I didn't get to see or hold my baby for 12 hours after he was born! Since he was delivered via c-section he did not get pushed out of the birth canal which helps the baby get rid of the fluid in is lungs. Baby James had a hard time breathing because of this and the pediatrician and nursing staff wanted to keep a close eye on him. When his condition didn't improve 12 hours later they brought him to me for Kangaroo Care, which is my bare chest against his. His condition didn't improve over night or the next day so they transferred our baby to Orlando South. Of course, Jim and I were very emotional. Jim went with them in the ambulance while I tried to get a hold of my OB doctor so I could be discharged. It was an hour later when I got to leave the hospital.
My mom drove me to Orlando South and we followed the signs that lead us to the NICU. Jim told us that Orlando South was going to rerun all the tests that they did at Sanford, which included a chest x-ray and an ultrasound of his heart. Baby James was in a NICU nursery with other ill babies. He was on a lot of monitors and had his own bassinet. The doctors and nursing staff did rounds at 10pm and 10am so we waited around to hear the severity of our baby's condition. While this was going on Jim was trying to get a hold of the Ronald McDonald House that was less than a block away. He had 30 minutes to get a hold of them before they quit taking calls so he finally gave up calling and drove over there while I waited with our baby and our parents.
Jim came back a while later saying that it was $10 per night to stay there and he had us reserved until Friday, baby James was born on Monday and transferred to the NICU on Tuesday. So depending on how things went we had the option of being there for four nights and Jim would pay extra if we needed to. Jim used his vacation time so he would not lose pay or get in trouble with his work, but everyone understood our predicament and were all understanding. A few even called or would text Jim about our baby James.
At the 10pm rounds we learned that his respiration was unbelievably high but they were getting better! At the Sanford hospital his breathing was so rapid that they were feeding him through a tube because they were afraid he'd suck the formula into his lungs. At the NICU they decided he was doing well enough that he could be given a bottle but since he was a new patient the nurse who was to take care of him wanted to give him the bottle herself to see how he did. So on Tuesday evening Jim and I got to witness baby James eating from a bottle for the first time. We stayed afterward and held him one last time before retiring to the Ronald McDonald House, which my mom drove us to. Because Jim rode with the ambulance and I with my mom our car was still in the Sanford hospital parking lot.
So the next day Jim and I got up early went to the front of the Ronald McDonald House and Jim called the shuttle to take us to the hospital. Once there I would have to walk until we came upon a wheel chair and then Jim would push me around and we'd see our son. The NICU allowed us to change his clothes into something we brought from home so of course we took advantage of it and dressed him in a duck outfit that big brother Kevin picked out. I was now allowed to hold him and feed him. His respiration was continuing to go down. At the 10am rounds we learned that he was doing much better. There was talk about baby James being transferred into a different room. It would still be a NICU nursery but it was a level 2. It was for babies who still had a severe condition but not as severe as the level 1 NICU. Also babies in a level 2 NICU were closer to going home. Jim and I were very happy to hear this. They also informed us that he had not had his ultrasound yet. The doctors thought they heard a heart murmur when they examined him so they had to do an ultrasound to confirm it. Also they were keeping track of his jaundice.
The doctors performed his ultrasound around noon so Jim and I left to go to the hospital's cafeteria. At this time we would text or call our families to let them know how our baby was doing. My mom wanted me to go back to the Ronald McDonald House and stay in bed as I had just had a c-section but I wasn't going to leave my baby until I had to. Jim's mom and brother came to visit and drop off our vehicle and at dinner time, not too long after baby James was transferred into the level 2 nursery, my parents came with a surprise: big brother Kevin!
Kevin was staying with my sister but he was having a hard time being separated from me so my parents surprised him by picking him up after school. We were surprised as well. The NICU staff refused to let Kevin see his baby brother, however, because we did not have his shot record on us. My parents visited with their new grandchild until the nursing staff was changed then we left to eat dinner at the hospital cafeteria. Afterward we called the shuttle and we showed everyone our room at the Ronald McDonald House. Kevin loved it because the theme for our room was race cars.
After we said goodbye to everyone at the hospital Jim and I went back to see baby James. His respiration was much better as the numbers were in the normal range. Every morning they pricked his heel to test his sugar levels since he was a big baby but they were always normal. The doctor then told us that baby James does indeed have a heart murmur but all newborns have it and it will eventually correct itself as he gets older.
Jim and I were very hopeful that we'd get to leave Thursday and so we got up early, went to rounds, they introduced baby Panko as a healthy baby and was now ready to be released. Jim and I were ecstatic! I started texting everyone the good news and Jim went to clean out our room. Before we left we were told to pick out a pediatrician and make an appointment for his jaundice, have his heart checked again when he's 6 months old, and then the NICU nurse gave our baby his first shot: hepatitis B vaccine. Around 2pm baby James and I were wheeled out of the hospital and Jim helped us into our car. Then it was off to Kevin's school to pick him up. He was happy to see us, of course.
Baby James gave us a bit of a scare but now he is home with his loving family. He is happy and healthy and we couldn't ask for more. He is a very content, happy, laid back baby. He is also very vocal. He likes to make cooing noises as you feed him, hold him, and talk to him. He is my second miracle and is absolutely perfect! We love you, baby James!
Shortly after baby James was born
Being transferred to Orlando South
In his bassinet at the NICU
Baby James with his big brother
He's one month old!!