Thursday, December 3, 2009
I had hoped to start a blog for Penny once the excitement of bringing a newborn baby home had calmed down. However, Jeremy and I seem to produce newborn babies that have an agenda of their own! We will eventually post information on her delivery and the excitement of bringing her home to meet Zoe for the first time.
At 12:15 am, I finished nursing Penny and put her in the bassinet next to our bed. I set the alarm to wake up in 3 hours for the next feeding and we all went to sleep. Around 3 am, I woke up to the smell of poop. I asked Jeremy to wake up and change her diaper and I would feed her as soon as she was cleaned up. He got out of bed and went to the bathroom. While he was gone, I noticed she was making strange breathing noises. I leaned over to check on her and she was on her side arching her back very strongly. After picking her up, she kept arching her back and I realized that she was struggling to breathe. I immediately ran and got Jeremy and asked him to find the bulb syringe. I tried patting Penny on the back in a burping type motion to help her move whatever might be blocking her airway. We took her into the kitchen where the light is better and noticed that she had white foam in her mouth. We spent 2 to 3 minutes trying to suction the foam out of her mouth. While we were suctioning, she was still arching her back and struggling to breathe. She seemed to settle down so we relaxed for a moment. At that moment, she stopped breathing completely. I was able to stimulate her and get her to start to breathe. At that point we decided to call 911 for help. The ambulance arrived within another 2 minutes and took her into the truck. By that point, it seemed that she had recovered and was able to breathe normally. Her feet and hands were a deep blue color however and her blood sugar was very low. The paramedics decided she was stable enough to take her to Children's Hospital rather than the closer but unprepared MidWest City Hospital. After arriving in the ER, they ran tests and decided to give her some sugar water for her low blood sugar. They started an IV and then took some blood and urine samples. The urine sample was very think and clumpy and it let the ER Doctor to believe that she might have a urinary tract infection. The initial results of the lab work seemed to confirm infection. The ER Dr. told us that in babies less than a week old, the compartments aren't fully separated and an infection in the urinary tract could easily cross the blood/brain barrier. Sepsis of the blood or a brain infection would be the worst case scenario. A spinal tap was then taken to test her spinal fluid for infection. Penny was then admitted to the hospital and we were moved from the ER to the Pediatrics floor.
We are now waiting for culture results of the spinal tap and urine samples. She's been receiving antibiotics since this morning to treat as if she does have an infection. Her bili count is a little bit high but we are watching it to see if she develops jaundice. She hasn't been very interested in eating since we got to the hospital but she had a very successful nursing session around 5:30 pm which is great.
There seem to be two possibilities of what happened:
1. She spit up normal newborn stuff (leftover amniotic fluid, colostrum, mucous) and wasn't able to clear it out of her airway on her own. The abnormal urine sample could simply be other newborn stuff (vernix left from delivery in her urinary tract, discharge or something else). This would be the best outcome but maybe the scariest because there's no reason why she should've had problems breathing.
2. She has an infection; most likely a UTI. The infection causes the episode of apnea. In babies so young, their bodies are not mature enough to run a fever which is the symptom of infection but instead go straight to worse symptoms.
Depending on the outcome of the cultures, there is a possibility that she may have a swallow study done to see how she swallows or maybe a sleep study to see if there's anything unusual with her breathing when she sleeps. She will be in the hospital for at least 48 hours.
Jeremy and I are trying our best to balance caring for Penny but making sure that Zoe is not abandoned also. We are doing shifts in the hospital room. I am still trying to recover from delivering an almost 9 pound baby but it's hard to take care of yourself when your baby is sick. Due to restricted visiting rules, we are unable to accept visitors at Children's. Because we are trying to balance staying with Zoe and Penny; taking care of ourselves after labor & delivery, and keeping everyone updated, it would be best for you to contact us via email or text message. You can also contact our parents who will be kept more up-to-date with any information. We will also try to keep this blog updated with information as we get it.
Please keep our family in your prayers. I know that God is watching over us. Becoming pregnant with Penny was the first in many miracles he's shown us and I know he has plans for this little baby.
Posted by Lara at 6:33 PM