I created this blog to keep family and friends up to date as to what is happening with Nicholas. I'm over a month late getting this started so will try to remember everything that has happened up to now. Nicholas was born at 11:58 pm on November 8, 2008 at 24 weeks.
Mark and I had gone to Charlotte for the day to go to the Renaissance Faire and to Concord Mills. On the way home I started having cramps and then they were every five minutes so we figured they must be contractions. When we got home they didn't go away and I had some bleeding so we went to the ER at Providence NE Hospital at 10pm. My doctor was on call that night, which was very nice. The nurse checked me and said she was going to call him because I was a little dilated. When he got there he said I was about 8 cm and that the baby was coming soon. I got a steroid shot for his lung development, magnesium to slow the contractions and some Demerol for pain. They had to rush me by ambulance to Palmetto Richland because they are the only hospital in Columbia with a NICU. Once we got to Richland everything is kind of a blur. I got more magnesium and Demerol and my water broke soon after I got there. There was no stopping it now. They told me to push for 10 seconds at the next contraction and Nicholas was out in I think half that time. He was born at 11:58pm at 24 weeks gestation. He was 2.1 pounds and 13 inches. They held him up so I could see him and I could see just his little nose and mouth because he already had a hat on.
The placenta did not want to come out so after 30 minutes of trying to get it out I was taken to the OR to be put under and have it scraped out. Mark was wonderful during the craziest 2 hours of our life. He was helping me and one the phone with both our families. Mark's family was at the hospital when Nicholas was born along with one of our friends. I woke up around 2am and Mark was allowed to come see me. They moved me to a recovery room and Mark went home to get some clothes and stuff.
The next day I had to sign for Nicholas to get a PICC line to be put in and a blood transfusion. The PICC line is an IV that goes into a larger vein than the regular IV a person's hand. However, they couldn't get the PICC line in so they had to do a Brovic line which is surgically placed into his chest. Nicholas also had jaundice for about 2 weeks after birth so he had on sunglasses and was under a light. My sister said Nicholas was on his first tropical vacation without mom and dad.
At about 5 days of life they did a brain ultrasound to look for bleeding. Brain bleeding is very common with preemies. The results were not what we wanted. There are 4 grades to these Intraventricular Hemorrhage, IVH, with 4 being the worst. Nicholas has a grade 4 bleed. This carries a high risk of developing Cerebral Palsy, CP. We won't know how severe or anything until he is older. CP affects the muscles so until he starts getting to the age where he will sit or crawl we really won't know.
When he was 8 days old on 11/16 he had surgery for NEC. He had a perforation in his intestines. This is usually caused by an infection and leads to dead areas that need to be removed. His was a little different. Rather than an infection, he had backed up merconium, or poop. He had several perforations and the surgeon was not able to close all of them. He had a drain placed in his stomach to drain stomach fluid and will have a second surgery to close that.
Mark got his birthday present when Nicholas opened his eyes on Nov. 18. We also had him baptized on the 18th.
On Dec. 8 Nicholas had surgery to have a reservoir put in his head. He had become hydocephalus, fluid on the brain, so they needed to drain this fluid. The reservoir is a tube that is connected to a ventricle of his brain and to a small spongy thing on the outside of his head. They can now drain the fluid daily. He will most likely have to have a shunt put in later down the road to drain the fluid permanently.
On Dec. 9 they gave him his first feeding of breast milk but he did not digest it. On Dec. 11 they tried giving him some Pedialite but he didn't digest that either. He has been on IV fluids for feedings since he was born. They give him what he needs but he is basically malnourished and at the risk of bone fractures so we really need him to digest the breast milk.