It's been a busy weekend and I'm just now getting around to posting about our trip to the Kosiar NICU on Wednesday. I am also just now beginning to comprehend all of the information we learned. My mind-set since we found out our little guy has spina bifida has been that we will worry about it when it gets here. Well, it is almost here!!!!!
Kim Knott is a Nurse Practitioner with Neonatal Associates (the group that will be BabyBoy's neonatology group), and is a parent and PTO Vice President at NHE. It is such a comforting feeling to have that personal contact in a situation that I fear could be so impersonal. She even gave us the tour and spent nearly 2 hours with us on Wednesday night...what a blessing!
What we learned...
*Paisley is not allowed in the NICU (under 3, no exceptions). The only time she will be able to see 'baby bruver' is if she is at the hospital when he is born. I had decided it was probably not appropriate for her to be there and see my right out of surgery. She is so concerned about me all the time asking, "you okay, Momma" if I cough, step on a toy, or do anything out of the ordinary that I just don't want to scare her anymore than necessary. HOWEVER...now she will be present because she must at least see him to know that he is real and does exist. Otherwise, she will think we are crazy going to see him all the time and everything if she has never even met him. After he is born and they are taking him from the OR to the NICU, they will stop at the waiting room. That will be her only opportunity. It breaks my heart that I will miss that initial look on her face from meeting him for the first time, but I know it is the way it must be. Thank goodness that I have time to prepare myself. There will be many pictures/videos I know.
*We can visit 24 hours a day. It is comforting to know that we can spend time with him whenever we need to. Of course there may be a situation at any time where there is an emergency with another baby and they really don't want any extra people, which I completely understand. We only need to "scrub in" before going back. No extra germs!!!
*Norton's post-partum area of the hospital is located on the 3rd floor. The NICU at Kosair is also located on the 3rd floor. There is only a pedway separating where we will be. This will make it easy for me to travel before I am discharged. It will also make it much easier on our family to go back and forth. I am so thankful we will be so close to each other. I am a little disappointed that the post-partum area of Norton's does not have a separate area for mom's who do not and cannot have their babies with them. I was hopeful that there would not be crying babies around me, when I so desperately want the same. That will not be fun. ;(
*They will put in a PICC line very soon after he is moved to the NICU to avoid damaging his very tiny, fragile veins. He will need to be on antibiotics for 7 days after surgery and probably have some fluids at first, so this should be a much easier and more beneficial alternative than the possibility of multiple IV's. Whatever they say is best!
*In order to go back to visit with our precious little guy, you must be accompanied by Rodney or I. This is comforting, because we want to make sure we always have the most current information. A doctor could be doing an assessment at any time and we would want to make sure that we are hearing all the important information and then relaying that to family and friends. Our pastor will be able to go at any time to visit and pray...that is a must! They do have a very nice, new family waiting room for NICU patients and families only, that is located across the pedway at Norton's.
*The NICU is nothing like I expected. There are different pods with probably 8 babies in each pod. I think Kim said they can have up to 200 babies at a time. There were little rooms and hallways running everywhere. There sure is nothing private about any of it. I tend to be a very nosy person (I always know what's going on at every table around us at a restaurant), so I will have to try really hard to not become involved in other people's babies and lives around us. I am sure we will be so involved with our situation, that I won't have time to be nosy. :) It is very cramped, with way more nurses and doctors around than babies, which tells me he will be taken care of very well, which I never doubted.
This will not be an easy time in our lives, however I know with your continued support, we will be just fine and the time will go very quickly. I am so thankful that it will be summer time (just 7 more kid days of school for me now!), and my momma will be able to be my chauffeur after I am discharged. Rodney will go back to work after I leave the hospital so that he can take his week of vacation once we bring our little guy home. That's when the real fun begins!!! Please continue to pray!
Busy week... I am currently doing a 24 hour urine sample to check for protein (a sign of preeclapsia which I had with Paisley and consequently was in the hospital for 10 days before she was born). I see Dr. Dunn on Tuesday for my first NST (non-stress test) and then Dr. Pietrantoni on Thursday for another ultrasound. I really hope Dr. P will set THE DATE for the c-section when we see him this week... I will be begging! ;)