. I would then get in a very comfy recliner and they would place him on my bare chest as I wrapped the rest of the gown around him and me and then place a warmed blanket on top of us. This was the only time and way that C or I could hold him. We both looked forward to it and sometimes would have to flip a coin on who would get to go. We'd just lay there for hours if possible with him cradled on our chest. It was probably the closest thing to being in my tummy as you could get. His stats would level off and all was right in the world at that time. It was always so hard to put him back in his bubble for feeding time or meds.

I realize these are pictures of pics. It was just so much easier to take a picture of a picture than download the driver for the scanner and then hunt down the USB cord for it. Forgive me. I also had(have) no talent when it comes to scrap booking, I did the best with what I had.

Finally after what seemed like years he was finally getting stable enough to be removed from the respirator and on to oxygen. He was also getting a little chunk to him and big enough to go to the nursery. Which was where the "big" babies were. It was so wonderful to actually finally hold and feed him like a real baby despite the beeping machines and oxygen. When the babies get in this stage the big goal to reach is the 5lb mark. At 5lbs the little guy could finally come home. This was something we all wanted more than anything.
I went home maybe 3 or 4 times during that whole 3 months. I lived in the hospital/hotel the whole time. C had to go back to work eventually and was pretty much there with me on weekends or if he had classes in Big D. All this time my other baby was passed around from one grandma to the other or to whoever could take him at the time. Whether it was friends of the family or cousins or whoever. I hated being alone so much and the feelings of abandoning my one year old were overwhelming, not to mention the guilt.
Finally the time had come the doc let us know that our little guy would be ready to go home in a few days. We made a trip up to OK to get Gameboy as we wanted to all be there as a family when we all got home. That June day was like another birthday to him and me. I was joyous and scared. We would still be bringing him home with the oxygen and stat monitors. If you ever thought just juggling a baby with its carrier and diaper bag with all of just the normal baby stuff was hard, try the diaper bag, the O2 monitor, the apnea monitor and the oxygen to go with it. Yeah somehow I grew an extra set of arms. To this day I can carry a good 3-5 grocery bags in each hand along with my purse, the mail, the kids papers and sometimes a back pack all in one trip.
Hubs drove 25 the whole way, even in busy Big D traffic, he might've not been that slow but it felt like it. I was pretty overwhelmed with the machines beeping at every bump. When we made it home the home health nurse was already waiting for us. I was never so happy to see him in my life. We were very fortunate to get a full time nurse M-F. They were able to manage all of his meds and just help me out as I transitioned to being home with him and readjusting with Gameboy little Wonderboy.

Things were fairly hectic at night when I was alone. The machines literally drove me to insanity. If WB made a significant move to throw his apnea modules off kilter, it would go off. This thing is literally louder than a fire alarm. So if it goes off at 2AM it wakes everyone in the house, including baby 1, baby 2, daddy and the cows down the street. If I wasn't fiddling with his apnea monitor, it was toying with his O2. It's very important that his stats stayed at 95 or above, anything less is cause for alarm. I had to constantly make sure that it was secure on his face and in his nose. Ever try explaining to an infant that he can't grab his O2 from his face as it helps him to breathe? Don't get me started on feedings. Feeding a preemie through the smallest bottle and nipple (the size of a pin head, if not smaller) causes feedings to be a good hour. Normal sleep when dealing with an infant would have been heavenly compared to sleep with a preemie.

I hate to leave the story at this juncture, there is more to the story as I said before, his first year was pretty rocky. I'll post about the most significant at another time. Hopefully you got an idea of the life and times of a preemie. I would never leave you all with out atleast one pic of the little guy. This was probably his first or so week home. If you notice over to the right you'll see the two machines I had to lug around, and if you look really close you'll see the tiny bottle. He didn't have all of his "stuff" on at the time. Normally he would have a blue belt like band around his chest to monitor his other words if he completely stops breathing the fire alarm would go off. He also would have his pulse ox which monitors his O2 stats and blood pressure, kind of like the little thing that they put on your finger in the hospital. This one instead is like a wired tiny ace bandage that goes around his toes. It was very hard to keep the blasted thing on. The More You Know....


jennifer said...

Well I knew your story had a good ending. I can't imagine having those monitors going off...I'd have gone gray from them.

Krista said...

Wow, and I thought I had it bad with my baby on the O2 monitor for 3 days! His level was 94 or 92 (I can't remember) but I do know that they brought him in with me the first night and every time he really went to sleep it would drop and I would have to wiggle him to make sure he was breathing. After it went off 5 times in 5 minutes I made them take him back to the nursery. I needed some sleep after 36 hours of labor!


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