Today we got to participate in the hands on time at 2:00. We were also hoping to help out at 8:00, but our nurse did her hands on time early since Elise needed another blood gas at 8:00. Our nurse felt awful that she went ahead, but she didn't know. This process is truly a live and learn process...we will call ahead next time so the nurse can expect Elise's mommy and daddy. No biggie!
At 2:00, Daddy got to take Elise's temperature. The diaper changing is still proving to be a bit of a challenge with all of her wires and tubing. We will continue to watch the nurses and learn so that someday we can be brave enough to do it. Once she comes off some of the wiring, I think our confidence will improve. NICU nurses are very protective of their babies and we love that. They know parents would feel absolutely awful if a tube was pulled out or a wire stretched.
When we returned at 8:00 the nurse gave us a quick update. As of this morning, Elise is off ALL HER BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICINES!! Her hydrocortisone shots have been cut in half. Her oscillator has been turned down slightly and her oxygen fluctuates between 20-25%. Room air is approx. 21% so that is very good! We tucked her in for the night and sent kisses through the glass. I absolutely ache for the day that I can hold her...I know it will come. I just have to be patient and let her continue to build strength. She is not even a week old and look how far she has come?? Proud Momma here.
Her PDA in her heart (an opening that many preemies have) has NOT started to show problems...yet. We will have another heart and head scan on Wednesday to check for head bleeding and to check on the PDA. There is a small chance the PDA will close on its own...however, a more realistic chance that she will have to have surgery down the road. We just hope and pray she becomes stronger before the surgery because it is very hard on the preemies. Her numbers will decline for a few days after the surgery. The surgery will be our next critical time. This Momma hopes that with enough prayer the PDA closes on its own. If it doesn't close, my prayer is that she can be much, much stronger before she has to endure this surgery.
Before I close, I have to tell you all how much I appreciate my amazing husband. For those of you who don't know, G is a med-peds doctor. He double boarded in internal medicine and pediatrics at IU. As you read from his Doctor vs. Daddy post, I flooded him with OB questions the last 6 months that sometimes he could not answer. Now that Elise has arrived, I flood him with baby questions. What do these numbers mean? What did the doctor just say? What do you think about this? Etc. Etc. Etc. I was thinking tonight...I am an English Language Learner in the NICU :) I also think about how lucky am I...how many mothers are in the NICU right now with no fathers or fathers who do not have any medical background? I remind myself of how lucky I am when I get down emotionally or want to scream, "Why me??"
Until tomorrow...hoping for another strong day from my little lady Elise!