Natalie enjoyed a nice long visit with her Grandma Karen this morning. I think she really appreciated having company during her echocardiogram (which we STILL do not have the results of at 11PM). Grandma and Aunt Bethie watched Anneliese so Steve could accompany me to the NICU. After the extreme stress of yesterday it was so nice to have him next to me today. Before heading to the hospital we stopped in at Carters and bought clothes for Natalie for the first time. It was thrilling to do such a normal mommy thing. We also picked up some new blankets. It's amazing how quickly she goes through them and I like to have her crib decked out in pretty things rather than the normal hospital linen.
Natalie was doing better today, although they still don't know if that is because she is getting more support from the vent or if the underlying cause has improved. I was able to hold her, which we both really needed.
Today her nurse suggested that I try rocking her. I have always fought the urge to do so (and rocking is a very strong urge to have to fight) because I am so afraid of disturbing her breathing tube. It seems that if the vent tubes are securely taped to my arm then everything stays in place and I am able to rock her gently. Natalie has spent over 6 weeks being as still as possible in a crib so rocking was a completely new sensation. Her eyes flew open and she looked all around trying to figure out what was going on. She was not unhappy but she was clearly confused. She would settle for a few moments and then the eyes would pop back open as she adjusted to the sensation. After several minutes she was fast asleep again and seemed to really enjoy the motion. Her oxygen requirement actually went down 10%. This made for a very happy mommy all the way around!
I just called the NICU for the evening update and she is stable. They resumed her feeds but at a lower calorie count and they will gradually add more volume until she is back at full feeds. They have finally run out of my milk (after weeks of being told not to bring anymore because they did not have room to store it). Luckily we have a huge stash frozen and can run some over in the morning. Did I mention we had to buy a chest freezer because we ran out of room ourselves? I went from being a pPROM Queen to a being a Dairy Queen. Every time we opened the freezer frozen breast milk would fall out and hit us. This stops being comical pretty quickly so now there is a dedicated freezer in the basement and we can use our freezer for food again (assuming I become organized enough to actually go to the grocery store).
Her 10PM blood gas was better than her 10AM blood gas but it may not be good enough to turn down vent settings. Regardless I was so happy to hear that her CO2 had finally gone down some.
As my mother would say "That's all the news that's fit to print." We had a nice long talk with her doctor today and the plan now is to take things hour by hour and then day by day. The best case scenario is that her difficulties have been infection related and that the next few days show improvement.