Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Jack Update: day 9

Day 9 and the end is near. Can you feel it? I'm so ready to get our little man home where he belongs. Last night was the last lab draw he will have done. Everything came back within normal limits this morning which is fantastic!!! All of the labs that indicate he has an infection were all normal so the antibiotics did their jobs and now we have a healthy baby boy. Except that whole fractured clavicle thing. We've been splinting his arm for now and will continue to do that when we get home. Not sure how long it will be needed but as long as it heals, I'll do anything.

The nurses have also allowed us to feed him on his own schedule which is much easier. He's eating about every 4 hours at this point but taking in much more. He is getting to the point of taking in about 4 ounces each time. What a pig!!! I feel like we're cheating the parenthood system with him being here. When we get him home he'll be on a pretty good nighttime schedule and then demanding during the day.

Even though we feel like we're cheating the schedule, we've been getting our sleep while he's here. Until last night, that is. I woke up around 5 am and needed to pump so I got up, pumped for 15 minutes and went back to bed. Of course, B also woke up and helped out where he could. We turned the light back off and as the heat kicked on, we heard a rustling noise on the nightstand. I had a plastic bag of bottles sitting there and thought it was the air rushing past the plastic. We both dismissed it and laid there a little while longer. Then we heard it again and B told me to turn the light on. I did as I was told and there it was, the biggest, ugliest palmetto bug I've ever seen in my life. Of course I screamed like a girl and it scurried around on my nightstand in complete terror as well. B ran over with a flip flop to save me but managed to knock it to the ground which caused it to the escape under our bed. At this point I had my bags packed and vowed to never step foot in the house again. Luckily B is quick on his toes at what was now 5:30 in the morning and was able to meet it on its way out on the other side of the bed. The bug met its end behind B's nightstand and had a proper water burial in the toilet.

As for me, I didn't sleep all that well because I just knew he had an accomplice lurking somewhere in our house. Maybe tonight will be a bit easier.

Sleep tight!!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Jack Attack: Day 6

Ugh day 6. Me and B both are so tired of being in the NICU. The staff is amazing and there are great accommodations for the families but nothing beats being at home in your pajamas. Jackson is hooked up to so many leads and lines that we have to keep him near his crib. Oh yeah, he's in a big boy bed now. They moved him off the warmer bed yesterday and he's now in a crib.

We're also letting him tell us when he's hungry. We were on an every 3 hour schedule and that wasn't working. He's getting bigger now and takes more with each feed. He's up to 90 ml per feed which is 3 ounces and there's no way he's hungry every 3 hours. Today should be much easier because we won't have to fight him all the time to eat.

His color looks great and his bilirubin levels are coming down. Remember, bilirubin levels tells us if he needs to be on phototherapy for his jaundice. His level went up yesterday but this morning it was back down.

The other surprise this morning came from our nurse. His PICC line has to be examined fairly frequently to make sure it is still in the right place. This morning they did the x-ray for confirm placement and the report came back showing a fractured right clavicle. Apparently this has been the case since the first day but no one has informed me. There isn't anything you do for a broken or fractured clavicle but to splint it so that it heals properly. I feel bad because I've been laying him on his right side to feed but he's never cried out in pain. We'll just start splinting and move forward from here. This shouldn't keep him in the hospital any longer than normal.

Our expected discharge date is still this Friday. We're on day 6 and will begin dose 7 this afternoon. We are counting the days until our little one gets to come home and we're a complete family. I feel like I'm missing out on so much each night when I go home. The room has a couch bed that I can sleep on if I want to stay with him at night but I feel it is best if I go home and get some rest before he gets there. I want to be able to take care of him to my best ability and making sure I am healing is the only way to do that.

My mom chip is kicking in this week and I'm starting to worry if he's a bother to the other babies on the floor. Every time he cries a nurse comes running in to ask if I need help. He usually cries during his diaper changes and when I'm swapping him to a different side to feed. I feel it is normal but some of the nurses are making me think he's being too loud. B keeps reminding me that I'm worrying over nothing and it's normal for him to get upset when we expose his hiney to the cold air but I can't help but worry.

So for right now, he's doing really well and making progress every day. I'll post more updates when I have them!


Saturday, October 19, 2013

And Baby Makes Three!

That's right! Our brand new baby.......  BOY is here! Mr. Jackson Bryant Burns was born on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 7:20 pm. He weighed in at 7 lbs 12 oz and was  a whopping 22 inches long. Where was all that baby at inside me?

I'm sorry this post is coming so delayed from his birth. You see, the entire experience hasn't been, dare I say, expected? You can't plan a delivery and how the recovery will go but you always have this small hope inside your head that things will go normally and you'll come home with a perfect baby. Then you get a nursing license and fate turns on you. We call it the "nurse curse". All nurses know of it and fear it with all they have. Kind of like Murphy's Law, when a nurse comes into the hospital for any reason, anything that can go wrong, will. 

My water broke on Saturday. Two days before my new bundle of joy would make his big entrance. I'm sure you remember my last post talking about bladder leakage. Well, I was wrong. It was actually amniotic fluid. I didn't think my water had broken because contractions didn't start within 24 hours, it was dime sized amounts that I was leaking and I couldn't find a pattern. Sometimes I'd have a Braxton Hicks contraction and leak a little and other times I'd just be sitting on the couch watching t.v. Either way, I was walking around with a broken bag and didn't know it. 

I'm sure you also remember me talking about that GBS test that is performed on all pregnant women at about 35 weeks gestation. My test came back negative which was a relief. 

All of this makes for the perfect nurse curse storm.

I woke up Monday morning and leaked a little. I was tired of this happening and voiced my frustration to B. He told me to call the OB and let him know what was going on. My OB had me go to the hospital and have the fluid checked. We hoped in the car with our bug out bags in hand and headed off to the hospital. When we go there, we were checked in as normal and shown to our room. The nurse performed what's called an AmnioSwab to check the fluid. You look for the tip of the swab to turn a specific color. The color turned but wasn't as dark as it should be so it was considered equivocal and they did another test called Amnio Sure. This is a test that is like the swab but the swab is then sent to the lab for confirmation. A short time later the nurse confirmed my fear. My water was actually broken and my baby was coming today. 

Fear is probably the word not many people would use in this situation but I was scared because any rupture over 18 hours increases the chance of infection for the baby. I was immediately fearful for my little one and couldn't believe I let myself go that long before going to the hospital. But there was nothing I could do about it at that time. I had to pray for the best and accept what God was about to hand me. 

The time we spent in the L&D room was actually pretty short. Family started filtering in around 12 and that helped take my mind off of things. I had my epidural placed at 11 (way too long after the pitocin was started) and didn't feel another contraction until I started pushing at 5. I pushed for 2.5 hours and there he was. My little Jackson. I would go into depth on the delivery story but I don't want to relive that nightmare right now. Let's just say I had an epidural placed but ended up with a natural birth.

After the delivery isn't a grand experience either. I'll sum that one up by saying the delivering OB had a body part inside my body well after the baby was here to help stop my bleeding. My dreams still haunt me.

We were then taken to my postpartum room to begin my long journey as a mom and my difficult recovery period. Remember, I work as a nurse on postpartum so this part was very familiar to me. I knew what to expect here. My fellow staff member welcomed me with open arms and showered us with hugs and kisses. Correction, they aren't staff, they're family. 

The first night was pretty hard. Jackson had a lot of fluid in his throat and tummy so he was pretty spitty  all night. Because I was a prolonged rupture, the pediatrician decided to do a blood culture and CBC on the baby. I'll explain the labs and their significance a little later. The next morning we woke up unrefreshed and ready for a shower. I had gotten sick during the delivery and wasn't allowed to shower due to my IV and foley catheter. The first shower was magical. You can never appreciate a nice warm shower until you've had a traumatic delivery. 

The day was progressing along quite nicely and then we got the news. My unit manager and clinician came in for a quick visit with me and also dropped the heartbreaking news on me. My clinician told me that Jackson's blood culture came back positive.... WHAT!? I've never heard of a positive blood culture.... ever. What it means is that his blood was put in a dish and began growing bacteria. My brand new baby's blood was infected. This isn't supposed to happen. They're supposed to be born perfect and fresh. She then informed me that the pediatrician was being notified and they would let me know what was going on. A few minutes later another nurse came in and informed me that the pediatrician wanted Jackson to be admitted to the NICU to begin receiving his antibiotics via IV instead of muscular shots. My mind immediately went to my prolonged rupture and I began blaming myself for making my baby sick. After all, I was the one that didn't go to the hospital. I had about 5 minutes and the nurse came back and took my sweet little one on over to the NICU so he could begin his injections. I sat in my room with B and my parents and cried harder than I ever had in my life. 

When babies are admitted to the NICU in our hospital, the in house neonatologists begin following him and making all of his medical decisions. Working there made this transition a little easier. I knew the neos already so I was pretty comfortable with the group. When he got there, one of the neos called me to inform me of this care. I couldn't go to his room and meet with her because he was having IVs started and getting medicine. They requested that I wait about 30 minutes before coming to see him. The neo informed me that she thought he had a GBS infection. There's that bacteria again. What we expect now is that I am actually GBS positive and my initial test was a false negative. The other theory is that I developed GBS between the time I was tested and the time my sweet Jackson arrived. 

The next few hours are a blur. I ended up deciding to be discharged the next day and come home without my baby. I'm so happy with that decision because it allowed me to come home and get adequate rest so I can serve him a little better. 

As of today, his lab values look great and you can tell he's feeling much better. The neo that saw him a few days ago wants to keep him until next Friday which would equal 10 days of antibiotics. He's doing so well that I still cling to the hope that he could come home at the 7 day mark on Tuesday. Either way, I want a healthy baby boy coming home and not a sick one. I would take care of him either way but if he's safer in the NICU right now then that's what we will do. 

I'm hoping to keep everyone updated on his care but remember that the NICU is a very tiring place. Right now we get there around noon and stay until 9 at night. We then come home, eat a snack and go to bed so we can rest to do it all over again. 

There are some parts of the story that are missing, like how he did the past few days, but they will come into play a little while later. 

I called this morning to get an update from my favorite nurse, Heidi and she said his jaundice levels have come down and he's now off of phototherapy. YAY!! Phototherapy is a therapy of lights that help break down bilirubin that sits under the baby's skin. The bilirubin is what causes baby's to have a yellow appearance and is what is called Jaundice. When the bilirubin is passed, the yellow goes down and the phototherapy can be stopped. I expected him to be on therapy when he was born and it isn't a NICU specific thing. I have an appointment with a lactation specialist today at noon so she can watch Jackson feed. He and I both are adjusting with that right now but things are going well. I'm also pumping about 4 ounces each time so his night time feedings are covered with two pumping sessions. 

Here are some pictures of our little one. The bright blue lights in some of them are the phototherapy lights. 

That's all the updates I have for today. I'll check back with you tomorrow for more!!

-The B Family

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Week 38

Yep. Still lugging this kid around. Unfortunately, during this busy week, I forgot to have B take a lovely bump/watermelon/bean bag chair picture. I had an appointment on Friday and the OB told me that I'm now 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced. We also did a quick scan of the babe and discovered she now weighs around 7 lbs 3 oz. My OB then proudly said "If you make it to your due date, you'll probably have an 8 lb baby!" To which I then mentally thought "Then let's not get to the due date... k?". Either way, sounds like baby is perfectly healthy right now.

I'm not sure if I mentioned this before but I refused all genetic testing during this pregnancy for various reasons. There aren't any genetic issues in our family that I know of and none in B's either but I'm still a tiny bit nervous about the delivery day for that reason as well. Either way, we can't give our baby back... that I've been told... so no matter how this kid comes out, we'll love it any way and I'm sure God will give us the strength to deal with any of it.

The good: We're nearing the end!! Finally!!! Also, my aunt finished the pieces of the nursery she was making. I'll take some good pictures and post them soon as well. I also sleep a little easier these days. A few nights ago, I slept 3 straight hours and woke up thinking "WHOO HOO! I slept all night long!" Oh the life of a soon to be mom.

The bad: I can no longer wear my wedding rings and my ring finger on both hands does some sort of weird popping, stuck in position thing. It doesn't hurt but it doesn't make me want to puke a little.

The inappropriate: Two words.. bladder leakage. Two more words.. panic attack. Yes, I am finally at that point in my pregnancy where my bladder refuses to do it's job and instead lets a little urine slip right through. Then the panic attack sets in. I immediately freeze wherever I am and pray to God Almighty no one else notices. The bad part of all this? I've heard it never goes away.

We'll see what happens in week 39.

I wish you lots of peeless sleep!!


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Still Pregnant (a.k.a. 37 weeks)

Why, hello, 37 weeks. I'm so glad you're here. This means Baby B is now considered a full term baby! That doesn't make it easier knowing she could make her appearance at any time. For example, last night I had some pretty strange dreams and woke up about every 2 hours wondering if I were in labor. Of course I wasn't but it still had me pretty freaked out each and every time I woke up.

At week 37, Baby B is measuring around 18 to 20 inches long and weighs between 6 and 9 pounds. I'm praying she's on the smaller end of that scale but my OB says this baby is definitely on the bigger side of things. At this point, baby is gearing up for life outside my body. She's practicing things like inhaling, exhaling, sucking, gripping and blinking. She's also brushing up on her super spastic yoga moves as well.

As for me, well, that's another story. Emotions have definitely kicked in and I'm genuinely freaked out about becoming a mother. Both in the physical labor part and in the Will I Make A Good Mother way. B and I had a great (horrible) idea of watching child birthing videos a few nights ago. I have watched my fair share of births and think the whole process is pretty amazing but now I know it's about to happen to me. That makes me want to crawl in a hole and die. It also confirmed my yearning for an epidural the minute I walk through the door in labor. There is no way this girl will ever feel the "ring of fire".

It was also brought to my attention last night while getting ready for bed that I use my blog to share a little too much information. B tells me my blog posts are becoming a little risqué. I rolled my eyes and then reminded myself that it is wrong and I could go to jail for suffocating my husband with my Snoogle pillow. Plus, I need him to help out with night time feedings.

He also helped out with this...

Yep. He wrapped my poor swollen ankles in cabbage leaves. How sweet of him.

The Good: Baby is basically less than a few weeks away from coming to play with us!! How exciting!? The doctor also said I am 1.5 cm dilated now. It may have been a very small progression but it's progress either way.

The Bad: I'm definitely starting to have more dreams about the delivery day that tend to keep me up at night. Nothing too freaky yet but they still wake me up and make me wonder if everything is truly ready for the baby's arrival.

The Inappropriate: I would have put this under the good but, per B, this is TMI so I thought a new category would work here. My inappropriate update for this week is..... I HAVE BREAST MILK!!!! Not tons but just a little bit. I am able to hand express very small amounts of colostrum. I've always worried about being able to successfully breast feed the baby but now there's hope for me!

Sorry, B.

See you next week...... maybe.