Monday, March 12, 2012

Crew's Story

Saturday march 3, 2012 
Our Crew's story started with a 6 day stay in the NICU.  It all started in the late hours of Friday March 2nd, 2012.  They came to my room to tell me that Crew's pulse dropped into the 60's and that he needed to be put on a heart monitor and evaluated by the doctor.  At that moment he would not be coming back to my room.  I only was able to hold him for about 15 minutes before he was taken to the nursery to be accessed.  It was scary when the NICU nurse shared the news with me, but I was remaining positive until I heard further news from the doctor.  I knew Crew was in great hands.  Throughout the night they continued to give me updates and around 5AM Chad and I were able to go to the NICU for a visit.  

Here is the first picture of Crew in the NICU

We met with Dr S, who is Grayson's pediatrician and will also be Crew's, he went over every detail of what was going on with Crew and what needed to take place to get further results.  He said that Crew had a heart murmur and his heart was also having bradycardia activity.  Bradycardia is a disorder of the heart rate (pulse) or heart rhythm.  In Crew's case his heart was beating too slow and was irregular.  He already had one "brady" early on Saturday morning and in order for Crew to be released from the NICU and room with me he had to be "brady" free for 48 hours.  Dr S also had several EKG's completed on Crew, an ultrasound of his heart, and a scan of his brain completed.  All of these tests were sent to Children's Hospital in Little Rock to be reviewed.  Dr S told us that we would probably not hear back from Children's Hospital until Monday.  We remained positive and hopeful that maybe Crew would not have any more "brady" episodes and he would be able to come to my room.  That was not the case he had another episode on Saturday afternoon.  Crew's pulse, oxygen level, and heart were all monitored which meant several wires attached to his tiny body.  They also had an IV in him for fluids since at that moment on Saturday I was not able to nurse him yet.  So later that morning I was given a hospital pump to help maintain my supply so I would be ready when it was time to nurse.  During one of our morning visits Crew's IV blew in his arm it was so sad seeing his tiny little arm get huge and swollen from the IV.  Chad and I immediately left because I could not stand seeing our little guy hurting and I felt like it would be best if we leave and come back after they fixed the IV.  They moved his IV to his foot and we did not have any further issues.  Each visit to the NICU on Saturday was tough.  Seeing and not being able to hold Crew was sad.  I often told Chad that I wish I could climb into his cradle under the heat lamp and just hold him.   
We had several visitors come to the hospital to meet Crew and we tried our best to let all see him through the NICU window, but we didn't want to distrub Crew to much.  We appreciated all the love and support we received on that Saturday.  During that day we both remained very positive that everything was going to be okay.  Crew was in great hands and we knew that in order for him to get better we just needed to have patience and wait until Children's Hospital got back to us on the results. 
The results arrived on Sunday, a day early...YEAH!  Crew's ultrasound of his heart and head were all GREAT.  The structure of his heart looked great, there was no issues with his head, and the EKG showed that the electrical waves of his heart were the only issue.  It was finally okay to begin nursing Crew.  It was a wonderful feeling to nurse Crew and hold him.  Nursing was a challenge because I was still waiting for my milk supply to drop and between the wires I had on for my heart and all the wires Crew had it made it difficult to position us both.  As for the next steps for Crew we didn't receive a plan from the peditrician on call until Monday morning.  The rest of our Sunday was spent visiting Crew every three hours for feedings and snuggle time.  Grayson also came to visit his mommy and we watched Shrek and snuggled in the hospital bed. 

Monday March 5th, 2012 after the peditrician on call did his rounds in the NICU he stopped by our room to discuss further plans for Crew.  At this point the last "brady" episode that Crew had was on Saturday afternoon.  We were very hopeful that he would not have anymore and be able to come to my room on Tuesday.  That was the plan we discussed with the doctor that morning.  However things changed when Crew had another "brady" episode that afternoon.  The doctor decided to start Zantac because he thought that Crew might have reflux that was causing his heart rate to slow down.  He began the Zantac on Monday and at that point it was a waiting game to see if the Zantac would help.  I will tell you waiting and being patient for results is not my strong point when all I wanted to do was bring my baby home.  Plus it was SO HARD to be in the hospital and away from Grayson, but leaving Crew or the hospital was not something I wanted to do.  Our Monday was spent visiting Crew as often as we could and later in the evening Grayson always stopped by for a short visit. 

Tuesday March 6th, 2012 consisted of more waiting to see if the medicine would help.  At this point I was getting frustrated because I didn't understand why would a slow heart rate (bradycardia) and reflux have to do with one another.  I didn't understand at all how the medicine would help with his heart rate.  I felt like all we were doing was see what happens.  I also felt besides all the wires that were attached to Crew that he acted and looked like a normal newborn.  He was nursing great, pooping and peeing great, his color looked great, and the NICU nurses supported him by monitoring him on the machines.  Other than that I was doing all the feedings for Crew day and night, I was giving him sponge baths, I was changing his clothes, and changing all diapers.  Tuesday was a day with no "brady" episodes.
So once Chad arrived to the hospital that day we asked to speak with the doctor to discuss Crew.  We felt as if we were just doing a lot of waiting and wanted to see results and Crew to come home.  Once we met with the doctor the options we had were continue to wait and see if the medicine was doing its job, or we could do a throat shallow study to see if Crew had reflux, and lastly I could pump and add thickening formula or medicine to make the breast milk thicker. The last option I did not want to explore. I wanted to be able to nurse Crew as long as possible. However I will tell you if that was my last option to make CREW better we would do it in a HEARTBEAT! We decided to do the throat shallow study. Crew had this study completed around 11AM that same day and a few hours later it was confirmed that Crew has a severe case of reflux.  The doctor decided to change his medicine. Later that day during one of our afternoon feedings we found out that they did not change the medicine. The plan was to see how Crew did overnight and tomorrow morning before making a change. I felt like I was on pin and needles just waiting hour by hour to see if Crew would or would not have an episode.
I was getting cabin fever sitting in the hospital all day so on Tuesday I went to lunch with Chad and I also went home for dinner.  Going home was VERY difficult for me.  I was so upset the moment I walked into the door.  I never thought that I would come home without my baby.  It was WONDERFUL to see Grayson and play with him, but an hour and a half later I had to leave in order to make it back to the hospital for Crew's 8PM feeding.  Leaving the house and having Grayson upset with me was hard.  He just wanted me to play with him.  I cried all the way back to the hospital.  I know that I only did this for 6 days, but those 6 days were VERY difficult for me. 

Wednesday March 7th, 2012 brought on a different story for Crew, he had not had any "brady" activity since Monday at lunch time and we were getting so excited that the end was in sight.  During both the 8AM feeding and the 11AM feeding I would walk in and ask how did he do... and with excitement the NICU nurses would tell me that he is doing great!  At the 11AM feeding it was my last feeding in the NICU because I was able to take Crew to my room after that feeding and we began our 24 hour period of rooming in together before going home.  It was so exciting and wonderful to have Crew in my room.  Our afternoon was spent snuggling and taking naps during feedings.  That evening Grayson came to the hospital to meet his little brother again.  He was so excited and kept waving his hands and saying hi.  It was wonderful to have both my boys in one room. 
Our first overnight together was tough.  Crew wanted me to hold him and would not sleep in the plastic bassinet.  I tried several times before giving in and letting him sleep on my chest.  Needless to say I didn't sleep much, but it was TOTALLY worth it! 

Thursday March 8th, 2012 the day we went HOME!

I appreciate and love all the NICU nurses that cared for our Crew.  Doing their job day in and day out has to be difficult.  They have the best patiences with both the babies and the parents.  We are very thankful for their love and support during our stay in the NICU.  We also appreciate the doctors we worked with during our 6 day stay and even though we seemed impatient at times we appreicate your kindness and patience with us.  
Thank you for caring for our baby boy!  

Here are several pictures throughout the week.  Sorry for the long post, but I decided to write his story in one long post vs several daily posts. 

a moment at home coloring and playing with Grayson
1st image of Crew in mommy's hospital room

Grayson meeting Crew


to our sweet crew

your wee little life has changed us. the day you were born was like a new beginning for all of us too. a change that will forever lay soft upon our heart. everything in our life is sweeter because of you. the days and fleeting moments with you are only a breath in time.  they linger briefly and fly away on the wings of tomorrow. you are precious in every way. the sunshine in our day, the joy in our soul, and our love.


your mommy, daddy, and grayson
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