Sunday, May 8, 2011


Veronica spent 16 hours on CPAP but unfortunately needed to be reintubated this morning.  The level of oxygen that she was requiring with the CPAP was just too high, which could potentially cause severe eye damage.  While going back on the ventilator was disappointing, we knew it was a possibility.  And when we went to bed last night, we knew that it was likely.  So they will try again in a few days and we will hope and pray that she remains off the ventilator for good.  Being on the ventilator for too long puts her at risk for chronic lung disease. 

While I was visiting with Veronica today, I had a bit of a meltdown.  I cry fairly regularly these days but I usually try to contain my tears in public.  But today I just couldn’t keep them in.  I was comforted by Veronica’s nurse as well as one of the doctor’s and within a few minutes, I felt so much better.  They have a way of doing that.  The doctor pointed out that while it is understandably difficult to see what Veronica is going through, she is doing much better than most other preemies her age.  And despite the fact that she is back on the ventilator, she remains on very low settings, which lessens the risk of lung disease.  The NICU doctors and nurses are so concerned about this potentially serious complication which is why they push the babies to do some breathing on their own.  I learned that the NICU at George Washington University Hospital has a significantly lower rate of lung disease compared with other NICUs.  This is what I needed to hear. 

So when I left the NICU, I was feeling better and I remembered that as bad as things are right now, they could be a whole lot worse.  So I started to think about all of the things I am thankful for in this whole ordeal.  Here are some of them, in no particular order:   

  1. A vaginal birth (after 5 prior c-sections).
  2. The steroid shots given to me when I was admitted (which helped to mature Veronica’s lungs).
  3. The six days from when my water broke that Veronica remained in utero.
  4. The amazing doctors and nurses in the NICU.
  5. No brain hemorrhage.
  6. My five children at home who make me laugh.
  7. My husband.
  8. Friends and family who are supporting us in so many different ways.
  9. My faith which gives me strength.
  10. Two words - breast milk
  11. An awesome, hospital grade breast pump.
  12. Veronica’s stable vital signs.
  13. Veronica’s baptism on April 19th.
  14. Amazing medical technology.
  15. Several ventilator free days.
  16. No more feedings through the central line – it’s all about the breast milk now.
  17. Very low vent settings.
  18. My ability to function on fewer than 6 non consecutive hours of sleep.
  19. She’s a girl.  (Girl preemies have a better prognosis than boy preemies.)


  1. Excellent list! It's hard to see the positives through the NICU. I was so grateful for a vaginal delivery, too.

    Love reading that your NICU pushes to avoid the lung disease. My daughter was on the vent for almost three months causing severe BPD, then we spent four more healing the damage enough to bring her home.

    Does your nursery allow primary nurses? You should get one or three. They make the journey just a bit easier. Stay strong!

  2. Marcie -

    I loved this list. In addition to making yourself feel better, I know it's making your friends and family feel better to be reminded of these things. I am praying for Veronica and the whole family and the nurses and doctors every day. Please keep up these amazing posts. I may not comment a lot but I read every single one. Lots and lots of love and prayers. And Happy Mother's Day!!

  3. What an amazing post. To look to the positive will give you strength and power through the more trying times. Wonderful that you are providing her with your breastmilk (liquid gold) Thank you for taking the time to write this. Stay strong for that little girl. I will be thinking of you and praying for Veronica.