Saturday, March 12, 2011

Baby Kay on the [You]Tube

Baby Kay finally came home yesterday afternoon. This tiny little 4-pounder fought for 18 days & finally graduated from the Neo-natal ICU (NICU). It was a long journey where she had to learn how to breathe, and then swallow, and then suck, and finally to maintain her own body temperature. In between all that, she had to deal with lung infection, low hemoglobin, some blood top up, jaundice and a small, open heart vessel.

For us as new parents, walking through NICU is a horror. Dont get me wrong.  It is probably the most modern, brightly lit, sanitised and clean ward with a bunch of casual looking yet diligent doctors and very very kind and friendly nurses in the whole of Sarawak General Hospital (GH) (Dont quote me cos I have not been to other wards except the OBGyn and have no wish to go back there). It is no wonder they say GH has the best NICU unit in the state and possibly the whole Borneo Island, which is why Dr CM Wong strongly advised us to get prepared and go GH should baby comes before term.

But nothing could prepare us for the horror of seeing our baby all hooked up with tubes in the incubator backed by gadgets with millions of buttons (& probably costs millions) and a computer screen that definitely looked like it could do much more than your usual blogging and microsoft programs.

In the first few days we really could not fathom how she could ever pull through; especially for me as a mother. I had so much negative thoughts about giving up. And it didn't help initially when we could hardly get any satisfactory answer from anyone. The doctors managed to mumble something about lung infection and so on and on in a language we could not understand, at least to me. All I could see and hear was her very recessed chest as she laboured away for every little bit of breath she could get. Was my baby in pain? Was she too hot or too cold? Why was it that I couldn't hear her cry? She looked like she was crying. Did she miss me? How could I sleep upstairs in the maternity ward while she was down there, crying for and missing her mummy? I missed her so much then. How could I not? We were together for 32 weeks. I knew when her active and down time were, every kick, every tickle, every punch, every hiccup.

And on top of those negative thoughts, every time I saw her, there were sure some not-so-good news. Intubated? I thought she was already in the incubator, wasn't that serious enough? Oh no, wait a min, this is different; Rubber tube into her little mouth, down through her throat, to send oxygen straight to the lungs. The oxygen was not enough because she couldn't breath well and the little oxygen mask was not sufficient. She's getting tired because of lung infection; what lung infection?! Where did that come from? Then the blood deficiency's delaying the bone marrow  from  kick starting. 10 days of antibiotics and something else for 7 days for closing her heart's blood vessel (in full term babies, they close 1-2 days after birth).  You've got to be kidding. How can one so tiny take so much medicine? And watching her labouring for her every breath, I could only feel pain and guilt, and that I was an absolute letdown as a mother. Besides peeping at her through the incubator potholes and stroking her and letting her know that mummy and daddy were there for her, there wasn't a single other thing we could do.

So much guilt because she had to be born early. I had placenta previa type 3 covering a major part of my opening and on the 22nd February, 2011, at 2am on a Tuesday morning, the bleeding was torrential. Greg and I thought we were losing our baby, and Greg thought he was losing his wife as well. But that's another story.

Kayleigh was delivered through an emergency C sect in Sarawak General Hospital. The team who took care of us was absolutely professional and compassionate. Unfortunately that same standard does not apply to the entire OBGyn department of SGH (especially the old school nurses). So we praise the Lord for this particular team.

We'd like to share a few videos of Baby Kay while she was still at the NICU. These videos are really mild compared to her first 7 days. We would not want anyone to see the earlier ones as they can be disturbing.

So there you go, our little miracle baby's journey through NICU; from the ICU to Special Care, and graduating from the nursery as of yesterday 11th March, 2011.

Baby Kay at Day 7
Her intubated rubber tube was finally taken out on Day 7. She managed to swim above the more serious problems - her breathing and infection clearing; and she opened her eyes for the first time.

On day 9, she made her way out from ICU to Special Care. Still in the incubator but most of the wiring and tubes were off except for the heart rate, oxygen level, & temperature monitors, and the feeding tube.

Baby Kay at Day 13
We were wondering when the feeding tube would be taken off cos it looked like it was irritating her. Doctors told us it'd be off when she could swallow and suck.

Baby Kay at Day 14
And sucked she did on Day 14.  And she did that right in front of all the doctors who were doing their rounds including the specialist. And it was loud, coming from a little thing like this. The smart little gal knew when to take her cue. The tube was taken out that afternoon.

Baby Kay at Day 15
From Day 15 onwards, she was on cup feeding, sucking and swallowing away. Baby Kay has not fully grasped breastfeeding yet cos she gets tired after trying. But she tries hard, and because she could also maintain her body temperature, she graduated on Day 18. 

Welcome home Baby Kay!


triShie said...

God is good!! :) congratulations again, Mr. Greg and Nee! she's gorgeous! :)

Anonymous said...

You did great Nee! You're a great mum! God has been watching over everything! All things are always good! Because He is good ALL THE TIME. It was simply baby Kay's time to come out to meet her parents! I'm proud of you and Greg for being so strong. You are role models to me. I cant wait to meet and see baby Kay grow up! Love you guys lots. Take care Nee and Greg!

Jac Wee

Alex said...

So happy for you guys...and yes, WELCOME to your daddy and mommy's world, dear Kay!
You guys have been so amazing and brave and I am thankful that you guys ccan FINALLY enjoy Kay at home, your beautiful, loving, warm and cake smelling home!
Our thoughts are with you guys and with each one, our prayers!

The CHANs in Singapore..

ps, can't wait to see more baby blogs, and btw, welcome to the 'other side'....where the kid in the house will take over your blog! LOL! Cheers!

terri@adailyobsession said...

i didn't know you had such a hard time! i had placenta previa too with wey n rested in bed for many many weeks, on and off.

kayleigh is so lovely n in the 1st vid, i teared to see her so frail n greg's loving fingers caressing her. in the last vid, she smiled n i smiled with her, she's so beautiful:) n greg, still so humorous n wonderful. but most wonderful is mommy nee, whose words n feelings in this post i totally understand but nee, it gets better n better and kay'll be big and strong by full month. premmies grow faster than full term babies. pls continue to breast feed her, don't give her any formula milk.

yes, welcome kay and you will have the best parents in the world:)

derby said...

welcome Kay! and big congrats Greg and Nee! Kay is a beautiful beautiful miracle. Thots and prayers with you 3 :)

Roger said...

Hey I heard you shouldn't touch the baby's head because the skull has not hardened yet.

jt said...

she's beautiful Greg and Nee! I also love her kung-fu moves :)
Julie and Roger

Anonymous said...

She is such a beautiful angel :) Both of you did well. All three of you have such big hearts in sharing this journey with the rest of the world; it is comforting to know that some of us are not alone in this journey.


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