Friday, May 4, 2012

Hospital Reflections

I didn't write as much as I should have in the hospital. It was a hellish experience and I just didn't have the energy or the heart to write anything at the time. But now that we're home,  I'd like to write a bit about our time there.
He has an IV in his head--awful thing for a parent to see

Rhett was in the hospital for a total of 14 days. He went home on Thursday, May 3rd. While there, he was treated for low blood sugar (with an IV), jaundice (with UV therapy), had a feeding tube until he learned to eat, and spent time in an incubator so that he could gain wait (so that he wouldn't waste energy maintaing his body temp). His lowest weight was a hair over four pounds, and he was discharged at 4 pounds, 14.4 ounces.

feeding tube in his nose
Our time in the hospital was an emotional roller coaster. He was never in major danger of being unhealthy, so it always felt like he should just come home with us. Josh and I spent many days hoping that it would be THE day, only to be told he needed to be observed "a few more days". It was crushing every time. We cried harder than we ever have and struggled to get to know our son through wires, a plastic box, and nursery visitation schedules.

We had some wonderful moments together as a family during this time too. At night, no one would be in the nursery so we got a bit more privacy as a family. We read books to him (his first being Brown Bear, Brown Bear). We also started singing to him (his favorite being 'Jesus Loves Me', Alleluia style). It's been wonderful falling in love with our little son.

No more feeding tube, IV or UV lights!
Rhett's big turn around was when he pulled out his feeding tube one afternoon. After that, he started to eat much better. I think he had trouble breathing with it in, which made eating much harder. He started taking an ounce and half every three hours. I hate that he was on a feeding schedule, and felt like that was much too long for him to go between feedings. He starts showing signs of hunger at around the two hour mark.

Rhett started getting fussier his second week in the hospital. He cried when we put him down, which was heartbreaking when we had to leave. Once in awhile, we'd go into the nursery and they'd tell us he had been crying for twenty minutes, which just killed me. I Feel like we missed out on so much time with him in those crucial first weeks, and I'm still upset that we're not going to get that time back.

It's good to be home. We spent so many days praying and begging God to let him come home. It was an extremely difficult time in our lives. We are so, so thrilled to be home and getting to know Rhett even better. I'll post soon with some updates on our home life.

Nursery Volunteers knitted him a hat and blanket
We want to sincerely thank everyone in our lives who has been praying for us. We have felt so much love from our friends and families in the past three weeks--we are so blessed by everyone in our lives.

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