Thursday, March 20, 2008

Home again

Hello! How surreal it feels to find myself here, blogging about the baby who just days ago I was so sure would be staying put for at least another few weeks! Needless to say, these past few days have flown by in a whirlwind of exciting happenings and emotional highs and lows, and I want to thank you all for the many kind comments you have left in response to Darren's posts. I cannot say how much they mean to us! We feel your prayers, so please keep them coming! I know our little Kristen needs them. I'm sure at some point I'll post a more detailed account of her birth (which was very scary and very quick), but for now, I have time for just a short update for those of you who are so graciously checking in with us.

After adapting so well immediately following her birth (maintaining her temperature, tolerating feedings, breathing only room air), we are disappointed to report that she is having a little more difficulty now, which we knew from her doctor and nurses to expect but which saddens us all the same. She is very jaundiced and is currently under phototherapy lights to bring her bilirubin levels down, and she was having a hard time keeping her temperature up yesterday. (Being under the lights has helped bring and keep them back up.) She was also getting increasingly sluggish with her feedings; whereas before she was drinking 20cc easily from a bottle, she was taking only about 5cc with much coaxing by yesterday afternoon. So, to give her a bit of a rest, she's now receiving only IV fluids. She's also (most dishearteningly for us) on oxygen, as she began experiencing episodes of apnea and decreased heart rate late yesterday. I'm reassured by the fact that these are, actually, all expected outcomes with a preterm infant, but I just feel so helpless and vulnerable watching her go through all of this.

Yesterday's homecoming was, for me, so bittersweet. I cried because I had missed my "big kids" so much. I cried because I was so touched by the many posters and cards they had made for me, and by the beautiful Easter centerpiece my Aunt had created as a surprise for me. I cried because I was home, and Kristen was not...and likely won't be for a long while. Basically, I'm a wreck. But Darren has been to the hospital already this morning, and says that Kristen is looking good. There is a possibility that she may come out from under the lights today. I'm going to go up and see her after lunch, and hopefully Darren or I will be able to make it up there again this evening. I've been using a breast pump every two hours to give her the added benefit of colostrum. I know and trust the nurses caring for her. I know that everything that can be done for her, is being done for her. But the watching and waiting is just so hard! I'm trying to focus on a point in the future when she will be home and healthy and happy, and just take these days one at a time. Darren and I feel so uplifted and overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, support, and prayers we've received from you and from family, and we just can't thank you all enough! I'll try to report again later on Kristen, and I know there are posts I meant to write before all of this that I may get to later...or not. In the meantime, here are two more pictures of our precious girl, under her blue lights with Daddy watching over her. She is so beautiful! God is so very, very good.


20 comments:

Matilda said...

Thank you for the update. We will redouble our prayer efforts to help her come home soon! Please, Melissa... take care of yourself and remember that this time is only temporary. There is a light at the end of this dark tunnel!

Cheryl said...

I'm sorry that your family is going through this, Melissa. A close friend of mine just went through this during the last two weeks. Their baby is at home now. I will continue to pray for Kristin and the rest of your family.

Anonymous said...

Be assured of cyber hugs and prayers I am an avid reader of your blog and find your daily musings uplifting. God Bless Sandra x

Stephanie said...

I wrote to you that this happened to my daughter. She also had the apnea, decreased heart rate, and jaundice. The hardest part is waiting to get to take her home. We were 2 hours away from home in Houston with no family or friends for 3 weeks. It seemed like she would never get better but she is almost 4 and perfectly healthy. FYI, we finally had to ask if we could take her home with a portable heart/breathing monitor, you may ask about that.
I'm praying!

Michelle said...

{{{HUGS}}} and prayers too.

Martha said...

We're thinking of you, Melissa, and your sweet baby. You have been through so much this week - sometimes it helps just to have a good cry! I know it hurts you to see the difficulties little Kristen is experiencing - I'm sure the waiting and watching will be hard, but just continue to focus on the happy day when she comes home. I hope that day won't be too far away! - Aunt Martha

Agnes said...

Be stronge hon!! Many prayers coming your way! God bless and hope in God!! (((HUGS)))

Anonymous said...

I found you via rosetta stone and will be sure to include you in my prayers. I saw on you profile you are from NM so started fishing around assuming you were in Albq. Then I got a few clues to change my mind-pics from the farm & heritage ranch, a post saying you are southern NM with little snow, and rock walls. may i ask if you are in las cruces? my husband and i both graduated from NMSU. feel free to email me, once you get time of course, if you don't want to answer online. we are in OR now and lived in albq after graduation so weve been gone a long time (though i grew up in el paso) so its fun to see pictures of 'home'.
Again, we will keep you and your precious new little one in prayer.
regina
tugandregina.blogspot.com
tugandregina@charter.net

Anonymous said...

Found you through rosetta stone. Will add you to my daily prayer list. May God answer our prayers for Kristen.

Sallie
(Michelle's mother-in-law)

Wendy in VA (now in MD) said...

Followed the link from Rosetta Stone. Congratulations on your beautiful new little one! Our youngest was born at 26 weeks and spent 90 days in the NICU -- half of that on a ventilator. She'll be 3 this August, and people are shocked when we tell them she was premature. It helped me, when I couldn't be sitting there beside her (which was often, as we have 3 older children), to imagine Our Lady holding her in her arms. We will keep you all in our prayers!

Jill said...

So good to hear that you are home. I will continue to pray for your sweet baby girl and your whole family!

Mimi said...

Lord have Mercy, Lord have Mercy, Lord have Mercy.

She is beautiful!

(I also came from Michelle's blog)

Mary Poppins NOT said...

I am headed to church now, and will add your little one to our petitions. I came here through rosetta stone, as well, and will keep you all in our prayers.

Matilda said...

BigBoy got to see the new pictures of Baby Kristen tonight and he said "she's a sleepy blueberry!" He loves seeing pictures of your little sweetheart and so do the rest of us!

Margaret in Minnesota said...

Your little Kristen Marie is beautiful, Melissa! How hard it must be to be away from her.

My sister was a preemie, too, and weighed only 5 lbs when she was born. My mom & dad could fit her into a shoebox! She is now the mother of six and grandmother of five--a vivacious, fun-loving gal.

Please know that I will be praying for your precious little gift welcomed a wee bit early, especially throughout the Easter Mass. May God bless you & your family.

He who wears the most black wins. said...

She is so beautiful, Melissa! I left town and was in Florida for a week. I got home and Steve said, "You HAVE to read Melissa's blog!" I had NO IDEA you'd had the sweet girl! I am so sorry for taking this long to send you my virtual hugs and many prayers.

I love you, dear friend, and wish you all many congratulations. I hope and pray that she continues to get stronger and stronger in the next couple weeks and is home with her big brother and sisters very soon.

Lillian said...

Melissa, I'm still praying for Kristen!! (((hugs)))

Jen said...

Thank you so much for the update, admist being so busy and recovering and caring for a new and fragile little one. She is just beautiful. You all are in our prayers. Prayers for a big, strong girl who loves to eat and grow, grow, grow! You are doing a great job, momma!

Jill said...

Just popping in again to wish you and your family a very happy Easter!

Shannon said...

Have I ever posted on your blog?? I'm not sure I have!! I check in often and love reading your updates.

Praying for your little one.... I'm sure our infant Jesus is close to her, especially in the moments where you can't be near her.

God bless you!