Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thank you so much to everyone who has already posted here that they are praying. The prayers mean so much and we KNOW God is taking care of our Juliet.

Today we woke up at the Ronald McDonald house at 8:30am. I'd not slept well last night because of a combination of worry and a painkiller that makes my heart race (the site of my epidural is very painful because of how hard a time he had getting it in). Our shuttle to get to the hospital leaves at 9AM, so needless to say we rushed very quickly to get downstairs.

We got to the hospital and headed straight to Juliet's bedside- and she looked excellent! I noticed that two of her readouts were missing from the monitor- it turns out she no longer needs to have two oxymeter readings because the pre/post O2 sat reading is not useful in her case. They are also reducing the medicine that keeps open the natural passage between her aorta and pulmonary artery. She has septal defects that are mixing her blood well enough to not have to keep such high doses of that particular medicine. Surgery is still planned for Monday and everything is looking like we are fine waiting until then.

At 11am I went to pump breastmilk and actually got enough to collect! I am very determined to give her breastmilk and the hospital is doing everything they can to help make that happen. It's the best thing for her especially in her situation. They have provided every way they can to make it easy and I am finally getting my milk in, so they can feed it to her after surgery. Right now she is nourished by a mixture of vitamins and fats that keep her going until the surgery.

From 11:30 to about 12:30 we had skin-to-skin contact, I held Juliet against my bare chest and she was very relaxed and happy there. We can't actually nurse, but this helps us both- for bonding and for my hormones in producing that immune-boosting milk.

From 12:30 until 1pm Matt did the same, for bonding, that she can smell him and look up into his eyes (as much as she does so... she is not much into opening her eyes. I suspect it is a bit overwhelming out here compared to the back of her eyelids).

At one point the alarms went off and her heart rate read at 90 (when it's been reading around 140) and her breathing had slowed or shallowed. Matt was holding her and he says she stiffened up and got really mad. The nurse didn't see, but she said taht when we get mad our heart rate drops and we clinch up and breathe less. This is probably what happened, but she's going to keep an eye out for it happening again.

Also, Matt's coworkers sent a beautiful bouquet of balloons! They were simply enormous and they are now next to her bed. There was also a cute teddy bear. People were pretty impressed by the size of the arrangement, and I had never seen anything like it. So, if any of y'all from ISU Tech Services stop by here, thank you! They were lovely and they really brighten up her space. It is her first teddy bear and she'll have it in her crib when we go home. We'll be able to tell her about all the people thinking of her and how that teddy bear was given in the hospital.

I guess that is all for now. I will no doubt have pictures tonight! I have already gotten quite a few good ones of the little expressions she gets and will have some of my mom holding her (perhaps dad too!)

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