Wyatt's first week home was an adventure, to say the least. We came home on Friday, December 23rd. Mike's mom, or Grandma, came to visit. Wyatt is her first (and only) grandchild. Her stay had been intended to last a week or so. However, on Christmas Day received a call from her cousin in Ohio. Mike's Grandma Chubbuck (Lynn's mom) had fallen. Now, Grandma Chubbuck is 93 (will be 94 in April or August, I don't remember which) and is amazingly independent. At any rate, she was walking to the neighbors to take them some salad and slipped and fell. Did I mention that she lives in Ohio? Did I also mention that there was 28 inches of snow at the time she decided to venture out? Anyway, she fell and broke her foot and Lynn had to leave to go to Ohio to be with her. But, we powered through.
Our routine was amazing. We fed him every three hours and he was on a continuious pump all night. We set the pump for four hour intrivials so that we could make sure to change him. This routine worked so well that Wyatt slept through the night when we first came home. Ok, I should tell my secret. This is the same schedule he was on in the hospital. And, since he was on a continuious pump at night, he didn't get hungry and thus had no need to wake up. However, at the four hour mark we woke him up to change his diaper but then he went right back to sleep.
The longer the first week at home went, the fussier Wyatt got. Until the night before New Years Eve, it was unbelieveable. Also, this entire day, his apnea monitor kept going off. I called the peditrician's office and they suggested that we take him to the ER. So, back to Vandy we went. Let me also say, that 10 minutes before I left for the ER, my mom and dad came for a visit. I felt terrible. The ER doctors did an x-ray and found that his stomach and intestines were full of gas. They suggested that we legnthen his feeds during the day from 20 minutes (this is the amount of time it takes for the food to go into the G-Tube) to run through the pump for an hour. They also suggested that we switch his nightly formula feeds to a senstive formula for gas.
I'm going to pause here for just a moment. I want to just say that I have always been a pro breastfeeding woman, even before I ever throught about getting pregnant. My mother breastfed all three of us and to me it just seemed natural. That's why it was so hard for me to feed my child formula. Because Wyatt was whisked from me immediately after birth, I didn't get to hold him much. That coupled with all of the stress of having a NICU baby, my body didn't produce very much milk. I was able to give him all of the milk I produced, but that was not very much. Once he was moved into Seven South while in Vandy, I produced more milk and was able to keep up with his supply. However, once we got home, I couldn't keep up with his demanding little body. So, I decided that during the day, I would give him breastmilk and at night I would switch to formula. I wanted to make sure that he was able to get all of the good stuff that breastmilk has to offer.
Anyway, we switched his feedings to the sensitive formula. We were also instructed to "vent" his tube before and after each feeding. This was as simple as putting an empty syringe into his G-tube to allow excess air and gas to escape. It's basically like burping him. Once this routine was established, all was right in the Carcione household.
For the following two weeks, life was bliss. We had an incredible schedule that was rarely deviated from. We saw daddy off to work at 8, ate at 9, played, napped, ate at noon, played, napped, ate at 3, played, napped, ate at 6, played, napped, and then at 9 in the evening, he went on the continuious pump as well as went down for the night. It worked out so incredible. During this time home, we were also visited by a nurse from Vandy. They have a program where babies with special needs gets visited twice a week where they weigh and measure the babies. They also answer any questions and overall give amazing support.
Week four at home came with new issues. Wyatt woke us up one night crying. This was pretty unusal for him (unless he was dirty). When I got him out of his bed, he was having issues breathing. I held him against my chest and he settled down. I used the suction machine, thinking he had issues with secretions and couldn't swallow. He drifted off to sleep and so I laid him down. On Thursday, Becky and I were going to check out a daycare when he had an issue again. I called our peditrician and they said to bring him in. He sounded congested and I was afraid he had RSV. Our doctor thought it might be positional because of the secretions so we left thinking that if this happened again that all we needed to do was lay him a different way. On Friday, Nurses for Newborns (a different program from the Vandy one) came out to visit and it happened again. This time, his color started to change a little and I was worried. The nurse was concerned, but once I suctioned him, he was better. Of course, this is was the peditrican had told me to do, so I did.
I will stop right here because at this point, we are venturing into an entirely different blog.