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It’s all About AJ!

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Andrew Jason Niehoff arrived safely on Monday, August 10, 2015 at 8:55am. He weighed 6lbs and was 19.5inches. Pretty good stats for being 5 weeks early. We are in love with our little man and can’t wait to get him home! He is absolutely precious.

Being early, he has had a few hurdles to get over. He has been in the Special Care Nursery, which is a unit between the regular nursery and the NICU. They have a smaller nurse to baby ratio and are more equipped to handle premature babies. We have been so impressed with all of the doctors and nurses. They keep us informed and involved. One of the doctors even came to my room when I was unable to visit AJ to give me an update. AJ was put on C-PAP machine immediately after he was born to regulate his breathing. He was also put on an IV to regulate his fluids. He was put in a special bed that had a heater to regulate his body temp. Lots of wires and tubes. He was weaned off of the oxygen and has had some trials in an open crib (no heater). We are hoping today is successful in the open crib.

I am feeling a lot better and stronger everyday. My surgery was quite extensive. I don’t know all the details and honestly don’t want to know. Here is what I know…I counted 15 doctors in the room before they even started working on my epidural. Jason said that number doubled by the time he was escorted out. They told me if things were going well, I would get to stay awake for the entire surgery. I was asleep seconds after AJ was born, I didn’t even get to see him. I lost my body’s volume worth of blood. I was pumped with one unit of blood every 15 minutes for a total of 12 units. My brain, lungs, and heart were never effected by the trauma of that type of blood loss. The doctors took my uterus and Fallopian tubes but left my ovaries. Luckily, my bladder and other organs were not affected.

I don’t remember much of Monday. They kept me well sedated in the ICU! I do remember waking up in the night and realizing that I had a breathing tube. When I realized it was not coming out, I communicated that I was in pain so that they would give me more medicine to make me sleep.

Tuesday morning, they woke me all the way (stop the sedation medications) and I was not a happy camper. I started to have a panic attack about the breathing tube. I acted like a spoiled brat and finally got the tube out (in the process I bit my tongue pretty hard which has been quite annoying). My body hurt. I had 3 IV’s and a blood pressure monitor in my right arm, 2 ports in my left arm, a PICC line in my neck, epidural in my back, and a catheter. My body was swollen, more swollen than I had ever seen anyone. All the medicines and fluids that were pumped into me during the 3 hour surgery were not leaving my body. I was given medicine to start the process of draining these extra fluids. I won’t go into the details but they exited quickly! Because I was draining so quickly, they had to start me on Magnesium and Potassium. I also was getting pain medication through the epidural. My right leg was completely numb from the epidural. My blood pressure then started to run high which they think may have been from some of the medications, so they gave me a medication to lower my blood pressure. Also, I spiked a low grade fever of 100.8 or less a few times. The doctors said this was normal in reaction to the trauma.

All this time, Jason was keeping our close family updated via texting and phone calls as well as running between ICU and the Special Care Unit. Each time he would swap blankets for me and AJ. I was devastated that I couldn’t see him, hold him, and be there for him. The blankets helped me feel like I was part of it. Jason also would FaceTime me while he was in the nursery with AJ which made me feel better as well. My nurse, who I swear must have been from Jersey, got special permission to bring me to AJ. Remember all those wires and ports had to come along. She made sure that we understood that this may be too overwhelming for me and that was okay, I just needed to be honest with her about how I felt. I didn’t care how much it hurt, I was going to see that sweet boy. He needed to know his momma was near by to help him! I only lasted 20 minutes but it was so worth it! I appreciate all the work and coordination it took more than she will ever know!

Wednesday, was a big turnaround day! Swelling was almost gone. Tubes got pulled from everywhere! I only have one IV which they will not take until I am leaving. I was able to go see AJ more and start nursing. We were moved from ICU to a regular room.

Our newest update as of right now is that both AJ and I are doing good. I have been fever free for 24 hours a. I am eating solid food again and just got my first shower post-op! I am off all medication except pain medication, iron, and a multi-vitamin. The doctors are very impressed with my quick turn around and recovery and are looking to discharge me tomorrow which is remarkable!

As for AJ he is doing good too. He is holding down about 25-30 CCs of food which is about 1 oz of food. He is also getting some breast milk which is awesome for him and for me. They started weaning him off his IV fluids and have his IV down to 7.9. He is off all breathing devices. He got back out of the warming bed again today and has been able to keep his temp at 98.7 or higher so that’s promising. They are saying he will be less than a another week longer in the special care nursery but aren’t sure when he will be discharged yet. We would love for AJ to be discharged with me, but that looks unlikely. Thank you so much for all the love and support! We plan to keep updating on the blog.

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