Day 26

We shot over to the NICU this morning hoping for miracles. We did stop for coffee – good decision. Tess is better – she was kicking her legs and trying to get the iv out of her hand – but is still not herself. They’re giving her a third transfusion, as her numbers came up, but not enough. She’s pinker, but still intubated. No tests have come back positive, but they’re still planning to treat her with antibiotics for 7 days, as something’s clearly wrong.

Everyone tells us she needs us, but I think we both feel pretty useless right now. We touch her head or hand and talk to her, but she’s drugged, exhausted and feels like crap. Can she even tell we’re there? We were talking to the other 26-weeker adoptive couple about how dependent you become on her monitor. If she high stats, that must mean she knows we’re there and likes it, right? It’s like trying to interpret an 8-ball!

Well, the doctor is screening for scary stuff, but they found a bug in her lungs, so pneumonia is still the prime suspect. Everyone seems pretty calm, so nothing drastic is happening – but when it’s your 2 lb baby, it all seems to matter A LOT. So lumbar puncture in 45 minutes, head scan to follow. Not too worried about either, but huge dislike.

Strangely, Tess being sick makes us more typical NICU parents. We’re making friends left and right! The other Ronald McDonald house couple keeps checking in with us, and just letting us know that they’ve been through it and the other side isn’t too far off. This whole drama in the NICU thing is restoring my faith in humanity.

Lumbar puncture and head scan done – waiting for results. We know the risk is low, but it’s nice to take it out of the game completely. Tess is so wrecked she’s not even trying to breathe without the vent. So sad! But all of the tests, exams, moving, etc takes what little energy she had and just wipes it off the map. On a happier note, her latest tests say her blood and gas levels are back to”textbook”. We’ll take it!

Tess is doing a little better, but she’s still not even trying to breathe on her own. That’s really hard to hear as a parent – that your kid is so sick she doesn’t have the energy for the most basic function in the world. I felt like people needed me to say today was better, and I’m not there yet. Tess is better, but it doesn’t feel better to us. We still see our pumpkin with tubes sprouting from everywhere, limp as a rag doll. So I felt like I was apologizing all day for having a bad day – but it’s okay to have a bad day sometimes. Our daughter is sick – really sick. And I won’t apologize to anyone in the future for letting that get to me. I wasn’t behaving badly – just wasn’t myself. Either is Tess. We know she will get better, and things will be cheerful again! But we appreciate the good days because the bad ones remind us of how valuable those good days are.

Still, there are 3 more Oplingers in Utah today! And I’d say it’s doing great wonders for the whole state – definitely for us. 🙂 Sarah, Rose and Dan all rolled in this evening, and laughing at inappropriate jokes and telling stories is a great way to spend an evening. Dave and I are dragging pretty hard. Tess had a clear brain scan and no meningitis, but we didn’t find out til 9 tonight. People, that makes for a loooong day. Sarah is so good at making you laugh despite the burnout, and Rose and Dan always make us feel like we’re getting hugged. We were so happy to share healthy, growing Tess with my family, but we need family right now just to get through the constant, nagging worry – even though it’s a lot less fun to share our sick girl than the feisty, thriving one. So thanks to all of them for being themselves, in salt lake city.

Here’s hoping we can pull ourselves together and be more entertaining tomorrow! For now, yawn…time for sleep.

7 thoughts on “Day 26

  1. Yup. Tess is gonna be a woman alright, incomprehensible and fickle and makes you live on HER schedule… but you can’t help but love her dearly.

    Love you guys, I’m pullin for you.

  2. Wow Maggie, I am brought to tears each time I read the daily comments. Some days the Mother in me tears up at the happiness you have, and greatly deserve. Other days the Mother in me tears up at the worry you must be feeling with each little “bump” in the road. I would like to say it gets easier, but heck, we all know the worries just become different. The amazing fact of it all is that you are experiencing pure Motherly love and that is a precious thing.
    Hang in there, Tess will know you are there every moment.
    Sending you all love and kisses


  3. Maggey, never think you need to put on a brave face or twist the news to be cheerier than you are really feeling! We’re all here rooting for YOU and Dave and Tess… so go ahead and lean on us. Worry when needed and don’t feel bad about it or like you need to apologize! Love you guys so much! Sending HUGS & happy thoughts!

  4. I´m sending good waves to you all.
    Last night I was holding Tess in my arms. It was so speziell – and such a wonderfull feeling. I´m going now for Meditation and will include Tess.
    Kiss and hugs

  5. Sending lots of thoughts and prayers straight to you all in the NICU! I LOVE the picture of Grandma Rose taking a peek at Tess with you two. Fabulous Grandma time. I’m SO glad the Os are there for you all.

    Also, the picture of Maggey’s finger wrapped around Tess’s hand and knee is precious.

    Hugs, kisses and gentle squeezes for you and your precious, fierce Tess.

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