(This comes word-for-word from the journal I kept during this time last year)
Monday, June 8, 2009:
Aiden James Taylor, our beautiful baby boy, was born on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 at 12:16pm. He has his daddy's eyes I think, and a full head of brown hair with blonde highlights. He's 6lbs, 8 oz.
What a week this has been. We started noticing that he seemed very tired and was not waking up to feed/showing no interest in feeding even when we were still in the hospital after his birth. (After breast-feeding for 5 mins right after birth, he was unable to breastfeed like that again). His billy ruben was a bit high (jaundice), so an appointment was made for us to come back in to the hospital on Friday morning, June 5, for follow-up blood work. We were discharged from the hospital originally on Thursday, June 4, in the evening, so were only home with Aiden for about 14 hours before being back in the hospital. (Brandon and I were pretty much up almost all Thursday night trying to breastfeed/pump/feed him, because we were told he needed to eat every 2 hours through the night since he was losing too much weight). My parents were with us during this whole time so they were an amazing support. My mom cooked meals, they shopped, planted flowers and weeded.
When we came back to the hospital on Friday, June 5, we went up to the Pediatric floor after the Billy Ruben blood work, because we thought the nurse had set up an appt to figure out why Aiden seemed so sleepy. Because of some mix-up though they didn't have record of our Pediatric appointment. So Pediatrics sent us back down the the Maternal Newborn Clinic to meet with a breast-feeding consultant, because they thought maybe it was just a breast-feeding problem. After Mary Kay (the breast-feeding consultant) saw how long it took to feed him and how sleepy/lethargic he was, she told us that she wouldn't let us leave without getting us an appt back up with Pediatrics. (She had no idea then, but this simple act possibly saved Aiden's life!)
Finally we went back up to Peds for an appointment, and a resident asked us lots of questions, and then decided to do some bloodwork/cultures and start an IV for Aiden to get fluids. (It was so hard to watch his little heal pricked over and over again, but we were thankful they were finally checking into things). The bloodwork came back quickly and it showed that his white blood cell count was low in the blood (about 4.9 if I remember right). 10 is normal. Dr. Butler (the Pediatric Doctor on duty) came in to tell us she was somewhat concerned about this because it showed that he probably had an infection. She went over different possibilities and I remember her briefly mentioning the word "meningitis" as a worst-case scenario, but it didn't seem likely.
(first night in Peds)
They admitted him then, and he was rolled into the room we stayed in Friday and Saturday. They started him on antibiotics. Then they rolled him into another room to attempt a Spinal Tap (Lombard Puncture) to check for infection around the brain. The spinal tap didn't work after 2 doctors tried several times. (This was all happening so quickly and was very overwhelming; we started calling our parents/pastor and getting the word out to pray. My parents packed bags of clothing for us and came out to the hospital). This was very hard on Brandon and I as it was all happing at once and he's so little. We cried alot on Friday and Saturday. The doctors also had to insert a catheter into his newly circumsized penis to get a urine sample for analysis. Friday night we stayed in the Pediatric room and Aiden slept in the isolet with the billy lights (since he still had some jaundice) and with his eyes all covered up. The billy ruben went down fine quickly that night which made the doctors know he definitely had an infection.
(in the isolet in Peds)
Saturday we met Dr. DiSilva, a Neonatal Specialist. He attempted the Spinal Tap again and this time it worked the first time. Soon we got the news that things were alot worse than we'd expected. The spinal fluid was completey cloudy they said, and it showed that he had Meningitis. Basically a healthy baby would have about 30 white blood cells in the spinal fluid to fight bacteria. Aiden had over 1,200 white blood cells in his spinal fluid, which meant that his body was working overtime to kill the bacterial infection. Dr. DiSilva explained it as "calling in the troops". We were basically in shock by the news, and it was really hard. Dr. DiSilva met with us to explain everything, and he just kept saying it's very serious. The nurses started coming in only with masks on and they put up a warning sign on the door to our room where Aiden was. We were told Aiden would be transferred immdiately to the NICU where he would need to stay for three weeks. The original spinal fluid culture was taken after antibiotics were already started, so they couldn't identify which specific bacteria caused the meningtis. That's why Aiden needs 3 full weeks in here. He's such a trooper, and words can't describe how much we love him.
Aiden's "home" in the NICU:
(The temperature is set at around 80 degrees F in his isolet, so he's nice and warm, and looks so peaceful).
The sign someone made for him that hangs over his isolet. It has Psalm 139: 13-14.... "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
To Be Continued.......