First Week In The NICU

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PJ’s first week in the NICU was really hard. The first hurdle was seeing him under UV lights, hooked up to monitors and oxygen, and how very, very small he was. (Yes, that’s him sleeping with one foot straight up in the air – as Paul put it “Lounging like he owned the NICU”!) And yet, he was one of the bigger and healthier guys in his group. One little girl was a few weeks old and not quite 3 pounds yet, another was on so many machines you could barely see her crib. Scary stuff!

Over the next couple of days, my cousin and two friends from high school also had babies. I cried at each and every “going home together” picture. I begged the doctors to keep me in the hospital at least until I could hold my baby, but they had to discharge me anyway. Luckily, the wonderful Lehigh Valley NICU has overnight family rooms available and I was able to stay one extra night under the same roof as PJ. It wasn’t enough, but helped me get in a mind frame where I could leave the hospital and come back for visits. And honestly, I was glad to get out of the Mother-Baby Unit because it was sooo hard to watch all those other families get to cuddle their little ones.

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I graduated to a cannula for one day!

Medically, PJ advanced the same way I see him developing now – a lot of nothing new, then BOOM, huge progress! He spent most of the first week on a CPAP oxygen mask, beeping like crazy every time it came off. Then, he apparently decided room air was good enough and started breathing regularly. They gave him a cannula for one day, but he really didn’t need it. Check one thing off the “going home list”! Now he just needed to maintain his body temperature, learn to eat, and age up to at least 35 weeks gestational age. Easy-peasy! Hahaha…

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