"Sometimes," said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."

Friday, October 8, 2010

A blissfully boring, uneventful night/day in the NICU

6 days old/days in the NICU
Weight: 2 lbs 11 oz (+1 ounce)

Health Update: Today was an exciting day. Ella received another transfusion which helped her blood pressure to the point where they were able to wean her off the BP meds. It's kind of weird for me to think about the fact that saying getting a blood transfusion is such an exciting thing but it's so minor to us at this point, and helps so much, that it just doesn't even faze me! They check her blood gas quite often and each and every single time they did, it got just a little bit better, which meant they were able to wean her vent a little each day. She's still on it (has never been OFF it since she was put on it, in fact) and I'm sure she will be for a while, but she's reacting well to the pressure being slowly lowered. She had another chest x-ray and they are positive she has pneumonia. Luckily they've been treating her with antibiotics since Wednesday for pneumonia and she seems to be responding well to them. They are still keeping her mildly sedated because she gets so excited easily and she's very active so she burns a lot of energy. She also gets upset easily so keeping her sedated is the healthiest thing for her. It's not like on Wednesday when they gave her something that paralyzed all the muscles in her body (ick!! so scary!), it's just something to keep her calm, keep her sleeping and keep her from being in any pain. Today, Ella also got an ultrasound done of her brain. This is routine for all preemie's to check if they have any bleeding in their brain. When a fetus is growing, they have vessels in their brain that help provide nutrition to their brain. By the time they are born full term, the vessels are gone. With preemies, they are born with the vessels still in their brains and in about 5% of preemie babies, they have severe bleeding which can cause severe mental deformities. We were extremely nervous about this test, of course, because that would totally change Ella's (and ours and Olivia's) lives. We would, of course, deal with it and take whatever God handed to us, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be extremely stressful. We were relieved to have the doctor call us and tell us that Ella has the most minor grade there is, which is the equivalent of a small bruise on her brain and essentially means nothing. It was one less thing we had to worry about. I'm so overwhelmed with pride for my sweet baby girl. She is so brave and such a fighter. All of this will just make her a better, stronger person. I know that it has already made us so. Shane and I have become closer and stronger as a couple in only the weeks time that we've been on this roller coaster and our family is tighter.

I have a really fun story I'd like to share with everyone too. Every 4 hours, Ella receives "cares". So they check her temperature, change her diaper (which by the way, Ella absolutely DESPISES having her diaper changed! Her oxygen level drops because she gets mad at having her legs messed with!), do "oral care" with breast milk, etc. Well, when we're there, we help out with the cares, which is such an intimate thing to be able to share with your baby that has to lay in an incubator all day, away from your aching arms! Last night, I had the idea that I'd like to express fresh breast milk and give it to her for her oral care because then she would be able to experience the warmth and taste of fresh breast milk. Plus, it was just a sweet, intimate experience for me to be able to feed that to her. The closest thing I can in regards to breastfeeding her right now! So I pumped some fresh breast milk and used a q-tip to moisten her lips and put breast milk in her mouth.

I also got to pick her up today, which of COURSE, I cried during. I didn't get to hold her, she gets far too distressed easily right now while being held, so she has to stay in the incubator. She had to get weighed though and the nurse, whom I adored, let me pick her up while she zeroed out the scale. I actually got to do it twice because she wanted to double check. I wanted to crawl into that incubator and cuddle her against my chest, but at least I got to have her in my hands and feel her precious weight against my fingers.

Also, here are some pictures of Olivia playing at the Sibling Play Room at Children's. We bring her and I bring her in there while Shane visits Ella and then we switch off. I love how this hospital does everything they can to make this as easy as possible for families!

1 comment:

  1. Doesn't Olivia look so big now? Great news on Ella! Will keep praying. I tried to post a few days ago that my Bible Study group was praying for her as well, but I don't think the comment went through. Lots of prayer going on for your little girl!