Finally, I have a chance to sit down in front of the computer and tell about how Cason got here. I may have to write this in 3- 10 minute sessions throughout the night but it will get done!
We celebrated Mikes 30th birthday on Tuesday, 17th then went to the hospital to begin the induction process. They started some drugs that night and more the next morning. By 6 I was ready to push and a little before 7 Cason was here (typing that i realize it sounds quite simple, it was not but this story is about Cason's trip to the nicu, not what happens when the epidural wears off before pushing). I hear them mention Cason had a temperature and had swallowed a lot of fluid but they debate calling a nicu nurse in and decide not to, he is fine. They wisk him away to the nursery to be measured and have a bath and get ready to come live in my room. I have to recover for a little over an hour.
Around 9 I head to my room (via wheelchair) and start getting settled in. The room phone rings and it's my peditrition. Wow, how nice of her to be making calls at 9:00 at night, now this is service. She sounded so nice but informed me that Cason was having breathing difficulties and it was possible there was an infection due to the fever I had when he delivered and he had when he was born (for some reason at 3:00 that day i had gotten a fever, it was 1 degree and gone by midnight but they thought it might have been a connection, during labor they had started me on an iv antibotics). Anyways, she said that Cason would have to spend some time in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). As you can imagine, i was heartbroken. I was sitting there waiting for my new baby to be brought into my room so we could see him and I could feed him and I wouldn't be able to do that. On top of the normal emotions anyone would feel, just having a baby makes emotions extra heightened and I was pretty much a basket case. The nurse was amazing and so sweet but it didn't matter, I wanted my baby!
I can't remember the order of how everything happened next but at some point, the dr. from the NICU came to our room and explained a little more about what they were going to do, put him on oxygen because he was having trouble breathing, monitor the fluid on his lungs, test his blood for infection, and start him on antibotics to fight possible infection. Then the nurse was able to take us to see him; me, my iv pole, my wheelchair, my backless hospital gown, and mike. We were introduced to something we would become very familiar with. The NICU is housed behind locked doors which they have to buzz you into. You go to the handwashing station and and wash your hands then can head in to where they keep the babies. The first picture I have posted below is from that visit. Cason was hooked up to oxygen, feeding tube, heartrate monitor, O2 monitor, respiration monitor and an IV. I think i just sat there and cried while the nurses handed me kleenex. He wasn't crying or upset but it was extremely hard to see him like that and not be able to hold him. We headed back to the room, the sweet dr. came and visited again to explain more things i can't remember and somehow I went to sleep around 2:00am.
Everything about the hospital stay was pretty typical minus the baby in the room. Since i had checked in to the hospital to eventually end up with a baby in my room, I had a hard time looking over and not seeing the crib. We were allowed to visit Cason whenever we wanted but were only aloud to touch/hold him at certain times that were coordinated to his feeding times. It took us awhile to get the routine down because sometimes his feeding times would change and we wouldn't know about it but when we did get to hold him it was great. We would change his diaper, take his temp, then either hold him while the feeding tube was feeding him or give him a bottle. I spent some time pumping the days at the hospital but i didn't have an appetite, was very upset, wasn't sleeping, and wasn't getting enough water- all of the key things they say breastfeeding moms need to do.
Thursday it began to sink in that I would be released on Friday but Cason was not able to go yet and it would be 7-10 days before he could. That was a horrible feeling. I think I cried every time i thought about it and of course, a nurse would walk in aroundthat time as well and get worried that i was depressed and ask if i had a good support system. I know they were just doing their job but I was getting parinoid about being watched so closely.
Friday came, more visiting Cason in the NICU. Then my doctor came by and gave the orders for me to be released. I had the option of "rooming in" and staying at the hospital and it was a very hard decision to figure out what to do. I thought I was making the wrong decision either way. Although it killed us to leave, we thought being at home would allow me some extra rest, decent meals, and some alone time away from everyone at the hospital. His last feeding that day was at 5:00 and after that we said goodbye and promised to be back at 8 in the morning and headed home. My prayer for each one of you is that you never have to leave the hospital without your baby you just gave birth to. I can't even describe what it's like to look at an empty carseat and go home and sit in a perfectly prepared nursery and not have your baby there. It's not fun.
Sorry for the long post and no pictures. It's 6 am now and I have to get redy to go to the hospital so tonight I'll type everything that's happened since we have been home. Thank you so much for your prayers. We think they are going to let him come home Wed afternoon so that is a huge releif. The antibotics finish up by then, he should be done with the light therapy by then and hopefully there will be nothing else they find to keep him. I can't wait!