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.