Monday, July 6, 2009

Crazy day in the ICN

Before we get to talking about the girls, just a word about the ICN. Leading up to and into the holiday weekend the room that Jessica and Evelyn are in got down to just three babies. The room has a capacity of eight, but for various reasons, we were down to just our two girls, and one of their buddies, who has been there about a month longer than we have. It was very nice and quiet.

Evidently too quiet...

What a difference a day makes. When I got in this afternoon, they were already up to six babies. As soon as I got there they wheeled another one in, and soon brought in one more that had been transferred in from another hospital. It got a bit crazy in there. Kudos to all the nurses, who handled it masterfully, even if some didn't get their lunch break until after 5 pm.

Now more about our girls. Evelyn is steadily improving. The X-ray from this morning (bright and early at 5 am) showed that she no longer had fluid on her lungs. The extra strength dose of the diuretics she was getting did the trick, and she had full diapers all day long. Even with all that, she was still able to show a weight gain today, bringing her to 1166 grams, or just over 2 lbs 9 oz. Her breathing has gotten better as a result. She is able to stay at 21 % for most of the time, only needing a bump up now and then. She still likes to have a brady (heart rate below 100) every now and then, but I think she does that to make sure that folks are still paying attention to her.

Jessica had a bit rougher day today than I think she was planning when she woke up. Her labs from overnight showed that she had a low hematocrit again, which usually means that she gets a unit of blood. The nurses had a hard time getting a IV to stay in on her this afternoon, and after several attempts they decided to give poor Jessica a break. She was able to get her afternoon feed, but then went NPO, as the nurses were able to get an IV in later this evening. She'll get her unit of blood overnight, and should be able to pick back up on her feeds by late morning tomorrow. The good news for Jessica is that the doctors decided that she is ready for life without the CPAP machine. She is on the nasal cannula full time now. This skews her weight measurement a bit, because up until now, her weight had been taken with the CPAP mask on*. It weighs about an ounce, so technically, she lost an ounce over last night's weight.

*For you technical people out there, there is an understanding that when the babies are wearing a CPAP mask that they will actually be an ounce heavier than their "real" weight. The nurses take this into account when making their assessments and reports, even if they just report the measured weight (with or without the mask) to us.

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