Saturday, October 11, 2008

Let the testing begin

We arrived at Children's Hospital last night around 9 pm, after an uneventful 1 1/2 hours ride in an ambulance - I sat in the front and Esther rode in the back in this mobile isolette:

She was put in her room and hade about 6 nurses oohing and ahhing over how cute she was and all vying for getting to be the first to hold her.  Esther was wide awake and looking all around at her new home:

After they had gotten her situated and all her stats recorded, I was able to hold her while she was tube fed, and then for about another hour while she was wide awake and, I believe, very over stimulated from all the new faces.

She and I slept straight through from midnight until 5 am, when I got up to "fix" her breakfast.  She kept on sleeping and didn't wake up until they were poking her for blood draws.

This morning we had the neatest thing happen - while talking with my Aunt Marylin last week, she mentioned that her daughter in law, Patty, worked at childrens in the NICU, so I was hoping to find her and say hi - not that I've ever met her, but just having someone who knows someone can be a comfort, as strange as it seems.  So this morning, in walks our nurse for the day and introduces herself as Patty - so I asked her if she was "THE Patty" - she looked at me kind of strange and I said - Vern and Marylin - and her eyes lit up - can you imagine that of all the nurses on duty today, I got her!  God is sooo good!

I got to meet with the medical team for the day (3 doctors - a senior doctor, a resident and an intern, a nutricianist, and respiratory therapist and a few others - all seated around a table each with their own laptop), and learned that were going to run a slew of tests, mostly blood work, to see what's going on with Esther, and also chest exrays.  The chest exrays revealed that she is suffering from the beginnings of heart failure - her heart is enlarged and her lung have fluid starting to build up inside, compromising her ability to oxygenate her blood.  this can be a downward spiral that can degenerate quickly, so it is a blessing that she was transported down here yesterday, as her condition was definitely degrading even over the time I slept - she looked pale to me when I came in this morning and her breathing was even faster and more labored than last night!

Right now, they have her on a higher level of oxygen - it's actually blowing air into her nose through a larger nasal canula - to help her to inflate her lungs.  They also have switched her from taking her feeds once every three hours, to a constant drip feed, so that her breathing isn't compromised by a full tummy.  She's still getting my breast milk with formula added for additional calories.  They've also started her on a regimen of Lysic that they will continue to help her to get rid of the fluids building up in her lungs, and also will help her heart to decrease in size.

That brings things up to date, and looking head, she'll be remaining in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) for the weekend at least - then once she's improved, she'll be moved onto the "floor" where she'll have her own room and I'll have a bed in there and can be with her 24/7. We have no idea at this point how long we'll be here - it really depends on what the test reveal and how she responds to the meds she is on now.

Right now I can be with her as much as I want, but I have to go upstairs to my "room" (a small room with a bed and little table) to sleep - they also have showers, bathroom, a laundry room (with soap provided), a lounge with a TV and reading materials, and a roof top patio.  They really know how to treat the family here - there's even a play room for the patients as well as siblings, a pool for therapy that they open for family members for a few hours everyday, colorful wall paintings, murals on the walls and even the tile on the floors has fish and animals in it!  The whole hospital is eye candy for kids and adults alike!

We've already had two visitors!  My brother, Mark, came by to visit - it was so nice to see a familiar face so far from home!

Then Daryl and Jessica brought Dayton and Elizabeth down today and they little ones just loved it - so many cool things to see and do that I think their visit with Esther seemed rather boring compared to their walks through the halls of the hospital!

That's all for now - I'll post again if anything changes and maybe take some photos of this incredible hospital to share with all of you!


  1. Hi Ruth, Called in today. sorry to hear about Esther doiung to COH- but further testing hopefully will give more focus to the plan to get her home. Keeping you in my prayers. Blessings, Dolores

  2. Hi Ruth, I'm glad you're at Children's. They will take excellent care of you there. We did a couple weeks at Children's when Chris was a newborn and I loved everyone there. The hardest part was feeling so cut off from everyone in Bellingham and so far away. Hang in there and don't forget to eat and hydrate. Hugs! Marie