Mar 28, 2012

Amelia's adventure, Part 2

If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.

My friend Melanie said, "The whole time you were Tweeting those pictures in the hospital, I just wanted you to stop. I was afraid things were going to go badly, and then we'd all have all these pictures leading up to it." Melanie is clearly not a blogger. Or a scrapbooker.

I mean, not to make light of it or anything, but my boys LOVE their scrapbooks. And guess what Nick and Jake did all Sunday afternoon. They pulled out their scrapbooks and went through each one looking SPECIFICALLY for pictures of all the times they've either been in the hospital or bloodied. And there are more of those times documented than I should probably admit.

But those are their favorites. As a matter of fact, Nick said, about one of his head injuries that's documented in his scrapbook, "But I thought there was more BLOOD. WHERE'S ALL THE BLOOD?" Never mind that I had pictures of him in the CT scan from behind the glass ... he wanted to see more of the bloody wound. If only he could live inside my head, he could see that particular wound IN HIS NIGHTMARES.

But I digress. This is about Amelia. I was simply stating for the record that I'm glad to have the pictures, and Amelia will be really glad one day too, I think. And if not, she can just skip over those pages in her book.

As stressful as entering the hospital is, there's also a sense of relief when you get there. You know that people are going to help your child ... they're being paid to do so, and they're also hopefully passionate about their vocation.

We wheeled in through the ER and waited briefly while they confirmed that she was a direct admit to the NICU.

Once she started getting unloaded from the gurney into a crib, I headed down to Admissions to get her checked in. Grayson was still trying to get there, but Amelia's such a social little creature, I knew she'd be fine on her own until I could get back up there.

Sure enough, when I returned they'd gotten her all hooked up, but she was still in her romper and they hadn't tried to start the IV yet. Soon, Grayson arrived, and they asked us to go grab a bite to eat while they started the IV, just because it's obviously uncomfortable for the baby and they didn't want us to watch her suffer. 

When we came back, they'd stuck her eight times (four of those times in her scalp), and six or seven different people had attempted. No luck. We were fine to stay, so we watched as they tried four more times ... no dice. One of the stick spots on her head ...

Another one on her head ...

Her veins kept blowing because she was so dehydrated, so instead we decided to just try giving her small amounts of formula every half hour to every hour, out of a syringe if needed. At that point, she was taking anywhere from a couple of teaspoons to half an ounce or so at a time.

Her little chubby hand with two sticks ...

Each hand had two sticks. Poor little pincushion.

Grayson left at 5:30 to go pick the other kids up at friends' houses (it was Spring Break week), and I was set to spend the night, with him to return Wednesday morning so I could go home and sleep. We had to wear gowns, masks and gloves to be able to touch her or her crib. Since RSV is airborne, they take a lot of precautions to keep it from spreading, especially in an open environment like the NICU.

I didn't let the gloves stop me from getting in a lot of snuggle time with my precious baby!

She didn't really like the way the gloves felt against her skin, but I nuzzled her a lot with my chin and cheeks. (It's entirely possible that that negated the effect of the gloves altogether, but nobody asked me to stop. So I didn't. I soaked her in.)

The monitor leads were so cute and cheerful, you know, for monitor leads.

Snuggling was made a little more difficult because of all the wires to contend with, but we absolutely needed to monitor her resp rate, heart rate and pulse-ox (that's the one on her foot).

Through the evening she did well, with her sats up to 96% on room air (no nasal cannula -- the little clear rubber thing that goes in your nose) and her heart rate in the 160s. She was awake a good bit because of all the noise on the unit, but that just meant more time for my oily T-zone and me to snuggle with her.

I didn't know how the long overnight hours would go, but I was feeling hopeful.

Third and final installment tomorrow.


Wade's World said...

I can't imagine your baby getting stuck that many times. Anderson got stuck 5 times, but none in his head. It's so hard having a sick baby, and RSV is a mean virus. So thankful that both of our babies are better now.

stollison said...

She's so pitiful!

Rachel said...

They had a hard time getting a vein for Christopher when he was 3 months. Not fun. But so much better when you can hold them. He was on a breathing tube and feeding tube for 12 days. I couldn't hold him at all! :( So glad you got to cuddle and snuggle her.

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