Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The slow and steady recovery.

Dominic sure was in a rush to get here and, in the process, earned himself a nearly two-week stay at the Beth Israel Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Within minutes of his birth, I knew something was wrong. Instead of nursing, Dominic blew saliva bubbles. Instead of cooing, he grunted. And his breathing was rapid and labored.

We soon learned that Dominic's early arrival and quick delivery resulted in Infant Respiratory Distress Syndrome. My heart broke the first time I saw him in the NICU.

A CPAP delivered oxygen through his nose, and an IV delivered nutrients through his bloodstream. A handful of other patches and wires monitored temperature, oxygen levels, heartrate and respiratory rate. But the little man took it all in stride, often appearing to be downright comfy in his new digs.

Within days, Dominic graduated to a simple feeding tube while he learned to nurse and bottle feed. That whole "suck, swallow, breathe" thing can be pretty complicated for premature babies.

Dominic also experienced "drifts" or "spells," which are sudden dramatic drops in oxygen levels and heartrate, each one earning him five more days in the NICU.

So, right now, we are on Day Three of a five-day spell countdown. The nurses have been lovely, and I have made the most of my long days in the hospital by reading novels and studying my baby in the relative peace and quiet. However, barring any further incidents, I absolutely cannot wait to take our son home on Thursday.

1 comment:

Tania said...

Tara, I had no idea Dominic was in the NICU (this does explain the reading though--I was amazed). He certainly is a fighter and I'm thrilled you get to take him home tomorrow. Congratulations!