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Mothering › Groups › November 2012 Due Date Club › Discussions › Transferred to NICU after Home Birth :(

Transferred to NICU after Home Birth :(

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

This is a long story so settle in. I'm writing it out as much to share with you all as to record and keep straight in my mind. Also, I'm really short on sleep and tired so it's pretty choppy and hard to understand I think! Good luck reading! winky.gif


Well, this week has pretty much been the most grueling of my life. I had an amazing birth Monday morning at home, fast and furious. It was a lovely first day babymooning with my new family. Then after dinner, Everett Henry (his new name! love.gif) spit up, choked, stopped breathing, and turned purple and blue. We called 911 and by the time the ambulance arrived we'd managed to get him to breathe again and he wasn't a horrible dark color. Paramedics suggested we go to the hospital via ambulance since his lungs sounded funny and he was retracting while he breathed. So we strapped him in the ambulance, DH managed our older scared and screaming son, and off went Everett and I. In the back of my mind I was worried things would get out of hand and they'd want to admit Everett for nothing.


Got to the hospital and E was quickly checked out and the worst case scenarios were presented by docs (angry.gif). But his oxygon levels low and he was still not breathing right. Obviously something was wrong so we chose a NICU to transport him to, a team from that hospital came to get him, poked and struggled to insert an IV and draw blood for lab cultures. E's blood this week has clotted very quickly but that night it was awful. Apparently he was a bit dehydrated simply due to being new and getting just small amounts of colustrum through nursing. Hearing him scream as they repeatedly worked was the worst thing this entire week has brought.


Well, DH and I said our good byes to Everett since we weren't permitted to ride with him and it was so heartbreaking and devestating to let him leave in the ambulance. We rushed home to let out the animals and grab clothes since we knew we wouldn't be this close to home again for a while. My in laws took our older son home with them from the hospital so at least we didn't have to figure that out.


Finally we got to the NICU around 12:30 Tuesday morning after the longest drive ever (really only 45 minutes) and E had already been admitted, checked, and was sleeping exhaustedly. We couldn't hold him, had to wear gloves to touch him, I couldn't breastfeed him. It was trully the most helpless and awful night of my life. Well, morning since by this time it was close to 2 AM. We hadn't slept Sunday night due to labor and birth and now Monday night was disappearing without us sleeping again. The lack of sleep and the stress was very much catching up with us. Tests were being run but nothing was really known and though the docs and nurses were awesome, it was pretty scary to see our brand new baby hooked up to so many wires and tubes.


By now it was Tuesday morning and we couldn't do anything so we drove home around 3 AM to sleep for 3 hours before driving back to be with E. The staff switched to a new group of docs and nurses from 6:45-8 and all visitors and parents were kicked out during that time each morning and night. We've managed to get back to the NICU every morning at 6 to at least spend some time with E and then we eat breakfast when they make us leave at 6:45.


Found out on Tuesday that E had aspirated fluids, developed pnemonia, was found to have 2 tiny holes in his heart, and an irregular heartbeat. The holes should heal up fine as he grows, they'll just need to be checked in a few months. The irregular heartbeat was catagorized as normal for a newborn. The pnemonia would require 7 days of antibiotics and lots of monitoring and was causing E to have trouble breathing. 


You'd think being stuck in a hospital all day would be boring but really there was so much to do and so many people to talk to about E that we were exhausted and busy all day. Later on Tuesday, after dinnertime, they finally let us hold Everett. Holding my boy just made my heart sing and of course I was crying my head off with happiness. It's kinda ridiculous how often I've teared up this week, at happy and sad things! We stayed at a next door hotel that night, slept only 4 or 5 hours and I got up to pump twice. 


Wednesday things got a little better after E had been on antibiotics for 24 hours. His oxygen levels improved though he still wasn't allowed to nurse, getting sugar water through his IV was his food. Late that night they agreed to let us try to nurse since he was breathing so much better and it went terribly. Having a pacifier on and off all day really messed up his latch and my milk still hadn't started gushing. We had a very frustrating 45 mintutes of struggle and before giving him pumped milk in a bottle.  We drove back to the hotel around midnight, depressed. E did though get the tube taken out that was going through his throat to his tummy to prevent him from spitting up. It was nice to see his sweet little lips again.


Didn't sleep much Wednesday night due to pumping and DH drove back to the hospital around 2 AM to stay and give E a bottle. I slept so deeply for my 1.5 hours breaks of sleep between pumping and then we were back to the hospital at 6:00 Thursday morning to nurse before the staff switched and kicked us out. Nursing went better! 


And then everything started to get soooo much better!! Everett nursed somewhat with a syringe, next time with an SNS, and by the evening he was fine on his own. Also, he got got the nasel cannula taken off and did perfectly breathing room air! We got moved to a private room in the NICU since we needed space for me, his food supply, to stay the night. The couch and recliner here sure aren't as comfortable as a bed but dang, it's so nice to be together all night! We had great Thanksgiving Day with so much to be thankful for!


Thursday night we got 1 hour of sleep before E woke hungry at midnight, then he had to have 2 blood samples drawn, a round of antibiotics, 2 more blood samples. Everett's blood for some reason clots incredibly quickly (so does mine btw!) so each blood draw took about 30 minutes. By the time all that was done, DH and I were hungry and needed to scarf down some food in the parent lounge, then E was hungry. We didn't fall back asleep until 5 AM! The wonderful staff and Everett let us sleep until nearly 8 this morning and didn't kick us out for the staff swtichover! 


Today (Friday) DH spent much of the day taking care of animals at home, doing laundry (I have no clothes out that fit my postpartum body except 2 pairs of maternity sweatpants!), packing clothes and stuff for us at the hospital, and dealing with the chaos we left behind at home. He also slept a few hours since he doesn't do nearly as well as me, a seasoned nursing mama!, on low sleep. 


So here we are Friday night: Everett is recovering grandly, relearning nursing at a quick pace, his parents are exhausted but oh so grateful, and we are here in the NICU until Monday afternoon. I've seen my older son every other day and only for a short amount of time. I miss his sweet face and listening to the crazy things he says but it's wonderful we have family nearby who he loves that are taking care of him. 


Whew, what a complicated week it's been! The support we've had from all our fmaily and friends had made me see how much we are loved. It's mind boggling how much people have offered and given to help us through this ordeal. The NICU staff has been amazing and perfectly supportive of breastfeeding and our wishes for Everett's care. Of course we'd much rather be at home but if we have to have a sick kid, this is the place to be. 

post #2 of 22

Wow, what a story! I'm so happy to hear that Everett is doing so well after such a scary experience and that you are all getting the care and support that you need right now. I hope that your weekend goes well and that you settle in well to being a family of four as soon as you can!

post #3 of 22

Oh my gosh, how horrifying! I am glad that he is improving and hope that things continue to move in that direction. Thinking of you...

post #4 of 22

Sending you several huge virtual hugs, Mama-- though you likely need more than that after the week you've been through! Congratulations on the birth of your sweet baby boy. I'm keeping you all in my thoughts and praying that he continues to heal quickly.  

post #5 of 22

wow, that sounds like a lot of stress and grief you could have done without. glad he is on the mend and hoping you will get to take him home and have some peace and quiet bonding time with lots of nursing and snuggling soon!

post #6 of 22

*hugs* I'm so glad he's healing well and the NICU staff is so supportive! Sorry that you are having to experience this though. Heal little E so you an get back home!

post #7 of 22
Oh mama! I feel you big time. We ended up at the hospital after a home birth but not quite as scary a scenario as yours. And Z has a heart murmur too. Nerve wracking to say the least. Do you have rescue remedy? Take it often!
I am so glad baby E is better and that you've had help with your other LO. It's a LOT!!! I hope you can re- start your baby moon clock and spend some extra weeks just relaxing and nurturing and restoring yourself as much as possible. If I were your neighbor, of bring you a hot meal!
Big hugs to you!
post #8 of 22

hug2.gif How scary! greensad.gif I am really happy to hear that things are getting better though. Sending you LOTS of healing and calming vibes. goodvibes.gif

post #9 of 22


post #10 of 22

Wow!!!  So thankful little Everett Henry is on the mend (love his name!)  Thinking of you and sending warm thoughts and healthy vibes your way:)  Way to keep on with the breastfeeding!

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you lovely mamas. Just woke up from an awful dream about leaving DS1 outside during a storm and watching the lightning strike, unable to get to him when he needed me. Very subtle sign that I really miss him and hate this separation wink1.gif Anyway, I needed encouragement and came here, happy to read your comments.

We're going home later this afternoon (Monday) and have only been here a week. So short a stay yet so tough at times. Last night Everett had so much trouble sleeping, nursed a ton, blew his IV, got another, then he still couldn't sleep for a hour or two. He's such a trooper but it stresses and overstimulates him here too greensad.gif Blah.

I'm sitting here pumping since E couldn't latch he was so frustrated and we had to end up giving him pumped milk. Think I've cleared my breasts out enough so I'm going to try to sleep. Hopefully no more bad dreams, things will be better in the morning!
post #12 of 22

Oh, I can perfectly understand that you miss your DS1! I felt like that after DD was born. I loved her and everything but she was also a little stranger to me and I really missed spending loads of time with DS and felt quite lonely sometimes on top of mama guilt.

post #13 of 22

Wow, what a week for you and your DH. Big hugs to you! Sounds like you have a phenomenal support team and a phenomenal medical team helping you guys bring E home as soon as possible. I"m glad you were able to get the care for E that he needed. I can't wait to hear about your reunion at home!

post #14 of 22
oh i hate nightmares like that! glad to hear the family is being reunited joy.gif
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone!! I'm actually lying here in bed with my giant toddler sleeping beside me, tiny newbie sleeping on my chest, and DH out taking the kittens to get fixed. Made the appointment for them a month ago, never assuming DS2 would come late and then we'd spend a week in the hospital. Kinda worried the cats will mate since they are getting older so we kept the appt.

Thus, my first solo hours are going well. smile.gif It's so wonderful to be home again! DS1 talks so much and is so happy to be back though he was a bit wild last night. Got more sleep last night than I did any of the past 9 nights!

Anyway, I'm getting pretty tired too so I'm going to sleep for a minute'
post #16 of 22

sere234 - I'm so happy you are back home with your whole family and that everything is behind you!!! I wish you a peaceful and restful next few days!

post #17 of 22

Yay! joy.gif That is very good news! orngbiggrin.gif Sending you lots more healing thoughts. goodvibes.gif Enjoy your rest!

post #18 of 22

Just now reading this, Sarah.  So sorry for your endurance test in the first weeks of baby Everett's life.  I'm glad to hear you have a great support system and that E is home and doing well. Scary, but you pulled through!!  Hope everything goes smoothly for you from here on out hug2.gif

post #19 of 22

Been MIA and have so much to catch up on.  I am so glad your little is doing so well, and hope you guys get to destress and have a relaxing babymoon.  Hugs and keep us updated!

post #20 of 22

Awww, get some sleep mama!  A week is not short in hospital land, hopefully DS1 will behave better once things settle back to normal.  Glad to hear your first alone time with the two went well, that's alwaysa big hurdle.  Pumping is kinda a pain but as a once daily routine it was okay for me, not as bad as every feeding.  It gets easier! :)  Enjoy your babymoon!

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