When I went to the hospital yesterday the nurse asked me if I wanted to hold Caroline. At first I declined. Her stats had declined so significantly in the small amount of time that I held her on Friday that I was nervous. You can imagine the fear if a mother declines to hold her child. I also couldn't tell if the nurse was just being polite by asking. Turns out she REALLY wanted me to hold her. She assured me that Caroline was looking so great and I should try again. It took about 15 minutes to prep Caroline to be in my arms. I did skin to skin.. or as they call in NICU, Kangaroo Care. When we got her settled, I learned why the nurse had pushed me to hold her. The rate of her breathing dropped significantly. She wasn't taking the short quick breaths that she had been. She was taking deeper, slower, more rhythmic breaths. It was heavenly. My child improved at my touch. I kicked that recliner up and held my baby girl for almost 2 full hours. I could have stayed there all afternoon. She slept so hard that she had 2 small brady episodes while I was holding her. I could see her heart rate drop significantly on the monitor and all it took was 2 little shakes from me and her heart rate came right back up. Clearly, we want these to stop but I am thankful for those monitors so we can keep those in check.
Caroline also received an echo yesterday and they confirmed that she has a PDA. All babies have these little openings but they close at birth. Because of her gestational age, her body had not matured enough for these to close. Her PDA is considered medium to large. They have not started treatment yet, but will likely in the next few days. The risk with this treatment is that it will drop her platelets. They will have to monitor these closely and will have to adjust dosage levels accordingly. Her oxygen has been cut in half (down from 1 liter to 1/2 a liter) and she has done great with this. She started feedings on Friday. She has a pin point size tube down her throat for these feedings. They use a pump that feeds her over a 30 minute time frame. She has been tolerating this so well that she started with 2mls on Friday and has already progressed to 8mls (well they start 8 at 12:00pm feeding). She had dropped down to 4 lbs even but is back to 4 lbs 1 oz, so I hope we are now on the up. They also moved her out of the critical care room to a room where she will just have 1 roommate. This feels like a really big step emotionally. Those machines beep all of the time so when you have 4 of them going at once on critical care babies it can really tear your nerves up. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish the beeps between your baby and others.
Caroline's first selfie
I am so incredibly proud of BOTH of my children. Whitaker has been such a trooper and Caroline is improving daily. I could write an entire post on how wonderful my husband has been.
Daniel's Aunt Joy drove to Raleigh yesterday and treated us to an entire store of preemie clothes for our girl. Her son was in the NICU and she remembers the emotion well and how clothes were so hard to fine. It was so very sweet and special. I can't wait until Caroline gets to wear her first outfit!