3 Weeks Down in the NICU, ?? to go

Yesterday was Carter’s 3-week birthday!

Carter and his teddy

Our little man has passed so many tests this last week, including his most recent car seat test!  They put him in our car seat for 2 hours and continue to monitor his heart rate, breathing rate and pulse.  Many preemies cannot hold their head up, so once in a car seat, their chin will drop and it will close off their airway.  Since infant car seats face backwards, parents have no idea their children are not breathing, until they get home, minutes or hours later.  😦  Good news is Carter passed this test!  My Mom and I call him our little over-achiever!

Chris and I took a 3-hour Infant CPR class on Saturday morning.  Our teacher has been working in the NICU for 28 consecutive years and was a wealth of knowledge.  She explained how and why certain trends have changed throughout the years.   We now know why we put Carter on his back to sleep, why doctors highly recommend pacifiers, and most importantly, how to do CPR on our child.  This lady was absolutely fascinating, reporting the statistics of 28 years of research.  They recommend that every new parent take this class, but unfortunately, they cannot make the class mandatory, except to NICU parents.

Every hospital offers this class and it’s usually free.  One of the Moms in there had taken the class for her first daughter, and it saved her second daughters life.  Her recent newborn daughter has reflux, which caused her to stop breathing.  She was not breathing for a full 8 minutes, until her Mom was finally able to resuscitate her by performing infant CPR.  I highly recommend this class to every parent and grandparent!!

The big question these days is, “when does Carter get to come home?”  Carter’s hospital departure relies 100% on Carter.  Although he has passed all of his tests, he continues to have brady and de-sat episodes.  A brady is short term for brady cardiac, which means his heart rate drops to under 108.  The term desat is short for oxygen de-saturation.  This means that when Carter holds his breath, his oxygen levels drop to below normal levels.  Most all preemies suffer from reflux, and since it hurts, they respond by holding their breath.  He has to go a full 3 days without having any episodes, before the doctors will release him.

I just received a call from the doctor and she reported that he had both a brady and a desat last night.  This was a significant event because the nurses had to stimulate him, to get him breathing and back to normal.  His normal  heart rate ranges between 120-200 beats per minute and his heart rate yesterday dropped to 57.  His oxygen levels desatted to 76%.  My stomach drops, every time I see the NICU calling…for this very reason!!

They finally took out Carter’s feeding tube!! He is doing great with breast-feeding, but since I cannot be at the hospital for every 3-hour feeding, I am still pumping and taking my milk to the nurses. They once made the mistake  of feeding him formula, so it’s somewhat comical, the amount of milk I keep on hand, at the hospital! Chris and I are doing well, just counting down the days until we get to hold him for as long as we want!!  He is such a little angel and I cannot wait to introduce him to you!!


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