Part Two Of Baby VP's Birth...
So, on June 24th at 8:08 a.m. Baby VP joined us this side of Earth. His entrance though was difficult for his little lungs and because they were only half-way ready for his birth he had to be placed in an incubator and on breathing tubes. Seeing him like that was beyond difficult. He was also attached to a blood pressure monitor, a pulse reader, a body temperature reader, antibiotic drip, two different types of glucose drips, and several other things that I don't really remember.
|Baby VP inside his incubator.|
Those first few moments that I got to spend with him were so precious to me.
After being allowed to gently touch him I was quickly taken to a pre-scheduled x-ray. Following that I was then brought to the maternity ward and placed into a room with a newborn and her mother. Each time I heard that little one cry I ended up feeling like someone was stabbing me in the heart. All I had wanted the entire time during my pregnancy was to finally reach that moment after birth were the midwives place the freshly birthed baby on your chest and you get to bond in that special mother/child way. Instead I had to be put completely to sleep during my C-Section and missed my first glimpse of my son, his first cry, the first touch, and just missed on the whole birthing experience.
I was cheered up some when Hubby brought Baby VP, my mom, and two of my siblings for a visit. I was so excited I immediately requested a wheelchair so that I could go show off my little boy to my mother. It didn't matter that he was hooked up to so many monitors and tubes that making out his facial features was difficult and holding him was impossible. I was PROUD of my little baby. And I wanted to show him off to his grandma.
My mother loved him at first sight!
Sadly, we were quickly rushed out of the NICU because visits had to be kept short. I spent another sleepless night and rather pain filled since my back ache returned to torture me some more. June 25th came bright and early for me. I surprised the nurse on duty by walking to the bathroom by myself and refusing any help to move around. I knew that whatever lay ahead of us was not going to be easy-peasy and I needed to get myself moving BY myself.
Around 9 a.m. the Dr.s came for the routine check-up and when they reached me they told me they had some good and bad news. Bad news first. Baby VP had a breathing difficulty during the night somewhere around 4 a.m. and it had lasted 4 hours. They had to put in a little tube into his lungs to clear out bacteria and to give him some medicine to strengthen his lungs. The good news. Baby VP was doing much better, the tube had been taken out and it was now being discussed whether or not we should be transferred to a NICU about 2 hours away from home. The final decision would be made around 2-3 p.m. it all depended on how Baby VP would be doing by then.
2 P.M. came and so did the Dr.s. It had been decided to go ahead and transfer Baby VP even though he was stable and doing well. They preferred transferring him now instead of later. I would be transferred as well but in with a different ambulance. At 4 P.M. my ride was ready and so was I. I was quickly taken to the new maternity section of the new hospital and registered. Not 10 minutes after arriving, a wheelchair was brought over and I was rushed through the hospital towards the NICU...which was a good 20 minute walk away from the maternity section. At this point, I had managed to walk but I was still in no condition to walk 20 minutes. Tears of frustration at my situation started stinging my eyes but I refused to cry.
Once we reached the NICU, I was quickly walked through the process of washing my hands and using a mask if necessary (which it wasn't) and then I was asked to wait 10 minutes so that they could finish up with settling in Baby VP.
I ended up waiting not 10 but two hours to see Baby VP.
Once I was brought into the hallway I could hear his cries and I wanted to run to him instead I rushed as fast as I could...which was rather slow. When I saw his room my jaw dropped. There were so many monitors all beeping and whirling away and in the mist of these was Baby VP. So small and so helpless. Completely dependent on the care and mercy of strangers. Tears started running down my face without me noticing.
|In this picture most of the monitors were turned off because|
Baby VP didn't need them anymore. Look closely, you can even spot
Baby VP sleeping away in the incubator.
The Dr. on hand asked me some general questions and then she left. I was quickly asked by her assistant to return down the hall and someone would come pick me up to bring me back to my room. I wanted to protest and scream that I would NOT be leaving Baby VP's side but I refrained because she mentioned how important it was that Baby VP receive calm vibes from me. But let me tell you, it was difficult to keep calm when I found out that my little one was starving hungry because he hadn't eaten in several hours and nobody had realized this until a few minutes before I entered the room. I was even more upset when I found out he had been transferred without any of his information regarding what care he received at our hometown hospital. Oh yea, I was definitely fighting to keep from yelling at someone.
June 26th saw me heading back to Baby VP's room. Once there, another Dr. was present and she was so sweet about explaining everything that had happened and would be happening to Baby VP to me. I ended up spending several hours there and Hubby managed to join me for a good hour before having to take Baby J. and head back home. Sometime during the afternoon, I was asked to head back to my room to eat lunch and I was then promised another transport in the evening so that I could again spend some time with Baby VP.
That evening I started asking to be moved closer to Baby VP. I couldn't stand the thought of being so far away from him. The sweet Dr. that was on duty agreed to try and find me a bed in their building (the NICU was in a different building then the maternity ward which made reaching Baby VP by myself very difficult). I was given the first good news later that night, they had found a bed for me and the next day I would be transferred three rooms away from Baby VP.
I cried from joy and relief of finally being closer to my son.
June 27th I was up before the sun getting all my things together ( I didn't have all that much with me and I had refused to unpack anything besides two changes of clothes). At 8:30 a.m. a nurse came and inspected my cut. She declared it very good looking (ha!) and not infected. She also made sure to instruct me in the proper care of my cut and made sure to let me know that if I needed anything I could come back anytime and ask for help. ( I didn't for fear of being re-admitted as a patient and moved away from Baby VP) At 11 a.m. my wheelchair and driver showed up. I was quickly brought over to the NICU.
The minute I entered the hallway leading to my son I could hear a baby crying so loud and someone screaming that "Someone get a move on and bring me Mrs. Everyday Mommy!" I dropped my bags on a side table and took off at the closest thing to a run that I could manage. The second I entered the room I started for his bed. I was not about to let anyone tell me to stand aside when my little baby was crying that hard. It was the moment that when I touched him and started speaking to him calming him down that the Dr. later told me she realized just how important my presence was to my little one. It was also then she decided that I should spend every single available minute holding and talking to my baby. The only time she wanted me away from him was to eat, use the bathroom, and sleep 2-3 hours a night.
I did exactly as she asked. I spent every minute I had with my little one. Sometimes I would eat breakfast at noon and lunch for dinner. Sometimes the only time I used the restroom was before going to sleep for 2-3 hours. My only worry was that I should be with my little one as much as possible.
The effect of spending so much time with him was quickly noticeable in an improvement in his health. My little boy was taken off most of the monitors and only the main one was left connected to him. It measured his oxygen intake, respiration, blood pressure, pulse, and temperature.
June 28th brought another round of good news that had me break down for a minute. Baby VP was taken off the respirator tubes! He was finally allowed to try breathing by himself.
|The main monitor. All the other ones|
FINALLY turned off!
Later that afternoon, my little man was transferred into my room down the hall. For the first time Baby VP and I were sleeping within the same room and I could feel my spirit lighten just a little. Hubby came to see us every day and when he walked into the room with Baby J. and my mom his whole face broke into a smile at seeing little VP sleeping in his incubator by my bed. We celebrated with lots of laughter, hugs, and kisses. Baby J. especially loved the hugs and kisses as did Baby VP.
|My own room. Baby VP joined me and it made my heart burst|
with thankfulness to finally have him so close by.
June 29th was the first day that I was allowed to try to breastfeed my little man. Until then he had been exclusively feed (my own breast milk) through a feeding tube that was in his nose. We struggled with the breast feeding for three whole days before we reached the conclusion to try bottle feeding.
June 30th found me asking the head Dr. for a transfer back to our hometown hospital. Baby VP was finally doing well enough that the head Dr. had decided to move us from the NICU to the regular children's section which then caused me to ask for a transfer. The almost 2 hour drive was very difficult on Baby J. and he was always overly tired and cranky at each visit. Usually ending with a mini-meltdown of some sort before Hubby would decide to leave. After hearing that Baby VP was considered healthy enough to join the regular children's section I decided we had spent enough time so far away from home.
To my great joy we were approved for a transfer and on July 1st at 11 a.m. , Baby VP was loaded back into a special incubator to be transferred to the hospital in our hometown. This time I was allowed to ride with him and it made a world of difference. My little baby hearing me occasionally talk stayed calm and didn't cry or scream the entire ride home. On arriving Baby VP was taken to the NICU again to be monitored and I was told that they had a pretty single room available for me. I was thrilled because I thought that I would be sharing it with Baby VP.
|The hallway from my room to the main hallway.|
That cart looking thing is the crib Baby VP was
placed in when we arrived.
|The view from the hallway into my room. You can see Baby VP's|
crib at the foot of my bed and yes he is sleeping in it.
|The other half of the room. The changing station and the pretty flowers|
that we received from our few visitors.
Hubby came to see us that evening and was a little disappointed that the hospital staff had decided to keep Baby VP in the NICU for another night. I was so heartbroken at being separated again from him all I did was cry for a good hour. I had finally thought we could continue being together but instead the Dr.s had separated us again and for the first time all the pressure and stress that I had kept tightly locked up broke loose. It took a few voice messages between me and my best friend in the states to help calm me down. As well as a wonderfully timed phone call from Hubby.
Baby VP did well his first night back and on July 2nd I was allowed to take him to my room during the day but at night I had to return him to the NICU to be placed under supervision. In the end it wasn't all that bad but the back and forth every three hours to feed and pump were so exhausting I napped at every opportunity during the day.
July 3rd, I spoke with the Dr. on call and asked how Baby VP was doing. He mentioned that if it was up to him we would have been already released but because it wasn't up to him I should talk to the Head Dr. and ask to be released. Baby VP had shocked every single nurse and Dr. by starting to really eat well (he had been having HUGE difficulty with learning how to suck from a bottle because of the feeding tube) and started gaining weight in leaps and bounds. His vitals were always perfect and his blood results were wonderful. His lungs had started working perfectly and my little man no longer needed any tubes or wires or monitors to help him survive!
All I could say over and over each time I was given good news was Praise God and THANK YOU!
That evening (July 3rd) I spoke with the Head Dr. and he agreed to release us on Monday which is not all that far away! July 4th was the first day that I was allowed to give Baby VP a bath and do something that I had been wanting to do for a long LONG time.
I was finally allowed to do skin-on-skin contact with my little VP. After his bath I bundled him up in a blanket and headed to my room. Once inside I quickly sat on the bed and laid him on my chest. His little hand grabbed one of my fingers and held on tight and we both ended up sneaking in a nap. I would occasionally wake up and check on him. Each time I peppered him with kisses and stroked his back and head. He was so calm and slept so well.
Being able to be together like that had an effect on everything he did. His eating IMPROVED IMMEDIATELY. He went from needing an hour to eat 50 ml to needing 20-30 minutes. He also started wanting to breastfeed and I couldn't be happier.
So, that's that. Today we said good-bey to my mom and dad and siblings who were here to help me out by taking care of my home and family while I was in the hospital. Unfortunately, they had to leave early. But it's alright because tomorrow is Sunday and Hubby is home all day which means Baby J. has someone to spend time with him and take care of him until I get home on Monday with Baby VP. I am so excited to finally be home and to finally be able to spend time with my loved ones without there being a time limit.