NICU Round 2
By Ally Filinski
NICU round 2, who would have thought that we would have to endure the pain of watching another child go through this. NICU is always a day to day journey, it is too hard to look any further than that. For every 1 step forward there is always a chance of 2 steps back. One thing that I have learnt is that all doctors and nurses have different opinions on everything and will sometimes contradict each other. Though this isn't intentional, you as a mum will know in your gut if something is right or wrong with your baby. I always knew when both Isabelle and Penelope where going good and had turned the corner or if something wasn't right.
Second time around, your NICU journey is easier because you know the path, you know the ups and downs. The hardest part is that you also know the terminology and when you should be pushing them more or backing off. I found that I understood what a desat and brady meant this time around. I always thought a brady was when their oxygen levels in their blood dropped and need a tickle to perk them back up. It was only this time around with Penelope that we truly understood what a brady was. It is when your heart rate drops and plateaus and needs a tickle or a rub to get it back into motion. A normal heart rate for a premmie is between 120-160bpm, sometimes Penelope's would drop to 89, 75 and even once down to 65. That's why premmies need caffeine to keep their heart pumping at a higher rate. They have heel pricks twice a week to check their bloods, which can cause tissue damage and have sever scaring depending on how long they are needing them. They are fed and have their nappy changed every 2 hours, until they can handle their feeds and will be pushed out to 3 hourly until they go home. Its always 1 nurse to 2 babies in NICU and 1 nurse to up to 4 babies in SCN.
Sometimes you sit and find yourself staring at the monitors, watching the numbers go up and down, and when they go down you try to make them go back up with your eyes and hope the nurses didn't see it. There are meds to be given, some 3 times a day. Both the girls where on, Vit D (Sunshine in a bottle), Caffeine, Iron, Probiotics, Nero ( Which was a fish oil study we elected both the girls to partake in). Isabelle came home on Iron for an extra 3 months. Penelope is coming home on Iron and VitD.