A Perfectly Normal Pregnancy
I was overjoyed when I found out I was expecting my third baby boy. He was 18 weeks and right on schedule.
This pregnancy was no different than my previous two. I gained 45 pounds, measured correctly the entire time, and had no reason for multiple ultrasounds or other diagnostic tests.
I talked my doctor into delivering the baby two weeks early. My husband would have six days off and I needed the extra help with our two other kids at home while I recovered in the hospital. The doctor decided it would be okay, as I had no complications and my other boys had been healthy, eight pound babies.
Peyton is Born
Peyton James was born on Feb. 7, 2014 via C-Section. He weighed only 3 lbs 15 oz. His umbilical cord was the size of the straw. While I had been eating for two, Peyton had been getting very little nutrition from me. That was one of the most heartbreaking things I learned that day. We survived the night, but he spent a lot of it under the warmer. He couldn’t keep his temperature up and his blood sugar was a roller coaster.
Our doctor said we needed to go to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, UT. We live in Grace, Idaho, which is about two and a half hours away. At 8 a.m., we were told the NICU team from Portneuf Medical was coming to transport Peyton by ambulance to Primary Children’s. My husband was able to ride with him. I have never left any of my babies before they were 5 months old and now I had to let my one day old baby go. My doctor was kind enough to discharge me with promises that I would take care of myself after the C-Section. My in-laws drove me to a Salt Lake City and my parents watched our two other boys.
At the Hospital
Primary Children’s Hospital would be Peyton’s home for the next 73 days. We met with endocrinologists, nephrologists, and geneticists the first week. The doctors unofficially diagnosed my baby with Neonatal Diabetes while they sent his blood work to a lab in the United Kingdom that specializes in Neonatal Diabetes.
Peyton didn’t have enough energy to finish his bottles, so he had an NG tube inserted to help him get enough nutrients. Every time the nurses tried to inject him with insulin it would just ooze out. He had no body fat and had already lost weight. At this point, he only weighed 3 lbs 9 oz. Next, Peyton had a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) that kept constant low doses of insulin going into his bloodstream.
From day one, Peyton’s glucose levels were a roller coaster, ranging anywhere from 40 to 400 mg/dL. (A normal level is considered to between 80-110 mg/dL). I have never been around a diabetic and had no idea what to do or what to expect. Our lowest moment came when Peyton’s glucose level spiked to 600. He stopped breathing twice and the nurses had to put him on oxygen. That was the worst night of my life, knowing I could lose my little boy.
We got Peyton’s results back from the UK and he was diagnosed with 6q24 Transient Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus. The diabetes is intermittent and will likely go away when he is 3-6 months old and then return permanently when he hits puberty. The way his endocrinologist describes it, his pancreas will be healthy when he is healthy and sick when he is sick.
Days finally became more positive. Peyton gained weight and we learned how to check his levels with a glucometer and how to do insulin injections.
I’m so happy to say that on April 22, 2014 Peyton was discharged from the hospital. He is now 9 months old and thriving. Most people have no idea what his first 2.5 months of life were like. He is small for his age, but in time he will catch up.
If someone had asked me five years ago what I though my life would be like, it wouldn’t be this, and yet I am extremely grateful for this trial. I am a stronger person and parent because of it. Peyton started out as a survivor and will always be a fighter. Without the help of our parents and wonderful community, we would not have been able to drive back and forth to see Peyton. Primary Children’s and their amazing NICU nurses saved my baby and took the best care possible of him when I couldn’t be there.
I have a completely different outlook on life now. God could have taken Peyton as his angel, but instead He gave us one of the most special babies and granted us the blessing of being his parents.
Story Lines is a feature on Play Ground telling the personal stories and experiences of people cared for at the hospital. If you would like to share your experience on the blog, please contact us.