A few hours had passed in the NICU and we discovered that Noah had what is called HIE (Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy) Which basically means that he suffered a loss of oxygen to his brain due to a lack of blood flow. The cause of this is unknown. It usually happens when there are problems with the cord, placenta, infections, etc. But in our case nothing showed up and we will probably never know what went wrong. Noah's Apgar scores were 1, 3 and 4. Noah underwent 72 hours of cooling treatment - from what I understand this is to help minimise any further brain injuries. At this stage we just had to wait and see....
When Noah was 10 days old we got the MRI results. They showed widespread damage to very key areas of his brain. They also showed degeneration of the spinal cord and a small haemorrage, both due to the brain damage. Noah also had an EEG which showed very abnormal brain activity. We were devastated and shocked and angry and all those words all at once. We couldn't believed that this would happen to us. The Doctors at KEMH were absolutely awesome. We spoke with them a lot about the results and what we could expect. We decided that we didn't want any more medical intervention to prolong Noah's life. This was the hardest most heart breaking decision we have ever made but we believe it is for the best. We didn't want to see Noah suffer.
Noah came off the ventilator and started to stabilise. It started to sink in exactly what we were in for. I have never been so scared in my whole life. Not only did we have a new baby with all the normal things to handle but now we had to deal with a whole, whole lot more.
Due to Noah's brain damage he is not able to suck or swallow. We don't know if he can see and we think he can hear, but minimally. He is very stiff in his limbs at times and his trunk is very floppy. A lot of his basic reflexes are absent and some are very overly sensitive. Due to him not sucking or swallowing he has a nasal-gastric tube that he is fed through. At that point we didn't know what to expect and were visiting Noah in hospital every day. Its all a bit of a blur really.