The adventures of one former missionary couple journeying along on their life after staff. For all of our family, friends and supporters, we hope this will help you stay connected. Additionally for all our staff friends, it's a rare glimpse into life on the other side :)
Aug 7, 2012
Josiah Roy Chapter Two: The Long Stay
He was born Tuesday night at 11:24pm. I was up with him most of the night as he kept spitting up mucus and junk. They said he came out so fast he didn't get that last good squeeze to get all the fluid and such out of his lungs but no biggie. The morning nurse took his respirations and looked alarmed. She said they were high and called in another nurse. Turns out they were double what they should be. But he was not laboring in his breathing in any other way, had no fever, pulse and oxygen levels were always great and was mellow and nursing like a champ. The nurses didn't seem concerned and thought it was TTN and would resolve on it's own in a day or so as the extra fluid in his lungs was expelled or absorbed. But they did let the doctor on rounds know.
When the doctor came by, his respirations were still up at 80. I guess that's kind of alarming. So he ordered a chest x-ray and blood work. The chest x-ray was good. All bloodwork was fine except for an elevated CRP (C-responsive protein) level. This protien is put off by the liver and is elevated when there is inflamation or infection in the body. It should be under 10 in newborns. Josiah's was 45.
They called in a second opinion...the pediatrician. Wednesday evening he informed us that Josiah would need to go on IV antibiotics. Because all of his other vitals and bloodwork looked so great, the Doc was willing to just try 48 hours of anibiotics and rerun the labs. Most other hospitals it would have been a manditory 7 days of antibiotics.
This meant putting an IV in my 20 hour old baby boy. It meant bruises on his hands where they couldn't find a vein. It meant shaving his little head and sticking an IV in a vein in his forhead. It meant him coming back to me with a wide awake, dazed, scared look on his face. It meant at least an extra day in the hospital. I don't do well with change. But we went with it. He seemed completley fine to me. I was convinced we'd be out of there on Friday.
Friday morning came. I was packed. I was showered. I was dressed. I was putting on makeup and excited to make my exit. The pediatrician came in and told me that the labs came back and the CRP only dropped to 43. That it likely rose in the 48 hours and was on it's way back down. I felt like he was talking in slow motion and then he said it..."He needs 4-5 more days of antibiotics."
The doctor left and there I was alone in a room and I lost it. Just lost it. That was the worst day. My hormones were crashing, my milk was just coming in, I was lonely, I was scared for my baby and I was now in for 5 more days on my own in the hospital. I cried a lot, and was super overwhelmed and thought I was going to go absolutely bonkers trapped inside those four walls without my family.
At some point the next day I just pulled up my bootstraps and said, "This is the way it has to be. I'm just going to have to get through it." I prayed. I put out word to my friends what a hard time I was having. I set up friends to come and visit different days. And then I just tried to get into a routine. I made myself get out of bed each day and shower, otherwise I just felt totally depressed and aweful. Jason and Ella came and visited once a day. Jason would take Josiah and Ella and I would go outside so I could get fresh air and sun. Ella would play, hold Josiah, eat some lunch and then they'd be off to home for nap. I'd clean up the room and get it all tidy again. I watched a lot of HGTV and held and rocked Josiah a lot. Daytime was okay, but when night fell and everything got quiet it was really hard. It magnified my lonliness. Some nights I had hideous nightmares that woke me from a dead sleep and I didn't dare close my eyes again.
Even with Jason coming each day, I never felt connected to him. We didn't get time together just us. We didn't get to talk with a three year old running around. That part was aweful. Seeing my husband every day but feeling so disconnected, so alone. It felt like all the heavy burden of Josiah's medical care was on me. And I was so sad that this sweet boy was getting almost no time to connect and bond with his daddy. It ripped me apart.
Nurses came in to administer the IV antibiotics at 2am, 10am, 6pm, and 7pm. And every few hours they came in and unwrapped him from his cozy blankets and waking him up to take his temp, respirations and blood oxygen level. Other times they took him away to draw blood to make sure the antibiotic levels were okay, or to do more bloodwork. Once the IV port failed and they had to take him away to put another one in. Each time I could hear him cry down the hall in the nursery. Each time he'd come back with a wide eyed, scared and shocked look on his face. It was aweful.
The happy news finally came that we could leave after his last antibiotic treatment on Tuesday. We made plans for Ella and Jason was going to be with me Monday night and help pack up and take the happy trip home. Then Monday afternoon Ella got sick, ended up having to go to walk-in care and we found out she had a UTI, so we didn't leave her with someone else. Daddy stayed with her again. I was disappointed, but, hey, what was one more night?
I was going home the next day and NOTHING could burst that bubble....or so I thought....to be continued.