Saturday, June 21, 2008

Training For A Milestone

The doctors are preparing Kayley for her next extubation attempt on Tuesday. Kayley is getting lots of rest. The rest helps her develop and grow. Kayley is also receiving regular doses of caffeine. If you remember, this drug helps her stimulate the part of her brain that tells her to breathe. And last, Kayley received her first blood transfusion yesterday. She received 18 cc's of blood. Getting the blood was the easy part. Setting up the IV...not so much fun. She had to be stuck 4 times in order to finally get a successful IV. Poor Kayley. It looks like she has Megan's veins. The IV is located in her right foot. It just looks painful. But, besides all the poking, she doesn't seem to mind. Needless to say, they're going to leave this one in for a while so they don't have to put her through that again.

The nurses are now fortifying Megan's breast milk so Kayley receives the necessary calories, protein, calcium and other things that breast milk lacks and that preemies need. This is a normal procedure in the NICU. During this time, they will keep Kayley at 13 cc's until they know she can handle the new concoction. Once she proves she can handle it, it's back to increasing the amount she receives. Megan found out yesterday that 24 cc's is a full feed for her. 30 cc's is equal to 1 ounce.

In the afternoon, Megan got to hold Kayley for the second time. Both of them really seem to enjoy it. Again, since moving Kayley out of bed is such a process with all her tubes and wires, the nurses require at least a one hour holding. That was no problem even for Megan with her small bladder. She held Kayley for about an hour and a half. We also needed to cut it a little short so we could get home so I could take Drew swimming. Of course, once Kayley was put back in her bed, Megan headed straight to the bathroom.

So, we went home, I took Drew swimming, we ate dinner, and then we put Drew to bed. Then it was back to the hospital for me. I like to be there at night to meet the night nurse (we're still interviewing) and to take part in Kayley's feedings and holding study. While changing Kayley, the nurse asked me if I wanted to hold Kayley. I said, "I would but Megan already held her this afternoon and we were told that she can only be held once a day." The nurse (who seemed to be a little old school) scoffed at that and said that was probably for the first couple days so they could make sure Kayley could handle it. And, since she was doing great and seemed to enjoy being held, she doesn't see why Kayley can't be held multiple times a day. So there I was, changing into my button-down-Kayley-holding shirt. I started at 10pm as Kayley was finishing up the 2nd half of her feeding. Next thing I knew, it was 11 pm. The nurse would come in and check every so often to see how we were doing. So far so good. We were both very comfortable. I was lying back perfectly in the recliner while Kayley was on my chest. Then, midnight approached (2 hours) and I could hear the nurse outside saying to another nurse that she was going to start Kayley's next feeding and then go to lunch. So, the nurse came in and asked if I was all right to hold her for another hour. I was still plenty comfortable and Kayley was asleep and her stats were great so I said yes. Kayley's feeding began and we were off, going for a total of 3 hours. This last hour was a little bit hard on me though. Not because I got antsy, but because of what happened. About 15 minutes into the 3rd hour, Kayley's ventilator started beeping, popping, and crackling like it does when it's disconnected. If there was a monitor on my heart, it would have shown that it stopped. I checked all the connections. They were all fine. Kayley's breathing stats stayed the same. What the heck? Then another nurse covering for our nurse who was at lunch came in. I explained what happened and she went to get the repiratory therapist. Turns out, there was just some water in Kayley's line. A common occurance that doesn't affect Kayley's breathing...only my sanity.

So there we are, two and a half hours into it. Kayley was being fed and I was calmed down from the ventilator episode. Then, Kayley started to get a little squirmy. I looked down at her and heard, "Burp!" Next thing I new, spit up was running down my chest between Kayley and myself. Not a big deal. Our nurse was supposed to be back in 10 minutes. So, we just laid there...until, Kayley's monitor said "unable to analyze heart monitor." Oh man. I was having my second heart attack in the last hour. Then I realized that her monitor got wet from the spit up and was just having a tough time sticking to Kayley. Another crisis avoided. Kayley was fine the whole time...I was the one with a couple years taken off my life. Within the next couple minutes, our nurse and repiratory therapist were in putting Kayley back in her bed. They swaddled Kayley up good and tight and she was out. More rest for her upcoming breathing test....

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