I promised to tell you more about our daughter’s experience in the NICU in my last post. I will do my best to relate the whole story to you, but my memory is terrible lately. Taking care of two under 3 takes a lot of brainpower!
I remember when the doctor came in to tell us that our daughter was being transferred to the NICU. Luckily, it wasn’t an emergent transfer. We were able to roll her bassinet down to the NICU ourselves. That was one of the longest walks I have ever taken. The nurse talked to us the whole time, but my mind was racing, so I didn’t hear anything.
When we got to the NICU, the nurse explained all of the monitors and equipment. She told us that our daughter wasn’t allowed to eat any food until the bowel blockage was cleared. So, she was going to place an IV to push nutrients and fluids. They also needed to put a tube down her throat to suction excess liquid.
It was all overwhelming. My head continued to spin as I sat in the chair that the nurse brought over for me. I just stared at our sweet baby girl through the transparent sides of her hospital bed. She looked so fragile with all the wires and monitors. I was scared to even touch her.
The nurse in the NICU was so sweet and easy to talk to. She helped to ease my mind and let me know that I could hold our daughter anytime. I spent the rest of the time by our baby’s side until I was discharged from the hospital.
The doctor did an enema to try and dislodge the bowel blockage. She told us that if the enema didn’t work, our daughter would be transferred to a bigger hospital in the city. Waiting for the results of the following x-ray seemed to take forever.
The results came, and things were not moving. So, we set up a video chat with a surgeon from the hospital in the city to make sure we were comfortable transferring her there. After a few technical difficulties, we were able to talk with the surgeon and felt comfortable enough to give the green light.
The doctors arranged the transfer, and the transport team arrived a couple hours later. They walked into the NICU in jumpsuits that made them look like formula 1 racecar drivers with an incubator and monitors galore. They looked very official.
One of the transporters explained the process to us. Our daughter would be placed into the mobile incubator and hooked up to all the monitors. They would take her by ambulance, downtown. Once they arrived at the other hospital, they would bring her to the NICU, get her into her new bed, and transfer all the necessary paperwork. They assured us that they would call as soon as they arrived at the other hospital.
As soon as our daughter left our smaller hospital, my husband and I ran home to grab a bite to eat, update the family, and grab a few things. As soon as we got the call that our baby girl was at her new temporary home, we hopped in the car to be by her side.
We got to the hospital, parked, went through our coronavirus screening, and headed to the NICU. We got there right at shift change. So, we had to wait for about 20 minutes in the waiting area before seeing our baby. When we checked in, the woman at the desk told us that they would only allow one visitor per day beginning the next day because of coronavirus. I was confused, devastated, and angry. I couldn’t understand how we were supposed to bond with our baby if we had to choose only one person to see her each day. There was nothing we could do about it. So, we just moved on.
That first day in the new NICU, we met with our daughter’s doctors and learned their attack plan. They would start by giving her at least one more enema to try and remove the blockage. If the blockage remained after a few enemas, she would need surgery. Until the blockage was gone, she couldn’t eat anything and stay on IV fluids and nutrients.
When we finally left that night, we were exhausted. I was so worried about my baby, and I was still recovering from giving birth. We drove home, hugged our son, and tried to rest before getting up to go to the hospital again the next day.