Her white blood cell count and other numbers are still decreasing. The lab tests have not yet come back on whether or not she has an infection but it's looking as if she doesn't.
She did very well "in the hood" (off the breathing tube and placed in an oxygen rich "hood") and continues to do so. Her schedule is now 4 hours in the hood and 2 hours with assisted breathing/breathing tube.
Although she's having frequent enough bowel movements, she wasn't digesting her food as they'd like. Instead of huge meals, they'll be doing a sort of IV-drip of food. She'll receive the same amount of food in a day, just throughout rather than all at once. This resulted in a second tube being inserted down her throat and into her stomach. Mom and dad stood by while I held her little hand as the nurse quickly did the insertion. The little trooper gagged just a little, grimaced and continued on her merry way of sleeping! (For anyone wondering, Miles was in the lobby updating his mom on Bella's condition).
To help her out a little with the digestion, they'll be giving her Reglan for a little bit.
Both her lungs and heart have not changed and she's not showing any signs of heart failure as of now.
Thankfully, they took the IV out of her scalp. At first I figured she yanked it out but they decided to take it out since they can use the PIC line in her arm to distribute any medicines or fluids. Now we can see her sweet little head so full of brown hair! :)
The nurses today allowed my parents to hold her. It was their first time ever seeing her and holding her! We have some very sweet pictures of that. Even though the rule is just 2 people at the bedside, they allowed my parents as well as myself to be next to Bella for their first visit. Then, during her "hood" time, they let my mom hold her and my dad.
To treat her jaundice she's also in phototherapy, so this limits holding times to 30 minutes. We end up just splitting it into 15 minutes per person. Again, more really sweet photos of Bella with her grandparents :)
Before we left during that visit, Miles and I placed the scapular my mom gave me. It was the one she had as a little girl and gave to me. Now it's hanging at the foot of Bella's little incubator so she can look at Mary and Jesus. Tomorrow Miles has requested I bring in her Gator's stuffed cheerleader bear :) Haha.
We took mom and dad up to Prairie Berry Winery in Hill City. We love going there, but since I've been pregnant we've not gone since I couldn't drink. Since I'm on Percocet for a short period of time, I didn't think it wise to do the free wine tasting, so I didn't. While mom and dad tasted (the DELICIOUS) wines, Miles and I wandered and admired the the shop and the pretty decorations. It's such a relaxing place, even if there were a ton of people in there.
I became very tired, so mom and dad rested in their room at the hotel and Miles and I came back to rest. Miles did some decompression on Eve, and I fiddled a little on Facebook before realizing I was falling asleep at the computer and finally napped. Before my nap I called the NICU to check up on Bella and see how she did in her time in the hood. The nurse that answered for her was Renee, the mean nurse who treats me like I'm an idiot. She informed me Bella would be in the hood again at 7:00 PM, and that was when her shift ended. Haha, so I knew I would be in after 7:00 then.
Mom and dad took us to Applebee's for dinner. By now Miles and them convinced me a little bit of alcohol would not affect me or do anything bad to me. I knew you shouldn't have alcohol with pain killers, but I didn't know why. Miles explained it to me, and after I realized it would (if even) make me more tired... I opted for my first margarita in nine months :) YUM!!
Straight after dinner we headed back to the NICU so Miles and I could possibly hold little Bella during her practice (hood time). Nurse Lindsey was on shift and taking care of Bella. She is perhaps the sweetest of them all -- or at least ties with Nurse Deb.
She took Bella off the hood and let us hold her. Even though we were told we could only hold her for 15 minutes each (or 30 minutes total), she said she felt it was important for Bella and for us to be able to hold her and instead we went on for about an hour.
I was the first to hold her, and while I was studying her tiny little fingernails I was startled by a dazzling flash. Lindsey had just taken our picture and was prepared to take another. After I'd handed Bella over to Miles, she did the same thing with them. I wonder what she's doing with them?
Lindsey spent some time talking to us about Bella having Down syndrome. She asked if we needed to get genetic counseling for future pregnancies, and I explained how there are different types of Down syndrome and that Bella had the "classic" one - Trisomy 21. Transloaction is the type where it would be genetic. I further explained that it was "luck" of the draw. She related saying all three of her children were in NICU and had an amniocentesis for one of them.
Both Miles and I really, really like her! She also promised she'd try to get me Bella's handprints before she left her shift.
When she informed us that she'd be a little longer (resulting in us holding Bella more than 30 minutes), Miles handed her over to me and said that he'd go get one of my parents so they weren't sitting out there alone. Soon my mom came in and we cooed and stared and adored little Bella.
Dad became extremely tired and a little sick, so I told Lindsey we needed to go. Mom and I watched Lindsey and another nurse put Bella back in the hood and on phototherapy and kissed her goodbye until tomorrow. Just as we were leaving, Lindsey let me know she'd be working tomorrow beginning at 7:00 PM again. This was good news! Miles and I will be sure to be there during her shift so we can hold our little one.
As much as I wanted to not be pregnant (and am happy Bella is OUT in the world now), I'm not enjoying post-partum. After a C-section, you can expect a lot of swelling thanks to the IV drip. As of now, anything below my knees look like fun-house mirrored balloons! Honestly at first when I saw that I almost panicked. After a little bit of research, I realized that for at least a week I could expect this especially after a C-section. Apparently it is worse if you don't move around a lot soon after your surgery! Thankfully I was up and running within hours of waking up.
Needless to say, since I'm not breast-feeding, my breasts are incredibly sore. This is something I can tolerate a lot better than the terrible cramping I had days before Bella was born, haha, but it's annoying and a bit shocking to me. Within a day I feel like they've grown two cup sizes, and they're hard as rocks. A few nurses told me that icing would help (which I just did) and other tips like standing with your back to the shower, wear a sports bra with nursing pads to keep them from moving too much (which can cause further engorgement). These are not fun after symptoms!
Tomorrow is a big Gators vs Seminoles game at 1:30 our time. Miles and my dad will sit and watch that. Mom and I will take that to spend some time together and go see Bella. I'd like to head to Target and Michaels, and I know those are stores she'd enjoy being in with me.
Since my legs have swollen to the size of pillars, Miles insists that we all take it easy tomorrow. Other than the trip with mom to visit Bella, they all would like me to sit and raise my feet lol. I think we all need a break anyway. Between dad travelling non-stop for almost two weeks, and mom is stressed from travelling, dad and Bella, I'm recovering from the C-section and Miles is handling the balancing act of baby-is-sick-in-NICU and work.... we all could use a good, stay-at-home Saturday :)
Beloved Jesus, thank You for the precious gift of life. Miles and I feel incredibly blessed to have this little token of Heaven as our daughter. We pray that You are with her constantly, especially when we cannot be there to support and comfort her. We ask that You grant Your mercy, knowledge and tenderness on the nurses taking care of little Bella and the other babies. Thank You so much for blessing our baby with the care she is receiving, and thank You for creating people who want to make her better!
We are so grateful God that You have enriched our lives with Bella. She is our gift, and I can only hope we will do her right in Your eyes. We miss her God, and we pray You will send her the strength and ability to breathe well on her own, the ability and health to take and digest her food and the spiritual perseverance to pull through this tough time in her first days on earth.
I love her so much Lord. Thank You for our daughter! You know our hearts anxiously await to hear she can come home with us and be a healthy little girl until her time to Omaha comes. Thank You for everything.
In Jesus' merciful and healing name... Amen.