Tonight we learned that our five day old son Micah has come into secondary contact with a serious strain of the influenza virus. He is in quarantine in the NICU, and will have to remain there for at least the next ten days. Anytime we want to see him, we have to put on a surgical gown, mask and gloves. He is allowed no skin contact with anyone during his time in quarantine, and what's worse is that once we have been in Micah's room, we are no longer allowed to go see his sister, Malorie, for the rest of the day.
I want to stress to all of our families and friends that Micah is not sick. However, a health care professional treated his roommate, and then went home sick. Today, that health care professional came down with a Type A flu, and is now being tested to see if it is the H1N1 or any other strain of Type A flu. The hospital administrator who spoke with us told us that if Micah is going to get sick, he will likely do so in the next 3-5 days.
Obviously this news is devastating to us. Our child is not ill, and we thank God with all our hearts for that. However, we are now faced with several days of fear, anxiety and tension. Every time he sneezes or burps up some milk we will wonder if it is the first signs. We have been praying for him to keep his body temp up. Now we will pray he does not run a fever. We can not touch him, stroke his face, hug him or kiss him goodnight without a barrier. For at least the next ten days, every time he reaches out to grab my finger, all he will feel is latex. And then, we are left to wonder if we are putting his sister at risk just by being near him.
If that news weren't hard enough, Malorie was unable to maintain her body temp, and has gone back onto the warming bed. This time, it will be for at least a few days. She was not taking full meals and began to fight against the bottle. When it came time to weigh her, she had dropped too much of her precious little weight, and so she was given an NG tube. After several failed attempts to place the tube, the nurse concluded that the smallest tube available was still just too large to make it down her tiny nose. The ideal placement for the tube now out of the picture, it was instead inserted through her mouth. Now, she will be offered a bottle, but if she resists or is unable to eat her minimum amount of milk, the milk will be pumped into her stomach.
Finally, Rachel was discharged from the hospital today. She is still recovering from her Cesarean section delivery, and obviously distraught about coming home empty handed. Pile on top of that the news about each child, and the possible infection caused by an unforeseen metal allergy to the staples used on her incision, and is hurting literally and figuratively. All of the good vibes from this morning have seemed to just vaporize like dew off the morning grass. If you haven't made the "ooooooof" sound yet, feel free to do so now.
OK, now that we all have that out of our systems... Tomorrow is a new day. Rachel, her mother and I will wake up and praise God for all the wonderous blessings He has given us, and will then support each other through what will likely be a difficult day. However, I am convinced that tomorrow will be a better day, because where I come from, you can only get punched in the stomach so many times before you start to fight back.