Friday was a very difficult day for our family. Our attending pediatricians changed over, and our new doctor was much more conservative than the one we had had up to that point. He wanted to keep us here for a full 7-10 days antibiotic treatment. In the meantime, I wasn't being permitted to breastfeed James (I pumped, and he took my milk through an NG tube that went down his nose into his tummy.) Needless to say, I was one upset mama that day. I confess freely to having had a complete breakdown that night, which thankfully my husband was present for and (thankfully again) Sophia was not.
The following day, James' marked improvement and our insistence got the doctor to reconsider his prognosis. The greatest thing was that he began allowing me to breastfeed, and after several feedings, James really got the hang of things. We took the feeding tube out yesterday evening. Late last night, his IV blew out (again!), which was very unpleasant for him, but may have been one of the greatest victories in our quest for discharge. You see, the doctor had mentioned that if we kept having trouble keeping his IV in, we could stop the antibiotic treatment. So, rather than have the IV tech just start trying to reset it, I asked to speak to the attending doctor first. The doctor on call came in and said that he thought it would be safe to stop the antibiotics and the glucose/electrolyte drip. With the IV off, they unhooked James' leads, as well, so the only wire/tube coming out of his body by 2 AM was a little sensor on his foot that tracks his oxygen saturation levels. Once off the glucose drip, his feeding really took off, and now we're doing great with breastfeeding--every 1.5-3 hours, like a normal, healthy baby.
Our attending pediatrician didn't come on until noon today. He came by our room about 1:00 to check out James and see how the breastfeeding was going. He was pretty quickly satisfied with all the progress, told us to make an appointment for the next day or two with our pediatrician and set us free! The nursing staff had already begun our paperwork earlier in the day for discharge, so we were out of there as soon as we could finish packing up, and we were home by 3:00. Now for all the joys and challenges of becoming a family of four and settling in at home once again.
And now, while I could write about how exhausting, disappointing, terrifying, draining, frustrating, awful situation this has been, I would rather rejoice and thank God for:
- Rapid recovery and a clean bill of health for James!
- Our amazing friends who have selflessly given of their time and energy to help us care for Sophia through the labor/birth and the trying days that followed: Tom, Chelsea, Torrey, Louis, and Sheila--THANK YOU!
- Even more friends and family who have been praying so hard for us all!!
- A cheerful, friendly, excellent local hospital where our son was able to receive the best treatment available.
- A relatively brief stay in said hospital.
- A consistent rotation of the world's most awesome nurses.
- Incredible health insurance that has covered all treatment!!!!
- My husband's wonderful job that not only provided the health insurance but also provides us with the funds to be able to spend a whole lot of money on gas and other things this week without worrying about where the money would come from but also has a policy for "family sick days," which enables him to have taken off the days we were in the hospital without using up his vacation or parental leave. Oh, and his awesome supervisor and coworkers who have been incredibly supportive through this whole experience.
- "Nursing Mother" passes, which provided me with all my meals free of charge at the hospital's cafeteria during our stay.
- Sophia's evident love for her little brother, which has helped her put up with a lot in the way of discomfort and lack of sleep while maintaining her characteristic joyful attitude.
- My incredible husband who has not only been a full-time stay-at-home dad to Sophia while I've been in the hospital these past days but who has kept up his spirits and mine and been my greatest comfort apart from God.
- God's provision of adrenaline to my body, which has helped me not only survive but thrive on far less sleep than I normally need. Frankly, I didn't think it was possible for me to do this well on so little sleep, let alone to do so after labor, birth, and while breastfeeding.
- Faith that has seen my family through this time with hope, trust, and deep peace in the face of trial and the absence of comfort.
- A lovely, safe (though perhaps a bit messy at the moment) home to go home to.
- My beautiful, wonderful, snuggly, roly-poly, healthy son.
Hooray! Words cannot begin to convey my happiness. And now, off to enjoy being home. God bless!