Dayton's First Week

Monday, September 22, 2014

As soon as Dayton was born, we were able to see how strong of a fighter he was and every day we grew more and more proud of him. He charmed his way into the hearts of many doctors and nurses, became the most prayed for little boy and made us realize how fortunate we are to have this perfect baby to call ours, forever. We never knew love like this existed until he entered our lives. Dayton's first week of life was so difficult but oh-so-precious to us....

After we had a chance to see our sweet boy for the first time, I was taken to my room in the Family Care Unit so that I could get settled in and be seen by the nurses. We also had to complete some paperwork for the NICU, including selecting four people that were allowed access to see Dayton for the duration of his NICU stay. 

That afternoon we accompanied my mom, my sister, my step mom & Jason mom (all at different times) down to meet the newest member of our family. He was resting comfortably in his isolette and they all fell deeply in love with him.

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When Dayton was born, he was but on a ventilator immediately following delivery, he was hooked up to a respiratory monitor, a heart monitor, a blood oxygen monitor and two IV lines were put in through his belly button. About 12 hours after he was born, they were able to take him off the ventilator and put him on the Niv Nava (you can read more about the Niv Nava here.)

Later that night we were told that Dayton would need a blood transfusion to hopefully help balance out his blood cell counts. They were concerned that he may have had an infection or virus so they began blood tests to check. It was a very emotional few hours, so when the nurse practitioner allowed me to hold him, I was so happy . We were told it may be 7-10 days before we would be able to hold him, due to the umbilical IVs, so being allowed to do skin to skin with him was amazing and so unexpected.

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The next morning, Thursday (Day 2) they put Dayton under the bili light because the dark red/rust color of his skin was a sign of jaundice and his bilirubin levels were elevated. Things were pretty calm and stable for the remainder of the day. We were able to facetime with family so that those that were unable to meet him in person, could see him for the first time. 

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Friday (Day 3), Dayton was still under the bili light and was also put on contact isolation pending the results of his viral tests. Contact isolation just meant he could not room with another baby, we had to wear paper gowns when in his room and the nurses had to take extra precautions when handling him.

He took a paci for the first time, had his very first feeding (via feeding tube) and weighed 3lbs! Thankfully, they were able to give him a short break from the bili light & open his isolette where we could get close to him.

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Saturday (Day 4) was a lot more of the same. I changed his diaper for the fist time, in addition to taking his temperature. He was also moved to a new NICU room.

I was technically discharged from the hospital early that morning, but we were able to keep our room for 48 more hours so that we could remain close to him. They call this "nesting" and is such a wonderful thing our hospital does for parents with babies in the NICU. 

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On Sunday (Day 5), he was still under contact isolation but his bilirubin levels were finally normal and was close to no longer needing the bili light. He had his first brain scan and now weighed 2lbs 11oz. We saw his eyes open for the first time. Sweet boy. I was able to hold him again, for close to 1 hour.

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Monday (Day 6) was my last day in the hospital (after 28 days) and it was so hard to leave. Dayton was finally off the bili light & had his umbilical IV's removed so we were able to handle him a little more.  He able to get his first bath and his Daddy was able to hold him briefly while his bed linens were changed! They also reduced the oxygen levels on his Niv Nava. Unfortunately, they discovered he had a bacterial infection in his trachea/lungs, most likely from his short time being intubated.

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On Tuesday (Day 7) he had a PICC line put in his leg, was taken off contact isolation (yay! for no viruses), started antibiotics for the bacterial infection, had his Niv Nava turned down and had the humidity in his isolette decreased. It was a big day for Dayton! He weighed 2lbs 12oz and was swaddled for the first time.

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