Elaina took a BIG step today! She's been of the nitric oxide for 12 hours now! She seems to be tolerating it very well. She's still on the ventilator though. The doctors are thinking that maybe by the middle of next week she'll be off? They said that they'll probably want to continue watching her for a week or so after she's extubated before they even think about moving us back up to the floor. With as sick as her lungs have been I've been warned that she may not tolerate coming off the ventilator very easily. Her chest x-rays are looking a little better and they are suctioning her less every day. That's okay, we're just going to stick with the plan: slow and steady.... She's still moving up on her feeds, they've increased her up to 8cc's an hour and are now going to increase 1 cc every 8 hours. We're hoping to get her rate up to 25 cc's per hour (full feeds) and then we'll work on getting her caloric needs met. She's getting 20 calories per ounce right now and potentially we want to get her back to 30 calories/ounce. She's still on the Diurel and the Bumex to get rid of any extra fluid, and right now they don't have any plans on switching her to anything else or lowering the dosage. It's one of those "if it's not broken, don't fix it" situations. It's working just right at the moment, so the docs said that they'd worry about that down the road.
So, I'm still doing the hovering thing. I can't hold her yet because she still has her heart lines in and the surgeon hasn't cleared it. I was told that once the surgeon has cleared her I can hold her even if she's still on the ventilator. For the time being I have a small stool that I stand on and climb into her crib for kisses. She'll usually open her eyes and look at me when I do this, but today she was just too tired. She cracked one eye open to make sure that it was really me and then went right back to sleep. She's being SUPER sleepy today! She hasn't wanted to wake up for much. She even puts up with the nurses changing her diaper and then goes right back to sleep.
She just spiked a fever of 39.1, so once again they are drawing blood for cultures. So far nothing has grown on previous cultures, so I'm continuing to pray that we stay the same. Silly fevers.....
Well, I am enjoying my newly found freedom. I've decided to enlarge my comfort zone by staying at my Grandmother's house for now. My plan is to leave the hospital at 7:00 when I get kicked out for shift change and spend the remainder of the evening with Ben. I will then sleep at Grandma's and come back in to the hospital after breakfast. This way I can spend some much needed time with Ben and still be here with Elaina as much as possible.