Emily is seven weeks old today. She now weighs 890 grams.
A new doctor is on rotation in the nursery for the next three weeks. The past week, Emily’s blood gases have not improved even though the pressures on the ventilator have been steadily increased. The doctors are concerned about trauma to her lungs being caused by the higher pressure settings exacerbating her chronic lung disease, so they put her on the oscillator again. They are also starting her on another course of steroids to help control the inflammation in her lungs. The hope is that the oscillator will give her lungs time to heal as she grows so that she can go back to the regular ventilator after a week or so. She continues to fight the oscillator by trying to breathe on her own, so they plan to give her some Versed to calm her down and let the oscillator do all of the work for her. She still has bronchiospasms as a result of the BPD, but she is usually able to recover from these spells by herself.
We’re getting worried that the ICN staff seem to be giving up on Emily. One of the doctors said that in terms of her lungs, she is one of the ten worst cases they’ve ever seen. Last week, another doctor said that her lungs could just continue to worsen and that they may be “incompatible with life”. Then there are the nurses. Emily has two very good nighttime primary nurses, so she usually gets a primary that knows her for five nights a week. She doesn’t have any daytime primaries, but there used to be several which worked with her all the time. Now they don’t even come over to visit her isolette. One of them told us that she “couldn’t deal with all of Emily’s problems”. The per diem nurses (we have been told that these nurses are not regular employees and aren’t able to choose which babies they care for) are usually the ones who end up caring for Emily during the daytime. As a result, she has a new nurse almost every day during the day shift and two nights a week.
Please keep praying for Emily. Our daughter certainly hasn’t given up yet!