2 Days Old
Recovery from delivery was great for the both of us. We slept, breastfed, changed poopy diapers, shared baby with visitors and breastfed some more. The only *issue* we encountered was Jacob kept gagging and choking on his spit up, which was very thick and mucousy and had some blood in it. All the nurses and doctors said he just swallowed amniotic fluid and blood during delivery and he just had to clear it out. They put a wedge under his bassinet and took him to the nursery a couple times to suction him out when he would start choking. But it was no big deal and no one was concerned.
We got discharged Wednesday, the day after delivery, and just enjoyed being home as a family of 4. I continued to only breastfeed, my milk wasn't in yet so he wasn't getting much but what he was getting he seemed to be spitting up. Thursday middle of the night we gave in and fed our ravenous baby 2 ounces of formula after I had breastfed for 2 hours straight and he ended up puked it all up. We just figured he ate it to quickly and his tummy wasn't used to that much food.
Friday morning was the day of his 2 day check up and after breastfeeding I supplemented with an ounce or 2 of formula and while burping him he puked everything up all over the both of us. This puke seemed different, it was very colorful: green, red, and brown and it included a couple small blood clots. Obviously, Nick and I were very concerned so we brought the clothes and blanket he threw up on to show the dr at his appointment.
After weighing and masuring him (he weighed 6 lbs 11 oz and was 21 inches long) we immediately showed the dr what our newborn had produced that morning and told her he is puking everything he is eating. She seemed very concerned and after looking him over quickly left the room to call the neonatologist to get advice on his colorful throw up. She said we needed to wait there and it could take awhile to get ahold of him.
*Insert freak out here* I called my mom and broke down crying, I just couldn't believe anything could be wrong with our perfect baby. We had dealt with so much during the pregnancy we were hoping for an easy entry into the world for our precious boy.
The dr came back in about 5 minutes later giving us instructions to head straight to the NICU downtown, we couldn't go to Roseville because if he needed surgery they would have to transport him downtown anyway since they don't do neonate surgery at Roseville. (Wait, did she just say surgery?) She said don't go to the ER or adminssions, but head straight to the NICU cause she didn't want us to wait.
We arrive at the NICU and they already have a bed and nurse waiting for him there in the high risk room A. We were next to babies that were born as early as 26 weeks. We looked around and felt like we were so out of place with our full term, healthy baby. They explain we will be doing an abdominal x-ray and then a barium swallow to check for a blockage. The green he was throwing up was bile and with newborns they are concerned with a blockage that would have to be fixed with surgery.
The x-ray showed his poor tummy and intestines were full of gas, which was really a good sign meaning things were moving through and he didn't have a full on blockage, but it was no wonder he seemed uncomfortable with all that gas. Then he gets the barium swallow, and poor baby was so hungry from not eating all day he sucked down the barium straight from the bottle, which is unusual, they normally have to do an NG tube to get the barium down. Well, since he did eat it so quickly the radiologist wasn't able to get a picture of the exact spot the surgeon needed to see so he ended up having to get the NG tube done anyways so they could control how quickly the barium goes through him. And let me just say, having to hold your newborn's head down and binkie in his mouth so a nurse can put a tube down his nose and throat was an experience I never want to go through again.
Since I had to pump, Nick went with J to get this study done and the radiologist was able to tell him right in the x-ray room that there was no blockage and the barium went through perfectly! The only thing he did have wrong was reflux. What?! It's just reflux!! We could deal with that! They wanted to monitor him to see how severe his reflux was, because in some instances babies will need surgery to fix the muscle at the top of the stomach to reduce the reflux, but most likely he wouldn't need that.
He was finally able to eat something and they started him on a special formula that was thicker so it would stay down better. We started him slowly and the whole time we were there he didn't spit up once! They monitored him overnight, feeding him every 2-3 hours and then sitting him upright in an infant seat for an hour after feeding, using gravity to keep food down. The next morning he was moved to the room where babies are discharged from. It was crazy to think where we had come from over the last 24 hours, we arrived at the NICU anticipating surgery for our little guy and being told about social services that would help Hannah understand what was happening to her baby brother to Jacob having reflux, needing to eat a different formula and being kept upright for 30-60 minutes after feedings. It was such an emotional rollercoaster and we just kind of went with the flow, I mean what else could we do? It seemed too much to process.
Around 11 o'clock on Saturday the neonate dr came in to talk with us and asked if we were comfortable taking baby home... um yes please! We so badly wanted to get Hannah and Jacob home, and start our new normal. We were tired of hospitals and just wanted to enjoy our baby. Thankfully, Jacob was healthy enough and doing really well they discharged us with instructions on how to feed him and to follow up with his pedi a couple days later. They didn't want to start him on medication yet if he wasn't going to need it. But after being home a couple days, he seemed uncomfortable and was spitting up some of his feedings so at the follow-up appointment his pedi started him on 1/4 of a pill of prevacid, that worked for about 3 weeks and now he takes 1/2 a pill.
He's doing wonderfully now, he still pukes a couple of his feedings per day, but we can tell he's much happier and doesn't kick or arch his back in pain anymore. They call him a happy spitter :)
Being in the NICU next to those tiny, premature babies that had already had multiple surgeries in their short lives really put things in perspective for us. Sure our new baby could have needed surgery but it was so minor compared to what a lot of other babies go through. We wouldn't have had to worry if he would survive it, cause we know he would have, where as the parents in the NICU next to us had held their baby while he was dying but then he pulled through, and they had gone through this a couple times in the 8 weeks he had been alive. I couldn't imagine the kind of emotional rollercoaster those families go through and we feel very blessed with the health of our children and do not take that for granted. We are so happy to be home and are loving our life as a famly of 4, it would be nice to get a little more sleep, but other than that we could not complain :)