Two steps forward then one step back

Hey, everyone. I’m posting another blog because I’m hearing through the grapevine that people want updates. So I’m posting them here so my poor mother and mother -in-law don’t have to give out the same info over and over and over. I know it’s exhausting for me to relay the same information time and time again; so what better way to get it all done with one fell swoop and answer everyone’s questions?

This week has been a somewhat hard week. A few days ago I got a phone call from one of the NICU doctors. He said they were all concerned about Abigail, because she was requiring more and more support to keep from having “spells,” which is basically when either her oxygen or her heart rate drops (their brains are still immature enough that they “forget” to breathe sometimes, especially when they are asleep. Eva especially seems to struggle with this, and the machine has to do that job for them.) He stated that this was an indication that something else was happening. So after doing some tests, they determined that she had pneumonia. It’s a little different than what we think pneumonia is. Because the girls need support for breathing, they have to have a tube run down their tracheae. These tubes can harbor moisture, and is a prime location for bacteria to set up residence. I wasn’t too comfortable hearing this, but the doctor (and later that night their nurse, Liz) assured me that infection is very common in the NICU. He prescribed a 7-day treatment of antibiotics to take care of it before it got bad, and it seems to be doing the trick. So we can tick that one off the list. Then the next day when I went to visit the nurse told me that a respiratory tech-in-training had left one of the doors to Abigail’s isolette open, which made the heater kick in and raise not only the temperature of her isolette but also her temperature. That one did irritate me. I understand things are going to be hard for my girls for a while, so I don’t need any careless mistakes making it worse. I did complain to the doctor, and thank goodness her nurse that day, Nicole, caught the tech’s mistake. When the tech came back to do some stuff I made Kevin watch her to make sure she didn’t do anything else to harm my baby while I went to go pump. Well, later that evening, I got ANOTHER phone call from the doctor to inform me that Abigail had extubated herself: literally, she yanked the tube going into her trachea out of her mouth and it slipped into her esophagus. It wasn’t an emergency, but that girl is definitely Kevin’s daughter. Anyway, as a result it blew some air in her tummy, so they had to put a tube in her belly to suction the air out. That also meant they stopped her feeds. It means that in the past few days she has lost a little weight and is down to 1 pound 9 ounces (down from 1 pound 12 ounces.) But on the flip side, her blood sugars have stabilized, and that has been an Achilles’ heel for her in the past. Plus the traumatic events of that day caused her to have huge poop, which is something both girls have a problem with. Then yesterday I found out that she would get an x-ray today to examine her belly. I’ts quite large (on Eva, too) and Morgan told me the doctors were suspecting something called pneumatosis. I wikipedia-ed it, and it indicates something far more serious called necrotizing enterocolitis, which is basically when intestinal tissue dies off. It sounded yucky and scary, but after the x-ray it came back negative, thank goodness. It looks like things are settling down for her now, and she will restart her feeds tomorrow. She is a very active little girl, opening her eyes every time her daddy and I visit. She knows our voices. 🙂 Activity is good since it means she’s not sickly.

Now it’s Eva’s turn to shine. Like I previously said, she also has a large belly but they are keeping their eyes on it. She is now at a scant 1025 grams (2 pounds 4 ounces.) I kid, of course. She is growing just beautifully. Now that she is over 1 kg we can start dressing her in real clothes! Grandma has already bought the girls outfits, and I can’t wait to dress her. I’m fighting a fever now, and when there is any indication of sickness we are not allowed to go down. Most of the babies in the NICU have no immune system, and I don’t want to possibly infect any of the babies there, let alone the girls. So once I’m all better I’ll go down and dress her and get some great pictures. 🙂 She also had a huge poop yesterday (finally! Who’d have thought poop could be so exciting?) and is doing so well on her vent settings that she will most likely get extubated in a couple of days! This is HUGE. She will have to wear a CPAP, those nice little oxygen tubes that stay in the nose. She didn’t like those last time, so pray she likes them better this time, because her risk of infection goes down if she’s on the CPAP. Also, she’s going to start taking some things orally instead of intravenously, which is also a big deal. Once she’s stable on oral intakes, her PIC line can come out, which is also a place that infections fester. If she can get both of those removed, it greatly increases her chances that she won’t get an infection. Abigail still has some catching up to do, but she will get there.

So keep praying for the girls! They are moving along quite nicely, and having both of them have a good day today really lifted my spirits. Conversely, my family could use some prayer for my Uncle Frank. He went into the hospital the day after the girls were born, and although it was just for a checkup it has developed into something significantly worse. He was diagnosed with cirrhosis (not due to alcohol) and had extremely high levels of ammonia in his system. The medical staff has been able to get most of it out of his system, but the fact that he is still unresponsive makes them suspect something else like a major stroke has occurred. A healing would be wonderful, but we don’t know what will happen. In the weeks leading up to my hospital stay he called me several times to chat, which was very unlike him. I just pray God’s will be done; that He will be glorified, but especially that my uncle found peace in a saving relationship. We will hopefully know more about his status tomorrow.

So that’s it! Thanks for your thoughts and prayers for the girls. I’m hoping everyone will get to see them after the several months of required isolation we will have to deal with when we get them home. I’m sure they can’t wait to meet all of you! Love you all. Hugs, too.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Janey Reinhardt
    Nov 29, 2010 @ 05:07:32

    it’s amazing how in one fell swoop, body fluids become nothing more than fluids (at least, when they’re from your own kid). I have to laugh inwardly at people who get grossed out when Gabe drools (really? Drool? Drool is the least of the evils!!!).

    So glad to hear that your two little fighters are keeping up with the challenges. Still thinking of and praying for you all.


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