Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Adventures in the NICU #3

The next day we had the same nurse again. She was still grumpy and condescending. In addition to that she still moved things out of our son's incubator - but at least this time she explained why. Apparently the doctors wanted to try to move him into a crib by the end of the week since he was large enough now that he should be able to maintain his own temperature on his own. Once he made the move to the crib, he wouldn't be allowed to have any stuffed toys or blankets in there with him, just like he wouldn't be allowed to sleep with toys or blankets if he were at home.

They turned off the temperature for his incubator, raised the lid, and bundled him up in a preemie hospital shirt (which was way too big), a hat I had made him (which was also too big), and then they swaddled him in a blanket.

Throughout the day they checked his temp every couple of hours. He was maintaining it well, but once night time came, his temp dropped, so they closed the lid on the incubator and turned the heater back on. I was sad to see that when I came in the next morning, but, at the same time, I reminded myself that he was still young. He would get there eventually.

Eventually turned out to be two days later.

I walked in to the NICU to find that one of our son's neighbors had been moved into an open crib. I commented on it to his nurse for the day and she smiled back at me telling me that he wasn't the only one who had graduated. I blinked at her a couple of times in surprise, and then walked over to my son's cubicle to find that, yep, he had been moved to a crib as well!

I promptly told my in laws, who rushed down so they could hold him and see him without all the wires.

The next day we had to deal with yet another nurse who harassed me about my milk production. I was finally beginning to produce 40 to 50 mls, but in her opinion that wasn't enough. In addition to that none of the clothes we had brought for our son to wear were good enough. Apparently she required that all onesies, pajamas, and sleep and play suits should have buttons. The sleep and play suit we brought had a zipper which was just not acceptable. Also she had started bottle feeding our son without calling us to notify us so we could be there. Last but not least, I was having some problems that evening - my post partum bleeding had suddenly increased drastically and now included large blood clots, so I had to keep running to the restroom to attend to them. Every time I passed her she quizzed me about how I had done on my latest pumping, and when we would be getting our son something better to wear, and if everything was okay.

I spent most of my time visiting my son crying because of her behavior and finally her harassment got so bad that my husband and I had to leave - which made me feel even worse.

To top the horrible day off, we got a call later that night from our son's night nurse telling us that he could not maintain his temp and was moved back into an incubator after being in a crib for a day and a half. My husband and I were disappointed, but not surprised - when we had changed him out of the NICU preemie shirt and into the sleep suit, we had noticed that he was bundled up pretty heavily. Even though the doctors had thought he was ready, it was obvious that he was not.

I went in early the next morning, wanting to reassure myself that my son was okay, and protect him from that nurse just in case he had been assigned her again. Thankfully he had someone new, a girl who was on rotation from the PICU, and who was just as shocked as we were by the other nurse's behavior. On the downside we discovered that several of his things were missing; his hat, his stuffed zero, and the lovey that had been in his incubator from day one. Everything else had been moved over, but apparently these items had been overlooked.

The hospital had always said that they were not responsible for personal items, but it was upsetting that when they had switched him back to his incubator they hadn't taken five seconds to open a drawer and make sure everything had been cleared out.

We told his nurse, and she promised that she would call the nurse he had the night before. However she never did. It was the night nurse who finally found them and she was only able to do so because the crib he had been in had not been cleaned out yet.

The following day the doctors were determined to get our son into an open crib. The nurses began preparing him for the transfer once more by turning off the heat on the incubator, raising the lid, and bundling him up. For awhile, he maintained his temperature fairly well, and then it slowly began to drop. The nurses were exasperated.

Suddenly an idea occurred to me. Our boy was staying in the isolation room for the NICU because it was the only space they had had open when they had transferred him over from his old NICU nursery. It was a nice little room, but it was enclosed with heavy glass doors and windows, where as all the other rooms were cubicles and were open on one side to the rest of the NICU. Also, there was an air vent directly over his incubator. The other cubicles had air vents as well, but they were located closer to the corridor running down the middle of the NICU, and not directly overhead.

I pointed this out to his nurse who agreed that the room was colder than the rest of the NICU, and that this was probably why he was having problems with his temp. She called up the maintenance department to see if they could raise the temperature in the little isolation room, but they claimed that they could not and that it was warmer than the rest of the NICU.

Both the nurse and I called shenanigans on that.

As there was two babies going home that day, she suggested that we try moving him out of the room and into one of their cubicles. She told us that she would keep us updated, and we headed home for the night.

Little did we now that we wouldn't be away from the hospital for very long...

No comments:

Post a Comment