Mini Marts

Mini Marts
All 5 of us!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Taking a Look Back: Jeremy's NICU Stay (Week 1)*

This story is broken up into four different sections. This is the third.
Find the first two here:
Taking a Look Back: Jeremy's Pregnancy
Taking a Look Back: Jeremy's Bed Rest and Labor

We left off with Jeremy (then named Noah) being born at 34 weeks. He was not breathing and had an infection. We didn't know any of this. We didn't get an update until an hour after I delivered. I lost it! I was so upset that I didn't know how he was doing or where he was. Bobby kept reassuring me that we were at thee BEST hospital in the nation to care for a pre-mature baby and they were doing everything they could to save his life. These journal enrties are written to Jeremy. For simplicity I didn't change the words.
10am: An hour after delivery a NICU doctor came in to tell us you was in the next room over. Once the e[pidural wore off and I could get out of bed into the wheelchair, we could go see you! I jumped up! They were amazed, so soon after delivery and epidural, I could get out of bed! But I was determined to see my baby! The doctor said you weren't breathing on your own and would need to stay in the NICU for a few days.

The first time I got to hold you.
2 hours old

At 5 pounds 14 ounces, you was so tiny! You felt so light in my arms! We were only able to see you for a few minutes.  It was so hard to put you down. The team needed to get you to the NICU unit to stabilize your breathing and get antibiotics for the infection you got while I was laboring. They said we could come to the NICU at 12pm to visit for as long as we wanted. They are now saying you will be in the hospital until your due date: 6/2/10. That is 6 weeks! 
They moved us to a recovery room. I was crying at one point telling B, "We didn't get to see him for long enough. I wouldn't even recognize him." A lactation consultant came in to talk with me about the importance of breastfeeding. (See this post.) They wanted me to start pumping right away. The sooner I started the more of a jump start I would get on producing milk. Since you were not with me I needed to pump every 3 hours for 20 minutes each time. 

12pm: We got to see you! Mommy got all misty again! You had a nasal canula with a small amount of oxygen. Which means you were breathing on your own and just needed a little help! This was great news! You also had a feeding tube. They wanted me to bring anything I pumped! Even when it was only drops. They will try to start feeding you in 12 hours. 

At this point we had been up for 28 hours and needed to get some sleep. The nurses sent us back to our room to eat and take a nap. We went back to see you at 8pm, well fed and rested! 

The teal and white blanket was given to us by someone in the hospital that makes them!
How sweet of her! 

At this point we had decided the name "Noah" did fit you. We had Jeremy in the list of names we wanted and were debating if you were a "Jeremy." As we walked back to our room this was the Bible verse outside our door: 
Ok, God! Thanks for the clarity!
Jeremy Noah Martens

4/24/10, 1 day old: The first time gave you a bath, sponge bath because your umbilical cord was still attached! It was a bit tricky, We needed to remove all the monitors, set the bed up to be water-proof. You cried quite a bit! You are off the oxygen today! Thank you, Jesus! Yo hare still not interested in eating. I keep pumping so you have a stock when you are ready. You needed a spinal tap to check for further infection, your billi-ru numbers were high which meant you were slightly jaundice, so you needed to be under the UV lights. You got to meet Grandpa, Grandma, and Auntie! 
Bath Time.
The after bath snuggles are still my favorite time of the day!

4/25/10, 2 days old: Mommy has to go home today. I come to feed you every 3 hours. You are not interested in nursing. You are too tired. The nurses tell us nursing for you is like us running a marathon. Your little body is too busy trying to mature that it doesn't have the energy to nurse. But keep trying so you feel the comfort. We usually feed you through the feeding tube. Daddy wishes he could have one! This process is called "Gavaging." Mommy get to have some skin-to-skin (STS) time with you! Your jaundice is doing better today so they let you off the belli lights for a little bit. STS helps with milk production too! Daddy read to us while I snuggled with you! After your bath we head home at 10pm. Mommy cries the whole way home. Daddy takes me over to see Matt and Tammy. They comfort me by praying for us. We get home, unpack, pump and get in bed by 1:30am! It was a long emotional day! We came home to the fireplace FULL of gifts from the ladies at the preschool! There was a huge diaper cake on the table from Auntie Sherri and Auntie Sock! We were overwhelmed by the kindness and love shown to us.

4/26/10, 3 days old: Visiting hours start at 12pm. I can stay until 6pm. They do a shift change and I can come back at 8pm and stay throughout the night, but we can't sleep there. We usually get there at 12pm for your feeding and stay until your 9pm feeding,  head home, pump at 12am and sleep. Same routine the next day. Today your Bilirubin is much higher and you have to be under the lights a much as possible. We only take you off to try to nurse and keep the UV pad under you. You have to stay on your antibiotics for 7 more days. They are growing cultures from your spinal tap to make sure the infection hasn't spread. You nursed for 7 minutes today and you were wide awake! I love every minutes of it! WE have decided while you are in the hospital, Daddy will work his regular shifts and come to the hospital on his days off. Daddy will be with me tomorrow! I want to take you home and snuggle with you but I know this is the best place for you right now.

The glow under you are the Belli-Rubin lights.

4/27/10, 4 days old: Your infection is so much better today! They discontinued your antibiotics! your Bili test is still high so you have to be on lights all day. They are above and below you. Daddy made little labels for your goggles: I can still see you, I make these look cool, I'm still checking you out. All the nurses were cracking up! You did a little better eating today. They upped your feeding does from 32cc or 44cc. We only have to gavage (feed through the tube) a few cc each feeding. Mommy is still pumping but not enough, so we have a prescription for donated milk until I start to produce more. Your nurse today is Allison. She is the girlfriend of a firefighter Daddy works with! She will be your nurse everyday she is working. We are getting to know her and love that you are so well taken care of. His mom also works in the NICU and she will take care of you when she is working! Daddy spent the day with us. He fed you while Mommy pumped. You were too sleepy to nurse today. He also gave you a bath today! He changed you for the first time and you pooped ALL over everything! Your bedding, monitors, wires, all of it! Hehe! We brought you outfits to wear, blankets from home that smell like us, toys and books. We left a little early today, 6:30pm. We love you so much! We are have so many people praying for you to get better and come home!

All eyes!

He just melts my heart!

4/28/10, 5 days old: Your Bilirubin is lower today but you still have to be under the lights. So I didn't get to snuggle with you. I sat by your bed and read to you. They started giving you a daily multivitamin. You were very sleepy today but you nursed for quite a while. It made me so happy! Daddy is working today but asks for lots of pictures all day! I am going to spend some time with Sierra tomorrow morning, so I will be coming in the afternoon with Daddy. I watched the videos we need to take you home: Baby CPR, Shaken Baby, and Carseat Safety. We will being your car seat in for the test. You have to be in it for 90 minutes and continue breathing. You are down from your birth weight. You weighed 5lb 1oz, today.
Left: Our favorite picture of you! That's a washcloth coving your entire body!
Top Right: Grandma came to visit!
Bottom Right: Love those eyes!
4/29/10, 6 days old: No more UV lights! Yea! They are adding HMF to your bottles. It's a supplement to help fatten you up! Ha! You are not gaining enough weight. But you are getting better eating each day. We got some skin-to-skin time today. Mommy loves that time! I took a little nap with you! Shhh, we aren't supposed to sleep in the NICU. They wanted you to take a carseat test. They check the specs on your carseat and put you in it for 90 minutes to make sure you don't stop breathing. If you do, we have to get a new carseat that allows you to lay down during a car ride. You passed the test today! Pastor Jim Gilbreth, from the Grove, came to visit you today and pray over you!

4/30/10, 7 days old: YOU are so cute! I'm pretty sure you are the cutest baby in the whole hospital! GiGi came to visit you again today! She got to hold you for about an hour. You drank 3 bottles in a row all on your own last night! Mommy is now pumping enough for you to eat!! When I got here today, you nursed for 15 minutes! I was elated! Then you layed on Daddy's chest while we all took a little family nap! The nurse let us and even took a picture! Tata came to see you too! He brought Daddy and Mommy dinner, Cuca's! YUM! You got your Hep B shot today and we had to sign consent for you to be circumcised. We don't want to be here for that!  Tomorrow is your baby shower. Allison will be here with you and while you get circumcised. We will come visit you in the evening! Happy one week old birthday!
I love that bottom right picture!
"Don't put me down Daddy!"

The next week in the NICU can be found here:

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