Saturday, February 26, 2011

Justin Day 2 in the RNICU

Had a fairly decent night of sleep. I was trying to pump and get things going so I woke up a couple of times to take care of business. Brian was exhausted so I let him sleep. I would describe my condition at the time as dazed. Not quite sure about what was going on and not sure about how long we’d be around.

We stayed in the UAB family sleep rooms. Again, they’re like a hotel room slash dorm room. Comfortable enough but I knew it was not going to work out for me long term. The shower was across the room and was locked so we had to get a key to go in there. I felt pretty good considering all that we were going through.

When we got dressed, ready and checked out of the family room, we headed to see Justin. He was still in the isolette with monitors attached to him. The monitors were keeping up with his heart rate, oxygen saturation levels as well as his respiratory rate. He was also inside a thing called a superdome which gave him extra oxygen. Then, he was inside the isolette, called a “Giraffe” which maintained the oxygen and humidity levels. This was Saturday morning. He was on about 80% oxygen. Pretty uneventful day as far as Justin goes.

He was being treated by Dr. Carlos. Dr. Carlos went over PPHN (Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in a Newborn). He explained that Justin’s body  was basically confused and was trying to pump oxygenated blood to the umbilical cord when it needed to be pumping through the lungs. It’s something that can be corrected with medical intervention. Justin needed to be on oxygen and the hope was that he would be gradually weaned until he was breathing room air. Dr. Carlos said he thought Justin would be fine but did say that sometimes babies respond immediately to oxygen treatments, others take about 3-4 days and others require bypass surgery.

Dr. Carlos also said that Justin had an echocardiogram performed the day before (Friday) but the pediatric cardiologist needed a repeat echo because he couldn’t see what he needed.

We also discussed his club feet and were told that someone from pediatric orthopedics would be coming on Monday.

We weren’t able to hold him but could reach inside the isolette and touch him every now and then. It couldn’t be opened for long because it would let in too much room air and would affect the oxygen being given to Justin. He was also being given an antibiotic for preventive measures as well as being fed fluids only via an IV. We were told that he didn’t need milk yet.

We had several visitors: KK, Papa John, Memama, Grandy, Troy, Jeff, Amy and some others I cannot remember right now!

Brian’s aunt and uncle live in town and were kind enough to offer for us to stay with them. They have plenty of room and their basement is practically another house with a kitchen, living rooms and  a couple of bedrooms. It is a GREAT place to land! With all of the commotion and excitement, I really wanted to be near Troy if at all possible. My in laws have been angels. I know I’ll never be able to show them enough gratitude for what they have done. When Justin was born, their plan was to come and stay at our house and watch Troy for the few days we were in the hospital. That means they packed for a couple of days.

So that we could be close to Troy, they brought him to Birmingham and watched him at Brian’s aunt and uncle’s house. Troy was the BEST child! So happy and seemed to be having  a ball. Of course he was being spoiled, too. He learned how to climb and descend stairs…and apparently loved it!

They brought him to the hospital (siblings are the only children allowed under 12 to the NICU). He was wearing his “big bro” shirt I made him. I was holding him and brought him close to the isolette. I told Troy that his baby brother was inside. He did say “bebe” and I asked him to blow him a kiss. Troy leaned over and kissed the top of the isolette. It was so sweet! Then, of course, he was more interested in opening and closing the sides of the isolette. I sat in a chair a while and let him touch the sides. I opened one of the doors of the isolette and asked Troy to wave to his brother. He obliged and then realized that he could open and close the sides. “open” became a new word for him!

Since Troy thought he should play with everything, it was time for him to go! Brian and I stayed a bit longer and left a little after 7 or so that night. We felt that the nurses would be taking complete care of him that night. Patti was our nurse and was fantastic!