snobby & strong-willed

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Clint and I decided today that the best way to describe Darbi would be strong-willed. While we were up there visiting her, she was constantly de-sating. Her oxygen level kept going down and while they even had her at 100% oxygen, the amount in her blood would not rise above 80. The nurse called in the Respiratory Therapist and they changed some settings on her ventilator and things would temporarily get better. Later, after we left, while the nurses were "shift changing", Darbi's oxygen dropped again and the nurses tag teamed her. They got a ton of "gunk" out of her respirator and cleaned out her mouth and she's been a happy little, little, little baby since! The strong-willed part comes from while they were in there with her changing her diaper and such after cleaning out her tubes. She was so mad that they were in there! Her heart rate went way up and the nurses decided that they won't try to make Darbi stick to any schedule. They will work around her schedule and do what needs to be done when Darbi is ready. Clint and I have a feeling that this isn't something that will go away as she gets older. We need to prepare ourselves now for the little monster we will be bringing home in a few months. We just need to find a way to channel that energy to be heading in the right direction.

While we were there with her, anytime a machine would beep or a baby would cry, she would get so upset. She did not want to be bothered and it was way obvious that the crying was annoying her. I can just see it now.. once she's older and she hears a baby crying, she'll walk up and smack 'em because it's annoying to her. She's going to be a snobby little girl!!

She is up to full feedings now. She gets 9cc's every 3 hours. She's been taken off of the TPN (IV nutrition) for now and has started her daily diuretic medicine today. This new diuretic is different from the lasix she was taking before. This one keeps the electrolytes and potassium in check whereas the other one did not.

After visiting Darbi, Clint and I went out with 2 of my most awesome roommates from college. Both Linds and Steph live near the hospital now and they took us out to dinner and then to a movie. It was so fun to get away and catch up with them.

Steph, Lindsey, & me


Check out the beauty that is My Minds Eye! I've been waiting for this paper to get to Pebbles because I knew it would be in Darbi's scrapbook. LOVE it. I can't stop pulling it out and looking at it... I'm sick. Guess who's getting crafty tonight??

quick update then off to work...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Yesterday was a good stable day for Darbi. I helped with more of her cares again (taking temps, changing diapers..) and she got some more lasix yesterday. Lasix are like super diuretic pills. She didn't gain any weight from Wednesday but she's peeing out a ton which is good. I called this morning and I guess she had a bit of a rough night. Her blood gases were all over the place. The blood gas test helps determine how much oxygen/carbon dioxide is in her blood, among other things. They changed some settings on her ventilator and she's doing better. She's been really fussy all night so they are trying to stay out of her isolette for a while to get her to calm down. She gained 30 grams yesterday though which I was kind of confused about. The lasix should be making her lose weight, yet she's still gaining. The nurse said that a lot of it is probably real weight which is awesome! That means she's up to 690 grams or 1 pound 8 ounces!!

Being pregnant makes you dumb.. but does it ever get better??

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm pooped! How did I work all day before and still get ANYTHING done?? Oh wait.. I didn't get anything done. Just a normal day I guess. Except the forgetful pregnancy disease has yet to flush out of my system. Maybe I'll just be dumb forever... I drove ALL the way to the hospital today WITHOUT my pumping kit! I was in such a rush to get out of work that I left it there! I wasn't willing to drive all the way home to get it so I made my Murse (Darbi's MAN nurse) go get me another one. Hopefully my insurance will overlook that and not charge me for it. :)

Darbi's murse let me give her a sponge bath today! I'd never been there for it and unfortunately, there was no one there to take pictures of me doing it. I got to touch her more than I have ever before but she didn't like it as much as I did. Her face was scrunched up and her mouth was wide open and her body was doing that heaving spastic back arch and I felt so bad! She was crying and I couldn't even hear her. :( The comforting mommy instinct is kicking in. I could tell that after she was much more comfortable and that made me feel better.

When they weighed her last night, she was 630 grams which meant she had gained ANOTHER 30 grams (same amount gained as the night before). The doctors seemed to think that was a lot and decided to give her a diuretic pill. I hope that's healthy for her.. I lost 35 pounds on diuretics and she can't really afford to lose any. They did say it would help to clear the fluid out of her lungs which is a good thing. I hope they're right. The murse will weigh her at 11:00 tonight so I'll see how much she's lost then.

Tomorrow is a slow day for me.. no work. Just an oil change for our old timer Shadow, a visit with Miss Darbi, Barnes & Noble to spend my GC, and then home to spend time with my hubby. I'm looking forward to tomorrow very much.. Then it's back to work on Friday!

More milk, work, and school...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I think that the chaos that is my life now may be rubbing off onto those near me.. I left my grandma's house for the hospital around 7:30 last night and she sent me with a ton of leftovers from the last few days. After the hospital, I headed down to Orem to stay in my own home with my hubby. I got home and Clint helped me unload the car. He put away all of the food Grandma sent me home with and we talked about lunch/dinner plans for the next day based on what she sent home. I came home with tons of food, some of which included; a bag of cereal, leftover enchiladas, and supposedly spaghetti. Clint opened the container and it was filled with SOUR CREAM. A 3 pound plastic container, FULL of sour cream! Grandma saves the large containers and sends them home with us, usually filled with yummy food from Sunday dinner... not this time. I called her and asked her if she wanted some spaghetti on her baked potato for dinner.. It was pretty funny. Maybe you had to be there.. I got a kick out of it.

Today was my first day back to work! I told Darbi's nurse last night that I wouldn't be making it up to the hospital today because of work and she was shocked that I was already going back. Then the night nurse told the day nurse and the first thing she says to me (sarcastically) when I call is "Good luck at work today.. Ha." Apparently recovery time is 6 to 8 weeks. It's almost been 4. Meh.. I feel fine. It was nice because I was busy while I was there and it helped to take my mind off everything going on. Most of what I was doing was done sitting down. It was also nice to get back to work and feel needed. I feel like I have some control in what is going on around me.

Darbi had a good night. The nurse was giving her some blood today (a normal thing for preemies) and her IV became infiltrated. The IV basically came out of the vein but not out of the skin. This created a large bruise on her foot and now they have to put ice on it 4 times a day for about 20 minutes each time. Darbi doesn't like that very much. The nurse felt really bad too because I guess that is kind of painful for these little ones. Darbi has been sedated and she's doing fine. The chest x-ray this morning showed that part of her left lung had collapsed and so they are keeping her on her right side so her left side will "blow back up". My baby is a balloon. They've bumped her up to 4cc every 3 hours and she's continuing to tolerate it! She gained 30 grams yesterday so she's up to 630 grams or 1 pound 6 ounces!! Grow baby grow!!

Clint is doing a good job of trying to keep up with me, Darbi, and his schoolwork through all of this. He called me last night and said he's finally caught up with school! We're 3 weeks into the semester and he was behind. What a trip. I'm so proud of him though. He's really good at balancing stress and he's able to use school as his getaway.

Another side note, my wedding ring finally fits me again! I don't look like a single teenage mom anymore.. I really am married!!

Chronic Lung Disease... basically.

Monday, January 26, 2009

About 10 days ago, the doctor's decided to do a culture on Darbi's lungs to see whether the haziness they saw in the x-rays was from an infection (likely pneumonia) or something a bit more serious. The results came back yesterday and she has a condition called BPD - Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia. NOT an infection - which is what we were hoping for. I don't understand all of the details but our nurse told us she will likely have to be on oxygen until she is maybe 3 or 4. From what I was able to read on the internet, it will hopefully get better as she gets older. She's not going to be an Olympic athlete but I wasn't either.. not even close. They have started her on a new treatment where they use Nitric Oxide in her lungs. The machine plugs into the ossilator and is supposed to NOT destroy her lung tissure like the oxygen in the ossilator was doing. Why we didn't do this earlier? I'm not sure exactly. The nurse told me that this is a new thing and isn't used very often but we should be successful in ensuring there is no more damage done to her lungs. It is a 3 week long treatment and after which we will re-evaluate. Clint understands this all much better than I do so he might be posting some corrections.. We can only wait right now and time will tell us the severity of it all. I think it will all turn out okay though..

She had such an awesome week last week and I've been on this high that I'm sure has a lot to do with the special pills the doctor has me on. I'm afraid to go into this week because as much as I want her to have a perfectly uneventful time in the NICU until I can bring her home, I know that she is still going to have ups and downs. I keep thinking that this perfect progress she is making can't last forever.. but then again.. maybe it could. I'm trying really hard to be optimistic. I wake up with a small anxiety attack every morning thinking that today is going to be the day with the bad news... but then I call the nurse and she had a quiet night. SO good. So I keep calling the nurse... and I keep taking the pills.

I'm starting to go back to work this week. Knowing she is so far away is going to be hard. I will go see her tonight but I won't be back until Wednesday night. I hope she's good for her nurses while I'm gone..

A first time Grandpa!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My dad shouldn't be called grandpa yet! That's so weird to actually type that. My Grandpa Hillman is the only one.. Maybe I should come up with something else for Darbi to call him... I can't think of anything right now.. anything creative anyway.

Anyone got any ideas?

He's too young to be a Grandpa. I do know that this little girl is going to have this "old man" wrapped around her finger and she is going to get the most spoilings from him. I should put the reigns on now but I know that as hard as I try, she really will get whatever she wants. I already know if she asks for a pony.. She'll get 2!

3 weeker

Here is her 3 weeks photo. She was laying on her side (obviously...) but her head looks abnormally large. I thought it was just a funny angle and since she's not really gaining a whole lot of weight right now, I figure we can change up the pictures week to week for a little while. The nurses change the angle of her head every 4 hours so her head doesn't get misshapen.. I hope they stay on top of that. They "say" that once her hair comes in you won't notice if there's a bit of a flat spot but.. mmm.. I don't want her to have a complex about that when she's older. They had just better stay on top of it now.

They have moved her feedings up to 2.5 cc's every 3 hours which is awesome because she is continuing to tolerate them. She's "stooling" it out perfectly. I think it's so funny when the nurses use that word.. just say it. "She's pooping like a big girl!!"

Tha's right.. :)

Milk it baby!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday morning, around 9:30ish, they did the contrast dye test on her. To do this, she needed to be transported to the 3rd floor. You can't really just pick her up and carry her there, and if they were to wheel her bed down there, they would have to follow her with her oscillator (breathing machine) and also the little machines that administer her meds and such.. The nurse sounded kind of nervous and she told me she'd rather them just come up to her bedside and do it. What had to happen was they would move her from her isolete (the plastic box thing) into another one, similar to how the Life Flight team transferred her when she was moved to Primary and apparently a lot could go wrong. I had no idea. Anyway, everything was fine. They prepped me for this LONG journey she would be going on.. I thought I'd do the same for you. I haven't blogged for a day and I'm feeling kinda rambly.. not a word I know.. ANYWAY.

They did the X-ray with the dye and the esophagus hole has officially.... CLOSED!! They even got a feeding tube down SUCCESSFULLY without puncturing her esophagus again. I wanted so badly for them to start giving her milk yesterday but the doctor was still hesitant. My little girl is so hungry, I'm sure! He ordered for another echo to be done on her heart this morning and then he said they would talk about milk. The echo showed the PDA as moderate and it was not causing any strain on the heart so... Darbi got milk today at 2:00PM. They gave her 1CC and what a Thanksgiving feast that was for her! Ok.. not really. A full feeding, in a day, is 150CC. She gets 1CC every 3 hours. Good enough though! My milk is gold in her gut!

Also, I was able to be there on Tuesday when the doctor's do their rounds and when they sat down around Darbi to talk about her, the doctor looks at her chart and says, "So this is just a routine preemie, right?" RIGHT!!!! Nothing else is seriously wrong with her at the moment and her only major problem is that she's teeny-tiny! I'll take it!

I almost forgot! They measured her Sunday night.. She's 12 inches long now! She has grown a whole inch since January 1st!

The plan for the next few days is to just continue to give her milk and let her get stronger. We will probably be doing surgery on the PDA but they haven't even talked about a date yet and we're not too worried. The doctors have told us it is a routine procedure and can be done in 5 minutes by the bedside. We'll deal with that when the time comes though.

They gave her a bow today. :)

A whole new world!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Today was such a good day! I woke up and called the NICU to see how Darbi's night was and the nurse said that when she started her shift and went to check on Darbi, she was LOOKING BACK at her!!!! Her eyes opened! I was so extremely excited! We didn't think this would happen for at least a few more weeks. It was hard to get a good picture because she wouldn't keep them open for long and it was hit or miss. So instead I took some video of her stretching and trying to open her eyes. She is so dang cute!

Other good news: They did a brain scan this morning and the bleeding they found last week is going down! There is still some bleeding but they are expecting it to go down and flush itself out in the next few days! Tomorrow the surgeons will be putting some contrast dye down her esophogus to see if that hole has officially closed up and from there, they will decide if trying a feeding tube is an option one of these days. They've been doing a bunch of X-rays and there is no free air in her chest cavity which likely means the hole has closed up but the dye test is to just make sure.

Daddy's Ring

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Today we boiled Clint's wedding ring in hot water before we left for the hospital so we could get a picture of Darbi wearing it. I love it because when she's older we'll be able to tell her that she was so small, she could wear Daddy's wedding ring on her thigh.

My idea of a baby's size and weight is skewed now because Darbi's neighbor at Primary is a sweet boy named Crew who weighs upwards of 3+ pounds and he looks like a full term baby. Darbi doesn't seem as small to me as she really is and this ring picture helps put her size into perspective.

They weighed her last night and she's at 530 grams. She's gained some weight but we're pretty sure it's just water. Give it time.

Darbi's visitors

Jed came to visit last weekend and I didn't get around to posting his picture with my bluish-white glowing radioactive baby. It's just the bili light. Don't fret. What a good looking uncle!!

Introducing... Darbi's GREAT-Grandma Linda! Darbi is her first great grandchild! What an honor.. Darbi is pretty excited about it too. She told me.

Bedroom Art

Saturday, January 17, 2009

We asked our nieces if they would make a sign for us to put on Darbi's bedside. We love it!! Look at the bottom.. too cute!!

Happy 2 weeks Darbi!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thursday was Darbi's 2 week birthday! I am going to take a picture of her every week to see the change and already, in just 2 weeks, she is looking SO good!

Here she is the day after she was born. Her skin was so thin and they needed to use heat packs to help keep her warm. They even had her in a ziploc bag because that ensures the heat stays trapped near her body.

And here she was yesterday evening. Her skin has a much better coloring and she doesn't need the bili light anymore. She's looks like a little baby doll!

So I may be really putting myself out there but here's a picture of me right before I went in for the C-section. Just remember... I was on magnesium and seeing double so my eyes are a little unfocused.

And here I am today! I'd like to think that while Darbi has come so far in the last 2 weeks.. I'm doing a little better myself. You know.. I'm wearing real clothes, not laying in a bed all day, and spending much of my time staring at my beautiful little girl!

Life is alright.. for now. :)


Alison: You are SO right! How could I forget to post a picture of my beautiful husband?? Here he is. He has been my rock throughout all of this and I am so grateful for him! I love you Clint!!!

No news is GOOD news!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sorry for not posting for the last few days. I guess that's a good thing though right? :) Nothing to report. Tuesday I went up to see Darbi with my sister-in-law Beth and the whole time we were up there she was really good for her nurse and slept the whole time. Beth told me that she could just stand there all day and stare at her. She doesn't do much but that's exactly how I feel. She's so beautiful and every little move she makes is a miracle and it's amazing to just watch her. I just sit next to her little bed and watch her move her little arms and wiggle around. She's just too cute! Yesterday, Clint and I went up and again, there was nothing really new going on. They had done another echo on her heart yesterday morning and it showed that the size of the PDA vein in her heart was small to moderately open. They said that it isn't affecting her heart or anything at the moment so they are going to leave it there until they can finish treating the infection in her lungs. We are hoping that when that infection is gone and they check the heart, the PDA will have finished closing. Then we won't have to do surgery on her heart.

So I had a followup appointment with Dr. Judd today to get my steri-strips (sp?) taken off of my incision and also for them to check my blood pressure. I was a little nervous going into that appointment because what if my BP was high again? Would they ship me right back to the hospital?? But thankfully, it was 130/80!! SO great!! They doctor said that even if it was a little high, he wouldn't send me back though because he knew I'd had enough. He decided to lower the amount of times I take my pills so essentially I'm taking less mg! He said I'm on the road to becoming a normal person again!

Now that I'm on my way to being a "normal person" I have to tell everyone.. I was way too excited. I've lost 30 pounds!!!!!!!!! I don't know what exactly my weight was right before I had Darbi but they weighed me about 2 days after. After all of the water weight and swelling went down, I officially weigh less than I did before I found out I was pregnant! A lot of that has to do with me not eating while I was in the hospital and also I lost a lot of muscle mass with not moving around but with everything that has been going on, I figure I can at least get excited about this! Talk about getting my New Years Resolutions taken care of fast! I'm only 3 weeks into the new year! This is sweet!

My mom is flying into town tonight and she will be bringing my Grandma Linda with her so she can finally see her! She's been a bit under the weather lately and we didn't want to risk her getting me sick or anyone who works near Darbi.

Darbi is 2 weeks old today! I'll be going up there later tonight and I'll be sure to get a good picture. I'm going to try and take one of her every Thursday so I can see how fast she is changing and growing (when she finally does start to put on weight).

Welcome to Holland

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This little analogy was given to me by one of the nurses in the NICU. It really helps to put everything into perspective.


Welcome to Holland
By Emily Pert Kinsley

"When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."


But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland."

Fast For Miss Darbi!

Monday, January 12, 2009

We made our second trip today to Primary Children's Medical Center today to see Miss Darbi. I can't tell you how much better she looks now. Her skin is starting to develop, and she is starting to get more active. Audrey even got to change Darbi's diaper today!

The doctors did another head ultrasound this morning which showed some bleeding on the brain. This is very common with children this age. On her right side, her bleeding is stage 2, and on the left, it's between stage 2 and 3. Bleeding on the brain can cause everything from mild physical disabilities to severe mental disorders. We are hopeful that her body will be able to flush out the fluid and her brain will continue to grow as normal, but we won't know for several more weeks what kind of impact this will have on her life. In the mean time, Audrey and I, along with my family and her family, have decided to fast again on Wednesday for Darbi. We would love to have anyone and everyone, who is able and willing, to participate.

Other than the bleeding, Darbi is doing very well. Her vitals are strong and she looks better than ever! Below is a picture of Audrey changing her diaper and also a picture of Audrey holding her hand. It gives you a good idea of how big Darbi really is!

Our first of many trips to Primary

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Today, Clint and I drove up to Primary Children's to see Darbi. It was a little weird because Utah Valley has started to seem like our second home and now we have to get used to a completely new hospital with new staff and everything. When we got there it was "quiet time" in the NICU and so from 4-5pm, they turn off all of the lights and they don't do any tests or anything on the babies. You also have to whisper when you are near them and that is to ensure that the babies get at least one good hour of uninterrupted sleep with essentially no stimulation whatsoever. It was kind of relaxing, even for Clint and I.

They had done a few more X-rays on her since yesterday and they also did one while we were there and we were able to see that there was no air escaping from her esophagus into her chest cavity like the doctors were anticipating. Still great news! We're definitely not in the clear yet because they did a lung culture on her and we are awaiting the results to see if she really does have pneumonia or some kind of bacteria in there. I'm not sure of the details on that test but whatever the results, I know we can get through it and I know Darbi will be strong.

When we called up there this morning to see how she is doing, the nurse said that we had one "feisty" little girl. I was so proud! I mean, I don't want her expending unnecessary energy but if they do something to her and it makes her uncomfortable, she will let them know it! That means that she won't succumb to anything that is attacking her body like an infection or something. She won't give up and she'll fight as hard as she can to be here. I know that our Heavenly Father wouldn't have sent her to us early if he knew that she couldn't handle the trials she would face here. She's a strong little girl and she amazes me everyday with her progress. I know there will be set backs but I'm sure the Lord will help her and help Clint and I to get through it.

I just want everyone to know how grateful we are for all of the thoughts and prayers that have been made on our behalf. I know we wouldn't be where we are right now without the faith of all of you out there. I'll bake cookies for you all someday! I promise! :)

And Now The Good News...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

2 pieces of GOOD news to report!

Audrey is FINALLY being discharged. We should be home within an hour or so - yay! Our doctor said that if they didn't let her go home for some reason though, that we should sneak out the back door. He's a funny guy...

Darbi made it safely to Primary Childrens this morning. The nurse called me just an hour or so ago to let us know that they can't find any air inside her chest cavity, which likely indicates that the hole in her esophagus is closing on its own already! This is wonderful news! They are going to be taking X-Rays of her every 6 hours to make sure that it continues to progress.

We'll keep you all posted though!

Darbi's First Road Trip

We got a call this morning from Dr. Ogden about Darbi. In the course of putting a feeding tube into her stomach, her esophagus was punctured. They say that it is very serious. They just bundled her up and transported her to Primary Children's Hospital. They aren't necessarily going to do surgery, but they want her up there just in case she needs emergency surgery. Primary Children's is the only place in the state that has the surgeons needed for this type of case, but as long as Darbi can avoid infection, her body should repair the puncture on it's own. She will be up there for at least a few weeks until this puncture is repaired, her PDA is taken care of, and she is stable. At that point, they will transport her back down to UVRMC. Jon Standing, my elders quorum president, came down to help me give Darbi a blessing just before the move. Thanks Jon! We are praying harder than ever for Darbi.

Audrey continues to stay in the hospital with blood pressure problems. It has come down a lot though from where it was. We are hoping that she will get released today.

The doctors will be calling us later today to give us an update on Darbi from Primary Childrens.

This is a picture of Darbi all bundled up during transport.

Yesterday's excitement

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sorry for the lag on the posting.. I totally was going to post last night then we had some complications on mommy's part (that would be me.. the mommy). Darbi is doing great by the way.. So to recap yesterday, Clint left for school around 7:30 in the morning and I basically just hung out in my room until he got home. My doctor came in and told me that we're still looking for the correct "recipe" of medication that will take my blood pressure down and I probably WON'T be going home yet. BUMMER. Oh well I said.. I'm close to Darbi and out of the snow.

So around 4:00 Clint, the nurse, and I decided it was time for my shower (it had only been 2 days.. c'mon..). That took about an hour because they had to tape up the 2 IV's I had.. yes. 2!! Why 2?? They alternate which one the medicine goes in so the other one doesn't get jealous.. ridiculous... Anyway, one is on my left elbow which meant that arm would not bend and the other is on my right wrist which meant that elbow would bend but not the wrist. It was pretty funny while I tried to shave my legs and wash my hair with much help from Clint. I'm glad I can be positive about this... but really. It was FUNNY.

So.. after my shower, we went up to see Darbi before the shift change and her nurse said that she hadn't had to adjust her levels at all which was a really good sign and she was just sleeping, hopefully dreaming happy dreams. So we went back to my room and waited for Jed to come. He was driving up to go snowboarding with some of his friends and was going to stop by to see his new niece.

Anyway.. around 6:00 my nurse comes in and tells me they want to move me to ICU. ICU???? Isn't that where all the comatose or dying patients are?? I am NEITHER I told them. Then she said they were going to have to put an arterial IV in and it would probably go IN MY NECK!!!! Needless to say, my blood pressure sky rocketed. The nurse felt so bad that she was making this worse for me. So then the HEAD of the entire ICU came in to talk to me.. apparently I'm important enough that I caught his eye. He settled my fears and said they would do the arterial line in my wrist. Not bad. I can handle that. So we get down to ICU and they put me in this room that is huge and has all the bells and whistles like in the movies when someone is dying, and they have me get on the bed. Let me tell you... ICU patients have it so nice... my bed fills up with air every 15 minutes! I'm sleeping on a fluffy cloud and it was the best night sleep I've gotten so far!

So anyway, the girl comes in to do my arterial line and apparently it's an entire surgical procedure where she has to "gown up" and become sterile and everything. She ended up NOT finding it and poked my artery 5 different times and they brought ANOTHER guy in to try and he poked that same side a few more times along with the other side 2 more times! I'm sick of getting POKED! So, while all this poking is going on, my BP was only 156/89!!! I needed a stressful situation to scare my blood pressure away! Apparently having a baby at 24 weeks isn't stressful enough. Whatever. Since they couldn't get into my artery (I guess it's crooked or something..) they decided NOT to put an arterial IV in so I have a BP cuff that goes off every 15 minutes. All that stress for nothing!

So. Now. I'm in ICU with a blood pressure of around 130/70 and they will probably move me up to another floor tonight and hopefully discharge me tomorrow. All these false discharge claims are starting to wear on me..

I'll post a Darbi update later today. I called up there and her blood sugars were a little low today so she's getting more blood and the doctor will do another echo on her heart today to make sure everything looks good. So.. maybe I'll be posting from a new room.. hopefully my OWN.. at my house!

My shy girl...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Darbi got to meet her Great-Grandparents today! She was a little shy but she'll open up to them eventually. I just know it! She's gonna love them! They stopped by for a quick visit on their way through town and I'm so glad!

The doctor updated me real quick while we were up there and the reason her little plastic box is so foggy is because they are keeping the humidity in there at 70% because she's not responding well to temperature changes in the air around her. She's had a little bit of skin breakdown but it's not too bad and they've got some special ointment on her to help it heal. They also did a brain scan on her today and her brain is looking good with no bleeding!

I'm still in the hospital. My BP is still all over the place and they are going to do a kidney ultrasound on me today just to double check everything. I think my kidneys are fine because I have to go at least every hour there's plenty to go around. But we'll see how the next few days go.

Newborns come with palm pilots?!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

When the doctors told us that they were going to give Darbi medication to attempt to close her PDA, the first thing I thought was... "Newborns come with Palm Pilots?!" Then I realized that I was probably wrong. They must be talking about Public Displays of Affection. But no... It actually stands for Patent Ductus Arteriosus (you guessed it... latin). If you want a pronunciation key, Google it - I can't pronounce it.

The PDA is a small blood vessel used in the transport of oxygen in the womb. This needs to be closed in order for Darbi to be able to use her lungs properly. There are two ways of treating this.

1 - Surgery!
2 - Medication! (our favorite)

The medication has a 50% chance to successfully close it without surgery, but it takes ~3 days. The doctors gave Darbi a dose of the medication on Saturday and did the echo today to see if it closed. Fortunately it closed! This is great news because now that her PDA is taken care of, she is off of her BP medication, and she is no longer taking doses of insulin they can start making attempts to give her REAL food.

While we have many more milestones to achieve, this is a very important one for her. As long as we can keep her out of surgery, the stronger she can get!

Still here...

So I'm STILL in the hospital. I'm so sick of this place. UGH. The plan was to go home yesterday... and then today... and now we're scheduled to leave TOMORROW. I've gone the rounds with all the nurses and I'm back to where I started. I've probably had them all at least twice! The reason I'm still here- my blood pressure is still out of control. I can't seem to get out of the the 170 range. The doctors changed my medication today though and hopefully it will work. They just checked me and I was at 158/100. That bottom number is the worrisome one though. Hopefully this works. The nice thing about being here though is we can go up and see Darbi anytime we want and we don't have to worry about driving in the awful weather! Have you SEEN the snow??? I can't believe it.

Anyway, we got a call from the NICU doctor this morning and Darbi is doing really well! Everything came back normal with her blood test results today and tomorrow she is scheduled to have another brain ultrasound to make sure there is still no bleeding up there. If it comes back clean tomorrow, I think she's pretty much out of the woods on her brain developing alright. At least that's what we're praying for. They've taken her off of her blood pressure medicine (makes one of us.. at least her BP is cooperating..) and also off of the insulin for her blood sugar.

They turned her on her tummy the other day and she looked so cozy sleeping like that. I can't wait until we can actually hold her. That won't be for a few months though.. We're planning on her being here at least until her due date which was April 25th.

We're heading up to see her right now so if there's more to report.. I'll post it later today.

On a side note.. I'm getting sick of hospital food.. Check out this piece of artwork.. "Windowpane Gelatin" GROSS.

Darbi Update

Sunday, January 4, 2009

It's Audrey this time.. Just wanted to let everyone know I'm feeling better. My blood pressure has finally started to drop and I thought I'd post some pictures for everyone to see. We went up to see Darbi last night and the Doctor said she is doing really well for being only 23 weeks. So far her stay in the NICU has been "uneventful" which is really good and definitely what we want to hear. The nurses will start to feed her my milk in the next few days which is going to be really
crucial in her growth over the next few months. It's nice to know that I am important and can do something to help my daughter through this even if I can barely touch her.

Little Darbi Came Early!

Friday, January 2, 2009

This is going to be short, but on January 1st, 2009 our OB/GYN decided that the pre-eclampsia that Audrey was experiencing was no longer controllable and decided to perform a C-section. The good news is that we had 72 hours to prep for it with steroids and various other medications to help Darbi after the birth. Darbi was born at 12:44 PM and was immediately rushed to the NICU. She is doing really well and is responding to treatment incredibly well. When she was born, she weighed 444 grams, 1 gram shy of a pound which is pretty much what the doctors told us she would weigh.

Audrey is doing very well now that she is off of the magnesium drip (to avoid siezures). She is up and walking about now and is able to eat solid foods now.

We will post more, but our family needs some time to recuperate. Please keep praying for Darbi though. She has a long way to go...

Here's a picture to hold you over :)