Tuesday, July 29th – 3 weeks old and a little bump in the road…

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Missed rounds this am because the baby furniture was delivered at the house today.  The delivery guy informed Ian we’d be his first stop during the time frame 8-10am.  He showed up at 9:45am.  Liar.  So we had ironically ordered the nursery furniture the Monday before I got admitted.  Better late than never. We’re slowly getting ourselves together and preparing for our little one to arrive home.  Slowly but surely… 

Per the nurse this am, I didn’t miss anything at rounds.  CPAP settings remain the same, but they are increasing her feedings to 29 cc’s.  Almost an ounce!

Received a phone call from the doctor early this afternoon, as she thought I wasn’t in today since I was not at rounds.  I recognized the number right away, and my heart sank for a second, but I was also with Riley in her room and saw she was fine (at least from what I could tell), so I felt somewhat confident everything was good.  The doctor immediately said “Riley is doing well” as soon as I picked up the phone, as she must deal with this a lot…having parents freak out and be a bit on edge whenever they receive a phone call from the doctor.  She began educating me on MRSA ((methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus), saying “its a bacterial infection, often acquired in hospitals,” which is resistant to some antibiotics.  I’ve not only heard of this but am quite familiar with it being someone who works at the VA hospital.  The doctor continued on to say that “We screen all infants for this each week, and Riley is a carrier for MRSA.”  This means that she is not infected with MRSA, but is colonized with MRSA.  Currently, it doesn’t affect her health in anyway, the only change is that medical staff will now need to wear gloves and gowns when coming in contact with Riley to prevent the spread of the infection to other patients.  I asked if we as parents need to wear contact precautions, and we don’t…we simply need to continue our regular hand hygiene precautions.  The doctor mentioned she would stop by later to discuss further and address any questions I had. 

Initially I was a little bit upset by this, although I know how incredibly common this can be in the hospital setting.  I called Ian and informed him, and he had many questions, some of which I was able to answer, and some that I needed to write down to ask the doctor later.  I know we’ll never know how she acquired this, but I began to play the blame game.  Why do the nurses never wear gloves when caring for Riley?  If they had…maybe this could have been prevented.  Did it happen during one of her blood transfusions or maybe when she had the PICC line placed or removed?  Maybe I’m the one who gave it to her, because it would not be surprising at all that I’d be a carrier for MRSA, given my career and my frequent exposure to MRSA.  What if I gave it to her?  Then I started getting mad at the damn furniture guy because he made me miss rounds, and I feel that I would feel slightly better informed if I had been present this morning.  Ok Brooke…pull it together…playing this game is getting you nowhere.  It started to give me that familiar feeling…that pit in my stomach, uneasy, lost my appetite feeling.  Sort of how I felt the first 2 weeks of Riley’s life, but to a lesser degree.  

As I thought more about it and did a little more research, this MRSA thing is really nothing to get too worked up about.  As long as Riley’s not infected, we don’t have to worry.  Sure being a carrier increases her risk of becoming infected, but again, lets not put the cart before the horse.  If that happens, we will deal with it then.  No use in planning for the worst.  Let’s remember how well Riley’s doing…she can get through anything.  

Overall, Riley didn’t have “the best” day today.  She was a bit more fussy than usual, and had several desats and a bradycardia today, which happened mostly during her feedings and our kangaroo care time.  The nurse wasn’t concerned and still let us do kangaroo care for over an hour.  I was okay with it if she wasn’t concerned, but again, it definitely has a negative effect on what’s supposed to be a peaceful, enjoyable bonding experience.  Ian feels maybe Riley and I should take a break from kangaroo care, and I fight back and tell him she needs this and if the nurses were concerned about it, they wouldn’t let me do it.  But then I question it, as I obviously would not want to do anything to jeopardize our daughter’s health and well-being because I selfishly want to have that bonding experience with her.  Ian and I have definitely felt differently about some of these issues, as he tends to be a lot more conservative, being the overprotective, cautious dad that he should be.  How can I blame him?  Sometimes we just have to agree to disagree.  This is married life.

On a funnier note, during a diaper change that the nurse was performing, Riley decided to “pretend” she was done going to the bathroom (#2 might I add), and just as the dirty diaper was being exchanged for the clean one…fire in the hole!  Riley got the nurses hand, the wall of her incubator, and her bed sheets.  “Riley Mae!” I yelled (as if she even knows what she did wrong).  So I assisted the nurse with changing her bedding, as I held Riley (inside the incubator) while the nurse changed the sheets.  The stinker fussed a bit and gave me a few dirty looks (she does this…takes after her mom), and I reminded her that “You did this.  You have nobody to be mad at but yourself.”  Again…acting like she has a clue as to what she did and what I’m lecturing about.  I’m just practicing for her future.

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