Thank you to everyone that has sent us love and well wishes from around the world. It has provided us with the much needed strength and support necessary to survive the hours and days since Simon’s grand entrance into our lives.
Simon is going to be fine, but as of right now, we are still calling the wonderful hospital where he was born our temporary home. Shortly after being born, while getting his first bath, our sweet boy showed signs of having some respiratory issues. After multiple tests and a chest x-ray, it was determined that he was born with congenital pneumonia. His pediatrician hasn’t pinpointed the source of the infection, but it could have come from one of a multitude of sources– an underlying asymptomatic infection that Mama D has, an infection introduced via one of the cervical checks in the three and a half days leading to Simon’s arrival, something present in his amniotic fluid, etc. The list is extensive so we will likely never know.
His treatment plan has primarily been IV antibiotics and monitoring by the nursing staff here. By all outward appearances, our little chunk has no issues. He’s even started to look like a normal baby and not an overfilled water balloon. 🙂 But, similarly to an adult course of antibiotics, you have to finish the entire regimen of medication in order to ensure that the infection doesn’t return. For him, that means a seven day stay in the hospital with us. Thankfully, we have been able to stay in Mama D’s postpartum room at the military hospital, where there are two hospital beds for us to sleep in and we are able to maintain some sense of normalcy (versus the other option for him, which included a transfer one of the many local Korean NICUs, which are notoriously known for limiting visitation to 2x 30 minute visits per day).
The staff at our hospital has been wonderful, going above and beyond to provide all three of us with top notch care. They have treated Simon as if he was their own flesh and blood, singing to him to calm him, rocking him to sleep, or taking care of him for a few stretches at night so that we can get some much needed sleep. I am pretty sure that they are just as smitten with him as we are.
Mama D is doing fine after essentially delivering a ten pound bowling ball and has been breastfeeding our little chunk like a champ. Simon — being born with super strong jaw muscles, akin to that of a two month old — has caused some pretty gnarly pain issues for Mama D during feeding. Until she can adjust a little more to his jaw, the lactation consultant here has been great with helping Mama M set up a way to feed Simon pumped breastmilk without the use of a bottle. She is able to tape a preemie feeding tube to her finger that is then attached to either a large syringe filled with milk or else dangled like a straw into a container of milk. Simon can then feed off of Mama M’s finger, while still getting all of the benefits of breastmilk.
Mama M has become the Baby Whisperer, mastering the art of instantly calming a screaming Simon. Our little family unit is slowly finding a rhythm despite the circumstances. We are looking forward to starting our life in our own home, introducing Simon to his big fur brothers, Fletcher and Koda, and future visits by family and friends to Korea to come and meet the newest addition to our family.
I promise to write more once we catch up on a little more sleep and break out of the hospital 🙂