Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 13- An Update from the NICU

I can't believe it has been almost 2 months since I posted! That tells you how much has happened since the last one... well, our lives were really boring up until 2 weeks ago!

2 weeks ago, I went to my last doctor's appointment. Somehow, my blood pressure was high (well, higher than it usually was). Turns out if you have high(er than usual) blood pressure for the last 3 appointments, it means you have "gestational hypertension." I was deadset on going to my doctor and telling him I didn't want to be induced if I showed no signs of trouble... "High" blood pressure changed my mind. My doctor scheduled me for induction at 5 a.m. Wednesday, November 10.

Of course, I cried- basically the whole 5 minutes back to the house. I was just scared/nervous because Auggie hadn't dropped and there were no signs that he was going to soon and I wasn't ready for a ridiculously long labor. My mom was waiting for us when we got back to the house- she had planned on coming. Good thing, huh? She helped us get Auggie's room a little bit more organized and did some things around the house.

Tuesday night was one of the best sleeps I had while I was pregnant. How does that happen when it was only like 3 or 4 hours?? Tim & I got to the hospital around 5 a.m. I was admitted and induced by 5:58 a.m. I thought it would take a little bit longer to get things going- I definitely thought wrong. The nurses started my pitocin drip really low and by 7:45 a.m., they had tripled it since things hadn't progressed. My contractions were still really mild. My nurse was really surprised. I wasn't trying to "save face" or anything- I just thought I'd been in more pain before. They ended up breaking my water around 1:45 p.m. That helped things along just a little bit and around 3:15 p.m. I wanted an epidural. I still didn't think my contractions were unbearable, I just didn't want to get to the point where I was overly uncomfortable. As soon as the anesthesiologist walked into the room, I started sweating. I was really nervous about getting the epidural, you know, with all the side effects and the main thing- the needle! I made sure I didn't see the needle and I even told the anesthesiologist to not count to 3. TThe epidural was fine. I had a couple side effects- itching and shaking- but I was glad I got it.

The epidural was neat. It worked immediately and I was able to "self medicate" as I needed. I think I only used it 3 times. The nurses made me turn on my sides and back several times to try to get Auggie to drop. He really didn't want to go anywhere! Eventually they got Auggie to move further down. Around 9:30 p.m. I was given oxygen so Auggie would have enough for the duration of labor and the pitocin was stopped (didn't know it was stopped until I just read Tim's notes lol).

Around 11 p.m. my doctor came in to get me ready for Auggie. It all seems like a blur in my mind and I guess I'm right because I only pushed for 7 minutes! I pushed for a total of 9 times, 10 seconds each and Auggie was out and on my chest! He was adorable (and still is!)!

August Robert
November 10
11:22 p.m.
7 lbs. 3 oz.
19.5 inches long

[[and guess what- my blood pressure was (more than) perfect the WHOLE time!!]]

I don't really remember much between the time he was born to the next morning. I was tired from 18 hours of "labor" and so so hungry since I hadn't eaten in over 24 hours! I do remember though, the look of the nurses' faces when they were checking his vitals, etc. They kept looking from Auggie to the doctors and then back again... and didn't have to most reassuring faces. As I noticed when they laid him on my chest, they also noticed that his ears were deformed. His ears and, as we found out later, jaw were the signs that something just wasn't right. By the next morning, we had a visit from Auggie's neonatologist who had an answer to why Auggie's ears and jaw weren't developed correctly. Eventually she contacted a few specialists in Austin to see what should be done and by Friday it was recommended he be transferred to Dell Children's Hospital. Auggie had his first ambulance ride that night. Tim & I followed the ambulance to Austin and we have been here since.

Since Auggie has been in the NICU at Dell Children's, he has:
  1. Been treated for jaundice. He was under UV lights for a little over 24 hours.
  2. Had 2 sleep tests done (one that lasted 24 hours and one that lasted 12 hours). The first one produced questionable results so they wanted to try a newer one that hadn't been tested on newborns much.
  3. Had an endoscope procedure done where the craniofacial surgeon and pediatric ears, nose and throat (ENT) specialist looked at his airways. They saw that his airways were almost blocked off because of his tongue.
  4. Because of the results of the endoscope, Auggie had his first CT scan. The CT scan showed that he had "challenging anatomy" (according to the craniofacial specialist) but Auggie is a candidate for a jaw distraction. The jaw distraction would lengthen his jaw and allow his tongue to rest properly.
  5. Had an eye examination by an ophthalmologist. She said his eyes look good so we don't have to worry about eye problems other than needing glasses... and that's a given since Tim & I have poor eyesight.
  6. Had blood drawn for a genetics test to determine what Auggie should be diagnosed with. Depending on the results, Tim & I might have to get tested further down the road.
  7. Had 2 hearing tests (and also 2 done at the Med in College Station). He failed both times here at Dell but his left ear did respond some to the test. According to the pediatric ENT specialist, Auggie most likely cannot hear right now. We'll have to see an audiologist to be sure what we do next but the ENT specialist is sure he'll need bone conducting hearing aids to be able to hear. He'll have to be fitted with special hearing aids since his ears aren't fully developed. It'll most likely happen in the next year so there are no complications with his speech.
  8. And most importantly, Auggie has been baptized. With the information we received from his endoscope, we weren't sure if Auggie would be home before he had any surgeries so we decided to call Pastor Walloch. He was able come that afternoon and performed Auggie's baptism in his room.

Clinically, Auggie is doing great! He's eating 2-3 ounces at a feeding, depending on if he's been poked and prodded too much. His breathing has been good. He's been going through enough diapers and even using Tim & I as targets! He's not interested in breastfeeding, which is disappointing, but I'm still going to try. There have been SO many things in the way. I have been pumping since the 13th and the lactation consultants were bragging about the production since Auggie was only 3 days old. Tim has even been (sort of) bragging about it... I have found it odd to announce it too much. lol

Our nurses have been awesome (with one exception). We've had some multiple times and others just once. With the exception, we kind of learned to do things on our own so now we're pretty self-sufficient. Our nurse today keeps coming in and asking what we need and said she feels bad for not doing more. *shrugs* We have to learn to be on our own sometime- might as well do it when we have supervision!

Tim & I are doing alright. We're trying to focus on the things we know and trying not to focus on too far in the future. We do know that we are so grateful for all the well wishes and prayers. It has been comforting knowing we have all your support.

We'll try to update regularly.

and now AUGUST!!

1 comment:

  1. hi! i randomly found your blog through another blog - i'm a blog surfer! and i wanted to say thank you for sharing your story. we had our second little girl on november 11th, 2010. she was born not so prematurely at 36.5 weeks but only weighed 4 lbs 3 oz. she had almost completely stopped growing in the womb. we are in line to see our share of doctors too - including a geneticist. so, i wanted to thank you for putting auggie's story out there. you and other moms have inspired me to start sharing my story as well.
    ps - my husband and i are also aggies class of '01 and '02. we miss college station!! :)


Thank you for stopping by!