As much as I wanted to only post the fine and dandy updates, I also want to be realistic. We’ve got family and friends always excited to see what’s new with Luke, but I know that there are alot of ‘virtual’ friends that pass by from google searches for 24 week preemie success stories or moms that follow my link from forums I’ve joined. I would never want any other mom to go through what I’m going through, but if you’re a preemie mom like me – please read on to hear what really happens in there. You’re not alone. After the series of events that happened I googled too. I wanted to know. I wanted to know that he’s going to be okay – but little searches led me nowhere. Before the events of yesterday goes into blur, I wanted to share it with you.
Having a baby in the NICU for the long haul like Luke is a like being on an emotional blindfolded roller coaster ride. There are plenty of complications but there’s also milestones. Sayings like, “It’s an roller coaster ride, be ready” or “Take it one day at a time” or “Two steps forward, one step back” are always said in the NICU – they are all true. I can never find the emotional stability. My day is wrapped around how Luke’s doing. . and so far, I’m at a pool of overused nerves. Anyone who knows me well, knows I absolutely HATE rollercoasters. I hate the weightless feeling and that drop that feels like you left your heart 10 miles up top. I’d trade my ticket anytime to go in a pretty merry go round – but I’m strapped on and the ride has barely started. I know that soon enough things will calm down and we’ll all enjoy the ‘after ride pictures’ and know that I defeated the ride I once was terrified of.
Going on to what happened on Friday. Times are not absolutely accurate – but it’s there to show what happens within a few hours.
Before I start ‘my timeline’ I’d like to thank ALL of Luke’s Care Team at Kaiser Walnut Creek. We love you all and can’t thank you all enough for what blessings you give to our Luke. We couldn’t do what you do and we’re forever thankful for everything. We are well aware that things can and do happen. We’ve entrusted our son’s life with you. We can only imagine the stress of responsibility you bear coming in every day. Best believe that your work has and will always be nothing short of AMAZING.
10:00am – Checked in to see Luke. It’s been a while since for me to be at the NICU this early but we were there camera in hand to meet the Easter Bunny that hops by before Easter. His Oxygen level was at 35%. Pressure was at 25 [?]
11:00am – He was on the vent, and his settings were AWESOME! It’s been a while since his Oxygen% was down to the 20′s range – but he kept Satting High – which means they’ll lower his Oxygen level so he doesn’t get an excess of Oxygen he doesn’t need. Around this time, the Oxygen level was at 29%
Dr. Mac came by to check on us. She went on and gave me a summary of what’s happened since we last talked to her yesterday. She was so happy about his numbers and told us that he was going to be extubated TODAY!
12:00pm – Luke just received his 11:30am feed and they were going to set up his extubation. We took advantage of that time to run and grab lunch, go home and try to take a nap [which I wasn't able to get]
2:30pm – Luke was extubated and was then on SiPAP
5:00pm – Neill just got off work and visited Luke. He wasn’t able to immediately come in because they were working on getting another PICC line placed since he was going to be on another 7 days of antibiotics. PICC line attempt wasn’t successful.
5:30pm - Luke was pretty stable. Neill then Kangarooed [Held] him for about 30 minutes and was able to calm him down. Luke was really fiesty after the PICC line attempt. He wasn’t able to hold him for that long because he started to brady. He must have been too exhausted.
6:00pm – I came back with Kailani and Dad. Neill just finished Kangarooing Luke and Luke looked wiped out – he just wanted to take a nap. Considering he didn’t do so well the last time he was on SiPAP, his levels looked great. His Sat’s were 80-90s at 45% oxygen. He looked much more comfortable than the last time he was extubated. I thought that things were looking a little brighter.
8:45pm – Kailani was getting a little sleepy and I was getting hungry. I waited for his sats to be in the 90′s before we leave. The RT was getting ready to do his treatment and he’ll soon be ready to eat at 9pm. Gave his nurse Sherry a hug and hoped that this time around is better.
9:00pm – Neill received the dreaded call from Kaiser. I requested for them to call him first – especially if it’s ‘bad/urgent’ news. I can’t handle those emotions and I’d breakdown. I know myself too well. They requested for us to come back to the NICU STAT.
9:05pm – Neill called me. I was 5 minutes away from home. He told me to go back to Kaiser and to meet him at the parking lot. I asked if Luke’s okay – he said he didn’t know. I started to cry. My knees were shaking and I couldn’t drive – but I had to. I exited the freeway and headed back to Kaiser. Tears in my eyes, I prayed so hard – Wishing that my baby is okay. I tried not to think of the worst, but I couldn’t help it.
9:20pm – Got to Kaiser. Parked at the first spot that was opened. Went outside of the car and held Kailani’s hand really tight and prayed together. She started to cry too.
9:30pm – Neill got to the parking lot. We all held hands and didn’t say a word. I don’t ever remember his hands being so cold.
9:45pm – Walked into the NICU. Washed our hands. Peeked inside and saw Luke’s section curtained. White curtains without us there = BAD. My knees were so weak. I tried to sit down, but Neill got up and started to talk to Dr. Fisher – the doctor that was taking care of Luke last week. All I absorbed from the talk was something like
Soon after mom left, Luke clamped down. His heartrate dropped. When it drops in the 60′s he needs compression ‘CPR’. He coded. It took him a while to get back up – about 10-15 minutes. We had to reintubate him. They just did Xrays.
There was a lot of exchange of information, and I didn’t absorb it all. I just wanted to know if my son was alive. At that moment, I could care less of what happened or why. I just needed to know that he’s okay. That he’s breathing. That there’s still a heartbeat. Since my pregnancy complications started I always lived by the saying “Where there’s a heartbeat, there’s hope.”
I went back to the NICU chairs and I spaced out. I can’t remember who was there. Who was comforting me. I know that everyone was there for us. Soon Neill came back to me and I stood up and hugged him. Then I remember that he told me he’s alive. That his numbers are okay now. I didn’t care about him going back on the vent. I was just so relieved that he was okay. It was so emotional. I felt that Sherry was around there, and I heard sobs that I haven’t heard before. I wanted to hug her too, but I just felt faint and lifeless.
Neill brought me to see Luke behind the curtains. He was getting some blood drawn but he was there. He didn’t look like the same baby I just left an hour ago. I couldn’t remember which nurse maneuvered me to come closer – that it’s okay to touch him. So I did. He felt cold. I continued to sob. I remember being so thankful that he’s still with us yet felt horrible because he had to go through that. I gave him a kiss on his head to try to transfer my strength onto him.
I then knew that Sherry was behind me and comforting me. I could feel that she felt the same way I was feeling and that she did her best and that we’re relieved that he’s back. I wanted to hug her again, but the stillness in my knees couldn’t keep up with the thoughts running in my head.
While we were there – his Sats were at a steady 93%. It’s so weird not to see him swing like he normally does – but he’s just gone through alot.
The time there flew by too fast. There were many things going on. We listened to the bedside shift change report and talked to multiple doctors and nurses until
1:00am – We finally decided to walk like zombies and go home.
I really don’t know what’s going to happen now. I just know the plan is to observe him for the next few days to see how he recovers. We were there today, and he was just still.
I know that the days where he’ll squirm and open his eyes and smile will come back soon.
Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers. They always strengthen us in this crazy ride.