Almost There and So Far Away

Posted on 21st December 2011 in NICU, Week 7

It’s hard for me to believe, but I just added a “Week 7″ category. So, today marks 6 weeks since the twins were born. If you’ve followed along, you know that it’s been a roller coaster. It’s not over yet.

Before I get into that, I missed a couple photos from yesterday that are worth sharing. Here’s a couple from when I was feeding Cameron in the middle of the night. I was much more tired than he was…

Yesterday, Sophia was doing well with eating and even got her feeding tube removed. Here’s her tube-free cuteness…

Yesterday, Sophia was taking a while to get started at each feeding. Once she got going, she didn’t have any problems. That changed last night. Sophia wasn’t cooperating very well with three of her feedings last night. During each of her feedings, Sophia had fairly big desats (desaturation – a drop in blood oxygen saturation – that’s bad). It was alarming enough to the nurse and doctor that they put a feeding tube back in Sophia.

The doctor called us at 7:00 this morning and told us the news. He said with that episode, Sophia bought at least another 72 hours in the hospital. Tanya and I talked a lot about it. We felt like if we were there, it wouldn’t have happened.

Of course, we were wrong (and I feel stupid for even thinking that). We got to the hospital soon after that. We didn’t make the 8:00 am feeding, but we were there for their 11:00 one.

Cameron had an eye appointment this morning. We weren’t around for it, but it sounds like eye exams are pretty taxing on little kids. Their eyes are still premature, so they look for things like blood vessels properly growing from the back of the eye towards the front (apparently preemies’ eyes aren’t “fully powered” for quite a while). Cameron’s eye appointment went well, but after all that work, the doctor wanted to keep him until tomorrow. So, the great news is Cameron’s going home tomorrow!

At the 11:00 feeding this morning, Cameron (still pretty out of it from his eye appointment) wasn’t that interested in breast feeding. We were pretty concerned about it, but, after a little coaching, he did OK with a bottle. He did about the same at his next meal. We both felt bad and were worried about it changing his release date, but the nurses were actually very pleased with how well he was doing after his eye exam. Cameron was certainly doing tons better than the other kid in room who had an eye exam today. That kid was throwing up every time anyone even mentioned food. Did I mention that Cameron’s on track to go home tomorrow!?!

Cameron’s happy about that (or maybe sleepy about that)…

Sophia’s our roller coaster today. She did really well at her 11:00 breast feeding this morning. Whenever she’s cuddling with either of us, she does extremely well…

However, at her 2:00 feeding this afternoon, she showed us that she’s not ready to go home. She was eating fairly slowly, like she normally does. Nothing out of the norm.

After I gave her a break just to make sure she was OK, she continued on through about half of her bottle. She was laying in my arms feeding normally, then her arms suddenly fell to her side, her head leaned back, she lots all suction on the bottle, and her monitor started wailing. The nurse instantly sprung into action. I didn’t get an official medical opinion on it, but it looked and felt like Sophia passed out in my arms. She was completely limp. She lost all the color in her face – she was extremely pale.

I sat her up and tapped her bottom and back. (“Tapped” is something more than a gentle pat and something less than a Mike Tyson punch.) Don’t take this as medical advice, but preemies respond to touch pretty well as a “hey silly, don’t forget to breathe” message. It took what seemed like forever for her heart rate and breathing to pick back up (I have no idea how long it actually was). Her heart and breathing never stopped, but both dipped alarmingly. Her oxygen saturation level read as low as 50% when it’s normally in the 95-100% range. I’m sure I was ghost white too.

Seeing her breathing ramp back up, then heart rate, then oxygen saturation was a relief I can’t describe. I have never been happier to have Sophia hooked up to a monitor than I was then. Tanya and I just took an infant CPR class this morning. I was glad that I didn’t have to use it (not that they would have let me). She slowly became alert again with a look something like “what are you guys all worried about?” Nothing baby, just relax…

The doctor’s orders were to keep feeding Sophia to try to establish how bad the problem was. Sophia’s night nurse tried to feed her at 8:00 tonight, but within a few minutes Sophia desat’ed again. Sophia had some blood work done and her red blood cell count is on the low side. The doctors are going to talk in the morning about where to go from here. It’s possible that Sophia will get a blood transfusion tomorrow to boost her red blood cell count (which will help her oxygen levels). Besides that, I’m not sure what’s in store for her.

It’s definitely been an emotion filled day. It’s wonderful beyond words that Cameron is going home tomorrow. At the same time, I’ve never been more afraid for someone’s life…and I’ve been shot at in the middle of a war.

comments: 4 »
  • Jackie

    Praying for little Sopia. :)

  • Jackie

    I mean Sophia!

  • Mary ann Harness

    Yay for Cameron!!! Sophia is in good care and she is a trooper trying to figure it all out — she won’t be far behind her brother. Prayers, love and hugs!

  • Gregandkelli

    The first photo on Dec 21 post is absolutely precious!