Thursday, August 27, 2009

Support

So I thought I'd give you all a glimpse of what is keeping Jane going. Here she is in her little greenhouse today, blissfully growing:

Cute, isn't she? All cozy like that in her preemie straightjacket. (No, no, it isn't actually restraining her. Preemies like boundaries; the straps keep her tucked in without overheating, and she can still stretch out against the fabric.)

Now, take a gander at the hardware:


Whoa. I'll try to get a better photo tomorrow when all the lights are on in the nursery, but I think you get a hint of what's going on here. The machine on the far left is the oscillating ventilator. The next machine is the nitric oxide ventilator. Then we have the isolette containing three pounds of baby. It has its own display screen and settings. Behind that were four different pumps, each the size of a paperback (she's off all those as of yesterday). And at the very top of the photo, my friend the monitor.

Did you have any notion? It's amazing. And it's all accompanied by beeps and dings and alarms and whirrs and shuddering (that last would be the osciallator -- the thing is loud).

Let your mind take all that in for a moment. That's modern medicine's answer to the placenta. I think we owe that undervalued organ a little respect.

***

We had another good day. Jane's oxygen was in the 50s and 60s while I was there, and had been in the 40s during the night. They're almost done with her current steroid regimen, so they're going to switch her to an inhaled lung steroid called Pulmicort, which is frequently used for treating asthma. She'll be on this one for as long as she's on a vent. And they're going to give her another round of diuretics to get more of the edema out of her lungs. Lungs lungs lungs. This will be my world for years, I tell you. YEARS.

Wanna know something cool? I got to be the first mom to test their new chair that they're trying out. It was originally a cardiac chair, but that department didn't like it, and the ICN scooped it up. They intend to use it specifically for holding babies on oscillators. It was pretty comfy, actually, but it had no armrests. Even a three pound baby gets darned heavy when you have nowhere to prop your arms.

Tom just called down. Jane's still doing well, but they tried to wean her from 2 parts per million of the nitric to 1. She didn't like it very much (she didn't flip out, her oxygen just went back up). She'd been on 20 last weekend, and has moved all this way down without undue fuss, but didn't like this tiny little change. This better not be a preview of how she feels about moving from, say, her crib to a big girl bed in a couple of years.

3 comments:

Rachel said...

Yay! So glad that Jane's had another good day. Go lungs go!

And three cheers for the placenta while I'm at it.

Rowena said...

You don't know my, Tia. I went to college with Tom, but I just wanted to offer my support to both of you. Jane looks beautiful, and I am positive without a doubt that one day you will be struggling with Jane not wanting to switch to a big girl bed and having tantrums and being a finicky eater and in general being a delightful pain in the rear.

And yes, isn't the placenta and uterus and all that other female equipment a strange and wonderful miracle?

tia said...

Thanks, Rowena! I appreciate the support. It's nice to "meet" you, and I'll be sure to tell Tom you're following along (I'm pretty confident he doesn't read the comments).