We were guaranteed a 48-hour stay in the hospital based on being strep B+ and not getting all the antibiotics administered in time, so we got comfortable. The first full day we were there it was glorious; we were visited by family and friends and celebrated our healthy baby boy.
The following day #5 went off to get circumcised and for his pediatrician check. While he was gone I took a shower and got ready for the day. Then it happened…
The nurse rolled #5 back into the room and asked, “has he been jittery at all lately?” Thinking back I didn’t recall that he was any more than any of my other babies… She then dropped the bomb that he had low sugar levels and we were now going to have to test him before every feeding to see where his levels were. We would have to pass three consecutive tests…My heart dropped, how could this have happened?
We began SNS Feedings right away to try and raise his sugar levels. Let me tell you this is probably one of the most frustrating things to do with a new baby… trying to teach them to latch on and eat is one hard enough, but now you have a flexible feeding tube going into their mouth at the same time which has to be perfectly positioned. Ugh! What a nightmare! Each feeding was timed (could not be more than 20 minutes and we had to administer an additional 10 ml of formula or expressed breast milk with each feeding through SNS) To top it off since I didn’t want him to have formula so I would have to pump for 15 minutes after each feeding. Very quickly I felt like I was a milking cow!
We were rewarded for all our efforts as we passed our first two tests. We were excited and hopeful that we were in the clear with just one more test to pass, but then we failed our final test. We didn’t just fail it, we miserably failed it by 20 points. More intervention occurred by upping the amount we gave him through SNS to 20 ml now. Again, at the next feeding we failed it… The doctor was called since she had gone home for the night and the nurse brought the news to me that he would have to go on IV treatments in the nursery.
I broke down in tears; feeling like a failure… Feeling like I couldn’t give my son what he needed.
Watching #5 get wheeled out of my room was gut wrenching. They had told me after he was hooked up to his IV then I could come and see him. That was the longest 35 minutes of my life just waiting, waiting to have my baby back.
As soon as they let me, I rushed to the nursery, sanitized up and then I saw him, lying there, helpless with the IV in his arm. The tears streamed down my face even more. I sat in the chair next to him just rubbing his head softly trying to comfort him (although he seemed pretty comfortable because he was asleep) and in a way trying to comfort me… After two hours it was time to test him again.
The nurse came over and poked his sweet little foot again to test his blood, 64! He passed! His levels were so high that we were able to lower the amount of fluids being administered through his IV! By this time it was around 2am and the nurse “highly suggested” I go and get some sleep, but she assured me that if he cried or got hungry they would call me immediately.
As I walked back to my room the tears streamed down my face some more. I hated leaving my baby! I hated seeing him like that! As I got back to my room I continued my routine I had started earlier that day, pumping for 15 minutes so that I had milk for our SNS treatments, and then just laid there crying, wishing it was time to go see him again…
I have never been so excited to hear the hospital room phone ring when it finally did! #5 was crying; I rushed to the nursery, sanitized and picked up my baby and just held him. We passed the next test, which meant we got to get off the IV and come back to our room!
We passed the next three tests, which meant we could finally go home! It was Saturday and they wanted to see us back the next day for his one-day appointment! No problem… We were headed home and were well, or so we thought!
Featured Image Photo Credit: Michelle Thurgood Photography