Saturday, October 06, 2012

A Little More of the Baby Story

My little baby in the Special Care Nursery, before being transferred to the NICU.
They were going to transfer my baby to Strong. By 11am, my little baby, not quite six hours old, was struggling to breathe. Not only was he in pain from his traumatic birth, he now was wheezing and not able to catch his breath. It became apparent to the nursing staff that this new little baby was sick. By the end of the day, Jacob had spent several hours in an oxygen bubble, had a chest x-ray, numerous blood cultures, and finally a lumbar puncture (or spinal tap). Initially it was determined Jake had an infection in his blood, but toward the end of the day, after the L.P., there was substantial reason to suspect the infection had spread into his spinal fluid and the fluid surrounding his brain. I feel like I took the events of the day all in and still kept my wits about me and my emotions under control, for the most part. Though maybe I have blocked out my most intense emotions of the day... By the time I received the information that Jacob would indeed be transferred to Strong Hospital, the best hospital and NICU in our area, Adam had gone home for the night to get some rest. Still, I had a few family members come to see me and my baby that evening. My brother Dave and his wife were there with me when the nurses in the Special Care Nursery told me of their decision to transfer Jake and also warned me that I may not be able to transfer along with him. Tears rolled down my cheeks and I found great comfort in the fact that my big brother was there at that very difficult moment. It didn't matter that Dave and I hadn't really been speaking much lately, somehow I could feel his love and compassion in spite of our strained relationship. Something about having him there... My biggest fear was not being able to accompany my baby as he went to another hospital. I did not want to stay behind. Tears started every time I thought about it. I prayed that there would be a bed available for me. There was no way I was ready to be discharged. That would be my only other option. Or stay where I was. I had just had a 10 lb 2 oz baby and was in great pain. I knew I needed to stay in the hospital longer. Praise the Lord I did not need to worry long. A bed was available and I was able to transfer right after Jacob.

Big brother so wished to hold our little one, but he had to wait many more days before he would get his chance.
My first peek of little Jacob in the NICU was at about 11:30pm. He was swaddled tightly and hooked up to all kinds of wires. He still had a nasal cannula in his nose and was lying in a little bed with a nurse tending to him. I cannot remember if I held him at that time, but right before he had been transferred, I had been allowed to hold him for the first time since he was born. I soaked in that moment as only a Mom could. Jake opened his eyes and looked at me, his little mouthed opened like a little bird. His body relaxed in my arms and I was thankful. Here he was. Alive. In my arms. Getting the best care possible. Being loved and prayed for by many. He had received his first dose of antibiotics as soon as an infection was suspected. The pediatricians and nurses had been working proactively to care for my newborn son.

After seeing Jake was safe, I went back to my room to sleep, only to be awoken at 2:30am by two doctors from the NICU coming to inform me that Jacob's blood count was low and he had to have a blood transfusion. But that wasn't it. They suspected he had meningitis and he also would be having a brain scan. They asked me if I was familiar with meningitis. I blinked sleep out of my eyes and asked if I should go see him. They told me that I should, as soon as I could. Deep breaths. I told myself my baby was going to be okay, he's going to be okay, he's going to be okay. I found myself down at the NICU, staring at my baby. It was going to be a long week.


Martha said...

I lost my composure when I called Dave to let him and Leta know the baby had meningitis. I didn't mean to cry, but I just couldn't hold it together at that moment. Deep inside I knew it could mean something none of us wanted to face and momentarily took my eyes off the One who hears our desperate cries.

Heather said...

Oh Bethany, hearing all of the details that you and Adam dealt with is just painful. So thankful for a God who held you tight and a big brother who was a comfort during some bad news. Love you so much!

Rachel said...

You sure did have lots of people praying for Jacob and you! I'm so glad Dave and Leta showed up and were there for you at that moment, and I'm so glad that God once again brought good out of a tough situation. You have such a handsome new addition to your family. :)

Sarah Van Hoesen said...

I know all of this already but still I sit hearing bawling my eyes out. I am so thankful that he is healthy and at home with his family now. He will be strong and a fighter his whole life.

Ruth said...

Hi Bethany, you don't know me at all, but I've been reading your mum's blog for years. :)
I too prayed for your precious little baby, and am so thankful he's at home with you and is doing so well now.
I also prayed for God's strength for you and your husband.
And it seems to me from reading these posts, you were incredibly strong and brave in the face of a truly harrowing experience.
You are amazing! And I'm so thankful to God for your example of trust in Him in times of hardship.