And so it begins... Updated 2/22



I was gone all night at a professional function. I finally got home around 9:00, my son was already in bed. My mother-in-law stayed with them all evening while I was gone so Shandy wouldn't be alone, just in case.

Maybe 5 minutes after my mother-in-law left, less than half an hour after I got home Shandy started bleeding. We went to the hospital. She was having contractions she couldn't feel and there was no way to stop the bleeding with the contractions and so she's in the OR now and I'm waiting. The surgery will take about 4 to 7 hours, maybe longer.

29 weeks and 2 days. Didn't quite make it to 30 weeks but ya get what ya get.

Now just a lot a waiting, and I'm a pacer.


Update 2/13:

To my unending surprise the doctors came out in less than an hour and said the placenta had detached and there was no acreta like they'd thought. Instead of a 5+ hour operation it ended up taking about 2. They didn't have to do a hysterectomy but we went ahead and had her tubes tied. We will not be tempting fate again after this - all the risk factors would be higher next time. She seems to be recovering relatively well so far but I'm expecting Thursday / Friday to be bad days as some of the pain killers from the operation wear off.

The baby was born at 11:55 on 12/12 and weighed a little north of 3 pounds. He's doing well relatively speaking and they haven't had to intubate him but it's still a possibility. He wasn't given steroids in the days leading up to the birth because we had no warning so his lungs are not as prepared as we would have preferred. He will likely spend about 8 weeks in the NICU. The place he's in right now is a Level III NICU, for babies born mostly before 30 weeks - There is a Level IV, for so-called "micro-premies" but those are mostly born at 23-25 weeks, at 29 weeks, Samuel has several substantial advantages over that group.

Thanks for all the well wishes. We'll probably know a lot better how he's doing after he's made it to 72 hours old.


Update 2/14

Well, you always hope your kid will defy the odds but they usually don't. Sam had to be intubated today because he was wearing himself out too much just trying to breathe. He's also dealing with some low blood-pressure issues. All of this was stuff they told us to expect that was probably coming. They can warn you all they want in advance but it's still going to suck to hear that it's happening.


Update 2/16

Well, I guess it's a good news - bad news kind of morning. We went to bed last night knowing something seemed wrong but not knowing what. The doctors suspected he might be getting pneumonia.

As it turns out, he doesn't have pneumonia, but he has had intraventricular hemorrhaging in his brain. Grade 4 (the worst) on one side. Grade 2 on the other. No way of knowing what, if any, consequences that will have for him. 

2/16b: He's showing high bilirubin so they have him on the lights for jaundice. After hearing about the brain bleeding this just seems so mundane.


Update 2/17

Shandy was discharged late yesterday and we spent the night at home with our soon-to-be-3-year-old for the first time since the birth.

Today leaves me with more hope than yesterday for the first time in a while. The bilirubin levels are down and they've taken off the lights for it. He's breathing 21% O2 air and taking only 30-45 breaths per minute now. In the past they've had to have him on 40+% O2 air and he was still fighting for breath with a respiration rate in the 70s or higher. This is the most peaceful and relaxed I've seen him in that regard. His increased struggles to breathe, in combination with the unusual way he was holding his arms straight out and away from his body were some of the first signs that something was wrong which lead to the diagnostic tests for the bleeding in the brain. Today he's sleeping and resting with his arms bent and brought in to his body and face - much more natural and relaxed looking.

I'm adding a picture from yesterday when he was under the lights. I'll see if I can get and share a picture of him today later.


Update on 2/19.

I think this is going to be the last time I update this post and I'll just include comments as appropriate in other entries moving forward. Sam will be a week old as of midnight tonight.

His improvement has continued into this morning. His sodium levels, which were low, have come back up. The bilirubin lights have been on and off recently but they're back on for now. His heart and lungs continue to do well with no signs of new / additional bleeding recently. They think he'll be extubated today and put back on the CPAP. They're going to start feeding him milk again because they're liking the belly sounds they're hearing. So he seems to be doing well and out of most immediate danger.


Update on 2/22:

Couldn't resist one more:

On 2/20, with the ventilator out (and he took to it well so he hasn't had to be intubated again) we got to hear him crying for the first time. It sounds a little like a small puppy honestly.

On 2/21, Shandy got to hold him for the first time.


On 2/22, I got to hold him for the first time.




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1 hour ago, gherrmann44 said:

I am so glad to hear Sam is doing better. As each day passes his chances improve and that is really good news! Is there anything new on the bleeding in Sam's brain? You're all in my heart and my prayers. Your pictures are very heart-warming.

No, no more brain bleeds and at this point they don't expect any more. They say that normally happens about 24-48 hours after birth. His probably happened about 36-48 hours after birth. Thanks!

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Oh, one more thing, I just had to chuckle to myself when I saw the picture of you holding Sam on your chest. The look on your face is priceless! The look of pride in your face as you hold your son speaks volumes! This is good and the way it should be. Congratulations! You have a fine son!

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Congratulations! That is wonderful news, and I too can see the pride and love on your face as you hold Sam.  It's absolutely amazing to see that and to know that Sam is progressing so well!  Once again, congrats my friend!

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