Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ready? Set...GO!

I woke up this morning around 6:30 to get ready for my day in the NICU. I called Karrie, the night nurse, right away so I could get an update. Elise didn't have the best night....

She was very fidgety throughout the night and kept needing more oxygen. By the time I called Karrie, she was on 35% oxygen (she usually is around 23-27%) and Karrie was getting ready to get another blood gas to see if something else was bothering her. She received some lasix during the night shift and had not peed, which was pretty disturbing as well.

I traveled up to the NICU today with my girlfriend Holly. Although we chatted the entire ride up to Indianapolis, my mind kept wandering to Elise's rough night. Why is she needing more oxygen? Why has she stopped peeing? Are her kidneys causing her trouble? What's going on with her lungs?

When Holly and I walked into the NICU to wash our hands, Elise's day nurse, Gretchen, was waiting for me and said, "We've had a busy morning." I think Gretchen saw my face dropped so she said, "Oh no, this is good stuff, Momma. I want to watch your face as you reach Elise's station."

I rounded the corner and there sat my daughter (ok, she wasn't really sitting) ON THE CONVENTIONAL VENTILATOR! What?? How did this happen?? I thought she had a rough night? If anything, I expected higher settings on the oscillator and to see the nurses quite busy suctioning her out and trying to keep her oxygen levels stable.

This is what happened before Holly and I arrived...
The blood gas Karrie drew at 8am showed Elise's CO2 level at 119 (They like her to be between 35-50). Can we all say yikes? Dr. Maylock came to the bedside and said that Elise's chest X-ray was the best in the NICU, so something was not adding up. Turns out, the oscillator was not working correctly (Yes, yikes again!) Instead of switching her to a new oscillator Dr. Maylock said, "Let's move her to the conventional vent and see if that's what she's telling us to do."

Ready? Set...GO! 
Sure enough, the conventional vent was exactly what Elise needed! 

She is now sitting on the conventional vent with a 25% oxygen rate and looks very comfortable! During her hands on time she gave this Momma a BIG OL' wet diaper. They like to see between 5-9 ml when they weigh her diapers. Her afternoon diaper was 57 ml's...WHOA SISTER! She also has gained a 1 lb, 11 oz beauty! She is still tolerating my milk so well. Today they bumped her up from 2ml's every 4 hours to 4 ml's every 3 hours.

Here comes the best part of the day (if I haven't already given you great news)....

Gretchen looks at me and says, "Ok Momma...are you ready to hold her this afternoon?" My eyes lit up and I just felt like jumping through the roof! Of course I am ready. I've waited 22 days to hold my baby girl. However, since I would also like, "Wife of the Year" title, I said I would wait until this weekend when G and I can be together and hold her as Mommy and Daddy.

The NICU has cute names for everything they do. Holding time is called "Kangaroo Kare." They ask that we wear button down shirts so that Elise can have skin to skin contact with us. As long as Elise tolerates being out of her isolette, we can hold her up to one hour. WE. ABSOLUTELY. CANNOT. WAIT. 22 days...22 days...

Our girl gave us so much the time I left the NICU, she was simply exhausted....

It's quite hard being an amazing LITTLE LADY!

Oh what a glorious day...
G & J & E


  1. Ahhhhhhh jess. BEST.NEWS.EVER!!!!!!!

  2. I am SO excited for you guys! That is just awesome news! We got to see G for a short time tonight. I hope you have the best weekend ever with lots of Kangaroo Kare!!!