We drove to Florence Saturday afternoon and made plans to stay in the guest house again Saturday evening. We realized we enjoy going the NICU late at night since the saying “when the cats away the mice will play” sort of takes effect. It’s quiet and relaxing, and the nurses seem more relaxed and willing to “play”. However, when we go during the day, the doctors are there and it’s always nice to get their analysis of her recovery first hand.
Saturday night our nurse introduced me to “kangaroo care” which she suggested we start doing. It basically is skin on skin contact for me and Whitney. Apparently a mother’s body temperature will regulate and adjust to keep the baby warm when being held close skin on skin. This has shown benefits for the baby (and sure makes ME happy) not only for bonding but for healing and developmental progress as well. Each day we are there I should at least get one hour of the “care” which makes Andy jealous, but I’m sure to give him some time cuddling and holding Whitney too.
After the news from the doctor regarding the MRI results I was obviously shaken (hence the hiatus). As Andy said, given her horrible start the news should not have come as a surprise, but rather a blessing it was as positive as it was, it could have been MUCH worse. I however, took the gut wrenching news horribly. The news, coupled with lack of sleep and a week of roller coaster emotions (and bumper to bumper 4th of July traffic getting back home) did not work out too well for me. I was/am heartbroken and finally had to turn “this” over to God. I do not know his plan for Whitney, but Andy and I have come to accept whatever it may be. I know there will be bad days, horrible days, good days and thrilling days and we need to be prepared for all of them. She has made it this far and is doing SO good, we can only hope and pray and yes, continue to be cautiously optimistic
As for updates from Saturday night and Sunday morning. First off they started using a different device to break up the congestion in her right lung and had much success. They’ve done a couple XRays and the congestion has gotten much better, which has been helping her breathing. When we left on Sunday they had just turned down her oxygen levels and slowed the rate she was receiving oxygen, she is now getting very little and breathing basically completely on her own.
She is still having difficulty digesting her food. Before each feeding, they check to see if any remains from the previous feeding are still in her tummy and this seems really hit or miss. Sometimes she completely digests her milk, other times she has around half remaining. The doctors are hoping this gets better, but are trying different feeding schedules and amounts of food being administered to help this along.
Andy and I did see for the first time her ability to suck on the pacifier. In the past she really didn’t show an interest in it, but today she was sucking on it really good. We are optimistic this motion will help her when the time comes to feed from a bottle or nurse. We never did get to try the breastfeeding earlier in the week, the doctors thought she just wasn’t strong enough yet, which Andy and I agreed.
We did receive one startling fact that we were not aware of from the doctor. He explained the night of her birth when the Conway nurses/doctors were doing the chest compressions and reviving her they were going to stop after 20 minutes. Whitney started breathing on her own at 19 minutes, they were going to stop at 20 minutes. Just typing this makes me cry and my heart hurt and burst at the same time. This baby, this perfectly healthy baby who lived inside of me for 9 months almost didn’t make it, one minute away. She beat the odds, she fought through. The first miracle of many.