Thursday, April 28, 2011

Back to Work

I returned to work today which just felt wrong in so many ways.  I would much prefer to spend my days going back and forth to the NICU.  Unfortunately, the reality is that I must work.  And I would certainly prefer to take my maternity leave when Veronica comes home as opposed to when she is in the hospital, being cared for by so many competent and caring people. 

Prior to going in to work today, I stopped at the NICU for a brief visit.  Veronica looked stable and I was told she had a good night.  Andrew would visit a few hours later and was given the same impression.  Unfortunately, Veronica had some episodes after Andrew left and they needed to re-intubate her.  So she is back on a ventilator.  We have been nearly expecting this for the past few days and we are told it is nothing to be overly concerned about.  The hope is that they will extubate her tomorrow.  There is some comfort in knowing that being on the ventilator makes it much easier for Veronica to breath.  Being so little and so immature, it is quite a challenge for her to breath at times.  So the ventilator will give her some reprieve and she can get some comfortable rest.  And it gives us more of an opportunity to see her face, which I love.  When she isn’t on the ventilator, she is on CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) which is given through an apparatus attached to her nose.  It takes up most of the top half of her face as you can probably see in the recent pictures. 

After work, I returned to the NICU and as soon as I arrived, I found Veronica’s isolette open and a doctor standing over her in a sterile gown and mask.  I had a suspicion of what the doctor was about to do (because I was told earlier), but it was still quite unnerving to see.  I was then asked to leave because the doctor was going to do a spinal tap, to draw fluid from Veronica’s spinal column in order to test for meningitis.  I’m not certain why I couldn’t be there for the procedure but I imagine it’s because it’s a difficult site to see, particularly for a parent.  I was informed that she was given morphine to ease the pain, something I took great comfort in knowing.  Unfortunately, they made three attempts to get the spinal fluid but they were unsuccessful.  They will try again in the morning.  We have been told that this is just precautionary, and there is no suspicion at this point that she has meningitis.  We should have the results in a few days.

The good news is that yesterday’s ultrasound found no evidence of a brain bleed.  This is especially good as any possibility of a brain bleed is essentially eliminated after the first week of life.  Brain bleeds are very common for micro preemies so Veronica is in great shape in this department. 

The more I read about micro preemies, the more I am amazed at how well Veronica is doing.  I try to remember that during the difficult moments, but that of course is not always easy to do.    

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