Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Charlotte's NICU Stay // July 27-29

Charlotte's NICU stay wasn't your typical stay. Honestly most people assumed that because she was in the NICU she was a preemie. Being too small was never her problem. She was born at a healthy 40 weeks, 6 days. Her problem was the meconium aspiration and the snowball effect of terrible things that caused. And while preemies have their own set of challenges, Charlotte's was a whole different ball game.
July 27, 2015
By Day 2 most of her major organs had shut off, her brain was swollen and that's the day we found out she had a brain bleed. She was also given a chest tube to drain the blood and fluid off her lungs. Our good news for July 27, was that her kidneys were starting to make slow progress and an ultrasound on her abdomen didn't show any additional bleeds. I remember Day 2 being an awful one. We were exhausted beyond belief. We were given the worst news that her brain had a bleed and then later told they were giving her a chest tube. The hospital graciously offered to let us stay in their onsite family room, located across the hall from the Level 2 NICU, since she was so critical. We stayed there for a couple hours trying to rest, but it was seriously the most depressing room ever. It had the perk of a soft bed with pillows, but you could hear the cries of all the babies in the NICU right across the hall. All the crying just made us cry more. We'd never heard our baby cry and it was just a sad reminder of the situation we were in.
From my Instagram: Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. - Elizabeth Stone // 7-27-15 Today had its ups and downs, but God graciously let us end it on a good note. We started the day rough with the news that she needed a chest tube to remove oxygen outside her lungs and later news that they had discovered a bleed on her brain. Her good news for the day was that her kidneys are making slow progress and an ultrasound done on her abdomen didn't show any other bleeds. Char still has a very long road to recovery, but by the Grace of God and every prayer, Ethan and I have faith that one day we'll bring our baby girl home. Please continue to lift our sweet girl up the The Great Physician, our God.
{July 27 - 2 days old}
{new chest tube} 

July 28, 2015
July 28 was a complete 180 from the day before. We had prayers answered and even got to give Charlotte a kiss on her arm. That was the first skin to skin contact we had with her. And I can still remember the flood of butterflies I got in my stomach when my lips touched her little arm. I can picture the nurses face when I answered "Really?!" to her question of "do you want to give her a good bye kiss?" She even apologized that no one had given us this chance yet. It was the best. And it's still one of my "favorite" memories from Char's stay. After so many tears, it was nice to finally have happy tears. I think I basically skipped out of the room, down the hall and into the waiting room where a bunch of our family and friends were sitting and exclaimed "WE GOT TO KISS HER!" Just thinking back on this moment is making me tear up.

From my Instagram: 7-28-15 Today was definitely a "top of the mountain" kind of day, especially after all of yesterday's bad news. While Charlotte remains critical, we saw many answered prayers - like her urine output increasing. That was a direct prayer request answered. Tomorrow is a huge day for Char. Since she was admitted on Sunday morning she's been on a cooling pad to help preserve her organs and tomorrow they start the rewarming process. We expect some downs tomorrow and know it'll be a long day. We need specific prayer that tomorrow's rewarming goes great. They'll raise her core temperature by half a degree every hour as long as Char tolerates it. We'll also have another brain scan tomorrow to check on her bleed. Please pray that the bleed has not spread. These are two very specific needs for our baby. We appreciate all the prayers. // Now why today was our "top of the mountain" day - Mommy and Daddy got to kiss our sweet girl for the very 1st time today. It was only on her arm, but man.. that was the most incredible moment. I can only imagine what really kissing and holding her will feel like. I swear my heart grew 100xs bigger. I also got to help change a diaper, swab her mouth with a q-tip dipped in my breast milk, and got to see her peepers when the nurse was checking her pupil dilation (which was good)! God gave us such good moments today with our sweet girl. I pray we continue to have more good moments and even better progress!

{July 28 - 3 days old}

{Giving Charlotte "oral care" by swabbing my breast milk in her cheeks to promote good bacteria}
July 29, 2015
"Rewarming Day" as we like to call it. I was terrified. I remember being so scared. Not only for Charlotte, but also myself. And my dad. It was his birthday and I didn't want anything terrible to happen on his birthday. Sounds bad, but I didn't want her to die on my Dad's birthday. Not that that was going to happen, but rewarming her had its challenges. It was explained to us that they would raise her body temperature by half a degree every hour and her body would have to meet the new temperature before being raised again. Things like seizures were high on the radar. Ethan and I slept at home the night before like every other night thus far and made our early morning call to the nurse for an update. I can't remember specifically, but I know we were shocked at how well she was doing. By the time we arrived to the hospital, she was completely warm. I remember her pretty pink tint. She looked "good."
From my Instagram - 7-29-2015 // Simply amazing day. A day filled with watching God perform miracles. A day that I was honestly dreading. A day that I can say was all God and all answered prayers! Sweet girl went through her rewarming process like a champ with little negative effects! She's actually a little too warm right now so all her prayer warriors can stop praying for her warmth! ;) She's also weaned herself off a blood pressure medicine, so she's down to just one! More awesome news is that her brain bleed has not spread! We're still not in the clear yet with her brain and an MRI will be done Sunday. I'll be asking specific prayer for that each day. The next couple of days should be calm, healing days. I'm praying for uneventful days full of good progress. Her specific needs for tomorrow are a good EEG and reduction in all her swelling. I love those luscious rolls, but they gotta go! :) Thank you all for your prayers and sweet words of encouragement. I'm definitely reading all of them and they help this Momma's heart tremendously. But most of all I thank our Great Physician and give Him all the glory, honor, and praise for our sweet girl's amazing progress so far!

{Taking her temperature}

Charlotte's NICU Story: Charlotte's Birth Story // Day 1
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  1. Wow, what a scary time as a parent. She is beautiful and y'all are so brave and strong!