Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Feels Like Family

10 weeks.  70 days.  We have been on this incredible, unbelievable journey for 2 and a half months.  We have been here long enough that some of the other parents of preemies feel like friends, and the staff is almost family.  I can’t walk down the hall on our side without a handful of “Hello” and “How’s Finn?” greetings passing my way.  Although that’s a comforting feeling, it still seems a bit surreal.  WHY are we here in the first place – let alone being here long enough to feel this way about the people we are encountering on a daily basis?  We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve persevered!  But today, we felt a little more deflated than usual.

I got a message from the mom of Finn’s roommate in the early morning hours saying they had gotten a middle of the night call from the NICU doctor, telling them their baby was not doing well, and would need to be transferred from our home here at Mercy to OU Children’s hospital for exploratory surgery.  YIKES!  The other mom and I both arrived at the hospital at the same time this morning – about 7:30 – and met up at the scrub sink.  When we got to our babies’ room, our nurse greeted us both, but the emphasis was obviously on our roommate.  Poor baby girl!  She had a very rough night – scared the whole staff, and was in for a crazy day today.  Transferring a baby to another hospital is QUITE a job!  There was tons of prep work and paperwork that our nurse had to do, so Mr. Finn and I were kind of left to our own devices.  Luckily, I have been there awhile, and I knew what to do!  ;)  Shortly after 9:00, a crew from NeoFlight came in the room with all of their (big, scary looking) equipment, and it took almost an hour to prep and move her out of the room.  I cannot even BEGIN to imagine how scary this is for her parents.  They were both there this morning, and you could tell this was a terrifying ordeal for them.  Their baby girl and Finn were both born on October 5.  We have been together this whole time.  The room feels so empty this afternoon.  The mom promised to keep me updated, and we are facebook friends, so I know this is not the last I have heard from them.

In the meantime, Finn is improving.  Slowly, but we’re getting there.  He OFFICIALLY hit the 5 pound mark last night.  Wooo Whooooo!  Five Pound Club!  I think we declared it a bit prematurely Saturday night after the blood transfusion, as she was retaining a lot of fluid at that time.  But last night, he was 5 pounds, 1.5 ounces.  I got a call from the nurse practitioner yesterday morning, declaring we had a PLAN for Finn to get him over the plateau and back on a forward track.  She had researched his history on diuretics, and discovered that made his pH gets out of balance; too much alkaline.  He had the obligatory Lasix after his blood transfusion Saturday - as has been the protocol for all the other 5, but then the medication had been extended over the weekend as well.  Come to find out, he does not tolerate the diuretics well!  Not only does it make him have alkalosis, it makes his blood saturation levels drop – which is the exact opposite of what we want!  So, no more diuretics.  Also, she ordered an echo cardiogram for yesterday afternoon to check the pressure in his heart and lungs.  While he was showing no signs of any complications like this, she wanted to rule out any issues there that could be treated with medications. We got the echo results this morning, and it was perfect!  So, no worries there.  She was also wondering if perhaps he was aspirating with his bottle feeds.  So, to make sure that was not the case (again, not showing any signs of this, but wanted to make sure), she is holding his bottle feed for 48 hours – doing all his feeds by gavage.  This also gives him some time to rest and recover from whatever has been bothering him.  So, we are still doing that today.  He roots around at each feeding time, so I can tell he misses the bottle, but we’ll get back to that tomorrow, I’m sure!  And the 4th part of her plan?  Patience.  Yeah, I know.  Easier said than done.  I ran out of that a little while back.  I think we all have.  The pressure cooker at home has exploded a few times in the past week or so.  We are all just ready for a more “normal” life.  With Finn home.  He just has to get bigger and better!  He has been weaning pretty steadily on his oxygen again with this new plan, and he is ACTING so much better!  And the report I got this morning the nurse practitioner indicated that we are headed in the right direction again. WHEW!

Here is our sweet boy today:
Finn - 10 weeks old
With all the overhead lights on during the transfer, you could really see how much ORANGE there is in Finn's hair!  Shocking, really.  And, it is getting so long!  I enjoyed our extra cuddle time while all the chaos was going on in our room.  At one point, there were close to 20 people in the room, plus, her old crib, the isolette she was in over night, the transport gurney and isolette, a ventilator (just in case) plus chairs and other equipment!  WHEW!  I was holding Finn close to keep him safe during the confusion.  We both benefited from it, I think.

It just takes time.  We’ll see how the next few days go – in his single room – and hopefully we can keep moving forward.  It is obvious now that he will go home with supplemental oxygen.  But the question remains, how MUCH oxygen, and WHEN is he coming home.  Seems almost silly to worry about when his friend is across town struggling so much.  Prayers all around for these two precious babies!  And everyone close to them - we all need it these days!


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  2. Prayers for that sweet baby girl and as always for Mr Finn to keep growing big and strong. Excited to see more pics of Finn and his orange power hair ;)

  3. Prayers for everyone! We brought lily home Monday from our NICU after 7 weeks I know you can't wait to do the same! Praying for y'all!

  4. Praying for Finn and for that tiny little girl and her parents and doctors today.
    Love the video praying he gets home by Christmas.
    Rachel in TN
    Due in Jan with baby girl #4