Not long after Teddy's birth and meeting his big siblings, Teddy bought himself a ticket to the NICU.
Much like big brother Patrick's story, Teddy's blood sugar dipped too low and he got himself a trip to the NICU for an IV of glucose to bring up his blood sugar. Teddy was big for his gestational age, in the 92%, and since he was over 90% he had to have his sugars checked the first 24 hours or so. While they at first were okay, as the day wore on they went lower and lower and about 10pm the night of his birth day the nurse came in and said they were dangerously low and the NICU team was coming to get him to admit him to bring them up.
Not gonna lie, this SUCKED. Not just that he had to go to the NICU, but all of a sudden I was back to last year at the same hospital solo postpartum in a room without a baby recovering from a c-section and it was just AWFUL. The feelings that that churned up were horrible (coupled with lovely postpartum hormones too) and I would be lying if I said I didn't have more than one emotional crying breakdown in front of Mike.
The nurses told us that usually it takes about 12 hours or so for blood sugars to swing around and hopefully Teddy would be in there till just Wednesday morning and then back with us the rest of our stay. Okay. I could handle that.
I was able to get myself out of bed shortly after he was taken down there to go feed him and see him -- which helped. I kept reminding myself that this was temporary -- that he WAS coming home with us and this was not like last year. And that we were so lucky he was here (given the state of my uterus) and that a NICU baby is better than no baby. I think I repeated this to myself countless times while we were in there.
So for all of Tuesday and Tuesday night/Wednesday morning I got out of bed and went down to see Teddy and feed him and hang out -- repeat every 3 hours. This was tough. Especially since Mike went back to work and was snoozing during the day so it was just me solo. I again kept reminding myself that it was fine, worth it, and we had a baby here with us this year unlike this time last year.
Wednesday morning rolled around and they started really dropping his IV -- his sugars were coming back on their own and he was doing awesome. Was looking like he'd come back into our room later that day to be with us the rest of the stay.
After his 8am feed Mike and I went back to my room to get some breakfast and all of a sudden the phone rang. Weird. Who was calling?! Mike answered...it was the NICU doc. Apparently shortly after we left Teddy had a pretty significant O2 and heart rate drop (desat) and scary stuff but his oxygen sats were in the 60s...super low. He recovered on his own after about 45 second but that prompted the NICU team to run a full bloodwork/infection panel on him to see if there was a cause. The doc explained that he looked great and didn't appear to have any infections or what not -- that this drop was probably just due to his 'early' age and something he'd grow out of -- but still scary it happened. She said because of it that bought him a mandatory 48 hour observation in the NICU to make sure he didn't have anymore. I lost it -- he wasn't coming back to our room (which had freaking amazing light too for pics that we'd never get to use. boo hoo.) and was now getting out of the NICU when we were set to be discharged on Friday. UGH. I was so so SO upset. It was so tough.
But there was nothing we could do about it -- and truly, we didn't really WANT him back with us unless he was 100%. So we knew he was in the best place he needed to be...but yeah, it was just hard. Because it just kept resurfacing the feelings from last year with Clark and those just absolutely suck to relive.
Wednesday afternoon he came off of his IV -- and clearly no shortage of pics were taken on my part to document our stay! haha! The grandparents came to visit a couple times and got to feed him a bottle and I was crazed about jump starting my milk to get it flowing to give him breastmilk bottles over formula that we were using to try and get his blood sugar back up before my milk came in.
Shortly after we left Teddy's 5pm feed on Wednesday night, he had ANOTHER desat. UGH. And then, right before we came back for his 8pm one, ANOTHER one! I was super pissed at this nurse that night that she never called to tell us this (even though I asked her several times to) -- that she sprung it on us so matter of factly when we came back for his feeding. I was holding back tears as she bluntly told us we wouldn't be leaving Friday, we'd be going home Monday at the earliest cause another desat meant 5 days of monitoring with ZERO desats before they'd discharge. I cried so much when we got back to our room. What if this kept happening?!?! We'd never leave!!!
Thursday Teddy had a great day and while I was so bummed he wouldn't be coming home with us on Friday, Monday didn't seem TOO far away so I rolled with it. Okay, a weekend to get home and get stuff together to bring him home then first thing next week.
Welp, bright and early at 5am on Friday morning, literally MINUTES before I got down there to feed him, Teddy had ANOTHER desat. NOOOOOOOO!!! Again, I was devastated. The 5 days restarted...now we were looking at Wednesday. I was truly convinced he was going to keep having these over and over and we would be here for WEEKS.
The doc ordered a head ultrasound JUST to rule out any brain issues that may be causing these desats...she truly thought it was because of his early age (and being a boy...white males are 'wimps' and usually have the hardest time acclimatizing when they come early) but wanted to rule things out. Okay. Fine by me: whatever we could do to get us out of there!
Friday was discharge day for me and we started until 8pm...I was so dreading going home without him I didn't want to leave the hospital. Mike was finally off for 2 weeks now and I was so glad he was able to now do all of the NICU feedings with me. After the 8pm feed Friday we packed up our stuff and went home empty-handed...truly an awful feeling. So much like the year before...but as I fought back tears I kept reminding myself how temporary this was and he WOULD BE home with us soon.
After a restless night sleep Friday (I think my body knew there should be a baby home with us keeping us up!), Saturday came and I headed to the hospital at 7:30am. Mike was wrangling the kids and their billion activities that day, and I was spending it in the NICU with Teddy. I stayed till about 1pm, then headed home for lunch and a quick nap before returning about 4:30 and staying until about 9:30pm. Fortunately, Teddy had a great Saturday with excellent feeds and no desats...which was promising. But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't terrified of leaving him and getting a call that he had another desat and the 5 days reset again. I didn't sleep much those days home.
Sunday came and again, repeat what I did Saturday. The nice thing with all of this was how good I felt -- usually I'm popping percocet for at least 2 weeks cause I'm so sore and this time I didn't even take any after Thursday in the hospital. I felt awesome and just switched to tylenol and motrin -- cause I wanted to drive and needed to be off the strong stuff to do that. So silver lining.
Sunday Teddy had another great day and I was starting to feel super optimistic because this was the longest stretch he had had without a desat. WOOT! I was still paranoid as can be leaving him that he'd have one but as every hour wore on and no calls from the NICU while we were gone made me very happy.
Monday came and I got my bandage/wound vac off at my OB's office and then headed up to see Teddy. When I got there they told me he was moving across the hall from the NICU to the NICU annex, so I quickly text my NICU friend and she said that was a great sign -- they only move super stable babies to the annex. WOOT!
The annex was a million times better than the NICU -- only 5 babies in there, the monitors rarely were blaring, it was bigger and more spacious and I was just happy to be out of the teeny tiny NICU with all of the very sick babes that seemed to neighbor Teddy from every angle there.
Monday afternoon we started discharge stuff -- there was a list of things you'd have to pass (car seat test, watch CPR video, hearing test, etc...) before you could be discharged so I made sure we got a jump start on doing those ASAP.
Teddy had a wonderful night Monday night and into Tuesday...which meant he was less than 24 hours from discharge as long as no other desats. Tuesday was so nerve-wracking because I was so worried he'd have another one and set us back. GAH! Talk about stressful nervous anxiety!
But Tuesday came and went and he had a wonderful day...so bright and early at 7:30am on Wednesday Mike and I got there to bring our Teddy Bear home!
He had passed all of his tests and the nurse pulled some strings to get the doc in ASAP to discharge him even though they were slammed and we were out of the NICU door, never to look back, by 8:30am. WOOT! It was truly the BEST feeling leaving the NICU after 9 long days in there with our sweet little guy.
As difficult as it was having him in there, it was worth every single second. The pregnancy anxiety, terror, delivery, and NICU stay were all worth it to have our sweet boy happy, healthy and GOING HOME with us!
I'd be lying if I said I don't have some not so great memories/anxieties looking back just at the past week with Teddy's NICU stay...it just churned up so much that has been so hard to even face on...but again, so worth it. All of it.
Teddy is home with us and healthy and we are thanking God so big that he brought our little guy safely to us and safely home.
That's all I've got for Teddy's NICU journey...first and only (hopefully!). Next up: watching him growwwwwwww! Stay tuned for oodles more posts comin' at ya about our littlest dude.