Two Weeks in the NICU

Last Week's Blog > "Preterm and in the NICU"

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."

 

Thumbnail image for 10-13-09 ASHER PICC LINE_crop.jpg

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...

 

Blue Light.JPG

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.

Next Week's Blog > "Random Acts of Kindness: The San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon"

 

 

Comments

Leave a comment
  • Love Atia's face when Asher made a noise. Nice entry. And that doughnot cushion...

  • In reply to abelaval:

    Thanks, Ana! I had to include that detail. The donut was a big part of my life for over two weeks. I used it in the car, in the wheelchair and anywhere else I was sitting (even on the couch at home). And of course, it was bright orange (traffic cone color) so there was no camouflaging it! :-)

  • In reply to llutarewych:

    I carried it proudly like a purse to get my first pedicure after labor. That is why I love my manicurist/friend Carmen because she listened to me cry about motherhood, hemorrhoids while I sat on the bright orange cushion.

  • In reply to llutarewych:

    Oh boy! Since I had two C-sections, I don't have the same donut cushion experience as you two did, but I have to say, I had my own ways of coping with the belly pains after the two Cs. Either way, I guess it isn't a picnic. :) But, blessed we are for it. We can now laugh! I remember these pics from after Asher was born. So happy all turned out well!

Leave a comment