MomsGetReal is proud to share the journey of Guest Contributor Wanda Morrissey as we join in the fight for increased support and awareness for preemies during Preemie Awareness Month.
Jeffrey did very well on CPAP and after a couple of weeks was switched to low-flow air. A cannula (a narrow flexible tube) was placed around his face. It had two prongs that went into his nose to deliver oxygen. We could see Jeffrey’s face! It had always been covered by one breathing device or another and now we could see his face. Being able to see your child’s face is something most people take for granted but it gave Kent and I the greatest thrill imaginable.
It was now that we heard him cry for the first time. He couldn’t cry when he had the breathing tube down his throat. He had the most heartbreaking little cry, it made me want to hold him close and this time I could! He’d gotten big enough that we were able to cuddle him at every visit. It felt great. Both Kent and I holding him for almost as long as we wanted. He still tired easily and would have to go back to the incubator but now I didn’t have to envy the other parents, I could hold my baby, too!
March 24th that year was a Saturday and Kent and I went to the hospital as usual. We saw Jeffrey’s Respiratory Therapist on the way in, she looked like the cat that’d swallowed the canary but didn’t say anything. The head nurse was in the outer room of the NICU and she had a weird look on her face, like she was trying hard not to say something. His nurse was at the incubator when we went in. She greeted us and then stood there like she was expecting something. I was beginning to feel like I‘d been left out of something. Then I saw what all the looks were about – Jeffrey was breathing completely and totally on his own! There were no breathing tubes! I was shocked, excited, thrilled, and so pleased. Maybe there was a light at the end of the tunnel after all. We were warned that he’d probably get tired and would need to go on low-flow again but this was a good sign. His lungs were getting stronger.
One morning I called the hospital to see how Jeffrey was. I wasn’t able to visit that day and wanted to see how he was doing. Instead of being put through to his nurse, as was the normal routine, I was told that the doctor was with him and that he’d call me back as soon as he was able. This was not a good thing. Whenever I called the NICU I always spoke to Jeffrey‘s nurse, I never spoke to a doctor unless I asked to. I was pacing back and forth across the floor when the phone rang. It was the doctor but one I wasn’t familiar with.
“What’s wrong with Jeffrey?” It was more of a demand than a question. The doctor explained that Jeffrey had had a bad night that he’d taken several bad apnea spells (not unusual for him, even though he was breathing on his own for the most part he was still taking apnea spells. When he took a spell he’d be put on low flow to give him a rest). The spells were so bad that the nurse had put him back on a ventilator. My heart sank when I heard that. Jeffrey had been doing so well and now we were back to square one. There was more. Because of all the apnea spells, the doctor felt that Jeffrey was having seizures and they were going to run a bunch of tests. They’d call again when they knew more.
I was in a panic. My mind was racing. Was Jeffrey going to be okay? Was he really having seizures? Why hadn’t someone mentioned the possibility of seizures sooner?
Wanda’s story will continue. MomsGetReal™.com is proud to support the March of Dimes and Preemie Awareness Month.