Today we went for our consultation at the RNICU (Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and met with Dr. Said Omar, the head Neonatologist at Sparrow. It was quite informative and answered a good chunk of our questions about Colten’s care after he is delivered, and a few about the surgery itself. There are still many unknowns due to the fact that we simply don’t know what issues he might have on top of the Spina Bifida, but Dr. Omar was very helpful in the more concrete areas.
It was confirmed that ONLY parents and grandparents are allowed to visit Colten in the NICU, and that grandparents can only visit from 12pm-7pm and must be accompanied by either Richard or me. Colten will go right to the NICU after delivery and be there until he’s released from the hospital. Immediately after delivery, barring any emergency issues, Dr. Omar said that we might get to touch and kiss Colten before he’s taken to the NICU but won’t have a lot of time with him. Depending on how he is and a variety of other factors, we MIGHT even get to hold him again before surgery, especially if the only thing he’s hooked up to is an IV (he’ll initially be fed only glucose, water and electrolytes, probably antibiotics in there too). Big “maybes” but I’ll take a maybe over a flat-out NO right now. Surgery ideally is done by about 24 hours after delivery but will depend on when we deliver and any other complications.He would not state how long surgery might last because every child and case is so different and has so many variables.Prior to surgery, Cole will have a CAT scan, possibly heart monitoring if needed, and will be watched for hydrocephalus. After surgery he will be monitored for bladder/bowel function and digestion issues.
We got to see the type of bed Colten will be in – basically a plastic box with two holes for arms to reach through. All the babies had their own blanket over the top lid and some had pictures and other personal items in their area of the NICU room. He will be placed on his stomach until after surgery so as not to rupture the sac. They’ll cover him with a clear plastic “blanket”, kind of like a Saran Wrap thing, that will keep the sac protected from injury or infection.
We were happy to see signs around the NICU hallway that promoted skin-to-skin and Kangaroo Care. We hope Cole can spend enough time OUT of his bed and on us, especially post-op. Being full-term, barring any other complications, this should be something we can look forward to. We just have to take extreme caution holding him because of his spinal surgery of course.
That’s it for today. Tomorrow is our follow-up OBGYN appointment with Dr. Herta where we hope to find out the scheduled c-section date (I’m hoping for early next week as I feel I’m about “done”). Because I tend to go early, we prefer them schedule this sooner rather than later. Even though whenever we go in, there will obviously be plenty of specialists to take care of everything, everyone keeps reiterating that “during the week, during the day” is the optimal time for the absolute best care. So let’s hope we get scheduled for next week, or Cole might get impatient!