Saturday, September 8, 2012

Rowan's Trip to the NICU

Holy wild ride Batman!  I'll post Rowan's birth story later, but I tell you what...these last 36 hours have been crazy.  All I can say right now is I have an amazing husband, a wonderful mother, and the sweetest, most relaxed baby boy.

Before we were moved from the delivery room, the nurse tested Rowan's blood sugar.  It was a little low.  He tested at 42 and 45 is the threshold for 'normal' blood sugar.  We had to give him a little formula to get his blood sugar up.  His second blood sugar test showed a level of 46.  Passing, but barely.  Because it was still borderline low, they wanted to test his sugar before the next three feedings.  We went upstairs and got settled into our room.

Rowan's sugars never stabilized.  He had some higher tests (as high as 68) and then some lower ones (as low as 35).  He never had three tests in a row that were above 45 so we had to keep checking his sugars each time before he ate.  He was such a trooper each time he had to get checked too.  (Checking his sugars consists of a poke to the heel to get a drop of blood and reading that blood.  His poor heels have so many pokes in them now from the constant testing.  I'm so so glad that he's got his feet wrapped up so I can't see all the pokes...)  Each time he got tested, he fussed a little bit but didn't throw too big of a fit.  He also managed to calm down if he was talked to and I stroked his head.  Such an angel! 

Each time his sugars were low, he had to be fed formula so that the amount he was eating could be measured.  Not only that, but my milk hasn't come in yet so we have to make sure he was getting enough to eat...especially since he's a little guy.  He isn't low birth weight, he's just a small guy.  Problem with him getting formula is that formula out of a bottle comes really easy...breast milk doesn't come out as easy.  So when we are learning how to nurse, he gets frustrated because getting food has been easy so he doesn't eat all that when I tried to nurse, he wasn't able to get food to keep his sugars he had to get 'easy' food from a nursing just became more and more frustrating for him.  He never really showed his frustrations though...he just didn't work all that hard to eat.

Before his 4:00 feeding Saturday morning, they checked his sugars and it was 41.  Because he was unable to consistently get his sugars above 45, they decided to admit him to the NICU.  We went down there at about 5:00 to get him set up.  He had to get an IV, have more blood drawn-but this time from his arm so they could do a culture and check for possible infection.  In his IV, they were going to give him some dextrose (sugar) and antibiotics.  The dextrose was to help his sugars stabilize and the antibiotics were preventative.  During the entire ordeal, he was very patient.  He cried a little bit, but really did just fine.  I think I cried more than him.  Seeing your baby who's not even 24 hours old have to get an IV put in their teeny, tiny little hands is the worst feeling I have ever experienced. 

Checking his temperature
Ian came down with a cold on Thursday or Friday of this week (great timing huh?), so he was sleeping on the couch-bed in our room while I was watching the nurses get Rowan settled.  When I came back to our room, I crawled onto the couch with him and just fell apart.  Our little baby boy had to be in the NICU...we didn't know how long he's be there and what was going to happen.  And the NICU just sounds scary.  Granted his reasons for being in the NICU are VERY minor compared to so many of the other babies in there...but this...this is MY baby.  My baby boy, who hasn't even been out in the world for one full day has some medical concerns serious enough that he has to receive intense, round the clock care at a level far above what I can provide.  Absolutely ripped. my. heart. out.

Snack time!

I let my mom know that Rowan was in the NICU a little before 7:00.  She was at the hospital by 7:30.  We headed down to the NICU and spent time with Rowan until he woke up enough to eat.  Ian had to wear a mask to make sure he didn't share his germs.  Ian got a chance to hold him for a little bit and I tried to feed him.  Rowan was just getting so frustrated with nursing.  Ian asked the nurse to help me out a little bit, but since he had been getting almost all his food from formula, Rowan had just had enough of trying to nurse.  We gave him some more formula and then went upstairs to get some rest and get set up with a pump so I could at least get Rowan some breast milk and work on getting my milk to come in.  Ian went home to get some good rest and some medicine to help him kick whatever he's fighting.  Mom's been by my side ever since.

After pumping, a nap felt great.  I had barely slept the day/night before so the two hours I got were amazing.  This started our new routine: feed Rowan, get him to go to sleep, come to my room to pump and eat and nap.  Repeat.  Rowan's eating like a champ and still just so calm.  He's a sweet sweet baby that's tolerating everything so well.  When he's up for a feeding, his eyes are open and he's alert staring at me and stealing my heart.  He's up for about an hour in total and then goes to sleep until his next feeding.  He doesn't fuss when he's being woken up-even though they have to take his temperature and check his blood sugars (ok...he whines a little during this part, but not bad considering it's a poke and a squeeze).  He happily eats and then calmly falls asleep.  We couldn't ask for him to be doing any better.

A little bit of snuggle time.
We're still not sure when he's going to be discharged.  He has had some elevated white blood counts in his last two blood works (though his blood sugars are looking good!), so it looks as if he is fighting off an infection.  His temp is good and he's eating well, so those are all good signs.  They'll just keep a close eye on him and make sure he is infection free before he gets to come home with us.  They did ask us to bring in some clothes for him so we can dress him in clothes if we want.  Mom went home to get those and a few things for herself (since she didn't know she would be staying here with me until about an hour ago).  I called Ian and he put together a perfect bag of clothes for Rowan which was all ready for mom when she got home.  Hoping he keeps moving in this direction so he can come home early next week.

My perfect angel.
I can't thank you all enough for your kind words and prayers.  I really am doing OK know that Rowan is going to come through this just fine.  But I'm still a bit of a hot mess...hormones, lack of sleep, physical exhaustion...all of that is reeking havoc on my tear ducts.  But knowing that Ian is taking care of himself is such a helpful reminder for me to take care of myself.  Plus then I know he'll be able to take care of Rowan when we're at home and I need to take a nap without fear of Rowan getting sick again.  Mom is great at encouraging me to sleep.  Will update when there is something more to say, but until then please keep praying that Rowan eats well, sleeps well, kicks this infection, and can be weaned off the IV fluids so he can come home. 


  1. Okay, possibly one of the cutest newborns I've seen in a while... Praying so hard for your little guy AND you!

  2. Praying God's greatest favor and healing touch on Rowan and great strength for Mommy and Daddy. And an outpouring of His love for you all. Love you. DiDi Miller