Sunday, May 16, 2010

Progress! Slow and steady.

Last night, we spent the third night in a row in one of the five hospital sleep rooms dedicated to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. Our rental house isn't far from the hospital, just under a mile and a half away, but there is some trepidation about relocating our "home base" away from the hospital, and thus away from Zoe. The main benefit to the sleep room is we can get up and go see Zoe whenever we want, throughout the night and into the early morning, as visiting hours for parents is 24 hours.

In the middle of the night, when the lights are dim, when most other parents succumb to their fatigue, when the hospital is staffed with the bare bones night crew, and most other activity has ceased to a halt, is the time when we log some quality time with Ms. Zoe. Granted, at that time, she is sound asleep, but having those peaceful moments, in her presence, without the distraction of the daytime noise and activity, is incredibly valuable.

Now, on to Zoe's progress, which never ceases to amaze us. She continues to be weaned from her oxygen, requiring less and less everyday, as her lungs step up and more regularly say, "I got this."

She continues to feed from a bottle, however, she is not taking a level sufficient enough to satisfy the physicians. So, they put an NG tube in today to provide her with essential nutrition, while they supplement with bottle feedings and continue to get her more comfortable with that process. Obviously, the goal is to get her to a point where she takes all her food through a bottle, rendering the NG tube unnecessary. It is difficult, however, when she didn't have anything in her mouth, for the first four days of her life, except a ventilator tube. Tomorrow, a speech therapist will examine Zoe and look at her vocal cords and determine what type of nipple and bottle are best suited for her anatomy.

We also heard her cry today, for the first time since her birth. She wasn't able to cry again sooner, because she was unconscious for two days and yesterday her vocal cords were swollen and irritated from being extubated, then reintubated, and then extubated again.

Also, on Monday, Zoe will be weaned from almost all medications with the exception of Lasix, aspirin, potassium supplements, and Tylenol. She will also have her RA lines (catheter lines placed directly into the right atrium of the heart, used to infuse medicine directly into the heart) and two tubes going in to her belly button removed, which means we can bring baby clothes tomorrow, to dress Zoe up! And more importantly, we will get to hold her for the first time since the moments immediately following her birth.

As Zoe's nurse said today, "she is doing awesome!" We are very pleased with how she's responded to the surgery. We've had a couple scares, and we may have more, but for now, we are elated with Zoe's slow and steady progress.

We will post pictures of Zoe's clothing debut. In the meantime, here are some photos (from yesterday) to enjoy.

Zoe holding mommy's hand:

Stacey changing her first of MANY Zoe diapers:


  1. So happy to read about Zoe's progress! And the picture of Zoe holding Stacey's hand made me cry! Happy tears :)

    Miss you guys.

  2. What a beautiful smile to start my day. Bless her heart - literally! She is truly amazing. Continuing the positive energy flow from the IT Department at G&K...