Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Finally Home

It took nearly a week, but we finally made it home with our new baby boy. Since we’ve changed the names to protect the innocent, we’ll just call him Mr. H.

It turns out that Mr. H has a mild case of reflux, but it was enough to cause a bit of a scare while we were still in the hospital. Apparently he had an episode where his oxygen level dropped and he began to turn blue. He was given oxygen and was fine, but not fine enough to send home. He was admitted to the Special Care Nursery on the day we were supposed to leave the hospital. There he was hooked up to wires and monitors to observe his heart rate, respiratory rate and his oxygen level.

It was difficult for us parents because we could no longer have our little guy to ourselves; we had to go visit him. I was still able to nurse him, but instead of him hanging out with me in my room, they called me whenever he got hungry. I was no longer a patient at the hospital, but I was allowed to stay in my room because the Mother/Baby unit was mercifully slow.

We were hoping to have only one extra overnight for them to observe Mr. H, but after another oxygen drop, they ordered an Upper GI scan for him. After they gave him some delicious looking barium to drink, my husband and I watched the on a monitor as the liquid traveled through his digestive system. It was kind of interesting to see his tiny little tummy being highlighted on the screen as it filled with the chalky goo he had just ingested. We were told afterwards that he has slight to moderate reflux, and that it is very common and easily treated. He was prescribed Zantac twice a day, which is kind of funny because I took Zantac twice a day when Mr. H was in the belly. We were hoping that he’d get the new medicine and we’d be going home that afternoon. But it turned out that they wanted to monitor his progress for another 24 hours on the Zantac. In addition, they ordered a home monitor for us to use when we brought Mr. H home and we were also signed up for Infant CPR class.

While none of this was bad news necessarily, it was just another bump in the road to getting back to our “new normal” at home. Two additional nights in the hospital meant more time off of work than my husband was anticipating. It also meant more work for grandparents, aunts and other awesome folks helping out with our four kids at home during this unexpected bonus time at the hospital. The CPR class was scheduled for the same night as the kids’ Spring Concert at school. Grandparents Day at school was today so we needed to enlist extra help so that all grandparents would be available to attend. It was things like this that added to the frustration of the situation and turned me into an emotional wreck. I had read that it is common for women who have just given birth to become more emotional for a time afterwards, but this was getting ridiculous. Thank goodness that hospitals usually keep boxes of tissues around every corner.

One more night in the Special Care Unit, a morning of training on the use of a home monitor and a test to make sure Mr. H would make it home without an episode in his car seat and we were leaving the hospital, almost a whole week after we arrived.

It feels so good to be home!!

1 comment:

Andrea said...

He's adorable! Yeah, the emotions can be overwhelming. I remember crying, nay SOBBING because my husband didn't want to let my dog in the house immediately after we'd brought Anna home. It was January and she'd been used to sleeping inside since November when our other dog died. Suddenly, in the cold months, we were making her stay outside again. Post Partum hormones made me a wreck over that situation. I get you on that front.