Tuesday, August 12, 2008

One step forward...two back...and one forward!! ;)

It's safe to say that we are going to rest a little easier tonight than last night. The call we knew would eventually come, came in the middle of cake and ice cream last night. Luckily, it was not the distressing emergency call that some people have gotten...but your child's neonatologist never calls just to say hello.

As was said in the last post, Avery's belly was swollen, which is something that alerts the doctors that digestion isn't happening too well. The doctor said that the initial x-ray and labs showed nothing too alarming, but they were going to cautiously monitor for NEC. Ever the armchair doctor, I had just read the section on NEC in my preemies book, so I kind of knew what to expect. The percentages are low for her to contract an infection like NEC...but only .04-.06% of all pregnant women get HELLP syndrome... so you can probably understand that low percentages don't give us the comfort they once did!

It's hard to describe the feeling you get when you hear that your baby, who is already in the hospital, is having some trouble. It's not like the brick wall that hit us when the nurse told us out of the blue that Steph was sick. It's more of a constant worry, like a pilot flame, and someone has their hand on the valve, and things like this just turn up the flame, and it will go down again...but never really away. You're always worried...

We left our family party and went to visit Avery. I'll never forget the feeling of that NICU room. When they have the lights dimmed at night, you can walk in, and one of your favorite nurses greets you...I don't know any place that feels more like home right now. Of course, there's nothing we can really do... Avery's life is in the hands of very competent doctors, nurses, and a merciful Heavenly Father. But for us, it made all the difference to sit there and be comforted as a little family by a kindhearted nurse.

The doctors took Avery off the milk and started her on anti-biotics, and monitored her throughout the day. Her belly measured smaller and smaller. She actually got up to 2 lbs 3 oz... and was only down an ounce when they weighed her tonight. They figure that her little GI tract just isn't mature enough to handle the human milk fortifier... which isn't a shock, still only being 31 weeks old. But at least it's not NEC.

So, she'll start back over: cc for cc of milk. This little girl already knows something of fighting your way through life. We're priviledged enough to be spectators to the great miracle that she's working her best to make happen. Surely the prayers and flood of texts and emails from friends and family sustained her tired parents... but sitting there as a small family... everything else melts away as we watch that tiny body; her perfect little face...and her chest rising and falling as calmly as a Sunday afternoon nap...there is no question who is to thank for the miracle of our more restful sleep tonight.


Jackson said...

Steph, I was with Jennie and she told me about your little girl, and blog. I found it and had to read the entire thing!! Congratulations on a BEAUTIFUL little girl. She is adorable, and sounds so strong. This had me in tears many times, mom's feel these things soo strongly!! I am so happy to see how amazing she has done and how well the three of you are holding up! Looks like you have an amazing support system, and a husband that appreciates the little things as much as you do! That is a true blessing. We will keep you in our prayers.
love, Shandra

Brandy & Doug said...

Steph! Oh my goodness! She is so beautiful!!! I found your blog and I have loved reading about your little girl! I had a niece that was born at 32 weeks but she only measured 24 weeks! It has been so great to read your story about her ! We will keep you in our prayers! Love you both tons!

Ty & Jen said...

Well we are relieved to hear all is still well. You guys are amazing and have the best attitude ever! What an inspiration for us all! Love you guys tons. Keep hanging in there! We will continue to say prayers for your family ALWAYS! You guys rock!