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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My First Day Home

This is my first post about our little girl. So far, Peter has been doing all the reporting and I'm not sure what is about to be written, but it just might be a big mess of word vomit. Consider yourself warned.

I left the hospital today without a baby. Caleb asked to see the baby in my belly today and it was hard to find the right words. How do you tell a two year old that the baby is no longer in Mommy's belly, but rather is in the hospital? How much does he need to know and how much can he really understand? I'm sure these are questions we'll figure out along the way, but they're our first venture in the land of balancing a child at home and a baby in the NICU.

Originally we had intended on using Charlotte Amalie, and having her go by Amalie. Since her first name in the hospital is Charlotte, everyone there calls her Charlotte. Family still calls her Amalie (or Molly for short). So we're kinda in a limbo land as to what her name will actually be.

Her actual condition is as follows:

Charlotte Amalie weighs 550 grams today. That's only a 10 gram loss from birth.

She's on the CPAP machine, at about 40% Oxygen (room air is about 22% O2). This means that about 20 times a minute a puff of air (that is 40% O2) is pushed through the CPAP into her nose. It helps her to breathe, but it's not breathing for her. The ventilator is a tube that goes down her throat and actually breathes for her. She went off the ventilator after only a day, which is fantastic. The CPAP makes her work harder, and she doesn't have as great of "stats" on the CPAP, but she's breathing and the CPAP is much better for her long term. There are a lot of complications that come from being on the vent for too long, so every day she is not on it is a good day. She'll probably go back on it eventually, but that's just part of this roller coaster.

They also started her on some medication to close a valve in her heart today. She has what is called PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus). They can close this valve with medication (very fancy-- it's motrin) but sometimes it requires surgery. They'll echo her heart again in three days and see how the motrin is working and from there they will decide if they want to try another round of medication or if she needs to go in for surgery. The good news is that she's not having any physical presentations of the open duct (rapid heart rate, blood pressure changes, etc)-- they were just able to hear it on physical exam. So hopefully her body will continue to work properly and the medicine will close the PDA easily.

She started taking breast milk last night and so far she's getting 1 mL every six hours. I know, she's gonna be huge :)

Tomorrow we meet with her doctor, the nurses and a case manager in the NICU to go over her care. They'll give us a basic outline of what to expect and when and we'll be able to ask questions and get to know the team better.

That's all folks.


  1. Charlotte Amalie is beautiful and a such a fighter! You'll all continue to be in my prayers.

  2. Oh my goodness! I just heard and wanted you to know I'm thinking about you all and will be praying for sweet Charlotte Amalie and your darling family.

  3. We are thinking of you and praying for your little girl