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Thursday, September 15, 2011

An Update On Everything!

So, instead of back-dating posts, and doing several little posts, I decided to do just one large post, broken down by date (if significant enough). It's been almost 2 weeks since Cael's birth, and I can't believe how quickly it's flying by! Trust me, I cry when I think about it.

Thursday, September 8th, 2011
Cael's First ER Visit

Today wasn't as eventful as the evening was. Cael hadn't peed since last night at around 6pm, so when about 24 hours went by and no pee or poo was to be seen, I became concerned. Especially since he was nursing every 2-3 hours, I knew he should be making pee. Matt wasn't as concerned as much, thinking it will just happen eventually. But considering everything I've been told and read said - "Should have about 4 wet diapers in 24 hours" - I got really concerned. He was only 4 days old, and all I could think of was his poor bladder being so full, and the toxins from the urine going throughout his body.

So I put a call in to his pediatrician's office through the answering service. One of the nurses from the triage center called me back, and went through some questions about what was going on. She asked things such as does he have a fever; is he lethargic; how often is he eating; what is he doing now; has he urinated today. When I answered "no" to the last question, she told me that we had to bring him to the emergency room. Commence break down. I tried to keep my composure as I hung up the phone with the nurse, and as soon as I hung up, I lost it. My poor baby.

There was one problem, though. Yesterday, September 7th, our area and the Binghamton, NY area was in a state of emergency due to massive flooding. There was no way out of our town, and therefore no way to get to the hospital in Binghamton. There was a travel ban, and all roads that led out of our town were under water. This flood was supposed to be worse than the flood of 2006, and that flood was horrible. And at this point, Binghamton was evacuated by the National Guard.

SO, that leaves the crappy hospital 2 miles from out house, in our crap town. It literally has 4 ER rooms. This is the hospital that I worked at when we first moved up here, and from working in the ER Admissions office, I learned that this is the hospital that you go to for sniffles and a cold. It's basically a clinic. If you have a life-threatening condition - good luck.

So I finished breast-feeding Cael, quickly threw together his diaper bag (this would be the first time we've gone anywhere since being discharged 2 days earlier), put Cael in his car seat, and we were heading out the door. Unfortunately, because we were in such a rush, I guess I didn't properly burp Cael, so this was also the first time he spit up. Poor little guy.

So we get there, and we were 1 of 2 patients that were in the ER. The other was this little boy who seemed to hurt his wrist. They brought us into a room, and started their assessment on him. In a nutshell, he weighed 7 pounds 5 ounces, he wasn't in distress, had good color and vital signs, and looked well overall. The only thing was that he had a low temperature - it was 97.3. However, that could have been our fault because: 1. we had only had him in a diaper and onesie since we brought him home, with a blanket of course (oops) and 2. we had just given him his first sponge bath, hoping it would trigger him to pee. I guess you live and you learn. We learned that night that we should have more clothes on him, including a hat, socks and mittens, because newborns get cold easily.

The ER doctor couldn't find anything wrong with him, and explained that because he was so tiny and new, that he would rather not catheterize him. If he were an adult, they would, but not in this circumstance. He was confident that he would pee on his own eventually, and said that sometimes the breast milk isn't enough yet because it hasn't fully come in yet. Therefore, he could be dehydrated, or not getting enough. This made me feel like crap. After his assessment, he left to contact Cael's pediatrician and let him know of his findings.

He came back, and said that the on-call pediatrician was fine with sending him home, because we had Cael's first newborn visit for a weight-check tomorrow, on Friday. That is, if we would be able to get up to Binghamton. The pediatrician also said that he wants us to try and give him formula after I breast feed, to make sure he's getting enough. This upset me greatly, because I really don't want him to have formula, and I really don't want to introduce a bottle just yet. But Matt said it's what the pediatrician said to do, so we'll try it. I, however, just knew that he was getting enough. He spit up a ton of milk before we left, for crying out loud.

The problem was, that we didn't have any formula to give him. This hospital also didn't have a nursery or deliver babies, so Matt thought they wouldn't have any formula to give us. Plus, all stores were closed, and we wouldn't even be able to get to them if they were open. But I figured you never know until you ask. Turns out, they had the little 2 ounce bottles of pre-made formula, and they gave us quite a few.

We were then discharged and were on our way home. However, not before paying a $100 out of network copay. I hope there aren't any other charges that come up that aren't covered. We
headed home after about no more than 2 hours in the ER, and it was time to feed Cael. I breast fed him, then, as the pediatrician suggested, we gave him the bottle of formula. I cried the entire time he was drinking from it, because I felt it was going to ruin his latch on me. Plus, I didn't want him having formula. Matt told me I was being selfish, and that this is what he needed (I knew he didn't need it).

He drank it so quickly and honestly didn't know what to do with the bottle nipple. He was sort of playing with it in his mouth. He was done after 1 ounce, and I went to burp him. He spit up EVERYTHING and everywhere. I knew he didn't need it, and it was probably too heavy for his stomach because he was used to the breast milk. I felt so bad for him, and had no problem telling Matt that he didn't need it, that I was making enough milk for him. We haven't given him formula since.

After he ate and was done spitting up, Matt took him to change his diaper. It was still dry. However, as soon as Matt took the diaper off, Cael peed all over Matt! The little stinker!! He actually peed twice during that changing, so we were both really relieved. It cost us $100 (that we know of, at least), but it was worth it because we knew he was ok for now. From then on, we knew Cael was going to be giving us a run for our money.

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011
Cael's First Pediatrician Visit..And My ER Visit

We never did make it to Cael's originally scheduled appointment on Friday because of the flooding, so we had to reschedule it to today. Matt's mom brought us because Matt couldn't get off. This was also Cael's second time out, and this outing would be the longest. His appointment went very well. He gained 5 ounces from when we were discharged the week before, so he was up to 7 pounds 11 ounces. The pediatrician was pleased with his weight gain. He went over some basic things with us, and we have another appointment the following week on Thursday to make sure he's gaining enough weight still.

So I guess since Cael's visit was pretty much uneventful, I had to make up for that. I was fine during the car ride up to the doctor's office, but once I got out of the car, and walked the distance up to Cael's office, I started not feeling so well. I've been having a rough recovery to begin with, and did lose a lot of blood during the delivery, so I've been feeling weak. By the end of Cael's visit, while we were checking out, one of the nurses noticed that I wasn't looking so good.

I was completely grey, weak-looking, and out of breath from the walk to the check-out counter. I was also having some pretty bad cramping - worse than I've had since I delivered. One of the nurses, C, had me sit down, and took my vital signs. I explained that I was fine, that I just needed to sit and that I've done more today than I've done since I've delivered. And also that I'm anemic, which is why I'm feeling this way. However, they knew I wasn't fine. They wanted to put a call into my midwife's office, one floor down, and have me seen. They called, and explained to one of the doctor's (not my midwife) what my vital's and symptoms were. They told C to bring me right down to the ER, and not to bother with an office visit.

This really upset me, and of course I started to cry. All I could think about was Cael being away from me, or being in the hospital for longer than I wanted and being around all the germs. C got a wheel-chair, had me get in it, and away we went. They knew I was an employee, so I guess that got me in quicker. This was about 2:30pm.

When we got to the triage area, I had to leave Cael and Laureen behind. This upset me greatly, as I haven't been away from Cael since he was born (except the few hours he spent in the nursery after delivery). They asked me questions, took my vitals, did an EKG, and got me right into a room. I had blood drawn to check my hemoglobin again, and they took 7 VIALS! I was thinking I'm anemic enough, how much blood do they need!? I was alone in the room, and felt horrible. I wanted my son. I didn't want to be there, and didn't feel I needed to be there. But I knew I had no say in the matter (I wouldn't sign out AMA).

My hemoglobin had gone up slightly to 8 - it was 6 when I was discharged a week prior - but it was still low. I had an orthostatic blood pressure check done, and failed that because my heart rate rose 40 bpm when I was standing. Therefore, I earned myself an IV and a bag of saline. They also paged my midwife to discuss my cramping and symptoms, and I guess because I was only 8 days post-partum, so she would be the best person to see me. The lactation consultant was also going to come in and see me.

The nurse from Cael's office, C, called my room to see how I was doing. At this point, I had Cael in my room, and was feeding him, because Laureen spoke to the LC, and she said that as long as I was in my own room, he would be fine with me. He's best with me, and not apart from me, so therefore it would be ok for him to come in with me. I'm happy that I got to feed him, because they were talking about giving him formula. I explained that he can't have formula, that he'll just spit it up, and everyone told me not to worry about it, and just worry about myself. Yea, ok. I asked C (just to confirm) if it were ok to have Cael with me, and explained what the LC said. C was very hesitant, and said that they don't recommend it because of all the germs. Great - commence panic and crying. I finished feeding him, and had Laureen leave again with him, so he wasn't around the ER. I was now alone again, and crying to myself.

I wanted Cael with me, but was now paranoid of all the germs in the ER that he would be exposed to. Especially since there was a lady across the hall coughing up a lung. All I could think of was poor Cael getting very sick, and needing to be hospitalized. And it would be all my fault because I wanted him with me. This is when the LC came into my room. I immediately started crying, and explained what C said, which is why Cael wasn't in my room. I asked her if this true, and that I really didn't want him to get sick. She said that she understands my concern, but that it should really be ok if he's in with me. That being with me is the best thing for him. She also explained that whatever germs were around me, that my body was already making antibodies for them, and Cael would get them through my milk. This made me feel a little better, and I called Laureen to have her bring Cael back.

It had been about an hour and half, so the LC had me nurse him again. She showed me another position, that I really liked. Since I was half between laying flat and sitting strait up, she laid Cael on his belly, on mine right under my breasts, and had him nurse that way while I supported his head. It was very comfortable, and it worked. My midwife also came in at this point. Basically, we chalked my symptoms up to being anemic, and doing more than I have in a while. Which is why my cramping probably picked up too. I had another orthostatic blood pressure done, which I passed this time, given a second bag of saline, and when I could stand on my own without getting dizzy, I would be good to be discharged.

I was finally discharged at around 8pm that night. It was a really long day, especially for Cael. We had left at 11:00 that morning, and now wouldn't be getting home until around 10pm, because of the detours we needed to take - roads were still closed from the flooding. But he did so well, and didn't cry once. I'm so proud of him, and happy that he was such a good baby, especially for being only 8 days old. Anyway, I was sent home with the understanding that I wouldn't do anything but lay down, relax, nurse Cael, and sleep. I was to also follow up with my midwife at my already scheduled appointment on Thursday, which was made for me while I was still in the hospital after the delivery.

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