Saturday, November 3, 2007

November is National Prematurity Awareness Month

November is National Prematurity Awareness Month. That is a picture of my Jaxon in the NICU the day they took him there.

Here is his birth story along with some of his beginning stay at the NICU. I posted this on October 1, 2006 to Jaxon's carepage.

Jaxon Ryker Carpenter was born September 18, 2006 at 6:32 PM. He was born 6 weeks early. I started feeling bad on Saturday and spent the day lying in bed praying that it would stop. Sunday found us with no change in the pain but headed to the hospital. The nurse looked at me decided that I was having contractions and gave me a shot of Terbutaline to stop them. They eased up but they did not stop. So a second shot of the medication came and went with the contractions not easing up. They checked my cervix and since it wasn't changing sent me home. So I came home and went to bed. Monday came and with it the contractions were stronger and coming really close together. So back to the hospital we went. We got to Pioneer Valley Hospital at around noon. They hooked me up to the monitors and saw that I was in a lot of pain. They gave me a shot of the Terbutaline again along with a shot of Morphine and still they weren't stopping and the Morphine wasn't easing the pain. So an hour later they gave me another shot to stop the contractions and after they saw that wasn't working they checked me. My cervix hadn't exactly changed but it had shortened. So they made the decision to go ahead with my c-section that night at 6. About 15 minutes after they came to tell me that they were going to do the c-section I felt a small gush. I told the nurse that I thought my water broke and she looked and said I don’t think so. A few minutes later I felt another bigger gush and said Ok it really has broken. She checked again and sure enough my water had broken. At 6 they came in and did my epidural (it wasn't so bad) and wheeled me back to the waiting room. A few minutes later I was put on a table and strapped down and Ian came in looking pretty spiffy in his gown, hat, and booties. He sat down and held my hand and before I knew it they had begun. At 6:32 Jaxon came out screaming! I started crying immediately because his cry was beautiful. They held him over me for just a second so I could say hi and he was whisked away to be cleaned up and have his apgar test. His first score was 7 and the second was 9. Ian got some pictures and sat back beside me. They finished cleaning him up and they wrapped him up and gave him to Ian. He held him for me to kiss him and see him for just a minute and then they took him out of the OR. Ian stopped by my labor and delivery room so Brennan could get his first (and only so far) peek at his little brother. He fell in love immediately. After they were done with me they wheeled me back into the room to recover and then took me to my regular room for my stay. After several antsy hours I was finally allowed to get out of bed and into a wheel chair to be wheeled to the nursery to see my pumpkin. He was under a head box and doing ok at that point. I went back to my room to rest for the night. I didn't sleep very well because he wasn't in the room with me. I kept worrying about him. At 6 the next morning, the Pediatrician came in to tell me that he was having a hard time breathing and that she had made the decision to transport him to St. Marks NICU. She told the Life flight was prepping him for transport. What that meant was they were putting him on a ventilator and inserting umbilical lines into his umbilical cord as well as an IV. A little while later, the life flight team brought him into my room so I could say goodbye. Within the next few days Jaxon got very sick with pneumonia and ended up with two holes in his lung. He was put back on the ventilator and had two chest tubes put into the side of his chest. He was hooked up to several medications, two antibiotics, a sedative, fats, and IV fluids. He finally turned a corner this week, when they were able to clamp off one of his chest tubes and removed it the next day. Then that same afternoon they clamped off the second chest tube and he came off that the next day. They took him off the ventilator on September 28th. They placed him in a head box that had oxygen running through it constantly. By the end of the night they realized he needed a little extra help and put him on the SiPAP machine, which basically forces air into his lungs. He was on that for like two days. They have been slowly decreasing his sedative so he could finally wake up and move on to the next steps of his process. Yesterday, September 30th they finally started giving him breast milk through an NJ feeding tube that is inserted down his nose and into his stomach. They started out giving him 2 cc’s every 6 hours to see how he would tolerate it. The first feeding came back up the tube but the next few went very well. So well in fact that they started giving him up to 5 cc’s every three hours today. This morning he graduated to a nasal canula. I was so excited!!! I went to the hospital today and spent 2 ½ hours there and got to watch them feed him. I haven’t got to hold him yet and that’s pretty hard but we are making progress. He got to lie on his tummy today for the first time. He’s a little jaundiced and that’s why he has those very cool sunshades on. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers these last two weeks. It has been a long hard road already but we have finally turned a corner. It’s going to be a little while longer at least before Jaxon comes home so I will try my best to update this daily so you all know what’s going on. Thanks again, Denise and Ian.

I rember going to the NICU for the first time. I was so overwhelmed. He was in the Level 3 NICU. That was where they took the really sick babies. I was sooo scared and I just remember looking at his tiny little body and wondering if I'd ever get to hold him. That feeling sucked so much. I was allowed to touch him but they fussed at me for rubbing him at all. You weren't allowed to "stroke" their skin since it irritated preemies. He was hooked up to all these wires and you had to be so careful. There were days I'd go in and just sit there and cry as I stared at him, my arms aching to hold him. I even resented my husband a little since he had gotten to hold him for a few minutes when he was first born. It wasn't his fault I knew that but it was so hard. I can't believe that was over a year ago now. Especially with Jaxon crawling around and cruising furniture now. He's so much fun and such a joy.

My friend Nancy, mommy of a former 25 weeker, is doing something special for National Prematurity month. She is posting about preemies for the entire month. If you want to learn more or even read their incredible story, visit her at Miracles Happen!


Nancy Brown said...

You had a ginormous baby. I always wonderd about the ginormous babies in the NICU!!

Glad he is doing so well now!!

Sarah said...

so touching to read J's birth story. milo, luckily, didn't need the NICU expertise, though he was readmitted two days after being home...then againg, he was a 36 weeker and i had been injected twice with steriods for his lungs.

glad we got to catch up today!