Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My NICU experience

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is the last place you expect to send your child especially if you expected to deliver a full term healthy baby. Since Maxwell was born early at 32 weeks and was born not breathing, he was sent to the NICU to get better. I'm thankful and forever grateful to those NICU nurses and neonatologists who cared for Maxwell the 25 days/3 weeks he spent in the NICU. Below are my thoughts each week he was in the NICU.

Week 1
I wasn't able to see Maxwell until Thursday, he was born on Tuesday and my body was stable. I was still on oxygen, but was off life support and breathing on my own. I had even began to get out of bed and asked for them to remove the catheter. My ICU nurse wheeled me and my oxygen tank down to the NICU so I could see Maxwell. He was so tiny and I didn't want to touch him because I thought I would hurt him. The NICU nurses were extremely helpful and taught us how to do it all from taking his temperature to feeding him to changing his diaper.

We were waiting the first week for an MRI to tell us if he suffered brain injury from not having oxygen at birth. The MRI told exactly what the neonatologist and neurologist expected he had insults to his cerebral cortex and basil ganglia. They didn't know how his brain would develop and if he would have cerebral palsy or any other physical or learning disabilities. They basically said we have to wait and see how he develops and will watch him until he is 2. I was devastated and felt guilty for how he was born. My rainbow baby that I asked God for was not packaged the way I expected, but neither was his birth or me having a hysterectomy at 29. God was in control and I decided then that I would love and speak life into Maxwell everyday until it's manifested.




Week 2
I was discharged and at home not able to drive due to my pain medication. I was up pumping every 3 hours to feed Maxwell. I couldn't sleep in the bed or the couch because of pain. I had to sleep in a chair until my pain went away. I went back and forth to the hospital everyday twice a day during the morning and at night. This week my grandma in love drove me because I was still in pain meds. I met with social workers, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, lactation consultants, and his bedside nurses. He slowly moved from taking milk from the feeding tube to taking a bottle. He was doing very well that I almost thought he would come home. However he wasn't holding temperature and had to be moved back to his isolette. The going back and forth to the hospital took a toll on me and my husband. I was defeated and frustrated. I blamed myself and God on why Maxwell came early and had to be in the NICU. I just wanted him to be home even though I was still recovering.

Week 3
We started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I signed up for the mandatory baby classes like CPR, caring for your preemie, and watched the required DVDs. Maxwell had the feeding tube removed and was taking all his bottles. He even breastfed for a little bit. His temperature was still fluctuating and had to be stable before they sent him home. We made a plan for his formula feeding and for me attempting to breastfed him. The nurse practitioner was ready to discharge him until his temperature dropped again during his 2 hour car seat test. Yes, they make the preemies sit in the car seat for 2 hours before they send them home. He had to be warmed up again and if he didn't maintain his temp he would be moved back to the isolette. Which meant another week in the NICU. I was disappointed and upset I got my hopes up only to be turned down. Maxwell ended up holding his temp after they warmed him up and was able to come home a day later than we had thought.






25 days 3 weeks later and our baby boy was home.


The NICU experience isn't one I would wish on any parent. If you have to experience your child in the NICU just embrace it and understand everything that is going on and remember that it's up to your baby on when they will come home. Once I was able to understand that it was out of my control and in Gods control I was more content in waiting until Maxwell was ready to come home.

I was an emotional mess those 3 weeks trying to understand and comprehend what happened to me and what that meant for my marriage. Then understanding how to parent a potential special needs child is overwhelming.

"but through it all I remember that he loves me and he cares. He will never put more on ya than I can bear". Kirk Franklin





Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Mommy and Maxwell Blessing Fund!

Happy 1 Month Maxwell!


www.youcaring.com/mommyandmaxwell

Please continue to share our story and donate to our you caring fund!







We appreciate all the love support prayers and thoughts as we have Maxwell home.

Keep the Faith!


Until next time,

~E

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Maxwell is Home!

It's been a long 25 days spent in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit)/NPCN (Neonatal Progressive Care Unit). A MRI, physical therapy, tests, temperatures taken every diaper change, going from a feeding tube to bottle feeding all meals, and beginning to breastfeed, Maxwell has been through a lot and he is truly a miracle baby.









Below is a timeline of all that I did in my journey with Maxwell in the NICU and NPCN.

8/22 changed first diaper
8/28 changed first dirty diaper
8/29 went up to 30ml feedings moved to Progressive NICU will be here until he comes home
8/30 took bottle first time only half
9/2 moved to bassinet.
9/3 taking 6 bottles a day and first time breastfeeding twice.
9/4 moved back to isolet because kept getting cold
9/9 5.5lbs and feeding tube removed from mouth/throat taking all bottles now need to work on temperature control and moved back to bassinet.
9/10 told by nurse practitioner he could get discharged on 9/12 pending he kept his temperature up.
9/11 temp dropped overnight has to hold normal range temp for 48 hours earliest could go home 9/14.
9/12 temp held overnight doctors want to release/discharge him on 9/13. Asked for hospital pics before he left. Below is a few samples/proofs.





Stayed at hospital overnight and woke up every 3 hours to feed him, take temp, etc..
9/13 Maxwell came home. Went through all discharge information and follow up appt with nurse and was excited to leave the hospital with a baby.

I haven't really processed my thoughts on the NICU experience in detail, but overall I'm happy and pleased with the nurses and doctors and the care Maxwell was given during his stay.

Keep the Faith!


Until next time,

~E

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The operation that saved my life!

Knowing that your life has purpose is something you stick in the back of your mind until you hear "you almost died" or "you are a miracle", that life purpose is put into perspective.



Tuesday, August 19 I didn't expect to have a baby nor did I expect my husband and doctor make a decision that would change my life. If you read Maxwell's birth story from last week I mentioned that I had to have a surgery to save my life. I went to the hospital with placenta eruption where my placenta was detaching from my uterus. My uterus would not stop bleeding and I lost a lot of blood. My doctor and husband decided in order to stop the bleeding it was best to give me a hysterectomy or remove my uterus. They airlifted me to the main hospital so that I could receive a blood transfusion and they could close up my incision once I became more stable. I had tubes down my throat in the intensive care unit. I was in an out during this time and don't remember much, but when I did wake up I asked to watch CNN and wanted my cell phone (so I was told). I wasn't allowed to talk because of the tube down my throat. I communicated via writing and texts.

During this time my doctor was nervous about my outcome she even asked my husband to pray for her and the other surgeons in the operating room. My husband really down played the seriousness of what happened and it wasn't until I asked if he was scared that tears started flowing from his eyes and he let me know he wasn't sure I was going to make it.

But God! Everyone may not have that shout, but I do so does everyone who was praying for my recovery. I was able to get the tube out of my throat and was breathing on my own. My blood transfusion, blood count, and platelets were working. I had to have an additional surgery to close up my incision on Friday, August 22, and that surgery went well.

Friday night I was moved from intensive care to a regular OB room to recover. I was given a breast pump and allowed to see my son Maxwell. Friday was my first time doing skin to skin with Max and it was the best feeling in the world.




Now as for my recovery, I'm taking it easy and taking my pain medicine as scheduled. I'm out of work for 8 weeks and praying to take more time off to spend with Maxwell when he comes home. Recovering from a hysterectomy is a little different than recovering from a normal c-section mainly because I don't have a uterus contracting. Taking it easy, making less trips up and down stairs, and not doing any lifting will grant me a smooth recovery.

I haven't fully comprehended the thoughts of not being able to bear another child. It makes me sad to think about it, but I'm thankful for my life and the life of Maxwell. I still have my ovaries, Fallopian tubes and cervix. Who knows what will happen in the future when we are ready for more children. Right now I just want to enjoy raising Maxwell with my husband and defining my success as a mom.


Keep the Faith!


Until next time,

~E

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mommy and Maxwell Blessing Fund!

Mommy and Maxwell Blessing Fund



We need your prayers, love, and monetary support!

Thank you in advance!

Keep the Faith!

Until next time,

~E