Friday, March 22, 2013

Connor's First Few Days

The day my son was born was both the most amazing day and one of the worst days I’ve ever had. When they placed Connor in my arms, the feeling was indescribable. I know it’s a cliché but it’s so true. I don’t think I could ever love another person the way I love my child.

While they were sewing me up, the nurses and pediatrician brought Connor to a crib so they could do an initial assessment on him. This checks his blood sugar, Apgar score, etc. As with most diabetic mothers, the baby typically has a low blood sugar when born as their pancreas is overdrive from trying to process the high blood sugar of the mother. I don’t think I mentioned this in my last post but while waiting for my C-section, the hospital policy is to take me off of my insulin pump and put me on a solution of glucose and one of insulin through my IV. This is not effective at all. It probably wouldn’t have been bad if I would have had my C-section earlier in the day. Unfortunately I kept getting bumped by emergencies which caused me to be on these solutions for 12 hours. As a result my blood sugar was horrible by the time Connor was born. This caused his blood sugar to go extremely low. I found this out later that he should have been taken directly to the NICU.
After the C-section was complete, they rolled us into a waiting area so they could monitor me while I got back feeling in my upper body. I was able to have Connor lay on top of me skin to skin and enjoy being with him and my husband. As he was my first I was so unsure of what to do with him and so overwhelmed with everything that had happened that day. After about an hour, they moved us up to the maternity ward. As soon as we got there, the nurses did another assessment on him and found that his blood sugar had dipped even lower. They informed me that they needed to bring him to the NICU until his blood sugars moved up to an acceptable level.

I made sure that my husband went with Connor to the NICU so that he wouldn’t be alone. While they were gone, I had the nurses turn off the insulin and glucose solution so I could get my pump going again. While pregnant, I had been placed in the pregnancy clinic at the diabetic centre. This meant that I saw all different endocrinologists, nurses, and dieticians more frequently. One of the endocrinologists had written orders for what my new pump stats should be. Unfortunately she didn’t know what my settings were before I got pregnant and didn’t bother to look. As soon as I saw the orders, I started arguing with the nurses. They told me I had to follow the orders exactly. I didn’t agree so did what I wanted as none of them would even know as they had never worked with a pump before. It’s crazy how within hours of giving birth, my blood sugars and insulin sensitivity were almost back to pre-pregnancy levels.
Once I had secretly won that argument, I started working on when I would get to see my son. It was very important for me to breastfeed and I wanted to get started right away. Unfortunately (again) they wouldn’t let me go over there until I could walk to the bathroom and go pee. It took me until the next morning. I had sent my husband home once he had seen Connor settled in the NICU so he could get some rest but as soon as he came the next morning, I had him help me to the bathroom and then he wheeled me to the NICU.

I spent all day there except when they made me go eat. Due to Connor’s low blood sugar, he was extremely sleepy and not interested in eating. This made it extremely difficult for breastfeeding. He wasn’t even interested in feeding from a bottle. This then started a cycle ‘cause if he didn’t eat, his blood sugar wouldn’t go up. If he had a low blood sugar, he was sleepy and wouldn’t eat. It took three days before his blood sugar finally stayed at the right level.
Little did I know that this was just the beginning of our stay in the NICU. More next post.

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