Sorry for the delayed Stella update (mom and dad updates below this)...dad slept all day! First thing first, Stella is not only alive, but thriving at this point. Huge disclaimer: Premature babies typically go through what the doctors label a "honeymoon phase". Like all humans, babies can run on adrenaline. Of course, stress like the premature birthing can cause a baby to come out roaring and then settle down.
Now that the disclaimer is done...our girl is doing great, she really is a blessing from the Lord. Here are the highlights from today:
(1) No brain bleeding. This is massively positive. She is still at risk for this (especially in the first 10 days), but most brain hemorrhaging occurs in the first three days. This is great news.
(2) She is doing a majority of breathing on her own (!!!). Infact, the staff is considering removing her breathing tubes for the moment (knowing that she will most likely need it later on). Removing the tubes from her tiny body helps avoid some scarring.
(3) Her "pick" line was put in today. This is like a central IV line that gives her what she needs medically. This was a big technical hurdle because of the size of her veins and arteries.
(4) She is full of spunk. Generally moving around, doing funny things (biting respiratory therapists finger while in her mouth, sucking her thumb, pulling her temperature monitor off her belly regularly). She is developing quite a reputation with the NICU Nurses for her spunk and fight (of course)
Lowlights from today:
None, really. Her biggest challenge remains blood. She needs it transfused every day because she needs lab work done. The lab work shows blood platelets are low, her tiny veins and body really aren't allowing her to produce her own blood. Compared to the challenges of internal or brain bleeding, this is less serious. Of course, she risks getting infections and things from the new blood products, but this is being managed and is under control for now.
It is super important to remember this thing can go sideways at any time...we still need your prayers, we still are going to have some scares for sure. One thing is clear, we have been blessed with a miracle and she could not be off to a better start. Lets just enjoy this today and hope for the best tomorrow.
Below are some videos I shot with my phone. Thank you all so much for the overwhelming support. I simply am having a hard time getting back to you all individually, so please don't take it as a slight.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvZv4axFqcw (Stella's Birth Time)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcQJHenAiMg (Stella meets mama)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwlNJ1JLly4 (just moving around)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KhKMsWPDRQ (Holding hands again)
Lost in all of this is the fact that my wonderful wife went through major surgery yesterday. C-sections are tough to begin with, but she had to have an especially involved one. She's struggling with the pain some, but is walking some today with the wheelchair to support her. All of her IV's are out, and she is doing ok. Ok because of course it is hard to go through this and it is hard because she no longer has Stella inside of her. But she is recovering and remains overwhelmed and overjoyed with the support provided to her by family, friends, colleagues and many wonderful people who barely know us :-)
I get the lucky break in all of this not having to go through surgeries and things. However, I did have some rough moments too, but feel great now. Toughest thing, hands down, was the 2-3 nights in a row sleeping on hospital chairs. I awoke to some unreal neck pain and then went back to the room at the Ronald McDonald House and slept all day pretty much. A shower, a cup of coffee and some rest have me recharged...of course its 9:30 and I feel like I can run through a brick wall. I remain overjoyed by our blessings and all of the support. I especially thank my wife for her character and strength, and for giving me the greatest moment of my life yesterday, when I reached into Stella and she immediately grabbed my index finger with her whole hand and held on tight. It was sent from heaven.
Thank you all so much
Thank you all so much