Our son is born on March, 18th, at 11.10am. The delivery went very well, although we were really anxious about it. Gestational diabetes could lead to a baby too big. Moreover, Leeloo’s cold with fever prevented her to have an epidural. But everything went well, without epidural, positioned on the side, in 7 h total. Unfortunately, Simon started his extra-uterine life the hard way…
As Leeloo is sick, she is lucky enough to have a room for herself, and rest a little after the delivery. We go to the private room after two quiet hours in the delivery room. Leeloo eats her lunch, I finish her leftovers. Leeloo’s parents should arrive in the evening.
Meanwhile, I go to Leeloo’s Grandmother to bring back our little Alice. I am a bit afraid that she could be disturbed with the birth of a little brother. Fortunately, Alice is alive and kicking, and she is delighted to see her mother, and seems very curious toward her little brother.
But our little Simon is not very warm, and after a few hours in the room, his body temperature is only about 35 ⁰C (95 ⁰F), low enough to worry the midwives who recommend immediate skin-to-skin hug to warm him a bit. But sadly this is not enough, Simon is still cold. As a consequence on Tuesday night he is put inside a incubator in Leeloo’s room, and the next day, Wednesday 19th, he is transported to the neo-natal department.
Complicated first days
Strangely enough, Leeloo and I are not really worried. Alice has always had a pretty low body temperature, around 36.4 ⁰C (97.5 ⁰F), same as Leeloo and Warly. For us, the explanation is pretty simple, Simon was perturbed by her mother’s fever during the last days before the delivery, and he compensated with a lower body temperature. However, for the doctors, a lower body temperature is always sign of an infection, they were really specific about that, so there is no place for guessing. He has to be treated.
Poor little Simon starts his life with a heavy antibiotics treatment, and a heat cure far away from his mum. We do not question the doctors’ judgment, we do not want to take any risk, we could miss a real problem and this could lead to very serious consequences. Still, the current situation is very hard to bear by Leeloo. The period after the delivery is particularly difficult for the new mum, and having Simon far away is not really helping. Leeloo has to walk a long way to see her child each time she wants to breastfeed him. It is nearly impossible to sleep in the neo-natal department. Thankfully there is a basic bed, but there are also half a dozen babies linked to beeping and blinking machines, with noisy alerts every ten minutes, when a probe fells off. So it makes it impossible to rest there.
I spend most of Wednesday with Simon, but I come back home early, to see my little Alice, who seems to enjoy a lot spending quality time with her grandparents. Leeloo is still alone in her room, and the midwives wear masks to come to see her, a precaution until the source of her infection is known. On Thursday, Leeloo is so tired that I recommend her to let the midwives feed Simon during the night with artificial milk, so that she could rest a little and get her strengths back for the following days.
The end of the hypothermia
On Thursday, 20th, we start to see the end of the tunnel, Simon is raising his body temperature little by little, and after the whole Wednesday under a controlled heat of 38 ⁰C (100.4 ⁰C), he managed to spend the entire night maintaining himself his body temperature at 36.3 ⁰C (97.3 ⁰C).
For Leeloo and me, this is sufficient, but the pediatricians are not satisfied, and are still looking for the infection source; so Simon has multiple blood tests, and he still has an antibiotics drip; on top of that he has a second drip with sugar water, because the incubator makes him sweat a lot. This has a good consequence, Simon has not lost weight yes, and we are crossing our fingers for him to start gaining weight rapidly once the hypothermia is finished. This is a ticket back to our home, as the baby has to gain weight before we could leave from the hospital.
Simon is not the only one suffering extensive testing and probing, her mum too. Leeloo has several blood samples and also all kind of other things coming out from her body: saliva, phlegm in the back of the throat, pee, poo… Unfortunately we will not have the result of the analysis before several days as this is another hospital which is searching for the infection source. On Thursday afternoon, Simon can stay with his mother in her room, but he has to come back to the neo-natal department for the night. Leeloo is using a breast pump to stimulate her breast, but she has no milk yet. Simon is not under sugar drip anymore and he starts to lose weight, but nothing serious.
Coming back home
On Friday, Simon’s body temperature is normal, but we are still waiting for the analysis results. Simon leaves definitively the neo-natal department and joins his mother for good. He is suckling very often, even if she has no milk yet. We are not very confident to be authorize to go back home the next day, because on Saturdays, the pediatricians are very busy and not really dedicated to validate departures. Moreover, Simon has not yet gain weight… On Friday night, the results of the analysis arrive, no known infection was detected. So likely, Leeloo has only a basic cold, and Simon, nothing. Finally, doctors couldn’t explain the hypothermia.
We are a bit surprised, they were so persuaded of the contrary, but they are more moderate now. In the end, we stay with our theory of Simon compensating for his mother high body temperature due to her cold. Maybe this is not the real explanation, but this is the best we can come with, and the doctors have none, so… Anyway, Simon is healthy, he has no (known) illness, and thanks to his frequent suckling, her mother has now milk to offer, and we are happy to discover, on Saturday morning, that he has gain weight!
On Saturday afternoon, we are convinced that we would only go home the next day, when a pediatrician, in the late afternoon, accept to let us go! The four first days of our son were really exhausting and worrisome, but in the end everything is fine and we hare happy to go home.