Wednesday, March 20, 2013
RSV. Part 3
Arriving in the PICU was seriously unnerving for me. I was all alone. My husband and kids were at church one hour away. And there I am, all alone. Our baby boy is hooked up to high flow oxygen, is getting deep suctioned, poked in the heel and hooked up to even more monitors. What happens next is a bit hazy and jumbled. I know he was going downhill. He was no longer even attempting to eat. It took 5 failed attempts to get his IV placed. I know his O2 stats were in the uppers 80's, his bpm ratae was about 60+ and his heart rate was over 180. No one was happy. His monitors were constantly going off and sounding alarms. The only bit of good news was the nursing staff informing me I could get his meals since I was breastfeeding. I had not had anything since Cheetos and Diet Pepsi the night before. I was shaky from both hunger and fear and worried my milk supply would drop off. Eventually my husband and kids arrived and the doctors began talked about a Cpap machine because the High Flow oxygen was just not enough. They told us they would do it soon. My husband and the kids left again because we did not want them to witness how upset the Linebacker would get. And oh did he get upset. But after the Cpap is when it really got scary. They did another heel prick to check his blood gas. Normal is about 40 and his was 72 which meant that he was not expelling the carbon dioxide. They began talking about a ventilator and what would happen with an emergency intubation. And then...it got scarier. The Lineback quit fighting. Nothing scared me or hurt me more than that. They'd prick him and he would just give a small whimper, whereas before it took 2 to hold him down. The doctor told me he was giving him one more hour, max, before a ventilator. Putting him on would require total sedation and no picking him up. I literally just sat next to his crib hitting "refresh" and watching people pray for him via Facebook. Then, I firmly believe a miracle happened. With no real medical reason, ALL his stats started improving. We had been less than 30 minutes away from a ventilator. Now, the Cpap machine was going to be enough! They did end up placing a feeding tube. While I hated that he needed the tube, I was thrilled because my pumped breastmilk was going into him again. Breastmilk is filled with goodness to make him better and give him the nutrition he needs. He was on the Cpap for over 24 hours. During that time I really could not hold him. There were machines on either side of his crib and the cords are short. I did lift him a few times just to let him feel me. I would stroke what skin I could find on his cheek and head. I held his tiny little hand and felt those fingers curl around mine. After about 24 hours he seemed to become alert. He sought me out with his eyes and gave the sweetest, most perfect, most heart wrenching and heart-filling half smile I have ever seen. At that moment, I knew our Linebacker was back.