Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Update on Anna 40 Days Old

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. We had a busy, but fun one. Nate and Abbie got some wonderful gifts thanks to Santa Winking smile and his helpers Lindsey and her family, Sissy, and a family of elves from Tim’s church. It was truly wonderful all the help we received this year and I can’t express my gratitude enough. It was going to be really tough had it not been for those wonderful people named and I’m proud to call them family rather than friends.

The plan to go see Anna didn’t work out as I had wanted it to, but Nate and Abbie were able to meet Anna and that’s all I really wanted. We spent more time than I had anticipated at my Dad’s. And then we came home to prep food for my Mom’s house that night so we got a late start on the road. And then it was snowing. I don’t remember it ever snowing in Tennessee on Christmas, and it did this year. It was beautiful, but I didn’t enjoy driving in it, especially to Nashville. Nate and Abbie did well in the NICU, I was holding Abbie and Bubba had Nate. We held them to the incubator and I asked, “who is that?”, and Nate answered without hesitation, “that Anna”, I was very impressed. They didn’t stay long, but they blew her kisses and told Anna they loved her when they left. I helped Bubba out to the car and when I came back in, Tim was holding Anna in a stocking. It was very cute.

Her nurse said that they aren’t hearing her heart murmur as much anymore, indicating that it was closing up. Praise God! They are also giving her a paci every now and then to check her suck, swallow, breathe reflex. They are impressed with how well she is doing for her gestational age (32 weeks today). I forgot to ask the nurse about her weight, but I called yesterday and she said she is up to 2lb. 9oz. I am amazed. The last time I checked she was 2lb. 5oz. and now she is up 4oz. I can’t put into words how happy I am. She is going to be home before we know it. Please continue to pray for her health, her doctors, and her nurses. Without the prayers she wouldn’t be where she is.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

This Just Sucks

I thought I had mentally prepared myself for Anna to be in the hospital over Christmas. I knew there was a good chance it would happen given Nate and Abbie were both premature as well. I remember how hard it was to experience Abbie's first Fourth of July without her so I made a plan of how Christmas Day was going to be for us in the McKee household. And that is still the plan. But as Christmas Day nears, I find that regardless of how much planning I do, I want my Anna home with us. I want Nate and Abbie to help their sister unwrap her gifts in our living room, not in the NICU. I want to dress her up and take her to our family's houses and show off my beautiful family. I want Nate and Abbie to meet Anna without wires and tubes hooked to her. It's scary for anyone to see, but now I'm going to traumatize my 2 and 3 year old by having them meet their 2lb sister with nasal prongs and a feeding tube down her throat.

I was sad about this yesterday. I fought back tears all day it seems like. And I would probably be admitted to the hospital for dehydration had I allowed myself to cry. But Nate and Abbie plead with me not to cry and because they don't understand why I am crying, I really try not to. But today... today I am angry. I am mad that my baby was born so early. I am mad that her little body has to fight so hard to live. I am angry that she has felt the physical pain she has because of me. Because my body can't carry a child to term and give the baby a healthy start. Don't get me wrong, I'm very thankful that Anna is doing as well as she is. It's been a rough ride, but Anna is a firework and she is going to light up the world. I know it! She is special, one look at her and you know she is. I can't wait to have her home so that I can look at her whenever I want.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Update on Anna One Month Old

My precious Anna is one month old now and is doing very well. She is still right at the 2 pound mark, her doctor this week showed concern with her growth, but I'm hopeful. Abbie had a hard time gaining weight as well, and even though she eats EVERYTHING, she is still small weighing around 25lbs and being 2 1/2. They can still hear the heart murmur and have talked to me about the possibility of surgery. Of course, Google had already made me aware of heart surgery being the result when a heart murmur is present and the medicine doesn't work. I don't try to Google her conditions, but I knew the doctors and nurses weren't telling me something when they told me the medicine wasn't working and they could only give her one more round. So I googled.

Anna was actually one month old yesterday. I took Sissy (my brother's (who we call Bubba) girlfriend). And of course when I got there I asked almost immediately about holding her. Her nurse, which is the one that had been with her the day the doctor told me about her lung collapsing and her other having bubbles in the tissue, asked me about Kangaroo Care. I know my eyes lit up when she asked, I couldn't hide that my hopes were high at the thought of holding my baby skin to skin. So she called the respiratory therapist who gave the o.k. for kangaroo care. I was ecstatic. I held her for 20 minutes while Sissy took pictures and her nurse changed her incubator out. It was the most surreal, happy, and incredible moment of my life. I was ecstatic that Sissy had come with me and was able to capture the moment for me on camera. If you'd like to see the pics, send me a friend request on Facebook (Traci Smith McKee), let me know that you read the blog and I will add you.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Update on Anna 25 Days Old

I was able to hold her for the first time today! YAY :) I was ecstatic. She is doing very well since her episode. She doesn't have any iv's and she is still off her vent. She does have the nasal prongs, but is needing very little oxygen. Her doctors and nurses are slowly increasing her food intake and I am proud to say that as of yesterday, she weighed 2 pounds. She weighs an entire 2 packs of cheese. She still hasn't cried, but I think that has more to do with her feeding tube versus her not being able to. Her nurse told me that she squeaks when she wants to cry. I remember Abbie squeaking when she wanted to cry and Abbie doesn't have any lung issues and doesn't have any trouble screaming or crying. Trust Me! 

I am still in the hospital. My doctors are working on giving me the correct dosage of the right medicines to keep my blood pressure down. I am also on a strict diet of low sodium along with my limited carbohydrates and I also have to limit my fluid intake so that I won't get swollen again. They say my diet won't stay like this forever, but it will be like this for at least the next 6 weeks. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Update on Anna 22 Days Old

I'm sorry I haven't updated on Anna, but things were at a stand still for a little while. She has made progress in the last couple of days. She is no longer on a ventilator. Thank You Jesus!!! She is getting some oxygen with nasal prongs. They are gradually increasing the amount of milk she is being fed, but I noticed today that she didn't have an IV. I asked her nurse about it and she said that Anna hasn't had an iv for a while. I was shocked. She is doing so well. I'm so proud of her and thank God for the miracles he is performing through my little girl.

I, on the other hand, am not doing so well. Or I wasn't. I was sick on Sunday and slept all day and on Monday I felt a little better. I was tired, but I wasn't nauseous and I wasn't vomiting like I had on Sunday. Tuesday was the same. And Wednesday was another bad day. I couldn't even keep down my medicine and I slept all day. Thank goodness for my mom, she watched the babies while all of this was happening. Thursday morning I woke up feeling a little better, but not 100 percent. Tim called Dr. Love to ask for advice about what we should do about my health. His nurse practitioner was actually the one we spoke with. She wanted to know what was going on and I told her how I was feeling and she recommended that I  come on up to the hospital.

So here I am. At the hospital. Dr. Love thought I had a heart condition that was causing all of my symptoms and I met with a cardiologist this morning. The cardiologist doesn't think that I have a heart issue, but that the swelling from when I was pregnant (and still have) is causing my issues. I gained about 50 to 75 pounds of water when I got preeclampsia with Anna and it still hasn't left my body. Apparently, my body doesn't like it anymore so they are giving me lasiks to get rid of it. It seems to be working, I definitely feel better now than I did on Wednesday. Hopefully, I'll get to go home this weekend. But if not, at least I'm just down the hall from Anna.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Update on Anna 2 Weeks Old

I met another one of Anna's neonatologists today. She said that Anna has had a rough week and is now experiencing digesting problems. They were going to give her clear fluids for a few of her feedings since her body would absorb most of the nutrition without having to do a lot of digesting. She also wanted to go ahead and "put the thought" in my head... Anna has been given the maximum dosage of medicine for her heart murmur and she said although it's hard to hear if the murmur is still there because of Anna's vent, she thinks that it's present and the next step would be surgery to close it up. Anna is also being given narcotics for pain which she could become addicted to, but it's what she needs at this time. She just wanted to keep me informed of Anna's care and medications.

I told the doctor that I can handle anything they have to tell me. And I can, because I no longer look at it as she's hurting. I know she is and I would do anything to take the pain away, but more than anything she is surviving. She is fighting. That's what I hear when they tell me that they had to increase the amount of oxygen she's receiving. Yes, they had to increase her oxygen levels, but she hasn't given up. She hasn't stopped breathing. She's holding on with the assistance of modern technology, that is what I hear when they tell me she may need surgery. That's what I hear when they tell me about the medications they are having to give her.

She had another head ultrasound and the bleed in her head is pretty much the same. Praise God that it's not getting bigger. Her doctor last week said that these bleeds are graded on a level of 1 to 4. 1 being the smallest, meaning that these bleeds don't typically leave any lasting damage. 4 being the worst, meaning that the bleed may cause developmental or other issues in the baby. Anna's bleed is a level 2, they are hopeful that the bleed will resolve itself.

I know that God is taking care of Anna. I know that he is listening to everyone's prayers and that she is going to be taken care of. Please continue to pray for her and thank you for loving her.