Asher's E. coli diagnosis resulted in a mandatory two week NICU stay. That was a tough pill to swallow. We were told that E. coli is the leading cause of infant meningitis, which can be life threatening. A spinal tap was the only way the doctors could confirm whether or not the bacterium had spread to his brain. So, Asher had a spinal tap; fortunately, it hadn't spread. Thank goodness!
He was placed on 14 days of antibiotics, in which he received multiple doses throughout the day. They were given intravenously (IV) and due to the dosage frequency, the doctors recommended he have a picc line placed in his arm. They believed it to be more reliable and that it would minimize any additional "poking."
Asher's Picc Line
Unfortunately, it was also determined that Asher had jaundice. Of course, this was the least of our worries. It's funny how relative things become. Atia had been jaundiced too. Back when we were "new" parents, dealing with Atia's jaundice seemed like one of the hardest things in the world. Back then, I was so distressed; now, with Asher, it almost seemed inconsequential. What's a little blue light therapy when there were so many other things that were so much worse? Small potatoes in the big scheme of things...
Asher's Light Therapy
Those two weeks were miserable. I was released from the hospital on Sunday, October 11th (less than 48 hrs after giving birth). It was awkward and completely unnatural to leave the hospital without my baby. I had all the physical reminders of childbirth - lactating breasts, a bloated stomach, stitches and hemorrhoids so bad that I could barely walk (I had to sit on an inflated donut cushion) - but no baby in my arms.
All of this was overwhelming and thanks to my hormone imbalance, courtesy of childbirth, I was walking around in a haze. It all seemed surreal. I thought to myself: How was it possible that both of my children had spinal taps within the last few days? How was it possible that both of them had picc lines at one point in their lives?
Everything had spiraled out of control. I felt helpless on all fronts. The one thing I could control was Asher's feedings. I vowed to pump my breast milk for him. If I couldn't be there to feed him, at least the nurses would have MY milk to give him. We went to the NICU once a day; it was physically taxing on me. Steve and I were both exhausted, but we continued to visit nonetheless.
On several occasions we brought Atia along. She was so excited to see her little brother - the baby that had just been in Mommy's belly. At first, she was a little scared when she saw him all hooked up, but when she held him the fear melted away.
Steve and I stood there watching in awe. We had two children now. TWO! Regardless of their health conditions, we felt absolutely blessed. Atia and Asher were our gifts and we cherished them to the core.