August 30 2014. Saturday. The first night over and the first morning with Megan being out of the hospital has begun.
This day and the following days consisted of lots of talks with the nurses and doctors. The nurses would have 12 hour shifts and Luca had two nurses at all times. One to watch his regular medicine and fluids and the other was monitoring the life support system and for any blood clotting. The nurses would switch shifts every morning and evening around 7. And during every single switch we were there to hear how Luca was doing as the doctors also made their rounds to give heir expectations and plans for the day or night. Yesterday was the day that Luca had coded and was now the sickest child in the hospital. He was now on a ventilator that is a breathing machine, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO),which is a heart and lung bypass machine.
Megans parents and my dad were there for Luca’s birth and attended the Luca Knows Heart game against my hometown team, DC United, the night before. My mom wasn’t able to get off work but was scheduled to come in the upcoming weeks or month. When Luca coded the doctors told my dad “if the family wants to see him they better get here as soon as possible.” My mom booked a flight soon after those doctors words and got to LA the next morning. My aunt and uncle, who live in LA, were back and forth from work, the hospital, and airport during these first couple days. Even if they weren’t able to see Luca they would just bring food and sit for hours in the waiting room with everyone. Besides us parents there were only two other people allowed in his room at once. Every entrance and exit required two pumps of hand sanitizer and my hands never felt so clean.
For the first day we didn’t have to go back and forth to two different hospital as Megan was discharged yesterday. She was still in a tremendous amount of pain and her body, especially her feet were swollen. We would prop her legs up on the small ledge of a bed we had in Luca’s hospital room. This was our first full day as a family but I was dealing with a wife recovering from a c-section 48 hours earlier, and my son who was fighting for his life.
Throughout the day once we finally got settled in from the nightmare the day before, we were able to use some of the things I brought from home. My nephews sent Luca a dog stuffed animal that I had brought so they could see pictures of him with something they had picked out. I brought my iPad to the hospital and I was showing Luca his first soccer matches. I had always imagined him being a soccer star and coming into the StubHub Center with me, as I saw so many other dads do on my team.
With all the bad news we had already gotten the first couple days we then learned how to get Luca to open his eyes more willingly today. He was under a heat lamp and the lights were bright and shining on his face and body. We would cover the light from shining in his eyes with our hands or heads and stand over top of him as he would open his eyes.
Since birth, Luca had a difficult time releasing fluids and nurses also wanted him to begin pooping. This was concerning and our little guy was now getting jaundice and starting to swell up since he wasn’t releasing his fluids. During the night nurse switch the main focus was trying to get him do just that. In now the third night my father in law slept in Luca’s room and my parents went to stay at my aunt and uncles house. Megan and I went and stayed at Ronald McDonald house along with her mother trying to get rest and return early the next morning.