To look in her eyes...it is breathtaking. Nothing in the world could compare. She hasn't really zoomed in on us yet, her eyes are searching...you can imagine she must be trying to make heads or tails of what's going on...I mean, beyond the heart surgery and all, but in general – she is a newborn and is only just discovering the world. And she's got something stuck up her nose blowing air – what an introduction to the world!
So today really is an amazing morning. Yesterday was difficult to see – about three times they had to put the oxygen mask to her face and watch the monitors as slowly, slowly her O₂ stats increased back to a more respectable range. The first time it happened (the morphine incident) we could only stand and watch, not knowing what was going on (I didn't know they had morphed her). There was a flurry of doctors and nurses, there were needles being prepped, and giant x-ray machine (all decorated with a space motif) was rolled into the scene. They had her sideways in the bed and all with serious demeanor's as they held that mask tight to her tiny, tiny face. But that, like the ventilator incident, through very scary to watch is behind us now and not nearly as scary as some of the other "flurry" activity we've witnessed around us. Please know Gwen is one of many, many sweet little babies struggling in their little bodies to recover.
By nightfall last night she was a little more settled, they did give her something to take the edge off – a very small amount (but not morphine of course). But Myers and I worked with her until she took her paci or was otherwise comforted. Now that she can be comforted when she cries, you can imagine, it is that much more difficult to leave her at night or anytime during the day. Before I couldn't do a thing but be near, sing songs, and talk to her and hope that somehow that did something for her. The nurses were everything. Now Myers and I are a part of her care – and what a challenge when you can't just scoop her up (but I'm not complaining, mind you)! But, we can still comfort her even as she is not "scoopable" right now - it often means our shoulders and arms ache as we reach over to hold her hand and offer the paci and then we hold still in whatever position we are standing to let her hold tight to our finger while she sleeps so peacefully.
Last night she was fussy and would have these full body shudders. I asked the nurse if she was hungry despite the nourishment being given through IV. The nurse told me she could hear grumbles in her tummy – that yes, she could be hungry. Imagine knowing that, seeing that and not being able to do anything about it? It was tough to leave her last night.
But, she did so well over night. They gave her a smaller nose thingy (but don't get me wrong, she still tries to pull it out). They have her off all the meds - all of them except one diuretic. She is getting a "trophic feed" – which is just enough to get her digestive system to kick into gear. Then they watch her as they slowly increase it, to see if her system is functioning well. Then, finally, hopefully tomorrow this poor child will actually get enough to fill her little tummy. Even with the trophic feed she seems to be so much happier – so I'm convinced that even that small amount is enough to calm some of her hunger. It is so good to know she's not starving anymore, and that, if all goes well, she's on the "fast track" for getting her milk.
Today they took out the IV and the line that they draw blood from. Those were both in her belly button. Tomorrow, again, if all indications are good, they will take out the line that go into her heart and the pacemaker wires (which she has not needed for two days or so and that is apparently really, really excellent – in fact, I found out today that they were "worried" when she needed to be on it, as that is not something that always is needed after such surgery.) To take out the direct lines into her heart they have to make sure her blood will clot well (they actually will give her a "clotting transfusion" or might need to do that) since there is a small risk of bleeding. So our hope is that tomorrow she will be a-go and do well for that procedure.
Grammy (Jackie) and I got to gaze into her eyes again later this afternoon (it has taken me all day to type this). She captivated us.