Saturday, July 30, 2016

Day 18 & My Recovery

Today is day 18 for Carson in the NICU. I cannot believe he's still there. He's so healthy and he eats very well. He just doesn't have the stamina to take a bottle every three hours, time after time. He takes two bottles in a row and then won't wake up for the next one. Eating takes a lot of energy out of preemie.  The doctor even made the comment sarcastically that he would have him home by Christmas. One of my favorite nurses, Monica, said that she's so glad she didn't make any predictions to us early on b/c she never would have imagined that he'd still be there.

When I called to check on him last night, the nurse was so encouraging. She said that you can lay them down after a poor feeding and then the next feeding they can take off and never look back. He's had that nurse for two nights in a row and she's so nice and talkative. A lot of the night time nurses aren't as chatty at the daytime nurses b/c we don't see them. Right now, one or both of us visit Carson once during the day for 1-2 hours and then we call around 10pm to check on him before we go to sleep. Sometimes we call in the morning if we aren't going to visit until later in the day. When I visited today, he was awake and alert. He even whimpered a little as if to queue that he was hungry. When I walked in and said his name, he turned his head all the way from the left to the right to follow my voice. What a great feeling!

He must have known that Uncle Dave, Aunt Emily, and Sarah were there to visit.

It was Uncle Dave's first time to meet Carson. Sarah was able to stay and help me give him a bath since it was bath day. He loves his swaddle baths. This is his relaxed face.

I've said a million times that I think we are very close to going home, but today I left really encouraged. He ate his bottle in 15 minutes and has already finished two others today.

He's also up to 4lbs 13oz, which is almost a pound over his birth weight. I can't wait to get this sweet kid home and snuggle with him.

One blessing in disguise with this extended NICU stay is that it's given me time to recover. For all the ways that pregnancy was better this time, the recovery has been awful. I think my recovery with Miles was pretty bad too b/c that's when all my Lyme symptoms showed up, but honestly I don't remember this. It's been extremely difficult both physically and emotionally. Miles took this picture of me the other day and while it's not flattering, it paints a pretty accurate description of how I feel.

I think the emotional toll of Carson still being in the NICU and the traumatic delivery affects me more than I probably realize. Having to drive to the hospital every day and then the sadness of leaving at the end of our short visits isn't fun. And, I know many people have traumatic birth stories, but it's just not something I will soon forget, especially knowing how much danger Carson was in. At my last doctor's visit, I cried to my doctor and told him that I felt a little crazy right now, which lead him to ask if I felt like hurting myself (what a good doctor for asking). I assured him that I was extremely happy but the NICU and life in general just felt like too much right now. He suggested a shot of progesterone and a mild antidepressant to help get me through. I think one shot of progesterone helped me stop crying almost immediately. I don't think I've even teared up once since then. However, that was the most painful shot I have ever had in I was supposed to get another one, and I really want one, but there is no way. It didn't hurt as I was getting it, but my hip, back, and leg have been sore since Monday. Today is the first day that it has let up at all and I got it on Monday. I haven't even been able to lay on my right side.

I think the antidepressant helped too, but I can't tolerate it. I was cutting the small dose into fourths and it still made me jittery, spacey, and completely took my appetite for the entire next day. I tried to continue taking it hoping I would get used to it, but I finally stopped last night. I've felt a lot better today. I plan to talk to my doctor about maybe trying something else. I talked to a friend that is a pharmacist and got some ideas. I still think something to help me deal with the stress would be good.

Physically, my blood pressure and the return of my Lyme symptoms are making me feel really yucky. I started a new blood pressure medicine this week and it has helped get me out of the scary zone, but it could stand to come down more. I also started taking some medicine to help calm my Lyme symptoms down. At first I was a little disappointed with the minimal plan of action recommended by my Lyme doctor, but it has definitely helped with the severity of my symptoms. I'm hoping once Carson comes home, and I get a little farther away from the c-section, my symptoms will go away completely.

Some might think this is a lot of info to share on a blog, but I want to be able to look back on these days and see how far we've come. Plus, I'm kind of an open book. I don't think there's any shame in admitting when life is getting the best of you. Despite this hard recovery, it is honestly such a happy time for us. Having Carson and seeing him everyday is the best. I love having two boys. I can't wait to have him home. I think he and I are both going to be ready at just the right time. Thank you, Lord for your perfect timing.

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