A Visit With Family

Grandma, Aunt Lyn, Kirstyn and Cadence came to visit the other day and along with some sweet time together we got some nice family shots.

Pretty Girl


The Rest of the Story

Lets see, where was I? The second hospital gave a diagnosis of meconium aspiration, and that is where we started at Valley Childrens. Our beautiful baby was hooked up to tubes and monitors, lying in an oxygen hood. But she was doing well, and because she seemed to be responding quickly to the antibiotics it was decided that amniotic aspiration was a more likely diagnosis, it takes longer to recover from meconium.

The second day at Childrens her second RSV test came back negative and we were able to move out of isolation that night. We were moved to a room with several other babies and then a couple of hours later a room-in room opened and we moved there. We had to give up our room at Ronald McDonald in order to room-in with Annaleise at the hospital so Mike went to deal with that. While he was gone they brought his "cot." It was just that, a cot. They said cot, and we pictured a thin mattress on a metal frame. Close - minus the mattress. It was think fabric stretched over a metal frame, and the fabric was torn and frayed at the center bar so that it layed on the metal even before there was any weight put on it. Sleep, of which there had been very little, was looking ever more unlikely.

We pointed out the frayed fabric to the nurse, who went in search of another cot and found instead another chair that converted to a "bed." So we each got one of those. I'm sure they were better than the cot, but the idea that they were designed for sleeping is a bit far-fetched. Not that it mattered because every 4 minutes one of the monitors would beep loudly. I don't mean to sound unappreciative. We were utterly exhausted both physically and emotionally, but very grateful to be able to stay with Annaleise. We were able to perform a lot of her care which was a blessing. One of the things that had to be done was keeping track of how much she ate. This was accomplished by weighing her before and after eating. The difference is presumed to be what she consumed.

There were several things that they were looking for in order to let Annaleise go home. My milk had to be in, she had to be feeding well, her CRP needed to be below 1, her chest x-ray needed to show improvement, her blood culture needed to not grow anything, she needed to do well without oxygen and needed to be able to maintain her body temp.

Sunday she looked good and we were hopeful that we would be leaving that night. We expected to see the Dr. that Am., but she was tied up with 2 really sick babies for about 10 hours and we didn't see her until that night. In the meantime the nurse took her off oxygen and out from under the heat lamp, she continued to hold her own. But when the Doc came she said the CRP (something that measures inflamation in the body) was still 1.8 and the chest x-ray showed a lot of particulate remaining in the lung. She really wanted us to stay 2 more days. After a lengthy discussion and agreements to see a pediatrician within 2 days of getting home she decided to release us. We were told that she may end up crashing and then she would need 7-10 days in the NICU.

The only thing left to do was remove the IV. Which brought our final hurdle of the night. When they took out the IV, it was discovered that it had perforated the vein and infiltrated her foot. Her entire little foot was swollen and red, with a fairly large weeping cut, a blister and some bruising. The neonatologist thought there was a spot that looked like it was begining to necrotize and she didn't think she could release us. But the PA thought it looked superficial and would heal okay. It was finally decided that the hospital would make an appointment with the plastics team for us and if is didn't heal by the time the appointment came up we would come back up to have her evaulated for possible skin grafting. By this time it was 10:30 pm and we decided to get a room in the area and head home in the morning.

Okay, babies call. More later.


Pictures and the Story :)


Annaleise Geneva Elliott
Born 5-28-09
4:58 am
9 pounds 12 1/2 ounces
22 inches

For 6 nights in a row I was woken at 1am with contractions that lasted 6-8 hours and stopped. I was dilated to 5cm, the contractions were definitely strong and painful, but the timing wasn't regular and they just weren't long enough.

On Wednesday I had contractions on and off all day and as night came they continued. I wasn't able to go to bed at all, but I couldn't decide if it was labor that wouldn't stop. They were very hard, and they were lasting a minute or so, but the timing was all over the place. Finally, at about 3:30 am I had Mike get up and begin getting things ready. I called my midwife about 4, and after that call it seemed the contractions just never stopped.

When my midwife arrived I was dilated to 8cm and got into the pool. 26 minutes after the midwife arrived, Annaleise was born. The cord was wrapped once around her neck, and maybe around her body as well. She had some bruising, a little bit of fluid, and was, of course, beautiful :)

Things seemed to be going fine until about 5pm. Hailey changed her diaper and brought her to me to nurse. I looked at her and she was just blue. Her whole body. And she was blowing mucousy little bubbles and flaring her nostrils a lot when she tried to breathe. Her little chest was sucking in too. She slowly started to pink up, but it took several minutes. I offered to nurse her, but she was working too hard breathing to nurse. A quick call to the midwife and we were off to the ER.

Someone came out to see us right away and checked her 02 levels. Her saturation was 92 when we got to the ER and they took us right back. After establishing that she was born at home on purpose, and that I had received prenatal care at home, they began the battery of tests. Chest xray, blood work, lumbar puncture, catheter, antibiotic injections. Her chest xray showed something in her left lung, but it wasn't clear what it was. But while we were waiting they had a monitor on her to keep track of her oxygen levels and she crashed. Her saturation level dropped to 60 and they started albuterol treatments and deep suctioned her. Soon we were transfered by ambulance to another hospital and admitted into the pediatric unit.

It was about 1am by the time we got there and after getting settled in for the night Mike headed home for a little rest and to gather the things we would need to stay a little while. Grandma was with the kids, which was a huge blessing. In the night her levels dropped again and the put her on blow-by oxygen, but she seemed to be doing better. She nursed a little, screamed for a couple of hours and slept. In the morning they took her to a treatment room to start an IV. The first hospital stuck her 5x and kept blowing the vein, so the nurse promised that it would only take a minute and if they couldn't find a vein quickly they would skip the IV and just give her the antibiotics through injections.

An hour later they still had her and I could hear her screaming over and over. I finally went to the nurses station and told them to bring back my baby, that they didn't get to stick her anymore and I wanted to talk to the doctor. But when we went into the treatment room to get her it turned out that she had crashed again and stopped breathing, they had called RT for a breathing treatment and decided that an IV could not be avoided. After that she was on a nasal canula for oxygen.

Once the pediatrician came to see her arrangements began being made to transfer her to the NICU. Then her RSV test came back positive and she couldn't move to the NICU because they didn't have an isolation room. The doc believed it was a false positive and was going to test again, but ultimately he decided that she needed a higher level of care than they could provide and he wanted to transfer her to Valley Children's Hospital about 3 hours from home. A helicopter was coming to get her.

About an hour later we heard that the helicopter had a mechanical issue and an ambulance would be coming instead. The hospital social worker got us a room at Ronald McDonald House and Mike went to grab more stuff.

She was put in an isolation room at Children's Hospital and we had to wear gloves, gowns and a mask to be in the room with her. She wasn't allowed to feed because she was working too hard to breathe. The initial diagnosis was meconium aspiration.

There's more of course, but I am really tired now and Annaleise wants to nurse. I will try to finish the update tomorrow. For now, enjoy the pictures, pray as you feel led, and join us in praising the Lord for the precious blessing he has entrusted to us.

We're Home

Annaleise was released from the Nicu about 10:30 last night. We stayed in a hotel in Fresno last night and made it home this morning. We are so grateful to be home and praise God that she is doing well. The Dr. said that if she were going to crash it would likely be in about 3 days and then she would be in the NICU 7-10 days. So we continue to pray that she will recover completely and will not have to be rehospitalized.

Specifically our prayer is that her left lung would heal and her body would be able to eliminate the residual infection and particulate. We are also praying for healing for her left foot. When they removed her iv they found that it had perforated the vein and her foot is very swollen and blistered. There is an area where the skin is broken and sloughing off. There is one spot that the neo-natologist is concerned has signs of necrotization. Her limbs in general are full of needle sticks and bruises of course, but the foot is an area of concern.

For those who haven't heard:

Annaleise Geneva Elliott
Born May 28, 2009
4:56 am.
9' 12 1/2"
22 inches long

Pictures and the birth story are coming soon. Hopefully this evening.