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.