Something Chris said a couple of evenings ago really resounded with me. We were talking about the roller coaster each day seems to be. The moment they feel they have made forward progress, they seem to hit a dip or a valley that starts the climb to higher ground all over again. Chris said, the ups and downs are going to be the new normal, but as long as they stay on an upward trend, that is what they are striving for. The upward trend of progress for Audrey – the little wins, the little miracles.
Today was a roller coaster day. Earlier in the day, Audrey wasn’t responding well to her first exposure to Rachel’s milk. Her oxygen levels were also low in her blood, which led to them to taking the vent they are using to help her and her fragile lungs breathe back up to a higher level. There was talk of next steps if she didn’t start breathing more successfully on her own. There was talk of next steps if she didn’t start digesting the milk better. The nurses struggled to even get the blood test in order to measure the oxygen, a trend that unfortunately was showing itself in the unsuccessful attempts at a PICC line. Her little veins are just not seeming up for the task.
Audrey needs either one of two things: She needs to start taking more milk, or the next and most likely final attempt at a PICC line needs to be successful. Otherwise, the last resort is inserting a line surgically – which is not a simple task and would be incredible stressful on a baby that is already experiencing a significant amount of stress regularly. She only has a few days left to be able to use the umbilical line they use now.
Audrey’s neonatologist gave Rachel and Chris an overview of her concerns for Audrey. Things that appear to be uncertain. Things that appear to be uncommon. Things that aren’t as they should be. And the amount of time it will take to gain more clarity is also…uncertain. Many days before Audrey can handle the MRI they need to gain more clarity on the brain. Weeks before the genetic testing results come back. And so on. There will be days ahead where many questions will remain unanswered.
In addition, Audrey has jaundice and is now under lights to remedy.
A dip. A valley.
And, then, this evening, her vent is set significantly lower. Just a little lower and it could be removed. Keep it up, Audrey! You can do this!
And next, her second serving of milk seemed to be digesting much better than the first. Such great strides! Good job, sweet girl!
Rachel will be staying one more night in the hospital. She will go home tomorrow. Chris and Rachel’s hearts will now live in two places at once.
Funny how silver linings come when you need them the most. The silver linings that one might need to have the energy to finish the day. Signs to give you the strength to move forward and to get back on the upward trend.
There was a lot of talk today about sweet Audrey’s eyes that had yet to open. Prayers were made. Conversations were had.
And tonight, a gift. Audrey opened her eyes for the first time!
We love you, Leslie family!