History…Ethan’s NICU Stay

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Taken from Blog Post July 25, 2012

May 11
Mommy gets discharged and baby needs to stay in hospital for 5 more days…this was definitely not the way I thought our first week would go…

So as I said in the earlier post, they took him to the NICU the first night in the hospital due to his quick breathing… I still wish that they would have told me that rather than me waking at 12 am wondering where my baby was, but at least he was safe and being taken care of…The diagnosis was inhalation of amniotic fluid (which had meconium in it, but that wasn’t the worry, even though it was for me) which caused fluid in the lungs, similar to pneumonia, so he needed IV antibiotics.  Since the doctor and nurses knew I wanted to exclusively breastfeed, they put him on a saline/sugar water( I think) drip IV. When I got to the NICU first thing that morning, I wanted to feed him to get him off the one IV.

This is where it started to get hairy…The nurse on duty said “alright let’s do this”… I was thinking great, they are going to help me, they are so supportive…So my boob came out, the nurse is helping me put it in his mouth, standing over my shoulder, telling me things…ok, so this wasn’t going like I planned, it didn’tfeel like help…Ethan was having latching issues (he would get like 2-3 pulls let go, “forget” how to go back on…it became stressful…then the nurse started saying “well if he doesn’t eat, we can’t get him off the IV you should just let us supplement him with formula” I’m thinking hell no! I then politely said “No, I would like to see the lactation specialist and keep trying” she seemed to kind of huff out of the room. Well, this little stressful situation turned into a more stressful situation…Casey was great and went out on the hunt for the lactation specialist. He was started to get really frustrated with the way the nurses were acting about breastfeeding.  He found her and she came in.

Now, my mom, Casey, lactation specialist, two nurses, myself and Ethan were in his NICU room…the room was big, but not for all these people. So the lactation specialist, who was awesome, was helping me, while the nurses were moving about the room(annoying)…we were really getting him to latch on and each time he would improve the number of pulls, but he would then come off and again “forget” how to get back on…the lactation specialist, said that my colostrums was there and no worries about production, but my nipples weren’t staying “out” so she said that she would get me these nipple shield that helped pull out my nips. Then he started to cry, because he was becoming frustrated. His crying then made the nurses start saying “ok, enough, he’s stressed out” I agreed, and said I would try again. The lactation specialist said that she needed to see another patient and she would find me in my room later to discuss things and what not. I was thinking great, she’s going to help, and we are going to get this rolling.

I went back to my room to shower and relax, because as all this commotion is going on, I had to remember I’m still healing too. I’m supposed to be taking it easy too. Ha yeah right, but when my baby can’t be with me, I need to be near my son. So after a quick shower, the lactation specialist comes in… first words “wow! It smells so good in here, what do you use in the shower that smells so good?”…lol I told her of  bath and body works… we both giggled. She has the shields, gives them to me to wear. She also shows me how to hand express milk, and how to use the pump they brought me. I really liked her, she was very encouraging and she said, “I want to apologize that the lactation specialist didn’t come find you. Even if you weren’t in the room, she should have looked for you in the NICU.” I told her how thankful I was and she left.
It was time to go back and begin feeding. Well, it kind of started out the same, he was on there for 2-3 pulls
then would come off and “forgot” how to get back on, this is when one of the nurses got m a nipple shield that had holes in it. AMAZINGLY, it worked! He would get on there (maybe with a little coaxing with some breast milk in a syringe(shoot a little in his mouth and then he would start suckling at the nip. It was great!

Finally he was eating! Unfortunately, since it was so late in the day when we both figured out the breastfeeding … the doctor came in and recommended that we supplement him for the night so they can take out the IV tomorrow. Casey and I really really really did not want to, but we decided it was better to get that stupid IV out. So he was supplemented formula for one day…(man his poop and breath stunk…) I didn’t give him the bottles, because I did not want him to associate a bottle with me.

May 12-16

This whole supplementing thing and how the nurses were trying to force me to supplement a lot with formula, I WAS ON A MISSON. I told myself that this baby would be supplemented with my breast milk overnight when I wasn’t at the hospital.

Now I could have stayed at the hospital with him in his room, but for my mental health, Casey convinced me it wasn’t good for my head to stay there for the 5 days, but to come home and sleep at home and go back first thing in the am… he was right, but the first time I came home it was bad. I cried the way home I didn’t want to leave him… Casey just held my hand and let me cry. He understood. Then I got myself under control and then we pulled in the driveway… my parents had decorated the house with and “it’s a boy!” stuff and blue ribbons… that made me spiral to tears again, because I was home and baby wasn’t…I walked through the house and said as little as possible, brought the dogs outside and just cried… and cried… my mom set up a nice little “bed” for me on the couch. So when I was done, I went and sat there…drifting in TV shows..Only thinking about going back to the hospital to see my baby. We went back after dinner and stayed till 1 AM.

So back at the hospital the next day, I had the nipple shield and he was doing great! After every feeding, I pumped. I was and still am producing a great amount of milk for my little man. I gave the hospital enough milk that they gave me 3 bottles to bring home when it was time to bring him home. I was so happy with that! To me that was the “Boom Bitches, what do you think now?!”

Our experience in the NICU was overall great! There were only two things that killed us.
1-      The emphasis on formula- even though every word out of their mouths was breast milk is best, it’s the best thing you could do…they were still trying to push formula. I really think it’s because they can measure it. They can see how much he’s eating. And obviously, with breast milk they can’t unless it’s in the bottle.

  1. I’m so glad that he only had formula for one day… his breath and poop stunk…

2-      Nurse X I’ll call her… Here we are in the NICU (not because he’s underweight, early, or deathly sick…so we would hold him, love him, and be there all the time… well nurse X came in and said “Oh no wonder why he never cries, you’re always holding him. You should really leave him and not hold him so much. Hold him all you want when you get home.” Casey and I were flabbergasted… Like, how dare you tell me that?! So we complained not like a bitchy complainer, but we said something… that’s not right to tell first time parents who are dying inside because their baby is here in the NICU just for antibiotics… and she wasn’t our nurse for the rest of the stay.

One observation I made was that I was the only mom that was there all the time… I was there from about 7 AM till 1AM…other parents came and went… I’m not sure how they could do that… it was funny one of the nurses said, “You’re amazing. You’re making my job easy. Now only if you could do the meds…lol” that made me feel really good!

When Wednesday the 16th came and the doctor gave us the go ahead that after his last dose of antibiotics in the evening he could go home, we were so excited! I did a little dance. I couldn’t wait to get my little man home! I called our pediatrician, made an appointment for the following day… it was great!
Taking him home was the best thing ever.

Even though our first week wasn’t what we planned, he’s healthy and was well taken care of.

In the NICU with All His Wires

In the NICU with All His Wires

First Mother's Day in the Hospital

First Mother’s Day in the Hospital

In the Carseat...Ready to Go!

In the Carseat…Ready to Go!

Nana and Poppop Bought hims a Cake

Nana and Poppop Bought hims a Cake

We just got an invitation in the mail from the NICU for their 1 year celebration and they are making it like a reunion… we are thinking about going.

*I respect all those moms in a NICU situation…this is just how I was feeling at the time.

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