Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Special Care Nursery

Because the babies were born premature, the hospital has a policy of taking them to the Special Care Nursery for observation for 4 hours.  Even though Vivienne's Apgar scores were good, they still wanted to take her to the nursery for observation, too.  So after the babies were taken away to be cleaned up, we couldn't see them for quite a while longer.

After delivery, I was taken back to the L and D room for initial recovery.  While there, we were visited by the Nurse Practitioner from the Special Care Nursery.  She updated us on Miles' status.  He had some difficulty breathing after being born.  They initially gave him some assisted breathing, and then they decided that he needed to stay on a CPAP machine with a higher oxygen content for a while to help him breathe.  Vivienne was doing well, but her blood sugar was a little low, so they wanted to know what kind of formula we wanted to give her.  I was totally surprised by this question, because we plan on breastfeeding both babies and hadn't researched which type of formula to use (or even really considered giving them formula).  I just told them to use whatever they recommended.  In retrospect, I really wish that we had pushed back a bit more or asked for donor milk (which they have on hand at the nursery), but they didn't give us that option when they asked us about the formula.

Within a couple hours, we were moved from the L and D room to the Recovery room, where we stayed for the rest of our hospital visit.  Once we settled in there, we were able to get a wheelchair and go visit the babies in the nursery.  I cried the first time I saw both of them.  When they handed me Vivienne and I could hold her in my arms for the first time, I cried some more.

 Vivienne in the Nursery
(You can see the ink on her foot from getting her footprints taken.)

Holding our little girl for the first time

 Daddy and Viv

We were able to take Vivienne back to our room with us that afternoon around 3:30, but we had to leave little Miles in the nursery overnight.  They did an x-ray of his chest to try to determine the cause of the breathing problems.  It turns out that he just had some amniotic fluid in his lungs that he needed to work out.  We were glad to hear that that was the case and that it wasn't anything more serious.  His body just absorbed the amniotic fluid and he was back to normal soon.

It was so difficult to see Miles with all the tubes and IVs connected to him.  We could reach our hands into the bassinet but we weren't able to hold him yet.  Luckily, he was only hooked up like this for a short time.  Daddy and I were able to visit him a few more times that day before trying to get some sleep (which is not easy in the hospital).  When we visited him together, we would wheel Vivienne to the nursery in her bassinet.  By the second day, I could push her bassinet and walk instead of using a wheelchair.

Miles with the CPAP Machine

The next day (July 19th, the day after they were born), we went in to see Miles in the morning.  By this time, they had removed the CPAP machine and I could see his little face.  We came back in the afternoon to do a test run of him latching on.  This was the first time I was able to hold both of my sweet babies for the first time.

 Miles latched like a champ and sucked like crazy.  We then went back again a few hours later, and he did the same thing.  Except this time, he sucked so much that he forgot to breathe.  And when I say "forgot to breathe," I mean he completely forgot to breathe.  His whole face literally turned blue because he was oxygen deprived for too long.  The little alarm on his oxygen meter started going off and the nurse massaged his face until he got breathing well again.  Needless to say, this was pretty scary.

We went back a couple more times that day to have him practice nursing again, and he did very well.  Around 10 PM we were finally allowed to take our little man back to our room so that we could all be together.  It was so wonderful to be leaving the nursery together as a family.

Together At Last

1 comment:

  1. I can't even imagine how scary that must have been when Miles forgot to breathe and turned blue on you. Miles and Vivienne are absolutely precious and we look forward to spending more time with them. By the way, the two peas in a pod picture is adorable! I think it is my favorite of the two of them so far. It just looks like Vivienne is giving her big brother a kiss on the forehead. So sweet!