Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Best of Days, the Worse of Days

First, today was a major victory. I got to hold my baby Tess skin to skin, or what is called in the NICU"kangaroo care." It was so amazing. I haven't gotten to hold my baby in such an intimate way for over a week. Jon said the baby's eyes were saying "Finally, My MOM!" for the full three hours.

I held the baby against my chest and helped Jon balance our checkbook online in our NICU room. It felt so normal. It felt like we were a regular family again. A little kangaroo care brought down Mom and Dad's blood pressure as well as the baby's heart rate.

The second accomplishment is that Jon and I actually left the hospital voluntarily during day light hours for the first time in a week. (My Dad teased that we were becoming vampires). Jon drove me to my OB to check out my c-section stitches. I confessed that with all the drama around the baby, I'd totally neglected any "wound care" advice for over a week. The doctor said that my incision looked great.

Now, the sad part. My baby looks great. She's back to her natural color. She's showing her personality again. All the doctors and nurses are happy with her progress. However, there is no movement on her bowel or stomach. We can't move forward on her feeding routine, until stuff starts moving smoothly though her intestine.

After her surgery, Tess has also started having "apneic breathing episodes" which means that she holds her breath for more that 20 seconds. She's on a forced oxygen tube, so this problem isn't dangerous. However, it's totally annoying and scary to me, her Mom. They aren't sure why she's holding her breath. I'm hoping that this mystery is soon solved. I don't want the "need for oxygen" to be one more thing that is keeping her in the NICU.

These two problems mean that Tess isn't coming home for at least another week, maybe two. That's an incredibly short stay in the NICU compared to the premie babies who have to stay for 14-16 weeks. Still, the total of a three week hospital stay seems like a life time to me and Jon.

That's were I am right now. Relearning the lesson "my strength comes from calm and trust in the Lord."


  1. I'm so sorry she's not bouncing back and breathing properly! My guess, which means absolutely nothing, is that she's likely holding her breath because she's in pain. I have a child who absolutely does not breathe when he hurts himself! I have to tell him to breathe deeply and relax.

    Here's hoping that extra prayers and and kangaroo care does the trick. Apnea is no fun---that same boy had it and a monitor for 8 months.

  2. Kangaroo care is one of the best things you can do for her. It helps newborns regulate their breathing (while they are on the mom anyway). You haven't even begun to mention a lot of what I know must be difficult for you, being away from your other children, having to live with a breast pump instead of a baby, etc. Your sufferings as well as Tess's are surely counting for something. One thing for sure, all those other babies and families are having the benefit of a Carmelite family among them. Continuing prayers for all of you.