Sunday, May 23, 2010

Clover's NICU visit

lights off, getting ready to nurse

so miss clover was born, everything was lovely, i held and nursed her all night. at 7am one of the best nurses in the world mary [katie's mom!] came to take care of me :) i had her with saylor too and she's incredible. as in- praying for me, massaging me, gave us a gift card to tim hortons [it's downstairs at the hospital], balloons, and of course lots of gentle TLC- letting me be as vulnerable as i need to be, physically and emotionally. so she comes at 7, right around the same time our pediatrician came to meet her as well. which was good timing. mary said her first thought when she saw clover was 'she's ORANGE!' i hadn't noticed, we had the lights real dimmed the whole night! but as soon as they mentioned it i saw it, wow. it's cause for concern especially for how young she was, only 14 hours old. they did a quick test to see her bilirubin numbers and it was 14. the ped. said she'd be a little concerned if it was 8 or 9 and she was 14! so the plan was to take her to the nursery and put her under a light and do a more thorough test. they put her under there for four hours, retested her and she was 16.8. not good!
babies can get jaundice for different reasons and in her case it turns out she is positive for something called coombs- i am O positive and her blood is B negative. basically my blood was binding to hers and attacking it in a sense. she needed help flushing out her system, and quickly. if it got out of control it could cause brain damage. they also took her WBC and it was elevated- normal range is 8-20,000 and hers was 43,000. the doctor said he thinks it was just because of everything else going on in her body, but there was a chance it could be from an infection of some sort. they took cultures but you don't get initial results on those for 24 hours so they say guilty until proven innocent and wanted to give her antibiotics. i was fine with this, i got nervous for a bit that it could have been a GBS infection, that i worked so hard and researched so much to avoid. but when the doctor said it likely was just from the jaundice i felt better. she needed to be moved to the NICU to be under three lights, and have an iV of immunoglobulin IgA i think, and then the antibiotics. they also had to give her formula- one as an added supplement to my colostrum to quickly flush her system out, two- they fed her under the lights [and gave her my pumped colostrum under the lights] they didn't want anytime out of there, and three- severe jaundice can make babies quite lethargic and she was, so that makes feedings more difficult. the doctor who initially explained all this to us was nice and thorough but he also was scary in a way saying things like 'we are driving fast down a hill and we are headed toward a cliff' and calling it a big fire and such. he actually really scared colin, but for some reason i was ok! i think it's a combo of it being my second child, having a sister that works in the NICU and sees this and much worse all the time, and knowing that they were taking care of things immediately so that something worse wouldn't happen. he said if her next numbers went up at all he would be prepping for a blood transfusion. [which sounds scary but again my sister was able to explain it to me and reassure me] 20 was the number he did not want to see.
so it was a strange day, you are all excited and anticipating visitors and holding her all day and it was certainly hard not being able to hold her or nurse her. we were just waiting and praying for that next result to see if what they were doing was working.
and it was! it went down to 13.9. the nurses were great in the nicu. one nurse told me they were taking bets on what her numbers would be, someone said 15, and the scary doctor said 17. he bet she would get worse! she proved them wrong. the nurses all loved and cooed all over her though and said she was amazing [which she is,of course :)]. her next numbers were 12.9 and few hours after that they were 11.9 and they were able to take her down to one light for awhile and after a few more hours turned that off, and then she was ready go to home. apparently i have a good chance of this happening with any future children as well, something confusing having to do with me and colin's blood... interesting.
we are thankful to all the nurses and docs in the nicu! we were able to come home on saturday early afternoon. clover actually gained an ounce [7lbs 6oz] with the fluids/supplements she was getting. hopefully can post better pictures soon, these are just from my phone..

our little squash, getting her tan on. it was really sad not being able to see her eyes- and she had this big 'tan line' of yellow around her eyes where the glasses were, it was funny

they gave her this paci with sugar water on it when they had do IVs or any blood testing/poking.

down to one light

daddy love

getting ready to leave


Maggie the Librarian said...

oh man, i know it was intense at the time but those photos of her under the lights are SO LOVEY! :)
Now I'm praying that your nursing relationship becomes SUPER strong despite this bump in the road. soooooo glad she is better!

saylor days said...

aw yes thanks. i pumped all day thurs and they gave it all to her. and by friday i was able to nurse her again exclusively. they initially tried to offer formula after my feedings but she refused them, didn't need them :)

Kristin said...

Oh Shell, so sorry you all had to go into the NICU.... I love you so much, and I'm so glad Clover is ok and she is HOME!!!

meridith said...

so glad she is all better now!