Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Day by Day


It's all the rage among pregnant women, teachers and school administrators, Type A personalities, and a whole host of other profiles of people averse to uncertainty and most comfortable with the Best Laid Plan.

I'm so not in control right now.  Not of my bladder (Foley catheter in), of circulation in my legs (mechanized squeezy boots on), of my sleep patterns (wide awake at 3AM), of short- and long-term prognoses (particularly mine and Tootsie's).

I knew that premature rupture of membranes meant taking each day at a time, and while maintaing positivity, recognizing that we were in position for a suddenly changing game plan.  I knew that giving birth to a preemie would be similar, even as we celebrated her healthy birth, crying and breathing on her own, and subsequently posted pictures of her, relatively wire- and tube-free for a NICU baby.

I am loath to post new ones, now that she is on CPAP and has a feeding tube.  She looks much more vulnerable than the wide-eyed, pink and plump newborn in her first photos.

In her first hours in the NICU she had several apneic episodes--moments where she "forgot" to breathe--all too common in preemies.  They watched her warily, and determined that while she did not require oxygen, she would benefit from the CPAP's rhythmic delivery of air to her lungs as she gains strength.

Her blood cultures came back positive for bacteria, confirming that she and I were likely infected, with no one the wiser than Baby Tootsie, whose elevated heartrate saved the day (and determined her birthday).  While husband and I visited her last night the docs came in to let us know the blood results, and a plan to reculture her, administer more antibiotics, and perform a spinal tap to rule out infection in the spinal fluid.  I grimaced at the latter plan, only because I've had a spinal tap--not a fun experience and a purely diagnostic procedure.  Nonetheless, we signed the consent form for a lumbar puncture and I recalled my successful epidural earlier in the day.  Hoping, and trusting in the doctors, for the best.

We should hear this morning the latest results and how she's doing.  We haven't held her yet, besides that first bedside snuggle, and it's difficult to swallow that our little baby has yet to be placed on our chests, skin-to-skin, satisfying our instinctual desire to hold her close and protect and reassure her.  Later today, we hope.  She needed too much else yesterday.

And so we enter a phase of acceptance of the shifting horizons of preemie care.  Better to view her in terms of new realities and evolving needs versus by "setbacks" or bad or good news.

Meanwhile, my job is pumping milk to feed her and hastening my own post-surgical recovery, so we can be together more often, where we belong.

Keep us, and all the tiny babies, in the warm embrace of your encouraging thoughts.


vertigomama said...

You Are In Our Thoughts Prayers And prayers Friend.

Stephanie A said...

Congratulations, Jenny! She's beautiful. Sending prayers. xo. The Aldworth Family.

aitchpea said...

I know it is a scary experience, and my thoughts go to you, Jon, and the girls. I'm glad you are in such capable hands at that hospital. I was a six-weeks preemie, on breathing and feeding tubes, and look at what an ox I turned into! But I also had a kid in NICU, and I know how alienating it can be: you love your child and want to keep him (in my case) close to you, want to comfort him and heal him, but you have to trust him to someone else and just hold onto hope. It is so hard to see your child in a plastic box with tubes and wires and various other attachments--I really feel for you--but you will hold her soon and she will know it. My hope is that Tootsie comes out of this strong and healthy, too.

Tara Baker said...

Reliving my own NICU baby moments as I read this today, with tears in my eyes. I didn't take one single picture of Christopher in the special care nursery, because it hurt so bad and with Kyla, I clung to the pictures while she was in the NICU and I was re-cooperating. My heart is with you all. I know the pain of not getting to hold your baby and seeing all the tubes and wires and pokes and the worry. I'm praying for you all and hoping Faera heals very quickly and is in your arms very soon. I wish we were closer so we could do more. God is watching over you all. Love you guys!