Monday, October 20, 2008

Installment #4 - The Baby Has Heart Issues

This is also the next 31 for 21 entry.

If you need a review you can read the story of Jack's birth here. They took Jack away to the nursery to get him cleaned up and let them get me into a room. All our company left and Allan and I congraduated each other on another beautiful baby. This is where the story gets tough because so much happened and there's so much to remember. I was pretty sleepy and dozing a bit, and a dr came in. Without even making sure I'm awake, he starts taking about how Jack is having pulmonary hypertension and he's going to the nicu and he's on O2, blah, blah, blah. I'm not really getting it because I was so tired, and who is this guy?, and I was told my baby didn't have any heart issues bacause our fetal echo came back perfect so what the heck is he talking about?! I was just sure this guy was crazy and if they took the baby to the nicu I'd never get to see him again and we were nursing for cryin' out loud! I'm still a little bitter about all that, can you tell?

So the next few days were just crazy. Jack never got to come to my room and some relatives came to visit and everyone had to look at him through glass, even his brothers and sister. That Sun, he had a partial blood transfusion, where they take some of his blood out 'cause it's so thick and replace it with saline so it will flow better through his system. (Pulmonary Hypertension is like high blood pressure but in your lungs.) So the poor baby is under a "cake plate" (for oxygen), hooked up to lots of monitors, has an IV, and I can't hold him. They're saying they don't know when he'll get to come home and yes, there are 2 holes in his heart causing the ph. I was upset about that, my hormones are nuts, and I have 3 other kids who I don't want to miss out on Halloween activities and trick-or-treating.

They moved him into a covered bed (hence the Jack-in-the-box photos), and we lingered like that for awhile. Jack had a hole between the 2 upper chambers of his heart (Arterial Septal Defect - ASD) and another between the 2 lower chambers (Ventriculal Septal Defect - VSD) and something called a Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) which is when the blood vessel between the pumonary artery and the aorta (used during fetal development) doesn't close after birth. All 3 would need to be closed. After 2 1/2 weeks of getting the kids off to school, running to the hospital and spending as much time there as I could, pumping, coming home to get the kids home, doing homework, etc. with them, going back to the hosp. with Allan after he got home from work, getting home to make sure everyone went to bed, and doing it all the next day, I was so done and started asking even more when Jack would get to come home. I know it was only a few weeks but it still makes me cry how horrible it felt. It was a long process of getting him stabilized, then weaning him off oxygen so he could be in his little bassinet just being monitored. The biggest problem was he was using so much energy to maintain his temp and breathe without O2, that he needed to be tube fed 'cause he could not finish a bottle. We tried the breastfeeding a few times, but we had serious latching problems because of his sleepiness and of course they wanted to monitor his intake so we bottle-fed what I pumped. When we were there, we would give him a bottle for 30 mins and the rest went in through the tube. When we weren't, they just tubed him. They kept saying they wanted to make sure he could eat what they wanted him to and keep him monitored. When it became obvious that was what was keeping him there, I finally told them we were taking him home and they needed to teach us how do place the tube. Yes, it was an ugly day for the Dr but I'm sure he's gotten over it by now. So, we learned baby CPR and how to place an ng tube, and brought our baby home! We didn't tell the kids because I wasn't sure if we'd pull it off so here is M, being surprized that her baby is really home!

1 comment:

RK said...

Crazy how you were just 3 weeks ahead of us and our 3 1/2 weeks in the NICU for the same issues (tube/heart, no PH) and when you came home, we were 3 hours away just getting ready to go through it. Down to the 30 mins to feed, rest through the tube...sounds so darn familiar. Look at them now!!