NICU Day #4

The ventilator came out this morning and was replaced with a scaled down version of the beer hat (c-pap) machine. Basically just two little prongs in his nose with a much smaller tube going horizontally around his face. There is a little piece of white tape holding it up to his nose but we also noticed a piece of the Tegaderm (very thin clear sticky stuff they use on a lot of his things to hold them on) holding it on one side of his cheek, making his cheek pucker up. Apparently this was necessary as he kept reaching up and pulling the prongs out of his nose. He’s a very good helper.

His bilirubin levels were slightly elevated this morning so they put him on the bili-light (or grow-lights as they also call them) which is a very bright light that helps his body shed the extra bilirubin that his liver isn’t currently processing fast enough. It’s pretty normal for any newborn so much more so for preemies. He has to wear little fabric “shades” to cover his eyes because the light could damage them. We asked about the light causing tanning or any problems due to it being a type of UV light but the nurse said the only thing it can do is slightly warm them. But his bed is a smart bed and adjusts it’s own temperature to keep him at the right one via a little teddy bear temperature gauge on his belly. The teddy bear reflects the heat back into the probe instead of taking on the bed heat so the bed gets an accurate reading of his temperature.

Baby G has what we call a “glow foot.” On one of his feet is a little red laser light that is strapped on that measures the oxygen level in his blood. It’s real name is a pulse-oximeter. It’s pretty accurate but they also have the lines in his belly button to draw for all the blood gases when they want a definite number. The goal for the oxygen level is 85 or above. He drops below that sometimes and an alarm goes off signalling the nurse. Sometimes it’s because he needs his nose or mouth suctioned and sometimes its just because he is breathing “on his own” and he is learning to breathe the right way at the right time.

{Evening Update} Soooo, after a heart-to-heart with one of the super nice doctors (who is apparently off the rotation this weekend unfortunately) I got to kangaroo with Baby G twice tonight! Each time was for about 30 minutes but it was wonderful to be able to hold him and feel his little body against mine. He was tucked into my shirt again and he just laid his precious little head against my chest and snuggled with me. I can’t tell you how much I needed this and how much it has helped me today. They told us that the Kangaroo Care was so good for the baby, but it is also incredibly important for the parents – especially the mom. I’ve been having a really hard time with an “empty” feeling (both literally and figuratively) and struggling with feeling cheated because he was taken from me so early and so quickly. Holding him is really the only thing that truly helps that to any extent. I am very thankful to the nurses who are sweet and willing to do whatever it takes and the Doctor for lighting a fire under the ones who aren’t. I’m also very thankful to my husband who had the initial conversation with the Doctor because he knew I probably couldn’t have. God has blessed us through this whole experience and I pray He continues to guide the hands of the doctors and nurses as well as gives us comfort and strength. We are also blessed to have such a wonderful support system of friends and family to help us through this.


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