Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day 3 NICU Triplet Update

All of our girls are stable and doing as well as can be expected. Ada and Julia are receiving oxygen through nasal cannulas, but Emma is on a ventilator and struggling the most of all three. It just breaks my heart to see them all so fragile, and using their entire bodies to take a breath. It looks like breathing is the most exhausting thing in the world for them to do. Their entire torso moves with each breath.

Ada, who broke my water, is doing the best. She is already in an isolette, while Julia and Emma are in open warmers for easy access. The perinatologist who delivered them said it's typical for the baby who "wanted out" to be the strongest post-delivery, and for the one farthest from the action (Emma) to be the weakest. "Their sister might have wanted out, but Julia and Emma were still enjoying the 'air conditioning' in your uterus," the peri said. It made me laugh.

All three girls are jaundiced and receiving phototherapy. They look so cute with their eye protection on, like they're hanging out on a beach somewhere, but we wish we could see and study their tiny little faces. With all the monitors, IVs, tubes and other NICU paraphernalia, it's impossible to see their features, so we'll have to keep guessing for now whether they look alike, and which parts of mom and dad they inherited.

We are falling truly, madly, deeply in love with our babies.

- She was on 30% O2 at 5:45 this morning (21% is room air)
- She is receiving the oxygen and positive airway pressure through a nasal cannula.
- Receiving IV for nutrition (intralipids and vitamins/minerals)
- Lots of tactile motion going on, even though her eyes are covered, her tiny little fingers are exploring everything in her isolette. She was holding and sucking her binki this afternoon, and touching the vital signs monitor attached to her leg, and touching the vent going into her nose.

- She was on 35% O2 at 5:45 this morning, and they dropped it down to 30% tonight. She is receiving the oxygen and positive airway pressure through a nasal cannula.
- Receiving IV for nutrition (intralipids and vitamins/minerals)
- She pulled out her 3rd IV tonight, and the nurse said they will try to go in through her umbilical cord to re-establish the nutrition feed. Ah, mommy's little troublemaker.

- Emma is on a ventilator to help her breathe
- She started on 45-50% O2 at 5:45 this morning, they upped it to 75% this afternoon, but was able to bring it back down to 35% after she received a third round of synthetic surfactant to help lubricate her lungs. Surfactant acts like a detergent on the inner surface of the alveoli, reducing the incidence of collapse.
- Receiving IV for nutrition (intralipids and vitamins/minerals)

Mothership update
- The peri who delivered the girls told me today that I did in fact have post-partum HELLP Syndrome (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelets) and not "just" preeclampsia. Sunday night, Monday and Tuesday were the worst. My platelets dropped to below 75 (normal is 150). It's a good thing the doc waited to tell me how worried he was until after I started to feel better, otherwise I might have felt even more sorry for myself. LOL.

- My peri felt that preeclampsia and HELLP had been brewing for weeks as I've been showing symptoms of it, but since the bloodwork came back "normal enough" for the three weeks in a row before I delivered they weren't going to act on it.

- I'm so glad that the peri discussed the symptoms with me in detail during my office visits, because when I started to feel lung pressure and was struggling to breathe, and experiencing vision changes while in the recovery room, I knew I needed to alert the docs to it and not just power through (which would've been my normal inclination). Thank goodness I did...

- While in the high risk maternity ward, I became somewhat of a freak show. Several residents (it's a Univ. hospital) wanted to see my "party trick." I was unusually "hyperreflective," meaning that whenever they would test my reflexes in my knees, my shoulders would shake simultaneously. It was so weird!

- The peri said the best thing that could've happened, was for Ada to have broken my water when she did. If she hadn't, all four of our lives would have been in jeapordy.


Kate said...

Sounds like all things considered, they're doing pretty well. Sorry to hear one is still intubated - that must be really hard. Hopefully if this latest round of surfactant does its thing, she'll be on the nasal CPAP too very soon.
I've seen platelets of 8-10 in a very very sick patient, and you can do surgery with platelets >50, so don't get too freaked out. I'm really glad your water broke when it did and precipitated the delivery though, because I'm sure things would have been much worse had you held off even a day before the delivery. So glad you're on the mend now. Your daughters need you to be nice and healthy so you can give them all lots of love!
Congrats again!

The Patterson's said...

I'm just now seeing this post! So glad to hear things are going well. Hope the girls improve every day, and you are recovering quickly.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, it sounds like the babies came along just in time!
I'm so glad to hear that the girls are staying strong. It sounds like they are being well taken care of, but I know this must be so rough for you.
Hang in there - you're doing great!

Amber said...

I'll be praying for you and your sweet little girls. Soon enough, you will all be home together as a family! Hang in there through the NICU time...

Anonymous said...

A time in your life you'll reflect back on in a year....and it will be in the distant past....and yet it will feel like it all happened yesterday. Glad to hear all sounds good and that you have the knowledge and go girl you are a mom who Rocks! When do you get to go home? That will feel weird....leaving the babes in the NICU and going home without them....while they are still in the NICU (apart from your visits to them) try and take a last breathe of fresh air and fill your time....go and treat yourself to the hairdo, facial - whatever, an evening or two out, to the movies....coz when Aida, Julia and Emma come home...there ain't gonna be much time for all of that - besides keeping occupied will make things go a bit faster through this trying period. No doubt all will go as it should.


R.J. said...

Thinking of and praying for you all. The girls sound like troopers!

Glad you're being taken good care of as well. What a journey. Your girls will never have to question their mother's love given your toils to get them all here.

Big hugs to you all.

Jennifer said...

I am praying for you and your 3 wonderful girls.