Welcome to Parenthood: Our First Speed Bump

Things have not gone very smoothly since Friday. I guess once in a while we need a little reminder that we are Not in Charge.

Kyle had some trouble keeping food down Saturday morning. He was spitting up and his stomach was noticably distended. An x-ray revealed what appeared to be a blockage in the small intestine. A neonatologist decided that it would be best if Kyle were moved from Lake West to the Children’s Hospital at the Cleveland Clinic, and that’s just what happened Saturday afternoon.

Once we received a call indicating that Kyle had arrived safely, Laura’s mother and I went to the Cleveland Clinic (Laura, still recovering from her c-section, had not yet gotten out of bed). Though hooked up to an IV, a tube to drain his stomach and a host of sensors, Kyle did not appear to be in any distress or uncomfortable at all.

The Clinic performed an upper G.I. as well as a barium enema, and we were greatly relieved when they told us that there did not appear to be any structural problems with Kyle’s intestines, and that they could almost certainly rule out the need for surgical correction.

Laura was discharged from Lake West yesterday morning, and we drove down to the Clinic shortly after that. Kyle was sleeping, but the nurses removed the sensors as well as the tube from his stomach so Laura and I could hold him. Apart from the wires and tubes and a few spots of rash here and there (which I’m told is normal in newborns), he looks to be perfectly fine. His situation isn’t life-threatening, but it’s serious enough that they are watching him closely.

As of last night, doctors were not certain whether the problem is an infection or a severe feeding reaction. There is also still a slight possibility that it is a blockage that must be corrected through surgery, but the doctors we have spoken to seem to think it is highly unlikely. Whatever the case, he is on antibiotics right now and is not being fed orally (which had a tendency to make him a little cranky now and then).

I called the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) this morning and the nurse told me that the tube has been removed from Kyle’s stomach, and the distension has not increased. I also learned that Cleveland Clinic was apparently unaware that Kyle had been fed formula on the 13th. He was given formula (by me) because his blood sugar was low. The formula seemed to take care of the blood sugar problem, but may ultimately have been the cause of his digestive woes.

We’re going to head over to the clinic a little later today, and maybe they’ll feed Kyle a little of Laura’s breast milk, which she has been pumping on a regular basis for the past couple of days. (Laura and I considered staying at the Clinic last night, but the lactation consultant thought it would be best if Laura slept in her own bed, so we came home.) The earliest Kyle is likely to be released is tomorrow, but nothing is certain at this point. We would certainly like to be able to take our little guy home with us as soon as possible.

9 thoughts on “Welcome to Parenthood: Our First Speed Bump”

  1. Sitting here at work, called and left a message for you at home a little while ago. Hoping everything is going to work out, so that Kyle can come home tomorrow…

  2. Kris and Laura – Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful son, Kyle. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you as Kyle recovers from his stomach problems.

    Denise

  3. Glad to see he is recovering/stable.

    Barium Enema, very uncomfortable.

    Lactation consultant is a new one to me.

    Doctors are not normally known for cheery dispositions and positive outlooks in these cases.

    Hang in there.

  4. ‘Lactation Consultant’? Hmmmm… Not too late for a career change…

    Brings new meaning to the phrase, ‘milkin’ the job’…

    Sounds like Kyle does not want you to soon forget the event of his birth…

    All boy.

    I’m prayin’ for ya.

  5. My last two (remember, I have five) had to make return visits to the hospital for various reasons, so I feel your fear, nervousness, and pain. Don’t worry, things will work out.

    I do have one bit of advice for you. Even though this is Laura’s first, she probably has the best feeling as to what’s best for her. Don’t let doctors, nurses, or “lactation consultants” push you around. My wife would be at the hospital and would probably be rather unkind to anyone trying to get her to leave.

    Also, lactation consultants do not necessarily equal a nurse. Some go nurses become consultants, but not the other way around. Be careful with the “advice” you may receive.

    Best wishes.

  6. I didn’t mean to give the impression that we came home last night solely on the lactation consultant’s advice. Laura and I have been very happy with the treatment (and advice) we’ve received, both at Lake West and at the Cleveland Clinic. I actually suggested that we could look into staying at the Clinic’s “transition room,” but Laura seemed to want to sleep in her own bed last night, even before she talked to the lactation consultant.

    We had a very good night’s sleep, and it was nice to have breakfast at home. Dining at the Clinic (or Lake West for that matter) is what I’ll call a convenient pain in the ass. The cafeteria at the Clinic is relatively close to the NICU, but it’s also very crowded and no matter how much they dress it up it’s still a cafeteria.

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