I can't believe we're been in the hospital since Friday and Rowan's been in the NICU since Saturday...and it's only Tuesday. It feels so much longer than that. But, we're in the home stretch now as long as things keep going the way they are going.
Yestrday (day 3) was a really good day. Rowan kept on being a rock star in every way possible. He had to have his Spinal Tap in the afternoon. The nurse giving us the run down about the procedure say it takes on average 45 minutes, but it all depends on the kid. If the NNP is able to get a good 'poke' and get the fluid right away, then it could be quicker. They came in at about 4:30 to give him his spinal tap and everyting was all done by 4:50...first poke and first draw. Then he was eating by 5:00 and just happy as a clam. Preliminary results a few hours later looked all clear too...YES! We haven't gotten any 'official' results yet, but according to everyone no news is good news.
Daddy feeding Rowan
I also met with a lactation consultant yesterday to figure out this whole breastfeeding thing. I really wanted to be able to nurse Rowan. Since I'll be working full time, I know pumping and bottle feeding will be a requirement. But...the idea of rolling out of bed in the middle of the night and plugging him into a boob and then going right back to bed is so much more appealing then getting out of bed, warming a bottle, feeding him, rinsing out the bottle, and then going back to bed. Call me lazy...but Option A just seems far more desireable to me. Anyway, meeting with lacation consultant was very encouraging. We couldn't get Rowan to wake up, so I didn't get to try nursing with her there to watch us latch and make sure it was OK. But, we tried nursing on our own later that evening and we did pretty good. We nursed during his night time feedings too and did well during those. It felt so good to know that we can get this figured out. The doctor still wants us to supplement with bottles after nursing so we can make sure he's getting enough to eat. Last night Ian got to give him a bottle after I nursed...it was wonderful to see. (thanks mom for snapping the pictures while I pumped!)
Yesterday was also the first day I allowed myself to leave the hospital. It was a good thing for me to get out of there. I didn't want to leave, but I knew I had to. I needed to spend some time with Ian and get a change of scenery. The thing that was bad about me leaving was the crash I felt after my nap. I went home, took a nap, woke up to pump, and then tried to go back to sleep. That wasn't happening so I got up to shower and eat. After my shower I felt ALL the adrenaline leave my body. Walking down the hall to the kitchen took forever and all the energy I had. Huge clue that I needed to come home to get some rest.
I think the best feeling yesterday though was when our whole family was together. I got to hold a sleeping baby Rowan while sitting on the couch next to Ian and Ian gently stroked Rowan's said and calmly whispered to him. That was the best feeling I have ever experienced. I'm sooooooo looking forward to a million more of them when we get to bring our little one home.
Rowan's short lived window decoration
Now...onto Day 4. This one was a little more rough on me. Early in the morning, we were told that Rowan would be moving up to the 4th floor NICU. I was really excited about this because the 4th floor NICU is where they put the babies that are close to going home. Praise. The. Lord! (funny story: they put Rowan's name on his window yesterday when I was at home...then we moved less than 24 hours later...teehee) Before we could be moved, they needed to get a new IV for Rowan. His wasn't flushing as well...probably because it had been in his hand for 3 full days. It's common for infants to need new IVs every 2 to 3 days because they move their hands around a lot and the IV wiggles. So, while mom and I went to the bathroom and to get some breakfast, the nurses (2 of them) started getting a new IV ready for him. When I came back, a third nurse had joined the crew because they ended up needing to put the IV in Rowan's head instead of his hand. Apparently his vein rolled and the needle went through so they couldn't use it. Yikes...now my baby has an IV attached to his head. I hate how it looks, but he did very good getting it placed and didn't even cry when it was flushed-something he would do with the IV in his hand. So...it may feel better for him...but still...=(
Time to get moved to the 4th floor NICU. This I was not prepared for. See...the 3rd floor NICU (where we have been) is all private rooms with a sink and fridge in every room, a TV, a recliner, and a pull out sofa. It has two sets of curtains for privacy and is just beautiful. The 4th floor NICU is a large room where eight cribs are placed along the edges with medical equipment stored next to the bed. There are 4 rockers and 8 folding chairs. One communal sink and fridge. What?? This is where my baby is going to be? Where can I sleep? How am I supposed to nurse my baby during the night if there's no place for me to sleep? Reality set in and all I wanted to do was hold my baby and cry. So I did. I held him, I rocked him, I told him I loved him, and I cried realizing I wouldn't be staying with him during the rest of his nights in the NICU. Dis.Like.
About an hour after we moved into the 4th floor, my OB doctor came to see what was up. It was good to see her and be reassured by another medical professional that it's good this infection was caught so early so that Rowan could get medicine now instead of getting him home and then having to go back to the hospital. Oddly enough, I also really appreciated that she didn't ask one question about my recovery...she was just worried about Rowan and wanted to see how he was doing. She also got after me (in the nicest way possible) for not being home more and sleeping more. Our nurse chimed in as well and reittereated that I needed to go home and sleep. I tearfully said "I know" over and over again and by the end of our conversation I believed it too.
Then Rowan's NICU doctor came over. She gave us the run down and said he would be able to go home on Saturday morning since all his tests were looking good. I asked if that was the soonest since his last dose of antibiotics was due Friday evening. She said that since it's due at 8:00 Friday night, we'll have to wait until Saturday AM. *sigh and grrrrr* I tearfully said OK and just looked at the perfectly peaceful baby sleeping in my arms. I told him he'd be home soon and he would be perfectly healthy when that time came. Then Rowan's doctor reminded me that I needed to go home and get some rest. OK OK OK...I get it people. I need to sleep. I'll add that to my to do list of nursing, pumping, taking care of my baby, eating, and dealing with all these changes in one day. I told her I would be staying at home tonight and would hopefully get a good night's sleep.
A few minutes later, she came back over and said she would be willing to give Rowan his last dose of medicine at 6:00 on Friday instead of 8:00...and then he could go home Friday night!!!!!! Again...tears...but this time good ones. All I could muster was a quiet thank you. My baby was coming home...we just have to get through three more nights.
While these next three nights are going to be sooooooo long being away from my baby, it will be good to sleep in my own bed. I'll be able to get a full night's sleep for three nights in a row before bringing my sweet angel home and I loose the ability to sleep through the night for a while. I'll take these last three nights and gladly sacrificy a million sleepless ones to get my baby home one night early.
My perfect baby sleeping so peacefully
Thank you for all your prayers and kind words. I don't know who all has been praying that Rowan keeps being the BEST BABY EVER, but THANK YOU! We would not be doing as well as we are doing if Rowan wasn't as awesome as he is. He sleeps so peacefully, eats well, and has the biggest eyes wide open when he's awake. All of his medical procedures he tolerates with minimal fussing. I know every parent says this about their kid, but Rowan really is the best.
Hopefully will post again soon. Until then, I will rejoice in feeling more and more hopeful each and every day that we're in the clear and Rowan will be home on Friday night like the doctor said.