Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tired Tuesday

Most days I'm really tired.

Some days I'm exhausted to my bones.

Today is the latter.

Robbie is on CPAP today. He was doing fairly well on the high humidity canula, but his oxygen needs just kept creeping up and creeping up, so they wanted to try something else.

The CPAP works well enough. Except that I've given birth to a mouth breather. Those are David's genes, not mine. The trouble with mouth breathing (besides annoying the hell out of your wife) is that when air is pumped into your nose, it simply flows straight out of your mouth. When the point of said air is to inflate your lungs, that's a smidge of a problem.

We had a lovely kangaroo today. Three hours, actually. That was three hours of me holding a finger under his chin and a hand on the back of his head. I hope to regain the feeling in my right hand by sometime next week.

Once we got him back to bed, it was the challenge of keeping his mouth closed again. His evening nurse tied him up "toothache" like. Soft gauze. But my boy was determined. I adjusted the wrapped about 30 times before finally getting it situated.

Just in time for the eye doctor to show up, of course.

So the eye doctor looks at his eyes. He wasn't wordy at all. Essentially he explained before he started that he wasn't looking to see if he was near or far sighted, he wants to see how his eyes are developing. They are premature just like the rest of him. He looked at Robbie for oh.. about 45 seconds. Declared his eyes "Much more mature that [I] expected" and that was pretty much that. So, better than expected. Music to a preemie mom's ears. The eye doctor was on his way.

David was literally falling asleep in the chair so I sent him home. (No sense having two gape mouthed family members in the NICU.) Then it was bath time.

His night nurse tried a swaddle bath. She asked if I wanted to do it. I looked at her like she was crazy. Bath time makes me nervous. He's out of the bed, off his monitors, screaming, and frankly, I don't know how to give a big baby a bath, let alone a tiny, fragile one. I've mastered the sponge bath, but I know nothing of this swaddle bath.

Turns out, it's kinda nice. I have no idea how one person could do it alone anyway, so we did it together. Basically, he got wrapped up in a blanket and sat in a bucket. And he liked it. Or at least, he didn't hate it. Which compared to regular bath time means he liked it. I soaped up a corner of the blanket and washed him down a little at a time. He looked around like he had no clue what was happening, but so far it was okay.

That made two of us.

Afterward, I was putting on a fresh diaper when he vomited.

Let me remind you that he doesn't get food into his stomach. He isn't supposed to HAVE anything to vomit.

It was army green. Even if his tube had pulled up and was emptying into his stomach and not into his intestines, it's breast milk with some fortifiers. It's not green.

I panicked. I asked the obvious question, "Um.. that isn't supposed to be able to happen, right?" She had the look on her face that said no, it isn't, but I'm not quite sure what to say to you so you don't freak out. Which of course, made me freak out. She suctioned his mouth out while I cried.

I asked why it was green. She explained that it looked like bile. That meant very little to me, but sounded bad.

She went to get the nurse practioner. She came back and looked relieved. She explained that the tube they put into him is a bit large so it's very likely slightly blocking the duct from his stomach into his intestines. The bile is his normal stomach secretions and they should just flow downward into his intestines but if the tube is blocking things up a bit, they won't flow right. If he continues to have problems, they can suck out the contents of his stomach to get rid of it. When he was fed through the NG tube, they checked his stomach remains after every feeding. They can't do that with the NJ tube.

Well, things like "should" and "if" and "we think" don't really reassure me. It makes sense, but what if it's something else? What if it's serious? I continued to cry.

She seemed to think I was crying because I didn't believe her. Which, I suppose, was sort of true, but not in that way that meant I thought she was lying. Just that I was afraid they were wrong. All I could do was say that I was as okay as I could be and just worried. And I continued to cry.

Someone handed me a box of kleenex and I felt like an idiot, but I couldn't stop.

Then he threw up again. More bile.

I felt sick myself.

She went back to the NP to get the order to suction his stomach contents.

She came back, fed an NG tube into his nose (remind me again that this ISN'T baby torture?) and pulled out 3cc of bile.

After that, he seemed okay. I finally stopped crying.

We put him back to bed. Of course, then came the challenge of getting his mouth shut again. Once again, he got the toothache-tie-up. He was fussy a bit, but finally fell asleep WITH HIS MOUTH SHUT.

I sat with him a while and watched him sleep. And I cried some more.

The nurse asked about how tired David was and I told her that he doesn't get enough sleep and he doesn't listen to me about going to bed. That's why I'd sent him home. She said "it seems like he misses you."

Yeah. More tears. Mostly because it's true. And I miss him, too. We actually had snuggled up together on Sunday and slept for a while. I couldn't tell you the last time that had happened. Of course, I woke up in a panic because I had to get to the hospital.

When I went to pump, I called him. I told him what she'd said and he said he did. I asked if he understood why I was at the hospital so much and he said of course. "Someone has to look after Robbie." I really love my husband.

I'll say what I said to the nurse- "We'll get through this."

When I got done pumping, I decided to go ahead and go home. It was 10:30 and Robbie was sleeping peacefully.

I got about 10 miles from the hospital when I realized that I'd left without Robbie's laundry.

Normally this wouldn't be a big issue, except that my boy is a world class pooper. He blew out his diaper twice last night. Through his pad and into his snuggli. He was sleeping on his final clean one tonight. And he'd blown out his diaper again already, but fortunately I'd caught it (quite literally- I went to move him and put him hand under his butt and came back with a handful of poop.) before it soaked through his pad into his snuggli.

I called the hospital and told her I was an idiot for leaving it behind. She told me not to worry about it, that they'd manage.

Well, I couldn't live with Robbie just "managing." So of course, I turned around.

When I walked back into the NICU, she scolded me for coming back. But it's my nature. I can't do much for him. Make milk and wash his blankets. I wouldn't want to fail on 50% of the job.

So, now I'm home. The laundry is going. Tomorrow is another day.



Ariella said...

I am so gald he is doing well. Sorry that you have a mouth breather. My baby is going to be screwed becuase both her parents are. I hope tomorrow brings more good news.

Me said...

That all sounds quite emotionally and physically exhausting. You poor, sweet mama.

julie said...

I'm glad he's doing well. You really need to rest, just a bit.

Rachel said...

What a long, long day. Hoping tomorrow is much quieter. And that seems like really good news about his eyes today.

Amy said...

Oh gosh, this entry made me cry. I hope you and David are able to get in some good rest and snuggle time, balanced w/being with Robbie. Glad his eyes are good; hope his tube goes in right so he doesn't throw up any more bile. :( lol at your mouth breathing comments.

Mrs. Spit said...

Hi Trish:

Everyone else has said to sleep, and I second that.

This is more than just physical tiredness, it's emotional weariness. And when we get that emotionally weary, it's hard to be positive, to be kind to yourself, and it's easier to be scared.

I thought of the words of desiderata - they are so true.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't sound like the eye exam was too awful. Talya screamed like she was being tortured! Did you get a number for the retinopothy (or however you spell it)?

Glad everything else is going as well as can be expected.


Spork Fashion said...

You and David's strength never ceases to amaze me.

Elizabeth said...

It's no use telling you I'm tired for you and think we both need sleep, but I do think it.

Tomorrow is indeed another day. Take care of Trish though, okay?

Anonymous said...


What a long day. I cried as I read this entry.

What good news about his eyes!

Lots of love,