Our baby boy arrived on July 2. Yes, this announcement is little late, but I’ve been busy this summer. Like Gregory says, just deal with it. ;)
Meet Nicholas Clark Jantzi.
I didn’t imagine this is how his newborn photos would look, or that his siblings would meet him in the incubator, or that Gabriel wouldn’t get to hold him until he was four days old.
One of the nurses offered to take some pictures of him for me.
Nicholas was born on a Wednesday evening, after a fast and uneventful labour. Almost right away, he started with tachypnea, which basically means fast breathing. He was breathing so fast when he was born that he couldn’t nurse or do anything but…breathe. They said his respiration rate was the same as his heart rate! About 140-160 respirations per minute. Normal for an infant is 40-60. They took him to Special Care Nursery when he was about an hour and a half old, and put him on the CPAP–a machine that helped regulate his breathing. Gabriel went down to the nursery when they were admitting him, and after a while came back and sank into a chair looking a little sick. “I can’t watch anymore,” he said. “They’ve had to try four times to get a vein. He’s not even crying anymore.” When I heard he wasn’t fighting anymore, I got worried.Our midwife said later it was so pitiful to watch. At first he cried and fought, but as it went on, he suddenly gave up and went limp and quiet. I was so glad later for the skin-to-skin contact we were able to have over the next few days.
The next morning they put him on a five-day course of antibiotics since his white blood cell counts were elevated.
Around midnight on Thursday they took him off the CPAP, and I fed him for the first time. But after that things were still up and down. He didn’t like being moved or messed with, so they didn’t give him a bath or take him out of the incubator except to feed, but even that seemed to distress him. His resp rate would go up and stay up, which was worrisome.
Friday night I couldn’t sleep. It was one of the more frustrating scenarios I could imagine–my newborn baby was in perfectly capable hands, I was unable to do anything for him, yet I could. not. sleep. Finally I got up to pump, and when I took the milk down to the nursery, the nurse said she’d gotten an order from the doctor to put in an NG tube. That didn’t help my insomnia. This did not seem like a step in the right direction. But after I saw how easily he took milk that way, I relaxed. The nursing feeds were simply too stressful for him yet. The NG tube was just a tube going from his nose straight to his stomach, into which we could put his milk. It was a relief to have a way to get nutrition into him without the stress of wondering when his resp rates would go through the ceiling again.
After Saturday, things kind of leveled out. He pulled out the NG tube Sunday morning, and we went back to standard feeds. Then he got jaundiced and had to go under phototherapy lights Sunday morning. That was kind of a bummer, but I was so glad it happened while we were in special care anyway. At least we didn’t have to come back to the hospital for it.
My sister and her husband surprised me by coming up for the day on Sunday, all the way from Pennsylvania! It was so special.
And on Tuesday at almost a week old, we took Nicholas home!
Ten days old.
One of our amazing midwives, Catherine. Home visits for the win, y’all.
Early morning brother love.
A bath from Grandma.
And this is what he looks like now, more or less. Definitely our darkest, hairiest baby yet. And currently the cutest baby in the house, too. :)