Some of the events I wrote about in the previous post occurred through a good portion of Thursday am. The days are currently just blending into one another and our concept of time/days is gone. Today, we’re in a state of shock, running on zero sleep and pure adrenaline/fear. How can she go from being so stable, and doing so well immediately after birth, to being in this critical state? Is this just a part of her being a premie? It can’t be.
The doctors tell us that she is slightly more stable, but she remains in “very critical condition.” They continue to closely monitor her blood gas levels, labs, vitals, etc, requiring one-on-one nursing care. Occasionally, different components of her blood (i.e. hemocrit, platelets, etc.) would be low, and she would require another blood transfusion. This is not surprising given the amount of blood she lost during the hemorrhage.
Later on in the day, Riley’s condition continued to become more stable, and she was doing “surprisingly well” from a respiratory standpoint per the doctors, who were quite impressed with her comeback. However, she was still requiring a lot of extra help from the oscillating ventilator, and was nowhere near out of the woods yet.
During this time, her bilirubin level (which is what’s produced when the liver breaks down old red blood cells) was slightly high, and she was requiring low levels of phototherapy (blue light) to help keep it under control. She had to wear covering over her eyes (which basically covered a good portion of her tiny face) to protect them from the light as she sunbathed. This was the least of our concerns. At least for now….
I was discharged from the hospital today, and with all the chaos going on, didn’t even see my doctors for a final check-up. I guess they aren’t concerned. But now what?…we can’t leave after what happened last night. Ian and I were extremely uncomfortable leaving Riley’s room for more than 5 minutes at a time, and we certainly weren’t comfortable going home at this time. The NICU staff was able to hook us up with a room down the hall (from the NICU), reserved for the parents of very acutely ill infants, where we were able to take shifts sleeping. Sleeping didn’t really happen much for Ian or myself, but we tried and pretended, because we knew we had to take care of ourselves, too. But how?? We were literally living minute to minute, hour by hour, hoping that the worst is over.