Monday night when I was holding Baby G (doing Kangaroo Care where he was shoved in my shirt) his IV started leaking so they had to redo it. Today again his new IV was also having trouble so they recommended doing a PICC line. It is a long tiny tube inserted into a vein in the arm, leg, or scalp. This replaces the IV which has blown out several times – at least once a day. Granted its only been three days but still – that’s a lot of stickin’ on such a little arm. The PICC line has risks but so do repeated IVs. Some of his fluids had already leaked into his arm causing it to be puffy and red. They sedated Baby G to put in the line this afternoon (into his leg) but after checking with an x-ray, found it wasn’t placed right and they had to pull it out. They repeated the process tonight after shift change and we waited on pins and needles to know how it went. Husband went in to check and got a “two thumbs up” from the nurse who had put it in. She has been very sweet and we found out she has been in this NICU since 1979. She’s like a fierce mama bear. They will take another x-ray tomorrow and then it will be weekly x-rays until the PICC is removed. Apparently, it can move around or break off and other unpleasant things so this is how they keep an eye on it. There will be no more IV’s.
They are pulling blood from a tiny, tiny tube run through his umbilical cord (UAC – Umbilical Arterial Catheter) to check his blood gases. They can access the blood without poking him with a needle 40 times a day and it doesn’t hurt him. He has heart leads (they are sticky pads that have little felt buttons on them) and a tube down his throat to his stomach to feed him breast milk. He gets about 2ml at the time and they can pull it back out to check to see if he is able to digest it. His little tummy isn’t really ready for this so it’s more like practice sessions. He was doing pretty well until the intubation but that seemed to disturb the process so they stopped for the night last night and started again today. He seems to be making progress on that front which is good. The milk will help him expel the meconium that he has built up and help his muscles push out the waste. I’m doing really well with the pumping and have gone from 2ml each session that first day to 65ml this last session this evening. The lactation consultant and the nurses in the NICU are all impressed. As far as I’m concerned this is really the only thing I can do for him that I can control so I’m going to do it as best as I possibly can. I want to make sure my milk supply stays up so when he is ready to breastfeed I can give him all he needs.
We went to see him tonight after they told us the PICC line was good. There is some blood around the site and we were a little concerned that they put it in his “kicky” foot. He doesn’t like that foot to be under anything and constantly is shoving it out of the blanket and sticking it in the air. I’m pretty sure this is the foot that had been jammed in my rib cage for weeks. He opened his eyes a little more tonight and looked around but due to the sedation from the PICC line procedure he was still pretty groggy. The goal is to have him off the ventilator tomorrow so we are praying that he makes progress but also for it to be the best move for him. Of course continued prayers are needed as even though he is doing well, he is still in the first stage of the NICU and has two more stages to go before he gets to go home. And we also know now that progress doesn’t necessarily mean much as they can backslide pretty quickly. But, we have faith in God that he will continue to improve and we will be spending as much time at his side as possible.