It’s been a busy week here at the hospital (and of course, at the Slezak house, too). We don’t have a discharge date and probably won’t until its just about to happen, but we are on the home stretch.
Everyone’s been excited to see these cute pictures of Isaiah in his little outfits, showing off his chubby cheeks.
But the truth is, he’s had a bad week. Last weekend he got promoted to a less critical level of NICU care – all the way up to Pod 5 by yesterday, switched from cpap to a nasal canula (less oxygen) and they dropped his daily caffeine dose.
Apparently he didn’t like it.
He’s continued to have episodes where he forgets to breathe and has been dropping his heart rate too much.
So…now he’s been demoted back to Pod 3 (a half-step up from where we spent the first 6 weeks) and is back on the cpap and caffeine. (Insert joke about how of course my child can’t live without caffeine…)
The doctor said this is still within the range of normal for his age and he’s still on the small side for 34 weeks (now insert joke about how he’s my child). I know he seems so much bigger in the pictures, and he is, but that doesn’t mean he’s actually ahead of the curve. His doctor is also running some blood work to make sure he doesn’t have an infection just in case. He isn’t acting or sounding sick at all, but my other kids have been fighting a cold all week so I am a little paranoid about that, even though they’ve not been to the hospital since getting sick and I’ve scrubbed my arms practically to death this week when going to seen him.
And finally, we still don’t have a timeline for him coming home…and probably won’t for a while…but I’m guessing it will be at least 3-4 more weeks now, minimum. They aren’t going to send him home until he’s had a good run without breathing episodes and is off his oxygen and caffeine. Not that I even want him to come home till he’s got all that straight.
So there it is. I’m glad you all are encouraged and cheering him on from, well, all over the place. But please keep praying for the little guy and for us as we keep pushing through this. We are hopeful, but still have a ways to go and it’s, well, scary when the doctor calls to tell you your baby just turned blue, and you can’t get to the hospital for another 8 hours because of therapy appointments and work schedules.
Meanwhile, I sit at Amaya Papaya with one out of my 3 kids. Ava would love it here, by between her therapies and naps it almost never seems to work out for her. One day when I am struggling to handle all 3 of them at the same time I’ll have to remind myself that on days like this I wished I could just have them all in the same room.
Around 4:45am on Monday (March 7th), Laura woke up to use the restroom — typical of her 26-week pregnant self at that hour. As she walked back to bed, she began bleeding. Immediately she woke me up and I rushed her to Winnie Palmer Hospital.
By the time she was admitted to the hospital, the bleeding had stopped. Nonetheless, the staff hooked her up to an IV and refused to let her eat or drink while they checked her vitals and checked on the baby via sonogram, heart monitors, etc.
Around 8 hours later, the doctors finished their rounds with Laura, now up on the 5th floor. At that point, she was doing pretty well. No more bleeding and the baby was still “sounding” good. They had to keep moving the heart monitor around to keep up with him because he was active that morning. The doctors said that she had a low-lying placenta, that a blood clot was keeping things at bay at this point, and that they wanted to keep her for 48 hours just to monitor everything. They talked about sending her home though, and possibly even making it to full term.
She was free to eat and drink again, so quickly I made my way down to the cafeteria to get mama something to eat. When I got back ten minutes later with her lunch—just 15 minutes after the docs gave her the green-light to eat— Laura went to the bathroom and suddenly…bleeding. Lots of bleeding. That wouldn’t stop.
Thankfully the doctors were still on our floor and ran in. A few minutes later they rushed her into surgery, called her OB doctor, who rushed over, and within a few minutes, at 2:01pm, delivered our baby boy at 2lb 4oz and 14 3/4 inches long.
As some of you know, we tend to be slow in picking names for our kids, and we sure weren’t ready with this one 14 weeks early. After 3 days of Birth Registry calling to ask what name we’d chosen, we finally had something to tell them: Isaiah Owen.
Isaiah means “God saves” and Owen means “young warrior.” That’s our little guy.
If we hadn’t already been at the hospital when this happened, it would’ve been quite dangerous. God truly did save my wife and son.
We’d like to introduce Isaiah Owen Slezak, born this Monday, March 7th by emergency c-section at 26 weeks. He was 2 lbs 4 oz and 14 3/4″ long. So far his vitals are good and he’s breathing on his own. Mom is in pain but recovering and being discharged today. Isaiah will stay here in the NICU at Winnie Palmer for a while. Our best guess right now is 9-10 weeks.
We have a big journey ahead but are grateful our little guy can be at such a great hospital for preemies.
The story of how this all happened will come, but for now, here’s our little peanut: