I miss you Daddy! But thanks for working so we can pay all these hospital bills! :)
We arrived around 10 am. Lil' Tiger was on her side, not happy that she wasn't on her tummy, but doing well. Her CO2 was 73 at 4am. We would like it to be between 35-45, so we were a little bummed to see 73, but otherwise, she was in great condition!
As Rebecca and I sat there quietly chatting, I noticed Elise's oxygen started falling from 90....80...70. At this point, I'm still not very alarmed, but focused on her numbers and not so much on the latest People's magazine. Then she decided to drop to 50...35....22...13. This is when the nurse calls for help and the RT comes briskly around the corner. They turn her oxygen from 25 (her normal range) to 100 (maximum). Now her heart rate goes from normal 145 to 100...83...77. They quickly get in the isolette to see what is going wrong. They suctioned her tube and did get some fluid off, but she wasn't recovering right away....
I am sitting on the couch numb...watching her numbers like a hawk. I can't even cry. I can't even process or ask questions, but I am certainly screaming inside. What is happening???
Aaaannnndddd the roller coaster of the NICU has indeed shown its face again.
Fortunately, Elise did bounce back up after her "episode." We eventually got to turn down her oxygen to her normal 25% and put her on her tummy...her favorite position. They ordered an extra blood gas to see if something else was going on than just fluid in her tube. Her CO2 had actually improved slightly...down to 60.
Dr. Pyle, Elise's neonatologist this week, came over and sat down next to me on the couch. He could tell I was one spooked Momma. Dr. Pyle was fabulous and walked me through everything that had just happened. He said apnea (aka to stop breathing and scare your mother to death) is common in preemies. This actually wasn't the first time Elise had done this...just the first time this Momma had witnessed it. Dr. Pyle told me that the doctors have such a narrow pathway for her breathing tube that sometimes she can move it to one side and only inflate one lung. The other reason might be that she still has some fluid in her right lung. He decided to give her some lasix to hopefully release some of the fluid off her right lung.
Dr. Pyle went on to say that some kiddos only need a short 24 hours to recover from surgery, while others need longer. "I think your beauty is one of those kiddos that is going to need a few more days." To hear him call my daughter "a beauty" made my heart melt. She IS a beauty.
I hated to even text G at work about her "episode" but I wanted to bounce it past him. One of the many things I love about our relationship is that G is much more relaxed about things than I tend to be. Of course, he sees many adults drop their sats on ventilators. He has witnessed many codes. Babies are actually much more resilient than adults, so he knew Elise would be just fine once she stabilized. However, he hated that I had to see it because he knows the family members of the patients do get quite startled.
After having a great discussion with Dr. Pyle and hearing Daddy G reassure me, Rebecca and I went to lunch. I was torn at lunch. I wanted to spend more time with Elise before heading home. Our original plan was to go up for the morning, have lunch, then head home before Friday rush hour traffic got too crazy. Rebecca, being the great friend she is, said, "I think you'll feel better if we go back...so we should go back."
I did feel so much better. We spent the afternoon at her bedside watching her sleep while keeping her oxygen and heart rate levels near perfection! Her blood gas at 4:00 showed her CO2 didn't decrease much (60 to 59), so we are really hoping she just needs more recovery time to get the CO2 down.
In the end, Elise is going to do this on her own timing. Not my timing, and quite frankly, not the doctors' or nurses' timing. Dr. Pyle was so true when he said, "I work for Miss Elise."
Elise is preparing this Momma for a life-long change. No longer do I control everything in my life. Elise is going to control when she gets off the oscillator, when she shows us another poopy diaper, when she walks, when she talks, and the list goes on....
Dearest Daughter of Mine,
I know you are also going to control when you breathe. However, I beg you to keep that going the rest of your life or you are going to have an old, shriveled up, gray-haired mother by the age of 30.
Here's to a quiet night,
G & J & E