Holding her on the vent was tough. It was scary. It was a difficult process to get her from her bed to my chest. We always had two nurses and a respiratory therapist standing by to help out. Once she was settled, there we would sit...for as long as her little body could handle it. They said 'skin to skin' always benefited the baby, but there were definitely times I thought otherwise. Or maybe I just didn't like seeing her hold her breath during these times.
We'd sit for up to an hour. My left hand under her non existent bum, my right hand holding my gown closed over her body to keep her warm. I wouldn't rock, I wouldn't move. I was terrified I'd bump her breathing tube. Or hurt her. So we'd sit utterly still. My left hand would be numb by the time they put her back in bed. I'd softly rest my chin on her plum size head and look forward to the day we could rock her to sleep at home instead of in the NICU. Our smart nurses always had me keep my back to her monitors. I was a 'number watcher', my heartbeat speeding up each time she threatened to drop her oxygen levels. They said Brooklyn could sense my stress. Ignorance is bliss, so this was always the setup.
Now fast forward to last night....
We love to be able to rock our baby anytime we want now. In fact we've created a monster at bedtimes because she has to be rocked to sleep. Oops. But we are so grateful we can do this, because for months we weren't allowed to.
Brooklyn is not cuddly, sadly. She does not like to be cuddled, hardly at all. But she does cuddle when she's not feeling well.
So why the trip down memory lane??
We pulled out our old friend - the monitor - last night. Brooklyn gave us a bit of a scare at dinner. She fell asleep in Roger's arms, so we tucked her in her carseat. Roger happened to look over at her and asked me "Does she look pale to you?"
Oh my did she ever. Chalky white in fact. Like I've never seen that color on a baby before - and I'm a nurse! He moved so fast, I didn't have time to blink. He yanked her out of her carseat and put her on her belly and rubbed her back.
We're not sure what was going on and I didn't have time to assess if she was breathing or not. She woke up immediately, but it took her a good few minutes to get her rosy cheeks back. Once we got home she threw up everything she had eaten.
We're fairly certain she had a tummy bug, but still not sure what happened during dinner. She may have thrown up in her sleep and stopped breathing for a minute. Or maybe she was getting ready to puke and that was her body's way of getting ready. We're not sure.
So out came the pulse ox machine to give us some peace of mind. Overboard? Probably. But we'll keep it on her at night for a few days anyway.