Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Amory NICU

Aaron stayed in the well baby nursery for about 4 hours. Right when they were about to let me see him, they decided he needed to go to the NICU to be watched more closely. They said he was working too hard to breath and would be put on some oxygen. Several doctors came in and out of our room updating us. It was the middle of the night, it was dark in our room and I was very medicated so I really do not remember the details. I do remember that they let Stephen go down to the NICU to see him and he took some photos so I could see him.

Already learning to pull his oxygen off:

I BEGGED and NAGGED the nurses to let me go. They said I had to get up and walk first. So 5:00 am, I got up and walked to the door and back. NEVER need to do that again. It was not fun. So, I said "I walked. Now can I go?" Well then they wanted to move me to a different room. Then they said it wasn't visiting hours and that did not start until noon. You have got to be kidding me? Everyone has seen my baby but me. I told Stephen it was extreemly unfair that I had deliver the baby and then be the only one not getting to see him. I guess my nagging paid off because they decided to sneak me in for a quick glance before shift change. He was in the warmer and I was in the wheelchair so I really just got to see and touch his feet. I asked about holding him and they looked at me like I was a crazy person. Hey, I had to ask?

First time getting to see Aaron besides the quick second on the operating table:
He stayed in the NICU at Amory from 7/8/11-7/20/11. We went from room air, to being on the nasal canula to being on the ventilator to off the ventilator then back on the ventilator. It was all a blur. They kept telling us that he would outgrow this and the cells in his lungs would just mature suddenly and he would be fine. He also had a feeding tube that was in his mouth that he loved to pull out alot. By the last week he was taking most of his feedings by bottle and seemed to be making progress.
Cap and T:
Nonna and Pops:
The usual way we could comfort him. He loved to hold our fingers. We could also stroke his head. That usually worked too:
The first time I got to hold him. The nurse needed to change the linens on his warmer and asked me to pick him up for a second. It was just the moment I needed:
He was under the bili lights for a couple days. This is when he got the nickname "Chetto":
Boodum- trying to get him to hurry and get better!
Our first family picture:
Snuggling in the middle of the night in the NICU:
Donna was Stephen's nurse when he was in the NICU 27 years ago. She also had Aaron for most day shifts:
Aaron looking at his Daddy with eyes that seemed to be begging him to make it all go away:
First diaper change. Not very easy when he's in the isolette:
After a little over two weeks of waiting for his cells to mature, they decided to do an echo just to make sure there was nothing causing the slow progression. We were at home the day they did the echo and they said they would call with the results. At 2:00pm I called and the nurse said the results were in but they had not been read yet. She said they would call me soon. I crawled into bed and tried to nap but could not. So I started looking up some verses to try to find comfort. The first one I read was Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways your ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." I knew in that moment that the results would not be what I wanted them to be. I just knew I needed to prepare myself. A few minutes later the nurse called to "confirm that this was our contact number". Again, I knew for sure this was not going to be good news. Dr. Kloor called a few minutes later and asked if someone was with me. My mom came in the room and I put him on speaker phone. He said that he had some news to share that I would not want to hear. He also said to remember "this is the same Aaron that you knew yesterday. We just know more about him now." The rest of the conversation is a blur. Basically they could tell that Aaron had some congenital defect in his heart or aorta and they were unsure what it was or how serious it was at this point. He suggested that Aaron be airlifted immediately to Jackson to UMC for evaluation by a pediatric cardiologist. He said someone would call me with details as soon as we knew more but the transport team was on their way to pick him up. I hung up and broke down for a minute. I tried to gather myself enough to talk and I called Stephen at work. I have no idea what I said. All I know is he was home within five minutes and we were throwing things into a suitcase. We jumped into the car and headed to Jackson in a horrible rain storm. It was a long quiet drive. No radio, no talking. Just quiet pondering. I remember begging God to please give us good news when we arrived. I also begged that if it was not good news, He would give me peace that passes all understanding because I knew I was not strong enough to handle whatever was waiting for us. I also remember praying that God would allow Stephen and I to act in a way that was pleasing to Him no matter what we found when we walked through the hospital doors.
Aaron ready to head to the chopper. Has his ear protection on:

Moved over to the transport teams equipment:

Leaving Amory:

The chopper that took Aaron for his first ride:


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