Monday, August 22, 2011

NICU, Post-op, Birthing Room - Bouncing Around

The first day was a crazy, exhilarating, stressful whirlwind.  I was still worried about JK, who was staying in Post-op on one floor.  Two floors up, I would find our accommodation and our daughter.  Another two floors up?  The NICU and our son, who had just recently cheated death and was still in distress.

Three floors and one able-bodied family member.  What do you think I did?

Bounced like a rubber ball, from floor to floor, frantically trying to gather information on each member of our family of four.

JK had lost a lot of blood - a pint before surgery, a pint during surgery, and more after surgery as they tried to staunch the flow.  A balloon, implanted in her uterus, would hopefully have that effect.

Our son, aka Froggy Jr., was under the care of nephrologists from Children's Memorial Hospital and housed in the NICU.  The NICU staff at Prentice is beyond good.  They had a great handle on our son's needs and monitored everything closely.

To start, his biggest hurdle was an occasional drop in pulse rate.  This often happens with premature boys.  The brain is not yet developed to the point where our bodies auto-functions work perfectly.  They would want to see three days of uninterrupted normal heart function before he could be released.  At that moment, I still hoped that he would be able to come home with us.

Though we were terrified of the pulse rate issue, Wannabe Moms and Dads, it is not life threatening.  The brain matures soon enough.

His sister, aka HB Jr., would be able to come home with us.  She was mainly in the nurse's station on the same floor as the accommodations.  Getting to see her was a relief.  Not only was she beautiful, she wasn't in distress like her brother or mommy.

I was very worried about JK.  The blood loss had me nervous, and she simply looked bad.  Beaten up, disoriented, miserable.  Her first night there was awful.

My folks showed up at some point with the suitcase.  They had seen to Luke and with the help of another friend, he was on his way to a farm for a week.  I can't remember when they came and left.  Truth is, my memory of much of that day is terrible.  It's as if my brain shut off in the afternoon, shortly after the birth, and my body kept going.

I saw JK again later in the evening and then checked on HB Jr.  Then, back to the NICU at midnight with Froggy Jr.  There, on the reclining chair, my body finally caved into exhaustion.  I woke up at 2am and quietly left the NICU after kissing Froggy Jr. goodnight.  Down to our vacant patient room, I scarcely paused to strip off some clothes before crashing down to an exhausted dreamless sleep.


  1. I know this must be draining and exhausting and full of emotions, good and bad. My heart goes out to your family.

  2. It would really be frustrating seeing your family in that stage. You have to be strong for your family and never lose hope. In case you have fertility concerns, I found this site that maybe helpful.

  3. Wow! Hang in there! Thinking of all of you.

  4. Stopping by from ICLW. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Your babies are beautiful.

  5. Wow Alec, that sounds rough. Praying for your wife and two beautiful children. I hope the kids grow and thrive and that JK recovers quickly.

    ICLW #19

  6. what an amazing story and told so well! thank god for happy endings. I love how your wife will always be a great mom simply because of the start she had. I love, love that. bless those babies and your wife and you too.

  7. wow... what a start. Hoping that your precious babies and JK are doing well.

    ICLW #20

  8. what a roller coaster!!!

    I am saying a prayer for your beautiful family!!

    Happy ICLW

  9. Your babies are beautiful :) As a NICU Mom of two (separate times) ... I know the emotions all to well :(

    Happy ICLW from # 86 <3