To start from the beginning of the four part series: Anything But Simple- Birth Story Part 1
“Your son’s blood sugar levels have tested extremely low twice now. He needs to be admitted into the NICU.” It felt like one thing after another. This beautiful child was finally in my arms, only to be taken away from me. The nurse took Connor to the NICU while I was transferred to my hospital room. Thankfully the NICU was directly across the hall. This time was somewhat of a blur for me. I felt very sick from the medications and needed to rest. Next thing I knew I was woken up at 3 AM and my attending nurse let Adam and I know that we could come over and see Connor when I’m ready.
Around 5AM we headed to Connor’s room. Unable to walk, I was placed in a wheelchair and pushed over to the NICU. I wasn’t quite sure what to think or expect. The nurse pulls back the curtain to his tiny hospital room. Connor was swaddled and looked like a baby burrito in his bassinet. He had a heart monitor, an IV and a blood glucose meter hooked up to his small body. I sat in a recliner and the baby was handed to me. I couldn’t believe how tiny and beautiful he was. Once he woke up I was able to try to breastfeed him again. I really had no idea what I was doing, yet it all felt somewhat natural to me. I nursed him as much as I could, but the poor guy kept falling asleep. After a nice long visit Adam and I went back into our room to get some sleep.
We were woken up a few hours later by Connor’s nurse to let us know that his doctor would be in soon. Once we went got to the room and got settled the doctor stopped by. He told us that Connor has a condition called Hypoglycemia, which is when when your blood sugar is very low. His levels were so low, that in order for him to leave the hospital his levels would have to rise significantly. The doctor said it may only take a day or two to get them where they need to be. To help bring his levels up, I was instructed to supplement with formula with my breastmilk and he let me know that the hospital would provide a pump for me to use.
Once I got back to my room I was provided a breast pump to use after feedings. I had no idea what to do and the nurse who dropped it off didn’t explain how to use it, except for how to turn it on. With the help of Facebook mom groups I was a part of I put all the pieces together and figure out how to get milk out of my breasts. Slowly but surely my drops turned into millimeters of liquid gold.
Over the next few days his levels would get so close to reaching the level it needed be, only to drop back down a level. It was so frustrating; I just wanted to take my baby home where he belonged. Every four hours either Adam or I or just myself would get up to go feed Connor and see how he was doing.
Every few hours his levels would be checked. A nurse would come in and take his vitals. She would place a heating pack on his foot for a few minutes, then prick his heel to get blood. Hearing his tiny newborn cries every time they checked was so hard to hear. He also had an IV in his hand so I had to be extremely careful when I was handling him.
As hard as it was being stuck at the hospital, family from both sides stopped by to visit us. It was heart-warming to see my family holding and loving my little boy. Connor’s big brother Brayden stopped by as well to visit. He loved his little brother!
The hardest day for me was day five. I remember hearing other babies in the halls coming and going. I felt so depressed and tired of hospital life. I went in for Connor’s 6 am feeding and the nurse stopped me before I could walk in. “I want to prepare you for what you’re going to see, it looks way worse than it actually is. Connor’s IV kept falling out and after several attempts to place it in his hands we had to place the IV in his head. It’s okay that it’s there, he actually felt less pain than he would in his hands.” My heart dropped. My poor baby! I was so frustrated that they didn’t call me to be there to comfort him. I reached my breaking point and begged God to heal my child so we could get out of this place.
Another day passed and Connor’s blood sugar levels were slowly but consistently climbing. The head nurse mentioned that we could possibly go home that night or the next day. We waited nearly all day to hear from his doctor on if it was time yet, but he never showed.
Later that day I went to visit Connor. I was preparing to nurse him when I noticed a few drops of blood leaking from the IV in his head. I called his nurse in and she decided that his levels were close to where they needed to be so she took the IV out. I was worried that his levels would drop again but our prayers were answered, he was keeping his levels up on his own!
On day 7 of being in the NICU his doctor finally was able to stop by and gave Connor the OK to go home. Adam and I were so extremely ecstatic! By noon that day Connor was discharged.
We finally brought our healthy son home to start our new life. Now nearly a year later, this precious boy is healthy and thriving. As emotionally heart wrenching as the whole birth and NICU experience was, we got through it as a family. I feel that I’m a stronger person and mother because of our experience.