We went to visit Hope this morning and were told that the doctor wanted to talk to us. After waiting about 30-40 minutes (hardly daring to breathe), she finally showed up. Then she refused to talk in front of our kids. Turns out she wanted to tell us that Hope had to be intubated last night, so she is on a ventilator. This is not something they like to do because it can cause long term lung damage. But it needed to be done because they kept having to bag Hope last night. They think she is starting to fight an infection so they have started her on antibiotics. So kind of scary stuff. However, there was some good news too. Her kidneys have started functioning better. The gas in her tummy seems a little better, though it is still a concern. And they have gotten her fluids up, so she is almost back at her birth weight (620 g vs. 630 g). I know the ventilator is not good for her long term, but I have to say I am glad that she is getting a little break from her c-pap. It has really been making her head misshapen and the nurses haven't been able to get it off of her to massage her face much. They were wanting to do it at every care time, but she wasn't tolerating it well. When I went in to see her she seemed to be resting really peacefully, and her numbers weren't jumping all over the place. I think she was just one tired little girl. Other good news... if she has a good weekend they will start giving her milk early next week. And even better, if she can get off her ventilator in a few days we can start having kangaroo time. This means they will put her on my chest, skin to skin, and cover her with a blanket. I can't wait to start loving on my little girl!
After leaving Hope, we went looking for a place to stay. My Aunt Shirley and Uncle Don had very graciously volunteered their motor home, if we could find a place to put it. We went and checked out some RV parks and were not finding anything that would work for us. So we went to check out an apartment that we heard about (thank you Eva) and it wound up being really wonderful. It is a little ways from the hospital (20-25 min), but it is in a wonderful neighborhood and is owned by a lovely Christian couple. It is plenty big for our need and has a big yard for the kids to play in. We feel like it is such an answer to prayer and Mike does not feel at all worried if I wind up staying there by myself. Thank you, Lord!
Other praises - I am healing very quickly. I went all day without taking so much as a Tylenol. I even still had ankles by the end of the day. I'm having to do a lot of pumping since Hope isn't ready for my milk yet, but it is going much more smoothly than I would have expected. Again we thank the Lord.
But we still have some concerns we'd like you to pray about. First off, Nate is sick with a cold and I think it's starting to spread to the rest of us. Mike has skipped visiting for the last 2 days and I didn't go this afternoon. It kills me to not go see her. I had the nurse take a video of her on my camera. Then I broke down crying to her about feeling awful that I couldn't come talk to my girl. She assured me that she would talk to her lots to make up for it. Please pray this is short lived and we can get back in to see her. I'm really second-guessing everything I do nowadays. I wanted so badly to have my kids with me and be a family again. Now I wonder if I wasn't just being foolish. I can't trust myself to think clearly right now. Pray God will lead us in all our decisions. And of course, pray for Hope. When we pray as a family, Mike and I go through and list off all her body parts that need help. The kids have given up and just pray for "all her body parts". That works too.
Before I sign off, I just wanted to take a minute to thank some people specifically. Carla, thanks for coming up so I didn't have to be by myself when Mike went to get the kids. Jessica, thank you for all the meals. Lena ladies (Rhonda, Donna, Stephanie, and Wendy), thank you so much for the gift card and encouraging words. There is a Pizza Hut right by the apartment. Eva, thank you for helping us find a place. And thanks to everyone who continues to pray us through this.
One last thing, we still are having internet issues. Turns out that the internet works in the lobby, but doesn't seem to make it to the 9th floor. So our posts might still be sporadic. We will try to figure out a time every day when we can log on.
Oh, and one more thing. We called NICU not long ago and Hope is doing great. Twice today they've turned down the ventilator (not entirely sure how that works) because she wasn't needing as much as they were giving her. You go girl!