Thursday, December 15, 2005

From the NICU to the PICU

J had to go back to the hospital on Saturday due to looking white and being lethargic. He went to the peds emergency room and then the PICU. As of yesterday he was released into the regular pediatrics unit. He has his own private room with a TV, phone, and bathroom. Being 5 weeks old now and needing his privacy, he is very pleased about this. The hospital he is in now in close to our home, fortunately. I have mostly been staying/sleeping at the hospital with him while SP stays at home with little M. Last night we switched, just to add a little variety to our lives. I am coming to you live from my apartment.

They have run all kinds of tests on J, which is both scary and relieving. At the other hospital they had a "wait and see" sort of attitude and ran very few tests. That was because they blamed everything on him being a premie and assumed he would grow out of it all. But his jaundice has lasted and even increased, leaving doctors to believe he might be too anaemic, which could put strain on his heart and lead to other problems like apnea. They found out that he is indeed quite anaemic despite being on iron for some time now. There are some other possible problems too, but that seems to be the main thing right now. This is common for premature babies, although we can't be certain until we put him through a round of epogin as to whether or not the cause is so simple. We hope it is. If the drug was not working, that would indicate that his marrow may not be working right, which would point to some other condition. Epogin does work for most babies, though, so we have reason to believe that it will work for him and that the problem is somewhat simple. The drug should start working within the next few days. If it does, he can come home soon and be followed for this and a few other things by our pediatrician.

The night we had to call 911 was very scary. I felt so terrified. We had to decide whether to let them give him a spinal tap, and I felt so much weight of responsibility combined with the burden of ignorance that I thought I would just competely fall apart. But you can't do that at these critical moments when you are a parent. It was the first time I understood some of what my own parents have gone through and how it has shaped them, and been able to step back from judgment. I had my hour of panicking and thinking how it was like a bad dream that he had just come home from 4 weeks in the hospital and was there again, only now it seemed like we could no longer say, "He's just premature;" now we had to ask ourselves what else might be wrong. But after that hour, and even during the process of it, I knew that the primal fear was not helpful. I had to get myself in it instead of looking from the outside and thinking how bad it was and "poor me" or even "poor him." That motherly, tough-as-nails, determined strength had to take over, and it did. So after this is all over (and let's hope there will be a point some time soon when we can indeed declare this series of events complete), you should expect a post in which I completely fall apart. Just not right now.

On top of this, my driver's license expires on Saturday. If I don't go to the DMV and renew it, I will have to take the driving test again. So I got a friend to come over and watch M tomorrow while SP goes to the hospital and I go to the DMV. Can you imagine how much more irritating the waiting at the DMV will be, knowing I have a kid in the hospital and also feeling my breasts fill up with milk and throb, unable to feed or pump? Better load up my flask and tuck it into my garter.


Blogger Jen said...

I think if you wear that LOVELY garment you suggested for me, along with the breast pump horns, you will get VERY QUICK service at the DMV and be home in no time! :)

I am so sorry the medical hell continues and I hope the medicine does the trick with all due haste so you can have both boys at home for good.

Hang in there and please do come here to fall apart if you need - that's what we're here for.

4:42 PM  
Anonymous bri said...

Just got word that J's supposed to come home tonight! Thought I'd share. YAY!

4:54 PM  

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