Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Late Summer Daze . .

We've been getting adjusted to life with our Little Rag. Mazel tov to Little Frumhouse on the Prairie for winning our pseudo-naming contest! LFP, be on the lookout for your prize. You'll know it by the (unused, outgrown) diapers I'll be using as bubble wrap.

The past couple of weeks have been sort of a whirlwind tour of parental emotions: elation, worry, relief. RaggedyDad and I have looked over at each other countless times, thinking the same thing: being a parent is really intense sometimes. Whew.

Little Rag was whisked away to the NICU shortly after he was born with a condition called TTN. Thankfully, HE'S FINE (RaggedyDad suggested that I make that totally clear in the beginning), and got to go home after three days, but it was a hell of a scare for us. This was our third baby born at the same hospital, but the NICU is not a place I had been to before, aside from visiting my nephew who was born a preemie a few years ago (and is now a major bruiser, famous for his penchant for peeing into open washing machines).

Let me just say regarding the nurses who work in the NICU - if society were just, these are the people who would be earning tens of millions of dollars, not professional athletes and movie stars. Because they really deserve it.

I remember Ann and Andy as newborns snuggled up next to my hospital bed in their cozy isolettes. With Little Rag, I had to walk about 10 minutes down confusing sets of hallways and heavy doors (a few hours postpartum), "scrub in," and try to find his little face under various beeping contraptions. I couldn't nurse him for the first couple of days and he was fed by IV. There was a night I spent camped out in the NICU "family room" chairs (and using public hospital bathrooms) after I was discharged but before Little Rag got to go home. As I said, he got better quickly, and we've thankfully gotten back on track with feeding and the like, though the ordeal did naturally delay the bris by a couple of days.

Now that that's over with, Little Rag has been somewhat jaundiced, leading to more hospital visits, blood drawn repeatedly from his scrawny arm with a rubber tourniquet (!) wrapped around it, and more stress. As a public service announcement to phlebotomists in training - if you aren't sure whether you're capable of drawing blood from a newborn's arm, please DON'T try to.

Most of the people we dealt with were terrific. Some were less so. The main issue I had was when the 'medical people' forgot that I was a parent, and not a fellow medical person, and were a little callous in their explanations. Eg: "Don't worry, TTN is not as bad as [that other thing], where we'd have to make an incision in his chest." What?!

Or when some very young student-type doctors who clearly don't have kids of their own yet asked how I was coping when Little Rag was in full hooked-up mode. My response - "I know he's where he has to be, but it's taking a lot of restraint for me not to grab him and run out of here as fast as I can." If I'd said that to the nurses (likely most of them are moms), they'd probably have understood what I meant and jokingly offered to drive the getaway car. But the Doogie Howser crowd actually took me literally, got a little alarmed, wrote stuff down in notepads, and asked me to please, please let them know the next time I felt that urge. Tough crowd.

Or the doctor at the Urgicenter who flippantly guesstimated at the baby's bilirubin count and said he was fairly certain that the baby would be re-admitted to the hospital for 'possibly a few days'. Yep. Some of you definitely fell asleep during the mandatory sensitivity training.

I'll update soon about my first solo outing with all three kids, and other things I've been doing (Preview - I've been saying "Don't kick the baby, Andy!" a LOT.)

Just know that I'm still around, if a little worse for the wear, and getting back to reading and commenting over at a some of your blogs.


mother in israel said...

It takes time for some breastfed babies to clear out the bilirubin, even up to eight weeks. As long as he's gaining and the count is going down. (assuming there is no other reason for the jaundice)

Oy about the Urgicare docs. Glad you were able to laugh about it.
Hope Andy adjusts soon. Sometimes kids don't hear the "don't" part of the sentence.

RaggedyMom said...

Hopefully all of the bloodwork results will indicate that it's just a matter of time and no other issue.

And I agree about the "don't" going unheard - I've been trying to say "We touch the baby nicely" more than what not to do.

orieyenta said...

Wow, how scary. I'm so sorry that you had to deal with some insensitive people. And so glad to hear that Little Rag is doing better. Can't wait to hear about how the kids interact with the baby. You mentioned Andy but how's Ann handling being a big sister again?

frumhouse said...

Ok - first just let me do my best pageant winner shriek, tearful sob, and adjustment of name winning crown atop my sheitle! Weeee!

Now that I have recovered - I am so sorry that Little Rag has had to endure all the pokes, prods, and needles - and that his mom has had to endure them as well. I can imagine you want him home by now! Hopefully, soon you will be enjoying your whole mishpacha under one roof.

I had several with jaundice and lights and home-nurse visits and constant blood draws. Ick! Luckily, like a bris, they don't remember any of it (except those freaks who are still mourning the loss of their precious foreskin 50 years later - but I'm sure your son won't be one of them...)

RaggedyMom said...

Orieyenta - So far, they're doing pretty well with it. Ann can be convinced to do just about anything if she thinks it will somehow help the baby (which has taught me just how very creative I can be). Aside from putting the baby's pacifier into her mouth this afternoon, she's been very excited. Some people remarked to me that it was a hectic time to bring home a new baby between camp and school, but I think it's been nice having her be a part of things before pre-K starts up.

Frumhouse - I had really better clarify that Little Rag has been home since day 4, and wasn't readmitted - just seen and released. Whew! Baruch Hashem!

SaraK said...

Mazel Tov!

Let me just say regarding the nurses who work in the NICU - if society were just, these are the people who would be earning tens of millions of dollars, not professional athletes and movie stars. Because they really deserve it.

Absolutely! My twin nieces were born at 28 weeks and spent 4 months (!) in the NICU at U of MD hospital. The nurses were AMAZING!

SephardiLady said...

We also had to go to the NICU this time through. It is hard to see your kid under the lights, or attached to equipment, or what have you. But, the nurses are so much better there. . . . . and I will take the NICU decor over the maternity ward decor any day.

Glad to see you are back and goodluck.

torontopearl said...

No, it's certainly not easy to have a child end up in NICU; my firstborn, a 9 1/2 pounder!, ended up in an incubator with tubes and such and a spinal tap, etc. Very scary, very emotional (on top of having giving birth), etc. But we all came through it, thank G-d, no worse for wear.
Hopefully Little Rag and his family will come through it all too, stronger than before.
It should be a "gut, gebensht yor" for RaggedyMom and her family.