Dear Henry, Let's talk about the day you got sick
It's been a rough couple of days... It all started on Saturday.... but Saturday is a whole different post. So let's skip to Sunday!
Sunday started as a good day, I spent the morning with Henry then I went to pick up Matt from work around 1. We went back to the hospital straight from work, and Matt was able to hold Henry today. We all sat together for a couple of hours, it was a relaxing afternoon.
As soon as we put Henry back to bed everything changed.....
He turned ghost white and his belly was extra round and he threw up a color I had never seen. Mary said that his belly felt more firm then normal.... I immediately felt my world start to crumble.
A hard stomach is the first sign of some really terrible things that I've been trying not to think about for a week. Since Henry is such an early preemie, gut issues are a very real possibility. It makes them very sick, very quick and, to be blunt, it can kill them. I asked Tara a couple weeks ago when I can start to feel more comfortable that Henry will beat the statistics and come home, she said "as a mother" she would feel more comfortable if he were 4-5 weeks, and she mentioned gut problems being a real concern before then. Since then I have been counting down the days to 4 weeks... I know that no one can give you a real timeframe on when to feel safe, but I was happy to have a first goal.
Henry is 4 weeks this coming Wednesday, so when Mary said that his tummy was a little more distended (swollen) then normal, I just didn't have a good feeling. It must have been on my face because she said "it's not always bad news, I'm going to have the doctor look at him just to check him out". The doctor came right away and examined him, he said we are going to hold his feeds and monitor him for now, he agreed that his belly was a little firm. Nothing was officially wrong at this point and we hadn't eaten since breakfast so we went to dinner and they said they would call us if anything changed. In the middle of dinner Mary called Matt she said that there wasn't a change, they were going to run some labs and they were going to keep monitoring him.
We had to work early so we went home to get some sleep (we never made it to work the next day). The doctor called again around 11 to say that they think Henry has an infection, and they were going to take a blood culture. He said that Henry threw up 4 more times since we left, and they were going to work on him a little bit so I should call the nurse later for an update.
So we wait... we can't be there while all of this stuff is going on, we will just be in the way.
At 12:30am I just can't wait any more so I call Mary for an update. Our sweet and happy Mary's voice dripped with worry and she said... They are keeping him off feeds, they've given him antibiotics through an IV and they had to put the IV in his head. His belly is still distended and he isn't very active. Then she dropped the biggest bomb of the evening..... "His vital are dipping and his oxygen is up to 95%" from the 21% earlier in the day. WHAT?! I asked her to tell me how much I need to worry... she said "he is sick, and it's serious" they've done what they could for him on Sunday, so we just wait and see what Henry does from here.
I spent the next 5 hours laying in bed thinking and crying...
Where did we go wrong? Why is this happening to my sweet baby? Maybe I shouldn't have worked so hard during my pregnancy? Maybe I should have gone to the doctor on that Saturday when I felt the first cramp? Is this Karma? Have I wronged someone so much that my life is going to fall apart at 31? What happened to answered prayers? Am I going to lose my first child? Will he smash this set back like he has every other set back in his short life? Did I say he wasn't sick too soon? Were my hands not clean enough when I touched him? Did he get the infection from me? Is my milk not good enough? Was it something I ate? Was it the added calories? Am I strong enough to deal with the ups and downs? What am I going to do about work? What's Matt going to do about work? Will I ever sleep again? Will it get easier?
Is this the life of a mother?
My night ends with my pillow drenched in tears... I will start my day stronger.