Saturday, October 23, 2010

Baby Mason

Wow! Where to even start. On August 21st I woke up and had a crazy feeling that something was going to happen that day. If not that day then very soon. I started to clean my house and was able to get that done. Kasey and I decided that it may be a good idea to go grocery shopping and just be ready incase this little guy decided to come. While I was shopping I started to have contractions about 4 minutes apart. We came home and I decided I should go lay down until they went away. My doctor met me at his office to check me out and make sure the contractions weren't the real thing. I had started to dialate. He told me to go home and take it easy. After laying for a while I stood up to go check on my girls and on the way sneezed twice and my water broke. I knew the baby was on his way. We ran to LDS hospital and my parents met us there. After testing the water they too knew this baby was on his way. After 7 hours of easy uneventful labor I was ready to go. Because, I deliver so early they make me go to the operating room to deliver so they can pass the baby through the window to the NICU. The doctor told me that I could only have my husband back in the room with me. I told him that I was sorry but my mom had to come with me too. He agreed and said he could make an exception. They wheeled me down and I quickly started to push. Just as the baby started to show, My numb (from the epidural) leg was dropped by my husband and hit the table. I turned just as he fell backward. Knees locked and all. He passed out and hit his head on a steel operating stool. He was out for the count!! The DR looked right at me and told me we still needed to get this baby out. I was in disbelief that on our 3rd child Kasey really passed out. I turned to the other DR and said "see I told you I needed my mom too!!" The nurse had to get on pager and call another nurse to come take care of Kasey. On the third push the baby came and poor Kasey missed the birth. To his defense he did have to gown up completley and had a mask on and all. He hadn't eaten all night, and had no sleep on top of being worried sick about this little guy that was being born 7 weeks early. He got to go to the NICU to see the baby and then was off to the ER to get 7 staples in his head. Mason did really well, for the first couple of hours. Then as preemies do he started to burn out and started to struggle breathing. After being poked 16 times trying to place an IV, I had to watch them intibate my baby. That is something I never ever wanted to see happen to my child. As he was placed on a machine that was breathing for him if physically made me sick to see. Although, he decided very soon that he had enough of the tube down his throat and pulled it out himself.

Mason on the Ventilator

After he pulled out the breathing tube he was able to go on a CPAP machine, yes a machine very much like the one used for sleep apnea in adults. He was on this machine for 2 days. He was also getting Jaundice and had to go under lights for 2 days. With the "sunglasses on and the CPAP machine I was not able to even see his face. It made me so sad not to be able to look at him. I was only able to hold his little fingers around one of mine. I sat by his bedside for 3 days not being able see him, hold him, or really even touch him. Too much stimulation in preemies can cause stress and set them further back. After he got off the CPAP he was able to go to the High Flow Oxygen. Much like a regular nasal canula, but it is able to force air into the lungs much better.

Mason had a feeding tube in his nose as well. They started to feed him so slow. He was only able to eat about 5cc every 3 hours. (less than a teaspoon) Slowly they started to feed him more and more. Finally on about day 4 I was able to hold my little man. And actually was able to start to feed him a bottle and try to nurse him.

The first time I was able to hold him!

this point on, there were any ups and downs. The NICU is so hard. They call it the NICU rollercoaster because there are soo many ups and downs. For two steps forward you take one step back. The DR told me that he was going to be able to come home on day 8. Well on day 7 he wasn't able to hold his temperature anymore and started to get jaundice again. I knew that night that we were not going to be able to come home the next day. It was sooo hard for me to grasp. I was so excited to just have my baby come home. The next couple of days he did really well and we were told we would be able to come home on day 10. Well on night 10 he started to have some blood in his stool. They immediatly stopped feeding him and took Xrays to check for NEC. A very serious complication in the colon of preemies. The told me that the Xray looked a little suspecious and that there was a chance that we would have to life flight him to Primary childrens that night. I wasn't able to feed him all night long. I was a mess thinking of the hunger pains that he must be having and again coming to the realization that I was not going to be able to take him home that morning. After a very sweet and comforting blessing that Mason and I recieved I felt much better and had a very peaceful feeling. The next morning the DR came in and told me that I could feed him. He felt that Mason was acting too "healthy" to have NEC and the blood was probably from the fortifier they started to put into his milk to add calories. The next day we were on our way home. I was so thrilled. It was the best feeling in the world walking out of the hospital with my baby. If anyone has ever had to leave the hospital without your baby you know it is the worst feeling in the world. I was able to stay at the hospital with him in my recovery room the whole 12 days. I never left his side for longer than 2 hours. And while I was away my mom was able to come and stay with him. My mom and Kasey were honestly my back bone through the whole ordeal. Mason was so small he had to come home in a Car Bed. Yeah, I didn't know they made those either.

His Car Bed

For the first 5 days we went and stayed at my mom and dads. Preemies are so hard when they come home. They have to be woken up every 3 hours to eat, and can't nurse so I have to pump the milk and then feed him and it takes preemies over 45 min to eat and ounce of milk. So total feeding time is over and hour and then I got an hour and 45 min of sleep and time to do it again. So again, my mom came to my rescue and let us stay there so she could help me with some of the feedings and with my girls.

We stayed there for 5 days and then came home to our house. We spent two nights there and on the second night Kasey woke up to feed him and noticed that his diaper had a weird Rusty color to it. He woke me up, and I called the DR and they told me to watch the next couple of diapers to see what was going on. By Sunday night they were getting worse so we decided to take him into Primary childrens. I told the triage nurse about our previous scare with NEC and she looked at him and again said, "There is no way this baby has NEC, he is way too healthy." After meeting with the DR and some tests to his diaper it was confirmed that it was blood. They did an Xray and Mason did have NEC. I did not know how serious NEC is going into it, nor during my stay but when we got home I did some research. NEC has a 50% mortality rate. And of the 50% that make it, 75% have to have surgery to remove a portion of the colon and have a colostomy bag. The DR came back in the room and told me that they were going to get us a room up on the infant floor. He told me the plan and treatment for NEC was long and tedious. Over a week with no food, and Xrays every 5 hours to make sure his bowels have not perferated. Again, I had to sit and watch the nurses search for a vein and continue to miss and miss. Finally, they found one in his head. Not fun to watch a needle go into your babies head. We went up onto the floor and continued to get Xrays every 5 hours. I had to sit and watch my little guy go hungry, and feel the pain of a mother not being able to feed her baby. For all you moms out there. We all know that being able to feed your baby is the most natural and strongest maternal instinct we have. I felt like I was the worst mom in the world. When he cried I felt like he was just looking into my eyes wondering " mommy why won't you feed me" It broke my heart. After two days of Xray after Xray the NEC finally went away. Then the 7 days of no food was able to start. He went down to the operating room to have a PICC line placed so the IV food he was receiving could be absorbed better. After telling the OR nurse that Mason was very sensitive to sedatives she reassured me that the dose he was gettin was a normal newborn dose, and pushed 2 suringes of sedatives into my baby. I was worried sick while he was in the OR and couldn't wait to go and get him and bring him back to our room. When I finally got down there I walked into nurses pushing fluids through his IV because his blood pressure dropped so low due to the sedatives. His BP dropped down to 22/14. He quit breathing a couple of times and his heart rate dropped super low. They had to send him down to the Pediatric ICU. He had to go back on Oxygen, and was watched super carefully. It broke my heart to see my little guy like this. I was physically sick to know that if his BP didn't come up he could die. I was a mess and have never cried so hard in my life. Lexie and Kenzie came to see us that night, they were not able to go in the ICU so I had to go out into the waiting room to see them. I had to put on my happy face for them, and try to eat dinner with them. When it was time for them to leave they just cried and cried, as if my heart wasn't broke enough Lexie asked me "mommy why won't you just stay home with me, Don't you love me anymore?" That was easily the worst night of my life. But at the same time being in the PICU was a VERY humbling experience that in hindsight, I am very greatful for. I realized just how greatful I was for my trials that night. And how much I had to be greatful for. After Mason was stabalized I knew that I was going to be able to come home with a healthy baby, and that is a lot more than way too many mommies at the hospital can say. I was so happy when they told me that next evening that we were going to be able to go back up to the infant floor.
Mason in the PICU

On day 5 of the 7 with no food a Xray came back and they thought that the NEC had moved to a different part of his bowels. The DR came in to talk with me and felt it necessary that we start all over day one with no food. I don't know why, But I knew in my gut that everything was fine this time. I knew that it hadn't "moved" to a new spot and I stood my ground with the DR telling him that I wanted to watch the Xrays over the next 10 hours and see what they said. Sure enought the following Xrays were Clean and showed no signs of NEC. Slowly once again after a total of 9 days without food. They started to allow me to feed my baby once again. They continued the Xrays as he started to eat to make sure that the NEC would not come back when reintroduced to food. Every Xray we received i prayed my guts out, that the NEC was not there and that the radiologist reading it would read it with a clear mind, because of the scare we received a couple days earlier when it was read wrong. I became soo close to my heavenly father and learned to rely on him in so many ways. Finally after 12 days at Primary's we were released. Again, walking out of the doors of that hospital was the best feeling in the world. I felt like we were being released from prison! After 25 days in the hospital As I look back strangly enough there are a couple of things I miss. Having all the time in the world to just sit and hold and love my little Mason. Having the time to pray all the time. Not having the world to distract me from turning to my savior every hour of the day. As We returned home and to everyday life, I couldn't be more greatful to have my whole family under one roof. To be able to hold my little girls once again. To be able to go to bed with my sweet husband. To be able to sleep in my own bed, to be able to use the baby swing that had been sitting empty in my family room for weeks, to be able to dress him in his clothes, instead of having to have him naked so all of his monitors could be on his chest. It is so funny how the little things all the sudden mean the world. I had so many people praying, fasting, putting our name on the prayer roll, and taking care of us. Helping with our girls, and trying to make thier life as normal as possible. I am so greatful for all of you. Especially my mom. She is my backbone, she knew how heartbroken I was. The first day we were there she brought me bags of things to do to keep me busy. She brought everything she needed so she could give me a pedicure in the hospital room. She did everything she could think of to make me as happy as possible. She stayed until 3 in the morning until after I feel asleep because she knew I wouldn't sleep if someone wasn't there to look after Mason. She would come in everyday and bring my girls to me, to have lunch to bring me snacks and clean clothes, and was the Mom to my kids while Kasey was trying to be the provider and MR MOM all at once. I can't even begin to express my grattitude for everyone that helped us during our hard time. The day we left Primary's

Mason is now 8 LBs and doing great. He is honestly the sweetest baby ever and I am sooo In love with him. We have so much to be greatful for and I am so blessed to have 3 darling kids and a sweet husband!