Following Ezra’s speedy entrance into the world, the nurses noticed that he was shivering and his temperature was a little low. They took him to the nursery to put him under the warmer to help his temperature. After he was warmed up, they brought him to us in my recovery room. When the nurse came to check his temperature later, it was low again. They took him back to the nursery to keep an eye on him and hubby and I tried to get some rest since it was about 2am.
At 3am, the hospital’s pediatrician came up and woke us up to tell us they were going to rush Ezra off to the NICU because his temperature was still too low. A temperature that is too low or too high can indicate an infection. She told us they’d be doing a spinal tap to rule out meningitis as well as a blood culture. She was very abrupt and she scared the crap out of us.
The spinal tap test results were thankfully negative, but we had to wait 24 hours for the first blood culture results. Meanwhile Ezra still wasn’t maintaining his temperature where it needed to be. They decided to put him in an isolette to give him a better chance of warming up. They also considered him to be a late term preemie since he came at 37 weeks 6 days (my OB considers 37 weeks full term, the hospital considers 38 weeks full term).
I was released from the hospital on the 24th, Christmas Eve morning. Leaving the hospital without our baby was awful. Christmas Eve was so depressing. We are fortunate to only live about 10 minutes from the hospital so we went back every 3 hours so I could feed Ezra. That evening, between his 5:00 and 8:00 feedings, we went to grab some dinner and of course, it being Christmas Eve, most places were closed. We found a Japanese restaurant that was open and I cried all through dinner. My sweet little boy Zain wiped away my tears, hugged me and said “it’s okay, mommy.” Of course, that made me cry even more. That kid amazes me.
Christmas day wasn’t much better. We only gave Zain about a quarter of his presents because we didn’t have time for a real Christmas morning since we needed to get to the hospital – we planned a Christmas morning redo for when Ezra would come home. We spent most of Christmas morning at the hospital. Christmas breakfast and lunch were consumed in the hospital cafeteria, but hey, lunch was free! It was pretty depressing. Not only was it incredibly hard having our baby in the hospital for Christmas, but we couldn’t give Zain the big and exciting Christmas we wanted to. I’m so thankful for my family who brought everything for Christmas dinner to our house so that it could still be special for Zain and we could go back and forth to the hospital. They spoiled him with so many new toys that I don’t think he even noticed we weren’t there half the time.
Not being able to be with Zain the whole day and having to leave Ezra at the hospital after each visit was really heart wrenching. There were a lot more tears.
We are incredibly grateful that Ezra is healthy and he had a very short stay in the NICU compared to most of the babies there. All of his test results were negative, he just needed a little extra help in regulating his body temperature. My heart really goes out to all the parents whose babies have to stay in the NICU for weeks or months and they face much scarier obstacles. Ezra’s 5 days in the NICU were short in the scheme of things, but they were still some of the toughest days my husband and I have had. I think the fact that his NICU days coincided with Christmas was a big reason why we struggled with it so much.
Ezra came home on Thursday, the 27th after he was able to maintain his temperature for 24 hours outside the isolette. Zain has been thrilled to have his baby brother at home. He loves to give him kisses and rub his head and say “good boy.”