It looks like there’s a possibility of Chelsea going home tomorrow! She’s doing better, for the most part.
They weaned her completely off the oxygen at noon and her stats are good on room air. If she does well through the night, then she’ll have met one of the requirements to go home.
Next, we need her to eat better. Yesterday she had several good feeds, but today she’ll only eat for 2 minutes at a time, every couple of hours. Her doctor, Dr. Strong, is going to take her off IV fluids for 12 hours to see if that will help make her thirsty/hungry. He thinks the IV fluids may be satisfying her thirst and therefore not giving her need to eat. So, if she eats well through the night, then that’s one more step to getting her home. If not, they’ll start her back on IV fluids at 6 tomorrow morning. Dr. Strong is also going to send over a lactation consultant tomorrow to see if that will help. I was concerned that she was still dehyrdated since her soft spot is really sunken in, but he said not to worry since that’s not a primary indication of dehydration. Her lips are moist, her eyes aren’t sunken in, so she’s hydrated, just not eating enough. Her soft spot will fill back in eventually.
The only other thing Dr. Strong is concerned about is that she sounds “crackle-y” when he listens to her breathe. That’s from the *junk* being in her right lung. Respiratory therapists have been coming in and giving her treatments, firmly patting her chest and back, to loosen that junk. Dr. Strong doesn’t think she has pneumonia based on other test results (her white blood cell count is normal), but he doesn’t like how she sounds.
So, things are looking better for us. I gave Chelsea a sponge bath today, so she’s nice and clean (her cord is still attached, so no real bath yet). I haven’t had to suction out her nose in more than 24 hours as she isn’t congested like she was when we got here. Her breathing has slowed down and isn’t labored like it was before. She’s been a bit irritable though (it took her three hours to settle down and fall asleep last night, which she finally did at midnight) so they’ve been giving her tylenol as needed. I would be irritable too if I had some oxygen tubes up my nose, an IV in my arm (it used to be in her foot but it came out), a probe on my foot, and people came in and bothered me every few hours.
I can only imagine what it’s like to have a child/baby in the hospital with a chronic or terminal illness. This has been hard enough and Chelsea will get better and will go home soon, so there’s an end in sight for us. We’ve only been here for 2 and a half days and it has already taken its toll on me. I’m tired, cranky and get frustrated easily. I haven’t stepped out of the room since we got here as I don’t want to leave Chelsea by herself. They don’t provide any kind of security device to discourage someone from *stealing* a baby like they do in the maternity ward after birth. And people can come and go as they please, so no one would stop someone carrying a newborn in the hall, which is why I haven’t left the room; I’ve gotta protect this little girl.
Jonathan and Mallory have come to visit us every day. Jonathan has been a Mr. Mom for the last three days — being Mallory’s full time caretaker — and he is doing very well with it. Mallory is already very much a daddy’s girl, so she LOVES spending so much time with him. If she sees Jonathan step out of the room, she has a little melt down and cries for “Dada” to come back. I’m lucky if I get a hug and kiss from her and she easily waves good-bye to me when they leave. Maybe one day she’ll love her Mama as much as she loves her Dada. 😉
Here are two camera-phone pictures of Chelsea from yesterday in her hospital crib. She loves being swaddled here (she didn’t like it at home) and I really like how elevated her head is in the crib. I’ll have to figure something out like this for her sleeping arrangements at home, since she’s coughing a lot which in turn leads to a lot of spitting up.
Hopefully the next time I update, I can write, “We are home!” We’ll keep you posted. We really appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers. It means a lot to us to know that so many people are concerned about our Chelsea. We love her so very much.