Sunday, September 7, 2008

This Is What They Mean When They Say "Expect Setbacks"

I called Henry's nurse at the NICU to check in on how he's been doing today.

Premature babies often have what are called "spells" where they either stop breathing or their hearts stop beating. Sometimes they are subtle and the babies come out of them on their own (which is what Henry has been having periodically) or they are more dramatic and they require someone, like the nurse, to come in and rub their scalp or move them to get them going again. Thomas had these, like most premature babies, and Henry had been having them, too. They weren't a big deal and he was doing very well since he only had them occasionally and most of the time he came out of them on his own. Yesterday he started having them more frequently and they had to put him back on the oxygen.

I always suspect the nurses of down playing any of these "bumps" in the road to prevent parents like me from weeping on the phone and tearing their hair out overnight. However, the nurse was pretty casual about this little setback. She explained that they would be doing some blood tests to see if he was destating more due to low hemoglobin levels or if he was possibly not making his own red blood cells yet due to his prematurity. If this is the case, they would need to give him, what did she say?, a blood transfusion? It's hard to say because the buzzing in my ears was pretty loud at this point. I asked if Peter could donate the blood since he was a match, but there wouldn't be enough time to donate and have the blood processed for Henry to get it. I imagine if he needs multipule transfusions this would be possible for the future.

I was just begining to think that Henry's stay in the NICU would be as boring and uneventful as Thomas's had mercifully been. I had been hoping that my biggest challenge would be developing a decent milk supply using the breast pump. I guess patience is still the greatest virtue at this point. It's just so hard to be patient and brave all at the same time.


Anonymous said...

Oh Sarah, I know we were all praying for Henry to have a nice, uneventful stay. Hopefully, this will be just a minor bump in the road, and things will be more positive after this. Good luck to little Henry. :)

Jennie C. said...

I'm so sorry about this. I know how hard it must be to not be with baby Henry while he's struggling. We're still praying for him.

Angoraknitter said...

((HUGS))...get the donation made anyway if he can. It won't go to waste.

Striving Green said...

I am thinking good thoughts for Henry. The staff sounds great, they sound very watchful and aware. You're such a good mommy!