What exactly, may I ask, does a newborn do? I mean, what fills their day? If you answered anything reminiscent of eat, sleep, and poop, then you, my friend are a smart person. Unfortunately, our little man, Roman wasn't doing two of those three things. He was sleeping ALL.THE.TIME, but he wasn't pooping and he wasn't eating.
I started freaking out a little bit. The time to take my little man home was quickly approaching and meanwhile he wasn't eating. Every couple hours he would be roused from his slumber by vomiting. Now, I know what normal I-was-just-recently-inside-the-womb gunk looks like and this was not it. This was bright, yellow bile. One more hilarious encounters was with one of his nurses. I showed her one of his spit up rags and said something along the lines of, "See, this isn't breast milk and it's not amniotic fluid. Something's wrong."
She looked at me with that expression that dripped condescension and said, "Oh no, honey, that's just colostrum."
"Unless y'all are breastfeeding my baby in the hallway, it isn't colostrum because he hasn't eaten in two days, so I think you have no clue what you are talking about. I want to see Cheri." Cheri was my doctor.
Basically, Cheri came in later that day to discharge us and instead Roman went through a barium swallow (it's torture watching your baby on an x-ray table at two days old screaming and puking and knowing you can't step in. torture.) and thankfully a very good friend who was also our nurse had the wherewithal to stop the test because it wasn't working and wheel all of us, baby included, back to our room. Within ten minutes Roman had an IV and I was on the phone with people telling them that he was being shipped to Crouse NICU (about 30 minutes away) and that he would have surgery. We were braced for surgery, a colostomy bag, the entirety of his intestines being removed, and no contact sports ever. At least that's what we were told. Roman had a bowel obstruction that filled his entire large intestine. I was bawling and frankly, overwhelmed. The transport team came, suited him up in his transport incubator and drove off with him. Paul and I followed a few minutes later.
My memories of this experience are simultaneously sharp and hazy. I remember the moment they told me about surgery vividly, but the moments of saying goodbye before he left on the ambulance are fuzzy. I remember the first cheeseburger and Coke I had as we waited for the specialists to see him so we could go back upstairs and touch him again. It was odd going from this baby as a part of me, to picking him up whenever I pleased, to having to ask permission to even touch him in the NICU. Surreal cannot even begin to describe it. I walked into our house at the time and had no idea what to do with myself because you're not supposed to leave your baby at the hospital...you're supposed to bring them home with you.
We don't have many pictures from this time, but here are a few of my little man in the NICU. This is after he had been there for a week so he was unhooked from most of his monitors and was wearing "big boy" clothes which really means, he didn't have to be naked anymore.