Friday, April 24, 2009
Day 3 / 72 hours
Friday, April 24 @ 9:30am - Well, Rebekah has exceeded our expectations! The wonderful NICU nurses were able to increase her feedings to over 30cc and she had no apnea episodes during the night! According to Dr. McKay (neonatologist), her urine test showed that her kidney was functioning properly and making good urine. She is scheduled for a kidney ultrasound so we can see what shape her kidney is in and if the second one exists. We stayed through her noon feeding and learned the secret to the increased feeding amounts... a slit nipple! Turns out Rebekah can handle the faster flow and got 30cc down for us in 20 minutes. You go girl! The reason why all of this is important is that if it takes her 30+ minutes per feeding, she is actually burning more calories then she is consuming. So we were also cautioned not to overstimulate her and use up those precious calories. Left the hospital in very high spirits!
Friday, April 24 @ 9:30 pm - What a roller coaster ride of a day! Rebekah's 6pm feeding didn't go so well for the nurse. Rebekah only ate about 20cc. We fed her for her 9pm feeding and tried using a different type of bottle used for preemies called the Habersham method. It's supposed to flow very easy with any kind of compression on the nipple (versus sucking action required on typical nipples). Michael and I had no luck getting her to eat. Not only that, but her heart kept decellerating again during the attempted feeding. It is very nerve wracking as a parent to watch the numbers drop and the alarm go off for those few seconds before her heart seems to correct itself. We consented to using a feeding tube because we simply have to get more calories into her if she is to have a fighting chance of getting stronger! We know the digestive tract is working otherwise.
On a positive note, the boys visited with us. Elijah got to spend some very special and tender moments with her. Oh how I wish I had my camera with me, but Michael had taken it to the car with the other boys! He loves his baby sister so much and is so sad she cannot be home with us.
The nurse explained that Rebekah, though technically at 38 weeks is full term, is acting like a preemie. Preemies typically respond to overstimulation like Rebekah and will have the same type of heart decellerations and eating habits unless kept in an isolet and given more quiet time.
The question none of us can answer is whether Rebekah is acting like a preemie because her development is behind or because the T-18 has made her 'incompatible with life'. So we struggle with making decisions - what is best? Do we assume she is just behind developmentally and give her every moment in NICU to grow and stabalize? Or do we bring her home and spend every precious moment we could have hugging on her and loving her? So we go to bed tonight with apprehensive hearts knowing that each kiss and hug and minute could be the last.
But, oh, what a blessing she has been to us already! We are so happy that God has entrusted this sweet angel to our care and love. How we cherish her and lift her up in prayer! As Michael said on the way home from the hospital, Rebekah has made a wave in the world already... not just a ripple, but a wave.