It seems that we are now in the second phase of this adventure God has put us on...the NICU phase.
The big news is that Gaines seems to be stabilized right now. I just spoke with one of the doctors in the NICU and they are currently switching him to his new machine. This new machine will be less stressful on Gaines than the ventilator. Pray that he takes to it well.
Praise the Lord, his oxygen saturation levels are back to where they needed to be after being given breathing treatments (nitric oxide I believe). Before we left the NICU this afternoon they had gone from low 50s to mid-upper 80s. The doctor I just spoke to said that he had been holding steady at 90. For a baby Gaines' size 88-90 is what they shoot for. However, she very quickly reminded me that he is still critical so please continue to keep Gaines (specifically his lungs) in your prayers. The first 24-48 hours of his life are so crucial.
What a long two days it has been. We started Thursday morning around 4 am with my contractions. After a few hours of that, they tapered off and I had a pretty normal day...just very on edge and very stressed at each twinge of my body. That afternoon around 4 I started having the contractions again. Needless to say they were very painful and we got very little sleep that night. I also had doctors constantly monitoring me and trying to decide if I was going into active labor.
After a dose of morphine and some other medicine that I can't remember, we were able to rest for about an hour. At 4 am this (Friday) morning they finally checked me to find that I was 3 cm dilated. So, off to the labor and delivery room we went. I had been in pretty severe pain since 4 that afternoon so after begging for and getting my epidural we were finally able to rest...for about an hour. Pretty quickly after that, my doctor checked me and I was fully dilated. About 2 minutes later there were about 12 people in my room and 2 minutes after that Gaines was here. I have truly been blessed to have had awesome doctors and nurses here. They have all been incredible.
Gaines came out crying and looked bigger than we expected. Later we were happy to find out he was 3 lbs 2 oz. It was so scary watching the NICU team work on and stabilize my baby. At the time they took him away they didn't think he needed to be on the ventilator but they realized soon after that he actually did. His little lungs are just very immature. Less than what you'd expect of a 29 weeker because of the lack of fluid.
The rest of the day has kind of been a blur. I moved rooms, showered, visited Gaines, my parents and Reed arrived and I had several housekeeping things to take care of (consent forms etc). When the NICU doctor came down here to talk to us our hearts dropped...the news was not good. Gaines had seemed so stable at my visit this afternoon. Beau and I were terrified. We went to the NICU and watched the machines. It was a bleak situation. A nurse asked if we wanted a clergy person to come up and baptize Gaines. That's when I really realized that they didn't think he would make it through. BUT, slowly but surely the numbers on the machines changed and he stabilized.
After we felt comfortable leaving we came back to my room to rest. My body is so sore from having contractions for so long, an epidural put in, labor in general, the emotional roller coaster of today and stress for about 37 days. I hadn't been able to eat or drink since 4 Thursday afternoon and my body felt like it had been hit by a truck. I did more today than I have in 37 days so you can imagine how weak I am.
Beau and I are resting right now, he's actually sleeping. We are headed back to the NICU at 9 to check on tell Gaines goodnight. I pray that everything is alright when we get down there. He really is a precious boy. He's opened his eyes for us a few times...especially when we talk to him. We've also been able to touch his little feet. We are already so impressed and thankful for the NICU staff here.
We knew that the NICU would be a roller coaster but this started off with more of a bang than we were expecting. I just don't think you can ever prepare yourself for what it actually is. We are going to have a rough time for the next several weeks. When you pray for Gaines, pray for comfort, peace and strength for Beau and me as well. This is SO hard but I know we will get through this. There is a reason God is putting us through this trial.
One last thing. We haven't gotten to see Reed as much as we'd like today but he is so precious and was a major bright spot in the day. He has learned so much the last two weeks and was a breath of fresh air in this room today. God has already blessed me with such a sweet and loving child...albeit rambunctious. I feel truly blessed to now be the mother of two little boys and I can't wait for them to grow up together. Please continue to keep our family in your prayers. We wouldn't be getting through this without them.
PS. I just heard from a NICU doctor that Gaines is on his new machine and is doing ok (they never say doing well I've noticed...it's always ok). His sats are up to 93 and he is down from 100% to 80% oxygen. They are doing another chest x-ray so they want us to wait until 9:30 to go down. Hopefully it will be a peaceful visit that helps us get a good night's sleep. One last thing...one of Gaines lungs had been working harder than the other. You could actually see it when he breathed but that has straightened itself out as well. Thank you all for your prayers today...Beau and I are truly humbled by every one's support.
Love to all,