Dexter was born at 2:14 a.m. on 9/20/12. He was 7 lb. 8 oz., 19.5 inches with Apgars of 9 and 9. The nurse got him all cleaned up and put one of my cloth diapers on him.
I tried several times to nurse him but he kept pushing his tongue forward and refusing to eat. He was very content and quiet. I assumed he was just sleepy or laid back.
Several nurses and lactation consultants tried every trick they could think of to help, but he still wasn’t nursing. I put him in his bed and laid down to get a little sleep.
Around 10 a.m. I woke up to him making a choking noise. He was puking up a lot of foamy fluid. I scooped him up and turned him over and yelled at my sister to get a nurse. He soaked his bed, his blankets, my bed, and my gown.
A nurse came in and I showed her how he had soaked everything. She said that happens a lot with quick deliveries because they can have a lot of fluid built up. She said that once it all cleared out he would probably want to eat.
I kept trying to nurse him, but he continued to refuse to eat and to vomit. The vomit looked like meconium (a baby’s first poop) and he still hadn’t had a bowel movement.
When he still wouldn’t eat, a lactation consultant brought me a pump. She told me to pump to make sure my supply would come in. I got about 10ml of colostrum. I tried to feed it to him, but he wouldn’t eat.
A lactation consultant came in. She took Dexter and put the bottle in his mouth. She moved it up and down, and he reluctantly ate. As soon as he had eaten it all, he puked all over her. Her whole outfit was covered. She said, “This isn’t normal, I’m going to go find the doctor.”
She handed him back to me and assured me that she would find someone right away.
When the doctors came in to look at him, they thought maybe he had swallowed meconium, but my water was clear when it was broken.
My family had arrived just in time for the doctors to come in and tell me that they were going to transport Dexter to Akron Children’s and he would need surgery.
When the transport team arrived they put Dexter in a huge transport isolette and wheeled him in to see me. I got to stick my hand in and tell him goodbye.
They gave me an info pack from Akron Children’s and told me that the doctor would call me when they knew anything. They left and I waited for news.
I got up every 2 hours to pump that first night. Around 2:15 a.m. I got a phone call. They were getting ready to take him back for surgery. He was exactly 24 hours old.
The surgeon, Dr. Ponsky, said he had a twist in his bowel called malrotation. He said the best case scenario would be that he untwists it and we just watch for re-twisting for the rest of his life. The worst case scenario would be if some of the bowel had died and he would need a bag, and possibly future surgeries.
I was numb, and in total shock. I thanked him and hung up.
Around 4:15 a.m. Dr. Ponsky called back. He said he had done a Ladd’s procedure on Dex. He had been twisted and also had a gap in his bowel. He said both had been fixed and he had lost very minimal bowel.
He said Dexter would be in the NICU for a few weeks. He assured me that I could call the NICU any time for updates and they would call me if anything changed. His official diagnosis was malrotation and jejunal atresia.
I was discharged the next day and went straight up to the hospital to see him. More posts about our NICU journey to come later.