On 7/7/20 my baby boy was born at 12:40 am. There was 14 hours of labor, 4 hours of intense pushing and finally an emergency C-Section to bring him into this world.
He was purple, he was crying, but he was purple. He was not able to respire enough to get a good O2 saturation, so he needed to go to the NICU. He was 5 pound and 18 inches long. After some O2 he was the bright pink he should be, and my wife and I were able to see our baby boy.
What follows was a week inpatient stay for my wife to recover from massive abdominal surgery. 1 week of me sleeping on a couch as we were restricted to only our room in the maternity unit. We could go nowhere except to the NICU to see our boy. Only one parent was allowed to go at a time. Some nurses went above and beyond and let my wife and I come down together to see him. COVID-19 had really screwed things up.
My boy was on a CPAP machine, multiple lead monitors, pluseOx machines and under heating lamps as he was being periodically tested for his Bilirubin levels. 3 days later – he was off the CPAP, but still had issues with rapid breathing called tachypnea. It was then 3 days later that a murmur was discovered while they were checking his heart. We were of course concerned. Tears and hugs just wasn’t enough. Not being able to be with your child without a mask on and sterile scrubs. The fear and wanting of good outcomes for your child so strong, it consumes you.
It was discovered after a cardiac ultrasound that he had 2 VSD’s – holes in the ventricular septum of his heart. One very tiny, one small to medium in size. This issue could be the cause of the tachypnea. It could also be why he was having issues eating full bottles and putting weight on. Doctors said we just need to wait and he will heal and to see how he does.
We had doctors that were weak, and overly cautious and not wanting to be pro-active to treat the patient. This left my wife and I in limbo, with no dedicated care plan. I spoke with doctors and nurses. Then we had good doctors come on, with stellar nurses who aggressively treated his breathing, his eating and getting further studies and consults with cardiologists to rule out the issues with the heart.
After 17 days in a level 3 NICU – my son was able to come home. I was elated. My wife was over the moon. We were terrified. But we had love and resolve to keep this tiny little guy going strong. Feedings every 3 hours, tons of diapers and butt paste, and so many hours watching him and holding him and not sleeping.
But its worth all of it. Though he is small, he is mighty and is growing and eating and putting on weight and is quirky and sometimes a little tyrant.
And I love him more then life itself.
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