… to the world … and NICU, Boyd Joseph!
We welcomed Boyed last week via C-section. His first 24 hours went off without a hitch, but when the nurse came for a 24hr newborn check up, a lot of flags were raised.
His breathing was labored, his oxygen levels were quite low, and his heart was working pretty hard. After a few hours of close monitoring and a blood test, it was determined he needed to be admitted to NICU for further observation and oxygen.
Boyd was showing signs of infection so he got an IV to start antibiotics. We got the results of his culture the next day (Easter Sunday) showing elevated white blood cells, so they kept him on antibiotics and watched his cultures to see if there was further development of infection. Thankfully, after 72 hours, there was no further development so he was able to come off the iv and antibiotics.
Meanwhile, he also had an anomaly in his chest. They did and Echo and it came back with a slightly large heart but nothing too serious a concern in relation to a diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension which means he had high blood pressure in his lungs. This is not uncommon in newborns but it is serious enough he needed to be in the NICU. He stayed on oxygen through his nose to help his lungs get used to breathing air.
Due to the oxygen tube in his nose and his elevated breathing rate he has a tiny feeding tube in his nose as well that allowed breast milk or formula to be injected to his stomach because they didn’t want to risk his choking when swallowing milk.
I was able to hold him in the NICU and pumped to get him my breast milk while he was being supplemented with donor breast milk. The nurses in Mother Baby and the NICU nurses have been angels every step of the way!
He still hadn’t lost his initial birth weight as of Easter morning. His chest x-ray showed some haziness in his lungs. So they gave Boyd a special diuretic that helped him pass those extra fluids he hadn’t passed like newborns typically do.
I began asking for special graces for a faster and smooth resolution to all this. I also was seeking the intercession of sweet Monica Jane. She died recently when she was just a few days old due to Trisomy 18. My request has been that as soon as this passes it will be the end as I am ready to turn the page on this first chapter of my sweet baby’s life.
Father, let Your will be done, and not mine. I trust I can handle what You lead me to because if You’ve brought me to it, You’ll get me through it. Help me to be open to the graces You provide to remain strong in this. Amen.
On Monday, my boy was given a clean bill of heart health, so the doctor wanted to take a closer look at his lungs. His lower right lung had showed some shading, so he was given another x-ray to get a closer look at it to determine whether it might be pnemonia or not. How he got it is random, but it might be getting in the way of his lungs plumping up since birth. Buy, his lungs not plumping up is not unusual for baby boys born his age, either.
We were so relieved to rule out HHPN and a clean bill of health for his heart.
I was discharged Monday night and will admit walking out those doors without my baby is one of the hardest things God has ever asked me to do. They say no laughing or coughing after a cesarean, nobody ever warns about what happens when you so afterwards.
I leaned on His strength spiritually via prayer and His strength physically via Lowell! I was/am so thankful for the technology and knowledge to help and treat babies in this condition so I am even able to look forward to his coming home soon. But, my logical brain and my hormonal brain who just wants baby home just haven’t reasoned well with each other during this time! ;)
Wednesday, the doctor told me Boyd turned a corner. His heart and lungs are 100% and it’s basically up to him at that point how swiftly he takes to breathing air at our level without an extra oxygen boost. Could be a few days or weeks 🤷. The only thing really different had been that I had been giving him oils at each visit. I applied lavender and frankincense to his chest, and those with a tiny bit of peppermint massaged into his feet.
On Thursday morning, I was able to feed him by bottle and then he was given the rest of his meal via his little tube. When I left him after lunch, he was at 4 litres and 25% oxgen. We want to see him at 0 and 21% like us. On Friday I was able to breastfeed him and by Saturday morning he was weaned down to 2 litres and 21% oxygen.
On Saturday evening, the nurses told me when babies are doing as beautifully as Boyd has been doing, they often will go from 2 to 0 and begin monitoring how he handles breathing like a normal kid for 24 hours.
I have been visiting NICU whenever I can, with Lowell dropping me off on the way to school and work, and my sweet friend, Paula, picking me up. Without Paula, or my sister, Grace, who has been here helping out in such a tremendous way, all of this would not be possible.
With all these angels and all the prayers storming heaven on our behalf, I know we are being carried through at a swifter rate. My body still needs to heal from major surgery, but I can also feel God working in me on that. I pay close attention to what my body tells me and sleep as often as I can between NICU, pumping, and just mothering 6 others.
He was out of his NICU bunker and in a normal hospital-baby-bed last night. The NICU also has a collection of little onesies, so they were able to find a 3-6 mos(!!!!) outfit for him to wear. He looks so handsome and grown up. *Insert allllll the heart eyes!*
On this beautiful feast of Divine Mercy, I am thankful for His mercies and praise His name! Thank You, Lord, for how far we have come, and please see us out soon! Amen.