Day 6: Holding Our Baby
After all of yesterday’s scary procedures and waiting, today was much, much better — for me emotionally, and also for Ambrose. There have been so many changes since the last update that it’s hard for me to remember everything!
Overnight, the nurses took out his ventilator, as promised. They also took the monitor off his forehead — or rather, Ambrose took it off himself. Feisty one! He’s being weaned off the morphine he’s on (lil addict) and has three more days of antibiotics, as the meningitis culture has so far come back negative. His oxygen is down to 40%; it needs to be at 21% for him to breathe ambient air. (I can’t remember if I wrote about that in yesterday’s update or not!) They took out his catheter, as he was peeing through it — a couple days ago the nurse gave him a dose of a diuretic called Lasix that has had him peeing up a storm ever since. This is great — notice how puffy he’s been? Even with all the peeing, he weighed in at 10 1/2 lbs this evening. Keep in mind that he hasn’t even started feeding yet.
Biggest news from today: they removed the umbilical line, meaning that we finally got to hold him! Words can’t even express how wonderful it is to be able to hold our boy and watch his little yawns and grimaces. Tonight I read him his bedtime story while holding him on my lap, and then we said our prayers as a family. Additionally, this means that he now gets to wear clothes! Except that he’s such a chunk that he’s almost too big for 0-3 months clothes, and he’s already out of newborn diapers. Diapers! I got to change his diaper today too! (I’m telling you — so many updates in a single day that my head is spinning.)
The next few days hold some great things as well. The bile tube, which was coming out of his mouth but was moved to his nose after he kept gagging and trying to rip it out and, has been coming back clear, which is a good sign that his digestive system is ready to get going. (If they’d fed him any earlier, the milk would have just sat there and it would have been bad news. Conservation of energy.) If the line still looks good tomorrow, they’re going to try and do something they call a trophic feed, which means that they’ll give him a tiny bit of my milk via feeding tube. And from there we’ll see what happens!
All this is great news, but we still have a long road ahead of us before we can take our buddy home. Grandpa is taking bets on how long it will be: he guesses a week, Grandma guesses two weeks, Aunt Becca guesses three. The care team also estimates around three weeks. It really depends on how well he takes being weaned off things like oxygen, morphine, and the sedative, and whether he feeds well — there’s the very real possibility that he’ll develop an aversion to feeding because of all the crap that’s been shoved down his throat for the past week. Poor guy, I don’t blame him!
As for myself, I had a very nice afternoon and evening. Ambrose got a new roommate, so we had to vacate the room for a few hours while they got her set up. J and I took that time to go into town. It was the first time I’d been outside the immediate hotel/hospital area since we got here, so I really enjoyed the trip! We loaded up on snacks for me at Whole Foods, grabbed a coffee at a really great place called Publik Coffee, and then headed back to the hotel for pizza, beer (!), and the final episode of Sherlock.
And speaking of Sherlock. Just a week ago we were watching the last episode and I was pretty sure I was in labor — I’d been having mild contractions on and off since that morning. That night I went to bed, slept for long enough to have a nightmare about the episode, and then woke up with contractions 4-5 minutes apart. And then life got crazy.
But it’s a good crazy, at least that’s how I’m feeling today. And it’s not going to let up — because as soon as we bust out of this place, I’ll have a baby to take care of full time. And I really, really look forward to that day.