NICU day 58

I had the below post all written out last night, and then things took a turn for the dramatic. It was by far the worst night I’ve had with him yet. The reflux has been getting worse and worse, and he’s had so much suctioning to remove everything that keeps accumulating in his nose, that he’s now developed some irritation in his nose from all the suctioning. His nasal passages got so swollen last night that he could not breathe out of them at all. Babies are obligate nasal breathers, so it’s not like when an adult is stuffed up and just breathes out of their mouth instead. So he would turn purple holding his breath, then gasp and cry out (which thankfully would get some oxygen in him), but then he’d repeat all over again. I felt so helpless. All I could do was stand there holding him upright, sobbing, while listening to him gasp for air. This all went on until about 2 a.m., when the doctor gave him some steroid drops in his nose to calm the inflammation. That at least allowed him to get some air through, but he’s still really struggling to breathe and just sounds so miserable.

Anyway, here’s the rest of what I had originally written yesterday. I don’t have the energy to merge the two or rewrite anything.

* * * *

This morning Emmett’s team started him on Prevacid [edit: I had originally written Prilosec – oops, wrong med!] to help him with the reflux. It will take a few days to see whether it makes a difference. I’m really hoping it does, as it’s pretty miserable seeing him so miserable. This evening his nurse mentioned we would take him off of it if it didn’t seem to be making a difference, “because of the potential side effects.” When I asked her what the side effects were, she kind of stumbled and admitted she didn’t, know and then said I could just google it. Um. Not impressed with this nurse so far. What medical professional tells you to google? Of course google came up with all kinds of awful stuff. I’ve been so good about not consulting Dr. Google when it comes to Emmett, which is very unlike me, so I’m kind of annoyed she sent me in that direction. A few minutes later the nurse came back and said she talked to the doctor and he said the side effects are so rare that they aren’t even worth mentioning unless something seems off with him or he stops growing. Reflux is really common in preemies — and even in term babies — and the treatment with antacids is pretty common.

Speaking of growth, he had a wimpy 2 gram gain tonight, but they’re actually happy with a modest gain, as he’s been a little puffy the last couple days and they think he may be retaining water. He’s had several days of large gains, which would corroborate the edema. The nurse earlier today was even talking about starting him on a diuretic to flush him out. I need to talk to the doctor more about this, as the nurses have been fairly vague and I hope it’s not indicative of something potentially more serious.

Theo came to visit his little brother this evening. I had gone into the office today and after work I got him from daycare and we swung by the hospital for a few minutes. He hadn’t seen him since he got out of the isolette and immediately asked where the top of his bed was. He was happy to see that baby Emmett was bigger, and when I picked him up and crouched down low to the ground so T could get a better look, unprompted, he kissed the top of E’s head. I wish I had gotten a photo, but my arms were full of baby. It was a very sweet moment.

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