We have been on a brady count down for the past 5 days…a bringing Evan home count down.
For those of you that don’t know a “brady” is short for bradycardia, which is the term for slow heart rate. A brady for preemies is when their heart rate dips below a certain rate(100bmp). Thankfully preemies grow out of them as the part of their brain that controls their breathing matures.
In order for a baby to be discharged (from our NICU, it is different for all NICUs) a baby has to go 5 days without a brady.
That is why I haven’t written a super excited Evan is finally coming home post…I knew this wasn’t it.
On day 2 of 5 when out at the store with Kevin I stopped him and said, “you know what I know God is going to have Evan brady just when he needs to, to not come home if he isn’t ready…I have a real peace over the situation.”
We had been really scared and as the days ticked by we became even more afraid.
He was having bradys in his 5 day count down. But they weren’t counting them because they were self resolved and/or during feeds.
While they were ‘normal’ for his age, he hasn’t even reached his true due date yet, they were terrifying to us.
Every time I would feed him he would brady, at least twice.
For those of you who don’t know what a brady is like, imagine holding your child feeding them a bottle or breastfeeding them and all of the sudden they turn a hazy, dusky gray blue and seemingly check out. If they don’t automatically correct themselves and start to breathe again you have to intervene and stimulate them to get them to come around.
It is scary. It is normal, but it is terrifying.
We were even more concerned that they only way Evan wouldn’t constantly brady through his feeds was that we had the ‘luxury’ of watching his heart rate and oxygen stats on his monitor. We would watch his heart rate go from from the 160’s quickly dropping down to the 130’s or 120’s and we would stop his feed, give him a break and let him come around. Sometimes that wasn’t even enough though. Sometimes his heart rate would continue to drop past 100 bpm.
Then today I got the call that he had a brady, a bad one in his sleep.
The nurse had to stimulate him to get him to come around and since he wasn’t eating and it was in his sleep and he had to be stimulated he was not going to be discharged tomorrow.
As soon as she told me I felt sad and relieved at the same time.
I want him home but I knew it wasn’t the right time yet.
While we want him to be here with us and know being home is it’s own kind of medicine we aren’t a NICU.
We don’t have monitors or the experience the NICU nurses have.
Honestly every time he bradys I panic. In the beginning I would watch them finish typing their notes in the computer when the red flashing brady warning would go off and then they would walk over and watch Aiden or Evan in their brady episode and wonder, “why aren’t they doing something! Shake him! Rub him! Scream!”
I now realize A) screaming and shaking is way more harmful than a brady and totally irrational and B) it is important to give them a chance to self resolve.
The problem is I would always be so scared that it wouldn’t resolve, or that my intervention wouldn’t be enough or that it would happen in the middle of the night and we wouldn’t catch it.
The NP and I talked everything over and she felt that it was just important to let him mature a little bit more before he went home.
And I agree. I think that peace I had knowing a brady would happen, how it needed to happen and when it needed to happen was right. He just waited till the very last second to let us know he wasn’t ready!
The good news is both boys are doing well today, Evan is 100% ready to come home besides the bradys and Aiden has been moved up to 13mls on his feeds with a 5ml bottle once a day and has been tolerating it very well.
So we have an extra 5 days, maybe more to get the house even more ready for Evan and the boys get to be roomies for another week J
I know in my heart both boys will come home when the time is right.