Today is Tess’ first day off of her low-stimulation protocol, which means we get to care for her every 3 hours instead of every 6. In order to stay sane, we go to care and rounds together in the morning, then I take the noon, Dave takes the 3, we skip the 6 and do the 9 together. In the meantime we have taken over Beans and Brew with the blessing of the pregnant manager, whose due date is about 10 days before Tess’! We’re both relieved to dive into work for a few hours of normalcy a day, and are then also relieved when it’s baby time and we can reassure ourselves that she does remember to breathe when we’re not there! She’s still having minor breathing issues, but the head of neonatology (who happens to be from Tosa, WI thank you very much!) says she’s a doll and not to worry ourselves.
Today, Tess’ birth great-grandmother from Austria sent her well-wishes. We are so astounded at how much love is pouring in for this little bug! We’re honored that people on all sides of this adoption are so supportive. Maybe Tess came early so we could all experience this remarkable relationship-building. It’s our honor to share your messages with Tess as she grows. Thank you for celebrating with us!
Now we sit and wait. The heart and lung results come today, and will go a long way towards showing us how Tess is developing. We are hoping so, so hard that her streak of NICU luck will hold!
Tess is working harder to breathe. Her blood oxygen level is slightly high, and they’re thinking she may have a PDA (a valve in her heart that isn’t closing fast enough) issue. This is a 2/10 on the serious scale right now and happens to lots of preemies, but it’s her first significant medical issue, and it’s made today a little harder. We’re still waiting for heart and head results, and now they matter more than ever! If she has no brain bleeds (another major preemie issue), they’ll give her antibiotics to help close it and stop feedings for 48 hours. That should resolve it. Waiting sucks.
What a day! Between 6 and 6:30pm tonight, all of our questions were answered! The birth dad let us know the paperwork was signed (making today Adoption Day!!!!) while we were getting the medical updates from the nurse practitioner. Tess had a perfect brain scan – no bleeds or any issues. Huge relief! Unfortunately, her NICU perfect streak came to an end. Her PDA is open, which is making her work harder to breathe. It’s a valve in your heart that should close in utero – she just wasn’t in long enough. They’re going to watch it for a few days – they can resolve themselves. But if it continues to exacerbate her breathing, they’ll have to give her drugs that require she get no food for 48 hours. We are not enjoying the thought, and are hoping Tess will shock and amaze us all by not requiring it. She’s eating really well, and they keep increasing her meal size. She’s putting on weight again, and we’re just hoping she packs it on in case we have to stop feeding her!
All in all, it was a pretty amazing day. The brain bleed risk is 99% behind us, and the PDA thing seems pretty common. Our buddy the charge nurse always gives it to us straight, and she said she wasn’t worried yet at all – so we continue to hang tight. She and the birth parents all recommended one nurse for nights, and we really like her – so we have a second primary nurse! She’s fun, from Wyoming, and is really gentle with Tess. What more could we ask for?
We’re going to bed blissfully aware of just how much love 2 pounds of crying, tired baby can inspire. Life was pretty unpredictable before the baby, and we’re getting better at rolling with the punches. We’ll keep you all posted!