03/10/04

 

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03/10/2004: 3:11PM

 

Dadís Diary for Bridget

 

 

 

Friday, January 9th 2004

It started Friday night.  After a perfect pregnancy up to this point, Jenn had some upper-abdominal pains (something she might call "contractions" now) and on the advice of our doctor we ran down to GBMC just before midnight.  Her blood pressure was high and she was admitted with pre-eclampsia.  We finally got to bed a bit after 4am.

 

 

Saturday, January 10th 2004

Jenn's blood pressure stabilized, but that's not all the doctor is monitoring.  It looks like a bit of bed rest in the hospital and then move to bed rest at home, but we'll still be pretty much full term.  Pretty quiet day overall.

 

 

Sunday, January 11th 2004

Though she looks and feels completely healthy, the doctors are worried about a few things -- particularly the blood in the urine.  It's at 3.7mg/l now and if it goes above 5.0 it'll be time to consider inducing labor.  The doctor seems to be not giving us the whole story, and after we press we're shocked to hear that the doctor says that the pregnancy will not last more than three more weeks.  Whoa!  But our baby is only been in Mommy's belly for 28 1/2 weeks!

Immediately we think of our friends Kent (triplets at 26, 28, and 28 weeks) and Paul (boys at 31 and 35 weeks).  Calling them turns out to be the best thing we could of done -- they set our expectations telling us it's an up and down process, and -- the nugget -- don't worry unless the nurses worry.  (This becomes a great comfort the first few days.)  We don't sleep so well.

 

 

Monday, January 12th 2004

Another quiet day -- for a while.  Mike heads to the office for a while, while Jenn moves rooms with the help of her Mom and friends.  Mike heads to office for a while and then, giving up on getting the labs back, heads home to restock and take care of Baba (Thaxton).  The peace is broken at 8:30 when the doctor let's Jenn know her urine level was 6.7 -- time to induce.  Mike gets everything together and makes the run back to the hospital again.  Arrives at 9:30 (Jenn is now back on the labor and delivery wing) just as the nurse is starting Jenn's drip.  By 10:00 Jenn is well into contractions and at 10:30 the doctor arrives.  One quick look at the tape and he notices the baby's heart rate drops during Jenn's contractions.  Uh oh, C-section time.  Quickly the staff prepares and off we go to the OR.  Jenn needs a spinal, but the edema (swelling) from pre-eclampsia makes is almost impossible.  Jenn is shaking from the meds in her and finally, after 15 minutes of trying, they get the spinal in.  She still has enough pain they put her under lightly.  She sleeps for a lot of the surgery.  Mike watches the doctors in awe.  Amazing.  After about 25 minutes on the table, with Jenn sort of awake, the doctor reaches in and slowly pulls out the baby.  So tiny.  The baby (gender not yet known) comes out looking at Mike from about 4 feet away.  Mike watches the baby in awe.  As the doctor lays the baby on Jenn's leg, the umbilical cord reveals the gender to Mike.  He gets the honor of announcing to the room "It's a girl!"  The baby goes to the warming table and after a brief stint on the respirator just in case, is able to breathe on her own.  Mike gets to see her up close and touch the impossibly small little being on the table.  She goes into an Isolette (the Kleenex of incubators) and goes by her mom so she can see her, then to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).  Jenn gets closed up and about 12:30 or so goes off to the recovery room, still mostly out of it.  We hear the baby is great and is 1lb 14.8oz or 817 grams.  Mike isn't sure which.  It's well after 1 am before Jenn's back in her room and, once she's settled in, Mike heads down to the NICU.  She's still beautiful and still so little.  And still doesn't have a name -- we had a boy's name because Jenn was so convinced it was a boy, but not a girl's name.  He finds out she's 14.4" long (wow) and actually 875g (now 1lb 14.8oz makes sense).  All he can really do is watch and pray.  He almost falls asleep while praying about 4:30 am and decides it's time to get a few hours of sleep.  Whew.

 

 

Tuesday, January 13th 2004

Starts early.  8am.  Jenn, still on the magnesium (apparently constricts the blood vessels and thereby fights pre-eclampsia) until the pre-eclampsia subsides (within 48 hours usually is just plain loopy.  No other way to describe it.  Mike heads down to the NICU and starts a day of constantly evolving roles -- dad, husband, escort, host, nurse, chaplain, etc.  It pales in comparison to the girls' roles.  The baby is still beautiful and doing great in the NICU, and dad spends hours there staring, touching, taking her temperature, changing her diapers, and driving the nurses crazy asking questions about everything hooked up to her.  He passes the novice stage by 10am.  Long day with lots of visitors (they need a better system -- a very tired dad having to traipse down the hall to let visitors in and out doesn't work well there are lots of them) and answer Jenn's questions five times (she forgets she asks, let alone what the answer was).  With the help of Mike's brother Roger (the CD for the pictures), friend Jonathan (video camera and big memory stick) and especially friend Tim (putting together the website on short notice) we get www.thecassells.com on-line.  Very cool.  Baby Cassell is still only that (no name yet) and has a wonderful day.  Dad's highlight is holding her.  Mom mostly forgotten highlight is getting to go down to the NICU for the first time, and of course gets to touch the baby.  Awesome.  Another late night for dad at the NICU (highlighted by weighing the baby at 1lb 14.4oz) and then a little 'rest'.

 

 

Wednesday, January 14th 2004

Sleep in a little.  We get up at 8:30 when the doctor comes in and decides Jenn can give up the magnesium.  Looks like Mike will get his (drama) queen back.  Moving to the post-partum wing later too, so Mike packs up everything.  Just before he's ready to leave the Neonatologist comes in and drops the news the baby's right lung has collapsed.  It happens to about 10% of baby's at this gestational age, but here's that bad day Kent and Paul warned us about.  The doctor reassures us it is not unusual and shouldn't be a long-term issue.  We say a little prayer, look at each other a little while, and then Mike lugs a load to the car and goes into the office for awhile.  Jenn gets a few visitors but thankfully a quiet day full of much needed rest.  We move to the new wing about 5 pm with the help of our Pastor (thanks Frank) while the baby is doing relatively well.  She is laboring much more than she was Tuesday and isn't as feisty, but looks good all things considered.  We get Jenn ready for the first lucid trip to the NICU which thanks to our nurses that takes 2 hours, but we make it (Amy, Jenn's best friend, comes along) eventually and it's great.  Later that night, mom and dad go down for care time and it's very touching -- there's a great picture of the baby holding Jenn's finger.  Dad changes another diaper (he's losing the diaper wars so far) and takes her temperature.  No weight tonight because of the tube in the baby's lungs.  We throw some names around but still nothing strikes us as "it".  Jenn's tired, so we go back to the room and... watch the MD game.  Of course.  MD wins.  Of course.  Mike sends Tim some more pictures a diary of the week for the website, heads back down to the NICU to check on the baby and then gets to bed.  Jenn didn't make it through the first 10 minutes of the first half.

 

 

Thursday, January 15th, 2004

We Have A Name!  After a lot of discussion and debate, we decided she looked like a Bridget.  Yes, I know I didn't like the name but I DID NOT CAVE, honest.  I think the name fits her and the fact it means "strong" is totally appropriate.  We picked Ruby for a middle name (it was a leading contender for the first name too) after my Grandmother (my dad's mother).  In the end, we BOTH thought the names fit our little girl.

Bridget had a good day, though because of the chest tube (fighting Wednesday's collapsed lung) causing her breathing to be very labored she was placed on a respirator.  Maybe a minor set-back, but it will help her recover from her collapsed lung more quickly.  She lost a few ounces since Monday as well, but was stable at 1 lb 11 oz (815 g) for both Wednesday and Thursday's weigh in.  Overall everyone is very happy with her progress.

Mom and Dad had their first good night's sleep Thursday night as well, and it's looking as if Jenn will be discharged Friday.  Should be a big day.

 

 

Friday, January 15th, 2004

Bridget is doing well though the chest tube keeps her from gaining strength.  They will be adding a central line today so they can feed her without it being too much stress on her in general or on her veins specifically.  It's looking like her lung has healed though, so we'll be watching for another 24 hours and if no air accumulates around her lungs the chest tube will come out.  It will probably be another after that 3-4 days before she gains enough strength to be able to digest food efficiently, so the central line will probably be in for about a week.  After drilling the Neonatologist with 20 minutes of questions, the bottom line came to 8/10 -- as well as could be considering the collapsed lung.

 

Jenn was also released today -- about 6pm.  Our friends Kevin and Alysse took care of us: Kevin cam down and helped us load up all our stuff and gave me a few extra hands to smooth the transition; Alysse came to our house ahead of us and made us a beautiful dinner (complete with some very nice wine for dad).  It was perfect and very, very appreciated.  Good friends are certainly a blessing.  Jenn is feeling very good overall, though she is obviously a bit sore and also experiencing an early taste of menopause (her own personal summer).  As far as I'm concerned, though, my baby's mama looks great.We'll get a good nights sleep and head out late tomorrow morning back down to the NICU.

 

I also want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for... so much.  Thank you for the kind calls, all the visitors (all of whom were very considerate), the gifts for Bridget, the offers for food, support, and a multitude of other things to help us through this time.  We've had friends and family offer to buy us groceries, set up and maintain our web site, pick up clothes, take care of our dog, do our laundry, bring us breakfast, lunch, and dinner, lend us video cameras, run various errands, and of course pray.  Bridget's story has touched lives from Maryland to California and from Europe to Australia.  I even heard that an old school friend's mother had heard of Bridget through her prayer chain by Wednesday, one example of what has become obvious: people around the world are thinking of and praying for our girl.  Thank you.

 

 

Saturday, January 17th, 2004

We slept in a bit and spent some time trying to get organized before heading off the hospital.  Grandma Cassell came over and did our laundry (wow, wasn't that great!) and helped us out.  Before we got our the door the NICU called and let us know Bridget's right lung looked great and was going to come out but her left lung had collapsed as well.  A minor set-back, but they were optimistic they caught it early and indeed by the end of the day it was clamped to verify that the lung had healed.  We spend quite a bit of time at the NICU and had a few visitors -- eight in fact.  Of course Mom and Dad blew it by forgetting the NICU is closed from 6:30 to 7:30 -- Uncle Roger will just have to come back later.  Overall Bridget looked really good and you'd have to call it a good day.

 

 

Sunday, January 18th, 2004

We headed to church first and it was nice to get out in public.  We weren't too mobbed after the service either, so it was nice to just chat a bit and head out to the hospital.  And what a trip it was!  We were greeted by a party of six, and before too long that doubled.  She was on room air (no oxygen) with only the standard adult-issue (much smaller though) air supply at her nose and for the first time she had an unobstructed face for all of us to see.  But the highlights were (a) Bridget's second chest tube was out and her lungs looked great in the last x-ray and (b) that meant we got to hold her for the first time.  For two hours.  It was great, and Jenn and I split the time while our multitude of visitors cycled in and out.  Even Grandma Sharon got to hold her for a while.  When it was all over, Bridget was tuckered out -- I think we over did it a bit -- and we decided to let her rest the remainder of the day.

(One small hiccup at the end of the day -- we had some visitors at 5pm but we were at home.  Just remember we love having visitors and we're happy to take you in to see Bridget, but please call ahead to make sure she'll be able to take visitors or you'll be coming at your own risk.  If we are not there, you of course won't be allowed in the NICU.)

Overall this was a GREAT day for our wonderful little girl.

 

 

Monday, 19 January 2004

Very nice day.Bridget is doing great, and looks great.Her weight was about 1 lb 9.5 oz.We both got to hold her for quite a while today and loved every minute of it.What more is there to say?

 

 

Tuesday, 20 January 2004

Even better.We both were able to have about an hour of "Kangaroo Care" (skin to skin) with Bridget.We were so relaxed that we both nodded off, which of course is pretty amazing especially for we the first-time parents.Bridget continues to look great and her weight is stabilizing in the 25-26 oz range.

 

 

Wednesday, 21 January 2004

We seem to be on a roll.Bridget is tolerating her feedings well and they are continuing to ramp it up -- up to 5ml/hr now.More Kangaroo Care and spending some quality time with Bridget.Weight is still at 25.5 oz.

 

Thursday, 22 January 2004

She's really doing well, still.Weight has stayed at about 25.5 oz (sounds funny).Momma had about 2 hours Kangaroo Care and by the time Daddy showed up Bridget was too tuckered to do anything but look cute in her Isollette.Jenn and friend Allison were also out earlier in the day in search of preemie outfits with mixed results -- found some but they were way bigger than our little preemie.On the way home we stopped at Target and found a few baby doll outfits that were about the right size, so we're going to give that a try.

 

Friday, 23 January 2004

Bridget decided to break the monotony of good days.We talked Jenn into taking it bit easier today, and she had her hair done and met Mike about 4:30.When we got to the NICU the nurses told us Bridget's tummy had grown to 21cm from 19 cm in the past 4 hours, so they had an x-ray taken.When the results cam back, it showed that a loop of her bowel was dilated suggesting a blockage.Immediately she was taken off the feeding tube and put back on an IV.The immediate concern was an infection, which could be a very bad thing.The blood test showed no signs of her immune system fighting an infection (good thing), but the culture will take about 24-48 hours before we know for sure.In the meantime they will continue to take x-rays (tonight and tomorrow morning) to monitor the dilation -- this often resolves itself with rest.We are trying very hard not to be worried, but while the nurses aren't overtly concerned they obviously are watching this closely.Please keep our daughter in your prayers.

Saturday, 24 January, 2004

We start the day not being able to help but be concerned.  [Note: re-reading the previous entry I realized I used medical jargon instead of actually being clear -- a "dilated loop" in the bowel just means one section of the bowel has expanded.]  It appears the bowel issues have been caught early on though, as subsequent x-rays have shown improvement over the first, so there is good reason to be optimistic.  All the blood tests continue to be negative in terms of infection and show good platelet counts.  The doctors started Bridget on an antibiotic as a precautionary measure, which sounds like a good idea.  Her weight was steady at 1lb 11oz.  She continues to receive her nutrition strictly from an IV, but we have managed to stay positive about her condition.

 

In fact, Jenn spent the morning with her mom registering at Babies R Us and then headed over to the hospital.  Mike and friend Brad headed down to Gaithersburg to pick up the furniture for both of their babies (Brad and Aimee are due in March).  The weather was bad enough to make the furniture excursion eat up the entire day, and by the time Mike dropped off the truck at the office it was almost 6:30pm (we left home at 9:30am).  Since we can't visit the NICU between 6:30 and 7:30, he actually decided to go home for the evening.  It was the first day he did not see his daughter, and it didn't feel good.  At all.  Jenn's mom did made Mike a belated birthday dinner (cream of crab soup, steamed shrimp, crab melts -- unbelievable) -- that helped him feel a bit better.

 

Saturday, 24 January, 2004

We start the day not being able to help but be concerned.  [Note: re-reading the previous entry I realized I used medical jargon instead of actually being clear -- a "dilated loop" in the bowel just means one section of the bowel has expanded.]  It appears the bowel issues have been caught early on though, as subsequent x-rays have shown improvement over the first, so there is good reason to be optimistic.  All the blood tests continue to be negative in terms of infection and show good platelet counts.  The doctors started Bridget on an antibiotic as a precautionary measure, which sounds like a good idea.  Her weight was steady at 1lb 11oz.  She continues to receive her nutrition strictly from an IV, but we have managed to stay positive about her condition.

 

In fact, Jenn spent the morning with her mom registering at Babies R Us and then headed over to the hospital.  Mike and friend Brad headed down to Gaithersburg to pick up the furniture for both of their babies (Brad and Aimee are due in March).  The weather was bad enough to make the furniture excursion eat up the entire day, and by the time Mike dropped off the truck at the office it was almost 6:30pm (we left home at 9:30am).  Since we can't visit the NICU between 6:30 and 7:30, he actually decided to go home for the evening.  It was the first day he did not see his daughter, and it didn't feel good.  At all.  Jenn's mom did made Mike a belated birthday dinner (cream of crab soup, steamed shrimp, crab melts -- unbelievable) -- that helped him feel a bit better.

 

Sunday, 25 January, 2004

We were tired and not only did we decide to not go to church, we didn't head down to the hospital until 3:30pm.  The rest did us a lot of good, but lest you think we are just horrible parents we did call the NICU early on to get a check-up on Bridget -- and she was doing very well.  Blood tests continued to come back with no signs of infection and good blood counts.  The cultures continued to be negative.  She was looking much better and was more active and responsive.  In fact, they started her feedings again and removed the tube they had used to keep the stomach evacuated.  That was GREAT news.  When we did get down there we were able to hold the baby (dad had about 2 hours of Kangaroo Care, making up for the day before a bit more) and thought she looked and acted much more like our little girl.  Her weight was steady at 1lb 11oz and her bowels were moving.  See, the prayers are working.

 

The pause from feeding also helped in that Jenn has created quite a store of milk for Bridget.  Her milk came in the middle of last week and she has been doing great.  She gets up at between 5 and 6 am to start (she's usually too uncomfortable not to), pumps every two hours during the day, and has pushed herself to stay up to 11pm for the last effort of the day (if you know my wife you'd probably guess correctly that means she naps between 9 and 11).  Mommy is definitely serious about making sure Bridget doesn't need any formula in the NICU.  The new dad is quite proud of both of his girls.

 

Monday, 26 January, 2004

More snow.  Jenn was supposed to get to the doctor today and was looking forward to driving and getting back to work (to save time for when Bridget comes home), but the office was closed.  We came in together to Mike's office and Jenn headed on out to the NICU once we figured out the appointment was off.  The Neonatician was back in and thought Bridget was doing "remarkably well" even with the bowel issues.  He stopped the antibiotic (the x-rays, blood work, and cultures all showed the problem had dissipated -- thank you prayer warriors) and increased the feedings even more.  By the end of the day she was at 3.5 ml/hr (target is 5) and tolerating it well.  He remarked that her lungs and heart were doing very, very well for this stage in time and that he really had no concerns whatsoever with Bridget.  Even an increase in the "A's and B's" (apneas -- preemies stop breathing sometimes -- and bradial cardiograms [sic] or "bradies" -- a sudden decrease in heart rate from the normal 160-ish to 70-ish) didn't concern him because they required little or no intervention on the nurses part.  He gave our girl very high marks for her condition and expected her to come off of the IV Tuesday -- she would go to 4ml/hr on her feeding Tuesday morning and if that was tolerated well back up to 5 in the afternoon.  The day ended with a benchmark: Bridget now weighs in at a full two pounds even.  Yee-ha.

 

Tuesday, 27 January, 2004

Despite the snow, Jenn made it to the doctor and got a clean bill of health and gave her her license back.  Doc warned her that she would be very very tired, and axed the idea of her going back to work this week -- she'll have to wait for next Monday.  Bridget is doing great, still, weighing in at 2-1 (935g) today.  So it's official, she is a two pounder for good now.  Her feedings are going up quickly now, from 3ml/hr to 4 and to 5 by the end of the day.  She had a lot of Bradys (23) but all but three she self-resolved and the other three required minimal intervention (called T1).  She continues to just be amazing.

 

Wednesday, 28 January, 2004

Jenn's spending a lot of time at the hospital knowing she won't be able to next week.  Bridget gains 5 grams and is now 2-1.2 (940g), feedings increase from 5ml/hr to 6, and Bradys are back down to 14 though 5 are T1s.  She's obviously tolerating the milk very well, so the weight gains should continue.  Mom gets to have some good Kangaroo Care time and even though Bridget's too tired for dad later on, that's o.k.  Overall, another great day.

 

Thursday, 29 January, 2004

Bridget's still growing, now at 2-1.8 (955g).  Her feedings have increased to 6.5ml/hr and will hold there until she gets to 1000g (2-3).  19 Bradys with 5 T1s, which is a lot but normal preemie activity.  Dad's getting a bit overwhelmed but Mom is doing a great job making sure he's not forgotten.  Has something special planned for him Saturday but she's not telling.  Mom spends another couple of Kangaroo Care hours and tires out Bridget again, but it's great for both of them.  Our girl is filling out more and more, especially in her cheeks.

 

Friday, 30 January, 2004

Mom and dad spend quite a bit of time this evening at the hospital watching Bridget gain even more weight, now up to 2-2.4 (980g).  Bad day for Bradys (21 total, 6 T1s) but that's o.k.  Some of them come during the time mom and dad are holding her, and that's o.k.  Finally, mom an dad collapse their way home to dream of their little girl.

 

Saturday, 31 January, 2004

Mom took dad out to breakfast at his favorite spot (Dutch Corner) and then -- here's his surprise -- for a 1 1/2 hour massage.  Wow, dad loved that but was warned he needed a few more to get rid of the muscle knots all over the place.  It was great -- very relaxing.  Of course we headed back down to the NICU in the afternoon and held our girl for while.  Had a few visitors but were very very very disappointed to have to put her back in just as Mike's sister Vicki came in to hold her.  This was not a good day for Bradys as she had 25 including 10 T1s and 2 T2s (required a little more vigorous intervention).  Not to worry though, her weight is still going up (2-2.8 or 985g) and let's face it, she's a preemie.

 

Sunday, 1 February, 2004

We headed down to the NICU after church today to find our girl looking a little pale.  Not as alert as usual, and not as active -- just the kind of day a little Kangaroo Care comes in handy.  Jenn's mom came by for quite a while which meant Mike was forced to head off to the NICU conference room (equipped with a 50 inch television just for such occasions) to watch MD beat NC State.  O.k. to watch MD and NC State play.  Afterwards we headed off to Trish and Greg's for the Super Bowl and we made it all the way to... almost the end of the first quarter.  Jenn was asleep within a few miles.  Good day overall despite 19 Bradys w/ 6 T1s and 2 T2s, as she gained 5 more grams and is staring 1000g in the face at 2-3 (990g).  Maybe tomorrow.

 

Monday, 2 February, 2004

And tomorrow it is.  Bridget zooms past 1000g all the way to 1035g (2-4.6 lbs-oz) on her way to Porkersville but the Bradys keep coming with 19 of them (not so bad) including 5 T1s and 1 T2 (not so good).  The other big news of the day is Jenn goes back to work (sorry TESSCO, we kept her away as long as we could) and got a good workout lugging the industrial strength pump to work and back.  By the way, she's turning out to be a veritable fount of nutrition approaching 40oz a day -- most of which is stored in our freezer.  We head over to the NICU in the evening a while and while Jenn heads home for some much-needed rest, Mike heads back to work to try to catch up.  It's hopeless.

 

Tuesday, 3 February, 2004

Bridget moves to 14ml every 2 hours (fed at one time in about 20 minutes) and seems to like it -- reflected in the fact she is up to 2-6.4 (1090g).  Jenn's second day at work continues to be a workout, but TESSCO is setting up a maternity room to help out the issue (very nice).  Bridget has A LOT of bad Bradys (10 T1s and 2 T2s) so we give her some rest and only stay an hour or so in the evening.  That was a bit of a drama actually due to the ice, but we made it o.k. (past a half dozen cars in various ditches).  Jenn is trying to get rest but when she has to pump at 7p, 10p, 3 or 4a, and 6a there's just not a lot of time.  Lots of naps starting about 8pm though.

 

Wednesday, 4 February, 2004

Mom's still doing well at work, Bridget's still working on growing, and Dad's still, well, working.  The nurses weighed Bridget in and found she had lost 10g (down to 2-6.2 or 1080g) but then found it quickly when they weighed her diaper.  She looks great and has really filled out.  Mom spends a few hours with her, dad sneaks a peak, and then we brave more ice to head home.

 

Thursday, 5 February, 2004

Bridget moves up to 15ml every 2 hours and gains a bit to an all-time high (1100g or 2-6.8).  Dad misses out on his daughter but mom and Dawn get in to take good care of her.  Brady's are back down to just a few T1s and no T2s, so things are just going swimmingly.  More ice, but mom makes it home early and dad makes it o.k. later on.  Not much to say, other than our daughter is just doing terrific.

 

Friday, 6 February, 2004

Bridget's first day alone.  Dad goes home early to meet a few friends and Scott to work on a pet project (from 5pm to 1am with only moderate success).  The rain and melting snow conspire to create some serious issues on the roads so Jenn decides to get home ASAP before she gets washed away.  Both are very very sad to have missed their girl for the day.  Bridget doesn't miss a beat as she maintains weight and only has a few T1s and moves up to 23ml every 3 hours on her feedings, getting closer and closer to a natural rhythm.

 

Saturday, 7 February, 2004

A baby shower for mom, some indoor golf for dad, and lots of Kangaroo Care for everyone.  It was a good make-up day for the family.  Bridget looked great with nearly chubby cheeks and great color.  Grandpa Glenn (Wagner not Cassell) came by for a while to check in on his favorite granddaughter but missed out on holding Bridget -- a bit too late.  Bradys were good all day and kept to a minimum, but we don't have weight yet so stay tuned...

I've been very slack on the diary on the website so I wanted to give everyone a quick update (with highlights)...

 

Since she passed 3 lbs on 2/16 she's done great overall.  She did get a transfusion (thanks to my sister Vicki) on the 24th and concurrently (but unrelated) she started having trouble breathing.  Eventually they intibated her (not nice to watch), put her on a respirator, and started antibiotics (in case of bacterial infection) before they decided she had a viral infection.  It took her about 3 days to get over that, but she was still growing during the time -- only effects seemed to be her energy was down and she couldn't breathe on her own.  It was very scary but she came out of that near the end of last week and lo and behold hit 4 lbs this past Monday -- one pound in exactly 2 weeks!  She's been very alert and looks absolutely great.

 

Things have happened quickly since Friday:

- Her Brady's are down to none or one a day, and no apneas

- She's moved her into an open crib (a little trouble maintaining body temperature but not bad)

- She's off of the canula (nose tube) and she is breathing like you and I except when she eats

- She's feeding from bottle or breast four times per day (up from two, out of eight feedings)

- And she's moved into the step down unit, so getting closer to home

 

Really about the only thing holding her back right now is her feedings -- once she gets to eight bottle or breast feedings a day with no nasal canula she'll be pretty much good to go.  Uh oh.

 

 

 

Let me just add as well that we are extremely grateful for you thoughts and prayers over these last 7 1/2 weeks (seems like a lot longer than that).  The stories we can tell are amazing -- our refrigerator is overflowing with food even though we haven't done a lot of grocery shopping (and to all of you who have helped us eat we can't thank you enough), friends hearing about her through a prayer chain of a far off church before they heard through the grapevine or from us, nurses knowing friends of ours who ask about Bridget (one nurse said she had at least five random people in her life ask about Bridget - "you know everyone"), the huge box of preemie clothes that arrived at our door from an old friend, not to mention the hundreds of cards and gifts we've received -- and we strongly believe that the relatively smooth ride Bridget has had to this point was heavily influenced by all of you and the thousands of prayers that have been offered up.  Thank you all, and please keep it up at least a little while longer.

 

[More to come...]

 

 

Thank-you everyone for your prayers and support.

 

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