The verdict is in – Luke is officially IV free!! When I came in this morning for his 8am feed, he looked pretty happy and content. His bottom however, notsomuch.
While I’m sure this will banish me to the “Most Embarrasing Thing My Mom Ever Did” category, I’m blogging about it anyway. Turns out that as billirubin exits the body, it’s extremely acidic which makes an already red hiney, even redder. Our funny, experienced nurse this morning set up the greatest contraption. Yes, I took pictures, but no I’m not sharing. We laid him on his belly, hiney to the world, with an O2 tube blowing on it and some Boudreaux’s butt paste lathered on. When I asked the nurse if this was a trick she learned in nursing school, her reply was, “Nope, that would be my 16 years of NICU nurse experience.”
We did get a prescription for some “special butt paste” – yes, there is such a thing, and yes it requires a prescription. It’s like diaper rash cream for rich people. Love it. He seems to be on the mend, for all to see.
Enough about that end of the anatomy. Feedings. Yesterday, they did not go well, in the evening, and this morning. After some discussion with the nurse, she encouraged me to let her put in a feeding tube. It’s helping him keep pace with the increases in his feeds (he was up to 26cc) without expending too much energy and burning off the calories he just got. I’ll admit, it’s not as bad as I thought it would be.
Oh, and as a quick update, Iona and Liam went home today!
Our daily Luke report: both the billy and creatnine levels stayed the same, we’re hoping tomorrow morning we’ll see a drop in both. Feeds were inceased again to 30cc, as we inch toward that one ounce. Still concerned about the kidneys and an intestinal infection. It’s the wait and see game. There are three milestones he needs to reach:
breathing on his own, check
maintaining his body temperature, working on it
being able to eat independently (nursing preferable) and gain weight, working on it
Hey, we’re 33% there.
Scott came for lunch and his 11am feed. The time was short, but so needed. I started crying at lunch – I’m a little on the edge with all these hormones – and Scott thought I was choking! We got a good laugh out of that.
At, the 2pm feed, we had a good nursing session and I almost did a dance in the NICU, except not, because momma can’t dance. So, I just gave Luke a ton ‘o kisses on the forehead for the good work.
Just before heading up to the 5pm feed, I got a call from my OB. The pathology report is in and…drumroll…completely and totally 100% normal. No placental mass detected, no irregular cells, no tumor, nada, zilch, nothing. So, if we decide to have more children, we know that Luke’s IUGR (intrauterine growth retardation) is purely fetal and has nothing to do with the quality or size of my uterus or the placenta. Key word folks is IF. Right now, I’m just trying to make it to tomorrow morning. One kiddo at a time.
One last story and then I’ll leave you alone. On my way to a feed this evening, I saw my nurse from this morning, followed by an incubator, another NICU nurse and a dad, dressed in scrubs. I immediately had a flashback to last Friday. Except the handsome man in scrubs was my husband and the sweet baby was Luke. We took the express elevator to the top floor and they were all whisked off to Bay 6. Can I tell you I wanted to hug that Dad and tell him that everything would be ok? I wanted to reassure him that his baby had the best care. That his wife would be ok. And, that it was okay to shed a few – or a lot – of tears. But I caught a glimpse of myself in the window to the NICU and realized how much we’ve grown in faith, in maturity and in love in the last week. That family will too, God willing.
I’d like to end today’s post with a note of thanks. For the meals, the prayers, the kind emails and comments, the sweet words of affirmation on facebook, the inquiring phone calls and everything in between. Each comes at just the right moment. I’ll be having a rough hour, check my email and there will be a note, brightening my day. Scott will be busy with the kids and the doorbell rings and it’s another hot meal he doesn’t have to cook. You have no idea what you mean to our family. For reals. Being in the NICU has changed our life.
As I was feeding Luke this evening, I thought quite a bit about his namesake, St. Luke the Evangelizer. Could we have chosen a more appropriate name? This 3lb. 9oz. miracle has taught me – and lots of others – what it means to have unconditional faith, unconditional love, unconditional salvation.
St. Luke, pray for us…and gain a little weight, will ya?