I submitted a post yesterday for Thursday and Friday, so I will now do my best to update everyone about yesterday and today. First, Madison is doing great! Quite possibly better than mommy and daddy both!!! So, here we go:
Saturday June 12, 2010
"Grandparents Coming Through"
If you have been keeping up, you know about the debacle of Friday's move from the hospital room to the family sleep room back to the hospital room and then to the Hospital Hospitality House (HHH). During that process, we learned that we would not have access to a breast pump at the HHH like we would have at VUMC's family room. This created yet another dilemma because Mandy needed to be pumping milk every two to three hours. Late Friday evening, we tossed around any number of ideas to remedy this problem, but no plans really stuck. Our next door neighbor has a key to our house, so we were trying to work out a plan for Mandy's parents to swing by our house on their way back into Nashville. The were going the long way to avoid Bonnaroo traffic on interstate 24. We knew our neighbor was going to be out of town, but they wanted to try anyway. They arrived at our house in Cookeville yesterday morning to double check they weren't home. True to form, no luck, and they began to finish the trek to Nashville. (The most frustrating part to the this whole thing is that Mandy and I made a key to give to them for just such occasions, but we forgot to give it to them during the couple of days around delivery. I guess we had something else on our minds!) After that attempt failed, we checked in with my parents who said that if they couldn't get in to our house, they would take a motorcycle trip to Cookeville and get the pump. They left around mid-morning and arrived in Cookeville around lunch time. We had turned up our air in the house to 82 degrees to save a little on our electric bill, and after a few minutes of hunting items in our house, my mom and dad were a little toasty. They found that our power had gone off at some point in time and reset everything in the house, including blowing a breaker in our garage. The problem there is we have an extra refrigerator in the garage, and everything in it was ruined. My parents cleaned that up for us, and began their return trip to Nashville.
We love our parents very much, and they have shown us perfect examples of sacrifice and love during this time (and our whole lives for that matter!). If Mandy and I follow the examples our parents set before us, we should do pretty well with Madison. Our parents have cared for us physically, emotionally, monetarily, and spiritually during this time, and Mandy and I would definitely not be well off as we are now without them. Dads and Moms... thank you for loving us and your granddaughter so much!!!
To continue the story of how much our parents care for us, when my parents arrived at HHH Saturday night, they had a Yukon full of goodies for us. My aunt Diane Davis (my dad's little sis) had pulled out a mini-refrigerator she had from college (which means it is almost as old as me---he he) that we could keep some drinks and the milk mommy pumps for Madison. They had also surprised us by bringing a little television to set up in the room. That place is a full fledged dorm room now. All we need is some black lights, a lava lamp, and some glow in the dark posters and stars for the ceiling. In all seriousness, those two additions made the room much more like home especially with providing us a way to keep Madison's breakfast, lunch, and dinner unspoiled until we can get it VUMC. This was crucial, because Mandy has been barely able to keep ahead of Madison's feeding schedule. This way, we could story extra meals for Madison and bring it over as needed. Awesome surprise Diane! Thank you and we love you so much!
Sunday June 13, 2010
Saturday night was the first long night for daddy. Madison had caught up with Mandy's pumping, so mommy had to set an alarm for 1:00 a.m. to provide Madison some breakfast. We arrived back at HHH around 10:30 pm, so mom didn't get asleep until around 11. I found myself wired, and I couldn't go to sleep before mom woke back up. After she finished pumping, I let her go back to sleep and I made the trip to the NICU with the goods. Mandy had produced enough food for Madison's 3 and 6 am meals. I stole some good early morning kisses and returned to HHH around 2:15 am. For some reason, I was wired at that point, and I didn't fall asleep until about 3:30 am. Mandy wanted to get up at 6:00 am and get ready for the day. We decided I would drive her over to the NICU and return for some sleep. Only problem was that I couldn't find the rest I was looking for. After lying in bed for hours, I decided I needed to get some early lunch to help my system power down for a midday nap.
Just after pulling through the Arby's drive thru, I called Mandy to check in. Her mom answered the phone, and she told me that Mandy was really upset about something. I could hear Mandy crying in the background, and I could really only understand that Madison's face was swollen pretty badly. I told them I was on the way. After I arrived, I learned that the IV in her head had blown up and access fluid begin the collect on the right side of her face especially in and around her eye. It was swollen shut, and mommy was having a very difficult time with it. Mandy's mom and I convinced her to go get some lunch while we attended to Madison. The charge nurse arrived and immediately said that there wasn't really anything to worry about, but we definitely needed to remove the head IV and identify another vein soon. After some inspection, she found a good spot on her right wrist. Before we got started, they told me this was really going to make her upset and to prepare myself. Pulling the IV out of her head starting the discomfort, but beginning the new IV on her wrist made my sweet little angel turn a little more devilish. She turned a shade of red that probably isn't natural, and her heart spiked to 210 bpm. The only thing I new to try was talking to her in hopes she recognized and was comforted by my voice. I am proud to announce (with all humility), I did a stellar job. I just began to talk to hear (not baby talk either) about what she was going through and why. I just told her what the nurses were doing and kept apologizing for being the cause of her pain. I told her it was the best thing for her, and I would like to think she understood every word. After completing the IV switch, she calmed back down and returned to a normal color of human being. After the fiasco, we decided to go ahead and feed her to continue help calming her. That was the first time I was able to feed her, and it was a absolute joy. I definitely didn't feel tired anymore, well not at least until she was about 75% through the feed. Then, my head began a little bobbing and weaving and the rocking chair became a little more stationary. It was all good, because we were napping together!!!
You have been forewarned about the next little section: Proceed with caution!
During her nap, Madison acted like her mommy and farted on my hands a few times. One of those times seemed a little juicy, so it was decided that I was going in for my first solo diaper change. I will proudly announce I didn't gag, and I learned that wiping goes from front to back. Who knew? I will also say that my little girl fought me to keep her legs shut, and she had better keep that habit up for seventy hears. During the change, I was really impressed and happy with how much leg strength she displayed. She really did push and pull to keep her legs tucked into the fetal position, so that made me happy to see her lower limb strength first hand. That has been one of our worries all along with the Spina Bifida, and I really think it is slowly becoming a non-issue. After getting everything switched and clean, I returned to HHH for a nap. Mandy met me shortly after, and we both had pretty good afternoon naps. We retuned to the NICU after my parents brought us some home cooked dinner, and Madison finally latched to Mandy for the first official breast feed. Awesome night of mommy and Madison creating another bond.
Well, that is it for today! We have head ultrasound scans tomorrow to learn of her ventricle size. As soon as we find out the results, we will share that info for the masses. Please pray that have stablized and we can take Madison home this week.
We love you all, and we still give our Lord and Father praise for every blessing on the journey!
"Every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord!" -James 1:17
Dustin and Mandy