Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Moving Away from Guilt

Elise got some Mom-Juice today!! The feedings are going very well. She starts out getting 2 ml every 4 hours. Her hands on times have now changed to every 4 hours as well: 8:00, 12:00, and 4:00.

She continues to do well post-surgery. Her oxygen level was around 21-24% today and her oscillator continues to get weaned down slowly. Once we get her low enough on the oscillator, she can try the conventional ventilator again. Hopefully when that time arrives, she will only continue to move forward with breathing support. She also gained some weight today! She is a whopping 1 pound 6 ounces! OUR BEAST!

She received a PICC line today to replace her umbilical line. Poor thing had to get stuck 3 times before they could reach one of her tiny veins! :( The nurse, Gretchen, said she did great through it all. Once again, she proves to be our little tiger!

As far as my health goes, my appointment with Dr. Deaton went very well. He said I can resume driving, power walking, stair climbing, and lifting anything less than 20 lbs. He said to be very careful and not do any abdominal exercises or running until I'm 6 weeks out. I am excited to get back to my walking...but no worries on the running just yet..ha!

I did ask Dr. Deaton about a 2nd pregnancy for down the road. What are my chances we would land back in Indianapolis' NICU?? There is a 15% chance that I will get preeclampsia with a 2nd pregnancy. However, that doesn't mean I will have to delivery this early again. I could carry close to full term if I am watched carefully. It is very comforting to know that my Seymour OBs trained under Dr. Deaton and Dr. Sumners during residency training. I appreciate their professional relationship and how smoothly everything went for this pregnancy (even though it was very scary, it still went like clock-work). I absolutely adore my Seymour OBs and I have quickly grown to love Dr. Deaton and Dr. Sumners as well.

I once again asked Dr. Deaton if there is ANYTHING I can do in the future to prevent all of this from happening again. He said my question is the most frustrating part of his job...there is simply nothing I can do. Doctors and researchers do not yet know why preeclampsia comes on in pregnancies.

Even though I heard what he had to say, I still hold on to some guilt from this whole process. When I think about how hard Elise has had to fight and what she has gone through in just 2 weeks of life, I begin to feel guilty and am hard on myself at times. There must be SOMETHING I can do differently to not bring on the preeclampsia?? I'm blessed to have these amazing doctors and an incredible husband that remind me that I did everything possible for her. I listened to the doctors and did everything that I COULD do as time was running thin. Unfortunately, my body had a mind of its own. The blood pressure was not going away and my body/preeclampsia was beginning to put stress on Elise. It does help to hear Dr. Deaton say that my 2 rounds of steroids and giving Elise "some stress" but not too much actually helped her become strong before she ever came into this world. There is a very fine line between too much stress and just the right amount for a 25 week baby. Praise God that so far it looks like I gave her that "just right amount" of stress.

The guilt that I have right now is two-fold in my life. For example, take tonight. We got home to Seymour around 4:30. We didn't have any dinner plans (and I wasn't about to cook...ha!) so we called some friends and asked them to meet us at The Elks Club for dinner (G just recently became a member). Going to a private restaurant is about all I can accept right now without feeling very uncomfortable. I am sure other NICU moms have struggled with this as well. You feel guilty for laughing and enjoying a dinner out when your baby is sitting in an isolette hooked up to numerous wires still fighting for his/her life. I know it's not healthy for me to sit in the NICU 24/7, especially when she can't take a lot of touching and I still can't hold her yet. However, when I'm away I feel a strong pull to be there, even if it is just to sit and stare at an isolette covered in blankets. I hope Elise knows that my mind wanders to her a thousand times when I am not by her side. It is my hope that my guilt becomes less and less as I get more of a routine as a new NICU mommy.

Tomorrow, Daddy returns to work again. I am going to start planning the nursery while thinking of my Little Lady all day :)

I see you Mommy! 

G & J & E


  1. Everytime I read I tear up. Think it's partially due to these lovely pp hormones still trying to level out. She is the sweetest little thing and I absolutely love the last pic posted! You have a priceless smile on your face and that sweet baby girl knows you're there and I truly believe she will fight all the way through this and a year from now you'll be chasing her all over the place! Still praying daily for her and strength for you. Hope you have many more wonderful days mama!


  2. Hello Jess! I love the photo - it is so sweet! Yay for Mommy's milk! That will be so good for Baby E! Girl, we need to talk! I can totally relate to your feelings of guilt and I think that is completely normal for your situation! The good news is that after my pre-eclampsia with my first pregnancy, my second was by the book normal! Of course, the second time I was a stay at home mom and was not teaching full-time anymore, but I never had unusual swelling or high blood pressure and we even went through our whole move during that time. So, it is possible to have a completely normal pregnancy after having pre-eclampsia! My choir prayed for baby and G and especially for you tonight! Hang in there and lean on the Lord's strength. He will get you through this!

  3. Keep these lovely posts coming... AND invest in Kleenex stock! :-)

  4. Oh Jess... I need to stock up on the Kleenex too! I absolutely love reading your posts and seeing your pictures! Beautiful!! Still praying and thinking of you all every single day!!! Lots of Love!

  5. I can totally relate to the guilt that you describe in this post. I will say that it decreases over time and you begin to develop a new "normal" for your family.

    I longed for the day that I could hold my baby whenever I wanted, trust me, once she is home you will absolutely make up that time. NICU moms are no less of a momma because we cannot be with our babies 24/7. I learned more than I ever thought I could during my NICU mom experience and would not trade it for the world. Hang in there, you can do this!

    I also worry about the risks involved for baby #2, but the odds of having a healthy pregnancy are in our favor.

    I am officially "following" your blog.

    Prayers & Sunshine to your family!