Sunday, April 26, 2009

Liquid Caffeine

A few days after Seth came home his monitor was screaming at us. We had already been fighting with these cantankerous machines quite a bit in the short time we had been home. Sometimes they cried wolf, a leed would get stuck to someone's clothes instead of staying stuck on their chest. Apnea monitors are not meant to drive new parents insane, although we felt on edge by their sudden shrills and shouts. Apnea monitors are meant to save lives and this would be one such time.

Seth's monitor screamed at us on the first day he came home, but he was awake and looked fine. So, we thought his machine was simply crying wolf. He was the only one of the three that came home with an oxygen tank. Because it tired him to eat, he got oxygen with his feeds. The second day, it screamed at us a little more, and the third day it was going off over and over again. We were so convinced that his machine was broken that we called the company and they came and gave us a new one. Then, the new machine yelled at us too. Why was his machine not working? And more so, why did it go off constantly when he ate?

By the third day we started to notice that Seth would not stop crying. He screamed and writhed like his stomach hurt everytime I fed him a bottle. Then, I began to notice a light blue coloring over the top of his mouth. His face would turn pale, especially at the height of his crying. Panicked we called the doctor and rushed him to the St. Lukes emergency room in The Woodlands. His oxygen stats were dropping into the 40's, especially severe when he ate. From The Woodlands, Seth and I both took our first ambulance ride to Texas Children's. Then, we waited. And waited. And waited. Around 3am the doctors decided Seth needed to stay.

For an entire week, we were back to two babies. The final prognosis was simply immature lung function. Seth needed more caffeine. So, after a week, Seth came home for the second time. This time, no oxygen tank, but a whopping daily dose of liquid caffeine.

And as for Robb and I, we were more paranoid than ever.