Day two in the NICU has been an eventful day for Rowan...all in good ways!
There are three things Rowan needs to do to be able to get out of the NICU. 1) Get off IV fluids and keep his blood sugars above 45 on his own for 24 hours 2) Get out of the OMNI bed (climate controlled bed that helps his temp stay up) and into a regular crib and maintain a body temperature of 97.5 or higher on his own 3) show no signs of infection.
He is well on his way to checking items one and two off his list. After one of his night time feedings last night/this morning the NNP (neonatal nurse practitioner) gave the all clear for him to get off IV fluids. His NICU doctor didn't feel the need to have his sugar checked before each feeding too, so he only had to have it checked once today. The result: 78! He's been eating really well too so we'll see how frequently the doctor wants to monitor his blood sugars. It looks like he's on the road to having his blood sugars under control.
Sleeping in his crib-all wrapped up nice and tight
Item two: he got moved into a regular crib today. The first temperature check after getting moved was a little close...it was right at 97.5. We had a couple of things going against us for that one-he only had on a sleeper and blanket and I checked the temperature on his IV arm that wasn't wrapped up. His IV arm has to stay out of his sleeper for access to the IV for antibiotics. So that shoulder is exposed-it can only be wrapped by the blanket. So...our nurse suggested we add a onesie under the sleeper, a pair of socks, and then check his temperature the next time. At the next temperature check he was at 98.8! Apparently kids can have cooler temperatures during the night, so here's hoping that he stay strong overnight. Eitherway, we're certainly on te way to him being able to self regulate his temperature!
Now onto treating this infection. During rounds this morning, the doctor gave us a mix of news. Good news: his blood work is showing that he's kicking the infection. No way to tell if it's the antibiotics he's getting or if he's kicking it on his own-frankly it doesn't matter to me. He's kicking it. The bad news: she wants to keep him in the NICU long enough to get a full round of antibiotics. That means he'll be here for a full week at least. She also will need to give him a spinal tap to make sure the infection hasn't gone into his spinal fluid. From what I've learned, adults have a brain/body block which will prevent infection from spreading into the brain in most cases. New babies don't have that. So...it's possible, though highly unlikely that an infection in a new baby like Rowan can get into the spinal fluid and then get into the brain. Getting a spinal tap is very common for babies in the NICU...but still scares the crap out of me. I don't like that idea one bit and had a very hard time hearing that he would have to have one in the next few days. But...it's the only way to make sure he's in the clear. If the spinal tap shows he has a more severe infection, then he'll have to have antibiotics for three weeks-meaning we'll be staying in the NICU for three weeks.
Visit from daddy, wearing a mask so he doesn't share germs.
So that's where we're at. Rowan is still doing everything perfectly. He's eating, pooping, peeing, sleeping, and being just plain awesome. Not only that, but the ONLY cord he has attached to him now is his heart rate monitor. He'll keep the IV in so that he can get IV antibiotics, but it's not connected to anything full time. My mom has been so great to have hear while Ian's been working on kicking his sickness. Ian did come up to the hospital for lunch with mom and I and then spent a little time with Rowan. I think that was the best medicine for both Rowan and I. Ian got to hold both of us for a little while...felt so good. Ian stayed for Rowan's biggest feeding too. It was really important for Rowan to eat well at 1:30 because his blood sugar was going to be tested at the following feeding. Ian told Rowan to eat well before we started eating. He had been eating between 30 and 35 mL between what I had been able to pump and formula. While Ian was there, Rowan at 48 mL and then promptly went into a food coma. Ian then left to go on a mission to find some warmer sleepers for him so that we can get him into something warmer if we get worried about his body temp again.
I am so very thankful for so much we've seen and experienced during the last 48 hours. First and foremost, I am so thankful for Rowan. He is such a trooper and a calm little baby. He's doing everything he needs to do. I also have the two very best support people around me making sure I eat, sleep, and take care of myself. Rowan has great nurses that are giving him the best care. It's also very clear that no one thinks he's going to be in the NICU for very long. His room doesn't have his name on the window, but most of the other rooms have the kiddo's name on the window-meaning they're going to be here for a while. I also think my milk is really close to coming in. Pumping just feels different and I'm starting to get a little more. Here's hoping by the time Rowan is headed home I'll be able to give him just about all the food he needs. Since Rowan will be here during the week too I'll be able meet one on one with a lactation consultant and make sure I'm prepared as possible to transition to nursing down the road.
While I wouldn't have EVER asked for this experience, it has been as good as possible. Rowan, and the rest of my family, continues to amaze me and I'm reminded each and every day of all that I have to be thankful for. I can't believe how blessed we really are through all of this...God is being so good to us. All of your words have meant so so much. I can't wait to get Rowan home so he can meet all of you.
Please continue to pray that Rowan stays on this path to a quick recovery. Pray that Ian can get healthy (seeing the doctor early next week is on his agenda). Pray that I can stay healthy (I feel like I'm starting to get a little sick). Pray I get good rest and I can make sure I'm listening to my body.