Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Parker's Birth Story - PART III

Well here we are at Part III of Parker's birth story... and the last installment of this series! In case you missed it, I shared about how labor came on in Part I and how labor and delivery went in Part II

So the day after Parker was born, Honey and I arrived at the Children's Hospital. The doctors and staff there were nothing short of incredible! We knew that Parker was in great hands. We also were exposed to so many little babies and their families and quickly realized that while we felt as though our situation was life changing, it was temporary. There were so many families there that had babies in far worse situations than ours. Shortly upon our arrival we were quick to count our blessings! We will never forget those that we met there and their heart breaking stories.



Since Parker was the patient (not us, his parents) there was no place for us to sleep in his room. The hospital provided a list of hotels that gave a discount in the area so during the first week each night we found a place to stay - leaving the hospital as late as possible each evening and arriving as early as possible each morning. 

The nurses made a cute name sign for his door! Here is also a picture of his bed and small room.



We did have 24-hour access to Parker which was wonderful! We were also encouraged to hold him whenever we wanted to and change his diapers and take his temperature. We could even put clothes on him!


 
 





Our families came to see him too. We had visits from my parents and brother and from Honey's parents and sister, brother in law and their children.




We also had several friends come say hello!



To help show how little bitty our baby boy was, here is a picture of him with a premie outfit on the right (which fit him with plenty of room to spare width wise) and a newborn outfit on the left.





Our team of doctors, led by world-renowned Neonatologist, Dr. William Walsh, gave us the following three “going home rules”: Parker would need to 1) breathe on his own, 2) nurse from Mommy, and 3) regulate his body temperature. While this is standard fare for newborns, we quickly learned that they are challenges for pre-term babies.
To assist with his breathing, Parker was intubated with a ventilator shortly after his birth but after three successful days, the ventilator was removed! Parker remained on oxygen for a couple of days but was soon breathing “room air”. We were so thrilled with his progress!
With the ventilator
No ventilator! Only using a cannula to assist with breathing
No ventilator, no cannula, no IV for fluids, only a feeding tube to take mama's milk!
Parker’s heart rate was constantly monitored but amazingly it remained right where it should. Even when he was given a pacing study, the high heart rate could not be replicated. Parker was cleared of any heart issues! What WONDERFUL news!!
Parker was then able to practice first drinking from a bottle and then nursing. He astounded the doctors with his progress and soon his feeding tube was removed and we celebrated another “going home rule” accomplishment.
 
 Around this same time we were upgraded to a Family Room. This gave us the opportunity to room in with Parker! We were sleeping on a pull out couch in a room only slightly bigger than his original room but we didn't care, we were together

No feeding tube!! We could finally see his whole face!
 

Following these successes we focused on body temperature. After several days Parker was able to regulate his body temperature! It was then that we received the news we had been waiting for: after two weeks at the Children's Hospital– even spending our one-year wedding anniversary there – we were on our way home with our perfectly healthy precious little son!

Ready to GO HOME!
It took more than one trip to the car!

Snug in his car seat

We were so happy to finally be home and have our little family together. What an experience we will NEVER forget. Thank God we have a happy, healthy little boy!! We could not feel more blessed!!




 

4 comments:

  1. I adore the picture of him with his arms above his head. I hope you, Hubby and Parker are in the swing of being a family and I look forward to watching him grow and thrive!

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  2. Your story really took me back to when my own sweet girl was born and our 5 weeks spent in the NICU. How wonderful you could room in with him and have many visitors!! You got some truly amazing pictures and when he turns one year old you will look back at this time and cry tears of joy because he is so perfect!!!

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  3. Wow, what a whirlwind! I cannot imagine what it was like to have your baby whisked away after two hours of meeting him. My heart just breaks when I think of him in the NICU and all of those other sick babies. I'm so happy that he is home and healthy!

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  4. I'm so happy for you! And so glad your little man is doing so well!!! You have a beautiful family :)

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Comments make me smile :)

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