Walking into the larger NICU that Asher was transferred to was very overwhelming. It seemed like such a medical sterile environment and walking past the newborn nursery to get into the NICU was almost physically painful. To see all the happy families smiling and pointing at their new "healthy" babies was very difficult. The nurses and doctors were for the most part all very helpful and supportive.
The first night we spoke with a neurologist that explained to us that Asher had a grade IV bleed on the right side of his brain and a grade II bleed on the left side. He explained that bleeds are graded from I to IV with IV being the most severe. He did not give us false hope and made it clear that Asher would have lasting effects. It was explained to us that they usually see grade IV bleeds in severely premature infants and that it was surprising that Asher being a good weight at birth (5lbs.11oz.) and being basically full term was having these issues. The term cerebral palsy was mentioned very early on in Asher's NICU stay and we were basically told he would have some form of cp it was just too difficult to determine how severe it would be. Neither of us knew anyone with cerebral palsy and the thought seemed very frightening and overwhelming Because of the bleed in Asher's brain there was also a concern that he would have a hard time draining the blood and we were told that he may require a vp shunt.
Asher was still having a difficult time with his glucose level and his blood was having a hard time clotting. He needed two platelet transfusions. The doctor's had no idea what had caused the seizures, the brain bleed, the low glucose or the clotting problems. He was tested for everything imaginable and I mean everything. It all came back normal. Because of the seizures Asher was but on an anti-seizure medicine with made him very sleepy. He wasn't able to breast feed and couldn't even take a bottle. He had a feeding tube that went down his nose and was hooked up to tons of machines and drips. I was so scared to hold him or change his diapers but the NICU nurses did a great job getting me familiar with how to handle Asher's care. I was able to change him, hold him and down the road I was able to try to bottle and breast feed him. Asher always had a hard time eating even through the feeding tube. When we first went to the NICU I was thinking we'd be there a week tops but as the nurses explained to me the NICU is like a roller coaster, there a lot of ups and downs.