Tag: nicu life
Ambrose is three weeks old today. We’ve come a long way in those three weeks, and have been given a lot of good news. The ventilator came out. The umbilical line came out. The PICC line came out. I got to hold him. He was off all sedatives. The MRI came out normal. It was time to start breastfeeding…
But those words, spoken by the neonatologist during rounds this morning, formed truly the greatest sentence we’ve heard in our twenty days in the PCH NICU.
We might be going home. Soon. As in, tomorrow or the day after soon, depending on how quickly we can get things sorted out with Tricare and the medical supply company providing Ambrose’s oxygen.
Which means that today saw us wrapping up a bunch of loose ends. Ambrose had to be registered in the military DEERS system for insurance to release him (meaning Dad had to take a trip to the nearest base), we had to make his first pediatrician appointment, we had to do another car seat test (3 hours long, because he’s going home on oxygen), we had to meet with someone to figure out the oxygen system…etcetera, etcetera.
But! There’s a light at the end of this long, long tunnel! We are about to bust out of this joint!
Which has me simultaneously thrilled and terrified. A bit like this timeless Saved by the Bell GIF:
Thrilled, because dude. I finally get to take my son home after three weeks. I get to carry him around in all my myriad wraps and carriers, I get to take him on my favorite 3-mile route around downtown, I get to dress him in all his cute clothes and stick him under the high-contrast mobile that’s especially perfect for his limited newborn vision…and as for me, I get to be home, with all my stuff, eating all the food I made sure to freeze in advance, feeding Ambrose whenever he wants, sleeping next to him in his Moses basket, and being his mom.
Terrified, because holy cow. I’m about to be placed in charge, 100%, of a newborn. What. It’s about to get very sleep-deprived up in the Huffman house. And as much as I thought I had stuff figured out before Ambrose was born, I officially know now that babies don’t follow any sort of rules. They do their own thang. And I’m going to have to learn to live with that.
Mostly though, I’m thrilled. It’s time to move forward with our lives, and get Ambrose back home where he belongs.
So apparently Nurse Nancy wasn’t kidding around when she told Ambrose we’d try taking the NG tube out today. It came out at ten o’clock this morning! Which means that all we’ve got left on him is…well, okay. The cannula, a foot thing that checks his oxygen saturation levels, and two leads on his chest to measure his heart rate and respiration rate. So he’s still pretty wired, meaning that moving him from his crib to the chair remains a bit of a hassle.
This is just a shot of Ambrose getting his cares done. Cares are where they check a bunch of stuff on him: tummy circumference, blood pressure, temperature, chest noises, etc. It’s a good way to wake him up a bit when he falls asleep in the middle of feeding.
Today we tried out the car seat! As I wrote yesterday, the goal was to keep Ambrose in there for an hour without his oxygen stats dropping. J and I were at an organ recital in the tabernacle while they performed the bulk of the test (they even fit the straps to him, how handy!) but I managed to get back in right at the end and take a few shots of him in the seat. He was very hungry and also soiled, hence the slight tantrum. But I don’t blame him. I also get very angry when I’m hungry.
This is Ambrose getting his first bottle! This morning at 11 two women from PT stopped by to evaluate his mouth and get him going on the bottle. They said everything looked great with him, for the most part, and then started feeding him. For a first-timer, he took it like an absolute champ — downed two of the three ounces before getting sleepy and stopping. I even got my own shot with it!
Excuse the bluish light in this photo — Ambrose’s neighbor is having some jaundice issues.
Honestly, there’s not too much news. The biggest thing is that we’ve got him down to a 2 on the oxygen flow. The decrease is going to be pretty gradual from here on out. We asked today what flow he’d need to be on in order to come home on oxygen (not ideal, but a possibility) and the answer is, something below .25. So we’ve got a ways to go. The doctor estimates we could be out within the next week or two.
Which is sort of crazy to me. I feel like our lives are in limbo right now, and that it’s never going to end. But Ambrose is doing great, and he is going to come home with us some day. But that day feels like it will never come. It’s sort of like when I was pregnant: I thought I would never be un-pregnant. I knew logically that something had to happen, but I couldn’t imagine that day. I was going to be the 40-year-old with a 10-year-old fetus just chilling away. (Speaking of, the cartoon below offered me a much-needed laugh on a day when I was absolutely desperate and upset about the fact that I was still pregnant.)
Anyway. As for the breastfeeding journey, we had a pretty successful evening feed! He latched on and sucked away, on and off, for what felt like a few minutes, which is much longer than he’s been doing in the past. I’m not actually sure he got much to eat, but progress is progress. The nurse said she estimated 10 mls, based on his residuals, which is something I don’t even know how to explain, on top of the fact that I don’t know how she got that number. But okay! I’ll take it!
I asked the doctor about bottle feeds during rounds this morning, and she said she’s not ready to start them just yet. We’ve only just started trying with the breastfeeding; additionally, she said the high flow somehow makes it difficult for him to coordinate the suck-swallow reflex, and so…um…yeah. It all made sense when she told me this morning 🙂 In any case, we’re going to keep working on breastfeeding only for a few more days before we consider switching to bottles.
This has gone on longer than I was planning. It’s time for bed! I’ve been very tired, but I know I face a new level of tired once we finally take him home. Which, yes, will eventually happen. One day at a time. Chug chug chug, puff puff puff.
P.S. If you’re wondering what’s going on with the hat in the photo up above, the front desk of the hospital has hats you can just…take, I guess? I’m assuming they’re made by volunteers. So I grabbed this one because it looks similar to a hat Dad has. That face is just priceless, no?