Posted on December 21, 2014 3:14 pm

NICU Life: Week 3 & 4


Day 15 * Thursday, October 23, 2014 (2:00pm)

Pardon the late update, but Marjorie and I decided to snuggle for TWO hours today. It was glorious. Even daddy stopped by this morning for a visit.

He hasn’t been able to make the drive the last few days. The McGladrey PGA golf tournament is happening on St. Simons this week. So Jordan has been on the course seeing old friends and shadowing his mentor and boss, Todd Anderson. Needless to say, daddy was itching to see his baby girl. Of course, he tries to “wake her up” the whole time he is here, which neither momma nor Marjorie like!

Marjorie had a better night and the Lasix and steeper bed angle seem to be working. Her stats are looking good this morning and she only had two Brady’s overnight.

They increased her feeding up to 16-mL, which feels like a big jump to me. But I held her during her 11am feeding and she handled it like a champ. So fingers crossed and prayers up that she continues to tolerate without residual or belly issues.

Barring any issues, I plan to kiss my baby girl goodbye a bit early today. Hoping to leave here around 3:30pm to make it home early today. Tonight Jordan, Manning and I are venturing “out” and I’m really excited.

My neighbor/Island bestie, Lexie, has invited us to the PGA Player Family party at her parents house. Manning ADORES Lexie’s parents (who he lovingly named Two and Three). What Manning is equally excited about is that there will be bouncy houses there tonight! He talked about “Three’s Bouncys” the whole way to school.

I am thrilled to get out and take Manning to do something fun, but at the same time I hate leaving my girl behind. My mind and heart will still be here with her, but I plan to do my best and really enjoy the nice fall night with my family (island family included).

We have been so blessed to have been adopted by the Loves, Anderson’s and other Island families. They love us unconditionally, which is why I feel so comfortable and am so excited for tonight. I know they will have me belly laughing with crazy stories and if I burst out in tears no one will bat an eye. They will hug me and let me cry it out. How lucky I am to have people who know and love me and my family so much.

Happy Thursday <3

 

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Day 16! * Friday, October 24, 2014 (1:00pm)

While Marjorie’s big brother was out bouncing the night away at the Player Party, Miss Marjorie was snug as a bug in her bed having a great night. She handled the 16-mLs very well and even gave her night nurse a nice big dirty diaper, which should help her Bilirubin number that increased the last couple days.

The doctor decided to increase again this morning to 19-mL, which made me NERVOUS! But you think I would learn not to be at this point because Marjorie is such a champ. She had minimal residual after her 19-mL feeding at 8am. She just finished her 11am feeding so we will see at 2pm how she did. Her stats remained strong for the most part throughout the whole feedings. Big girl just like to be on a mountain incline – Marjorie’s Mountain according to sweet Nurse Lisa.

We had a wonderful time last night at the party. Manning never stopped running and bouncing. He even shut down the party dancing on table tops and helping his ‘Three’ pick up garbage (his most favorite thing in the world). Three even took him for a ride in his new gator and he rode the tractor with Bill. He is one tired boy today.

I met some really great people last night, some who knew about Marjorie and have been praying for her. God continues to put incredible people in my life and last night was a great reminder of that.

Happy Friday everyone!

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Day 16! * Friday, October 24, 2014 (10:00pm)

Our 2-pound, 6-ounce baby girl had a great afternoon and a good night so far. She has only had two Brady’s today that were quick and she self-corrected them.

I had a wonderful day with Marjorie. Sadly, I didn’t get to hold her because the nurse had a hectic day. It was our first time with this nurse who didn’t know Marjorie as well as our regulars. Marjorie (and her momma) love skin to skin time. She does very well during our time together. Kangaroo Care (aka snuggle time) can stress some babies, but my girl loves it.

You can really see how Marjorie had grown when she stretches. She loves a good stretch. Her arms and legs are so long and she loves to extend them as far as she can. The nurses crack up when she does her stretch routine. And don’t judge her by her size because she is strong as a bull. She can push herself up and turn her head around. It’s the wildest thing to witness!

Marjorie is changing by the minute. It is so fun to watch her grow and see her strong spirit in action. Her Annie comes back tomorrow and I know she can’t wait to see her again!

Sweet dreams from my baby girl.
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Day 17 * Saturday, October 25, 2014 (2:30pm)

I spent a wonderful morning with my Manning. We stayed in our PJs way too long had coffee (well he had juice) and pancakes. I did laundry, cleaned the kitchen and showered. It might sound crazy but I found myself so grateful to be doing my once hated house chores. Physically I’m almost back to normal. After a month of being cared for, It is nice to finally take care of myself, my family and my house the way I once did. Life before Marjorie feels like a distant memory now and I can’t imagine our world without her.

I arrived to find my peanut snug as a bug in her bed. She was thrilled when I told her Annie is flying in tonight. She also told me she had a great night. This morning she did have 6mL residual, which is somewhat expected since they added calories to my breast milk.

They are now fortifying my breast milk by adding two calories to every feeding. They tried four, but that is when she had the large residual so they backed it down to two calories.

The doctor also tried to wean her CPAP down to six again from seven. She destated twice very quickly so clearly she is not ready to wean on the vent just yet.

We hear there is a football game tonight. Something about Ole Miss versus LSU. Marjorie heard Corso picked LSU to win. All she has to say to him is suck on this paci Corso! GEAUX REBELS!!! HOTTY TODDY!!!

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Day 18 * Sunday, October 26, 2014 (12:30pm)

Marjorie was so excited to see her Annie this morning!! Momma and I woke up early to head down to see our peanut. She had a great night and has done well with her feedings. They bumped her to 21-mL this morning with two calories added.

They lowered both her respiratory rate and CPAP settings on her vent this morning and so far so good! Fingers crossed!! I would love to see her off this vent soon and graduate to the next step down, which is the high flow nose cannula.

Momma and I had a shorter visit this morning. We are going out to enjoy some sunshine and golf at the McGladrey Classic. I am really excited to spend the afternoon in the sunshine and with my Island family. Of course, I hated leaving my Marjorie early today. But I know the sunshine and laughter will be good for my soul.

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Day 18 * Sunday, October 26, 2014 (9:30pm)

Marjorie is my hero. She is simply amazing. I just got off the phone with our sweet night nurse Becky who gave me a full and happy update. Our little fighter did not gain weight tonight, but I’m happy to report she is 15-inches long! She has grown one inch since she was born. Her feedings are going well and she is tolerating the increases like a champ.

Momma, Jordan and I had a wonderful time at the tournament this afternoon. My mind and heart were still with Marjorie, but there’s something about soaking in some fresh sunshine that’s just good for the soul.

Wishing everyone a peaceful Sunday and a wonderful week ahead.

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Day 19 * Monday, October 27, 2014 (4:00pm)

Well our precious peanut has her first “shoe”. Her right foot that was wedged in my cervix continues to be turned out. PT came in today and fitted her with a teeny tiny splint, custom made for our baby girl.

I’m not going to lie, I really hated seeing this being put on her. It didn’t hurt and she was actually very alert when the PT and OT were there working with her. It was just the gravity of possible long term effects sinks in a bit more every day. From eye issues to coming home with oxygen to a million other things, there are so many possible outcomes. Your brain can’t help but become overwhelmed with them. As a mom, all you want is your baby home and healthy.

When they were fitting her tiny splint, Marjorie was so alert and calm. I held her tiny finger had my face pressed so hard against the glass just yearning to kiss and hold my baby. Just moments earlier I saw the mother across from us lift her baby out of his incubator (his did not have a lid like ours). I can’t wait for that day when I can grab and hold my baby girl whenever my heart desires. But until then I will continue to make lip prints on her incubator glass. She is going to be covered in kisses when she busts out of that incubator.

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Day 20 * Tuesday, October 28, 2014 (7:00pm)

Miss Marjorie is earning herself quite the reputation in the Wolfson NICU. She has managed to wiggle out of her incubator donut on multiple occasions. Her strength is incredible. She can push herself up in her bed and turn her head. Now with this new wiggle trick, the nurses really have to fasten her donut seat belts! Looks like Jordan and I have an escape artist on our hands.

As proud as we are of her determination, we wish she would stay put and sleep. Her number one job right now is to use all of her energy to digest food and GROW. Marjorie’s feedings are now 22mLs with 22-calories. With the PICC line out, she is getting all of her nutrients through her feeding tube. This means she has to work to digest her food that will ultimately help her grow and gain weight. She currently weighs 1100 grams – 2-pounds, 7-ounces! Grow, grow, GROW!!!

The timing of my mom’s visit is such a God wink. She drives me, cooks and helps Jordan with Manning while I am (once again) knocked in bed. My once small cough has now revolted out of control. I have come down with an Ebola cough that rattles my entire body. There is nothing ‘wrong’ with me, I feel fine. I tried to kick the cough with medicine, but that also backfired making me very weak and dizzy today.

My spirit is hanging a bit low tonight. I am so tired of not being able to take care of myself or my family. But I guess I should just feel lucky this cough did not happen two weeks ago. It would have blown my stitches out. I am beyond exhausted, but cannot sleep. I am hoping to sleep tonight and spring back to human status soon. I just do not have time to feel like this. I need to hold my baby girl, it’s been three days. I miss our sweet hour together.

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Day 21 * Wednesday, October 29, 2014 (7:00pm)

The Ebola cough woke me up at 3:30am, but luckily I was able to get back to sleep for a few hours. Mom woke me up with a fresh cup of coffee in bed and then I was greeted with my mini trick or treater. Today, Manning had Trunk or Treat at school. This year’s costume was a bit of a challenge since Manning refuses to wear any type of costume – i.e. no cape, hat, mask, etc. His wardrobe pickiness closely resembles his nutrition habits, or lack thereof. Manning has a Brady if you put anything except a waffle on his plate!

Before Marjorie’s grand arrival, I had big plans to make Manning’s costume. I was going to make him into his idol: the garbage man. A seemingly simple costume complete with a DIY kid-sized trash can. Well the DIY went out the window when Marjorie flew in. While on bed rest, I scoured the internet to find something suitable for my picky trash man. Low and behold I found a construction worker, simple vest, tools, helmet and goggles. DONE! But what does every construction worker wear underneath his vest: white shirt and…jeans. Yes, I finally caved and bought Manning his first pair of blue jeans.

I woke up this morning to my baby boy in his first pair of jeans. Where did my baby go? Gosh, he looked SO precious! He was so excited for his day of Trunk or Treat at school, well excited to bring his tools and wear his vest. Manning still doesn’t grasp the concept of Halloween. But it didn’t matter, he made my day with his bright spirit, morning hair and jeans!

After we got him off to school, I took my time getting dressed and we headed down to Jacksonville. I tackled a few insurance items on the commute down and was reminded of how grateful I am for my extraordinary family. We found Marjorie snug as a bug in her donut (not out of it). She had an okay night, four Bradys and a few residuals, but everything within the ‘normal’ preemie world.

We had our other primary nurse today, nurse Mary. Boy do we love her – we love them all. I told her about the Ebola Cough and even though I was feeling better (or at least willing myself to feel better) she felt it was best I not hold her today. I broke down in tears and Mary softly said everything I needed to hear. She lovingly explained how Marjorie knows I’m there even if I can’t hold her. By just hearing me and feeling my hands cup her tiny body she feels better sensing I am with her.

It is funny because I think every mother is drawn to just sit and be with their child. Even if you cannot hold or touch them, just being in their sweet presence is enough. Today I sat (like I always do) next to her incubator, with my hands holding her tiny body inside. I sat there as long as I could and actually fell asleep with my face on the incubator. I would stay with her all day and night if I could, watching her breathe in and breath out. Watching her grow right before my eyes. Yes, she is my miracle. God has given us the most beautiful gift of life.

The nurse just gave me such wonderful news – our little peanut gained 20-grams and now weighs 2-pounds, 8-ounces! She did have a big residual, but they went up on her feed to 23-mL today. We will take every milestone that we get and celebrate! We are so blessed with two beautiful children and family and friends near and far who loves us so very much. My heart is truly overflowing with gratitude tonight.

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Day 22 * Thursday, October 30, 2014 (9:30pm)

Today I was reminded the importance of self-care…and by reminded I mean slapped in the face. My body gave out on me. Kaput. Done. Finished. I woke up this morning, threw my hair in a ponytail and put on work out clothes. I have not had the energy to get dressed, fix my hair or put on make up for the past few days. Jordan, Mom and I hurried to Jacksonville today because mom had to catch her flight at noon. I slept the whole way down in the back seat and have little recollection walking into the hospital. I was (am) exhausted.

Mom and I quickly scrubbed in and went to see our precious baby girl while Jordan parked the car. We did not have much time before it was time for mom to leave. She would not be back for a whole month since she is going to be with my sister, Jessica. She is pregnant with her first baby and we are so excited for ‘Lentil’s’ arrival. (They nicknamed their baby Lentil because they did not find out the gender. I know, Lentil is so random, but go with it) Leave it to my sister to give birth to her first born in Bangkok, Thailand. Yes, Thailand. So Mom has to travel across the globe to do her grandmother duties. Jessica was always the more complicated child 😉

Mom squeezed sweet Marjorie and gave her the goal of being a 4-pound Thanksgiving Hen by her return on November 26th. She then gave me one final hug and was off. I sunk down into the hospital’s pleather recliner next to Marjorie’s incubator. I hardly had the energy to cry. Nurse Mary came in and instinctively knew what just happened. She gave me a huge momma nurse hug and told me I need REST. She told me I have not been myself, aside from the cough and allergies, I look run down. I nodded along and knew she was right.

“You need to take a day off. We will love on her while you are not here. You need time to take care of you. You can’t keep going like this. You need time to be with Jordan and Manning.”

A day off? Was she suggesting I skip a day? I started to sob and asked her if that would make me a bad mom. I could not imagine leaving my daughter here alone. Then I stopped myself. She is not alone. Marjorie is never alone. Just as I think of Mary, Lisa and all of the nurses as family so does Marjorie. My sweet miracle is being loved on every second of the day by these women and men sent from above.

Nurse Lisa came in around this time and Mary explained to her what she was telling me. Lisa vehemently agreed and told me that I did not look well. When two people tell you that you look like shit you really start to listen. Lisa insisted I take a day off and stay home.

We agreed on Saturday and Lisa made sure one of Marjorie’s favorite nurses was on duty. She even called Jayne herself to confirm that she would be taking care of Marjorie and told Jayne that I would be home that day taking care of myself and spending time with my boys. I smiled through my snotty tears and thought to myself, “How on earth did I get so lucky?” Not only do these amazing women take care of my daughter, but they love and take care of me too.

Throughout my four years of recovery I have gotten pretty good at self-care. I know my ‘red flags’ and when I need to slow down and do something to reset and reenergize my mind, body and spirit. But in a situation like this, when my daughter’s life is at hand I am not ashamed or too proud to say I needed a friendly reminder/shove. I am so thankful to Mary and Lisa for giving me permission to take care of myself. I haven’t needed that permission in a really long time, but today I did – and that’s okay. We all need it from time to time.

Now, as for the main character of this beautiful story, our baby girl Marjorie had a wonderful day. Her big news was that she ‘downgraded’ from her vent to the high-flow nose cannula. Downgrading to the high-flow is a step closer to home! (We still have a lot of steps, but hey – we celebrate them all!) She even put on another 20-grams tonight. Grow baby grow! Unfortunately, she still has some pretty large residuals with her feedings. She is getting 24mLs every three hours. Hopefully, this will be something she grows out of as she gets bigger and can start digesting her food better.

Signing off tonight tucked in my bed with my two pups. I am still exhausted, but feeling content and very blessed. Wishing everyone an early Happy Halloween. We have a treat in store for you all tomorrow <3

 

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Day 23 * Friday, October 31, 2014 (3:30pm)

Happy Halloween! My Fairy Princess is having a fantastic first Halloween. I greeted her this morning with kisses and goodies sent from her fairy GodMother and even a Green Cove Momma! Marjorie’s first Halloween came together thanks to a God Wink. What’s a God Wink? God Winks are answered prayers from above; a joyful coincidence that can only happen when God intervenes in our lives in some extraordinary way.

Yesterday was a rough day for me. I felt horrible, my mom left and well, let’s be honest, I am not in the most pleasant of situations, not everyday can be sunshine. I love Halloween and last week I told my mom that I wanted to dress Marjorie up as a pink fairy. It was my baby girl’s first Trick or Treat and I was not going to let it pass without celebrating! I had her costume all thought up in my head and just had to figure out how to make the costume happen.

Enter the Ebola Cough. My spirits and fairy costume started to quickly circle the drain. I mustered all of my energy and told mom to take me to PetSmart on Wednesday. I realize a pet store isn’t where most people go for costumes, but when your baby is two pounds it made the most sense in my head.

I shuffled through PetSmart feeling like death. There were zero fairy costumes and no alternatives that would do. I walked out a bit discouraged, but told mom I could make her a tutu out of pink tulle I had at home. Marjorie had to dress up. It was her first Halloween.

Thursday struck and I was barely able to stand much less get creative with ribbon and tulle. I was so disheartened I would have nothing for my girl on her first Halloween. Then, enter the God Wink.

The doorbell rings yesterday afternoon and the dogs begin to bark. I knew it was just the mail, but decided to muster the energy to get to the door. At the door I found two boxes. First, a box from my cousin, Hays, who is also Marjorie’s Fairy Godmother. She is a sewing diva and I ordered Fall PJs and Manning’s Halloween bucket from her precious company Just Stitchin’. Lastly, I saw a box with the most impeccable handwriting. I recognized the penmanship immediately. It belonged to one of my Green Cove Mommas from years ago – Suzie Howick. What on earth had sweet Suzie sent me?

I sat back in bed as I first tore into Hay’s package and squealed with delight when I saw the adorable pumpkin jammies for Manning, as well as his Halloween bucket. Then I spied a glittery ribbon. She made Marjorie her own Halloween bucket! My eyes welled with tears as I pulled it from its paper. Seeing her name monogramed on the orange and black treat bag was too much.

Next I went to the small green box. I carefully opened it to find a small card in the midst of pink and glitter. I pulled the pink pieces apart to see there were wings and a tutu. Oh my, oh my – a fairy costume! How on earth did Suzie know? She didn’t know. It was a God Wink. Her daughters are NICU nurses and said they loved dressing their babies up in pet costumes because it is what fits best. At this point, joyful tears were streaming down my face. My baby girl was going to have something after all for Halloween.

I woke up this morning tired from a night of coughing, but excited to get to my baby girl. I arrived with her glittery bucket and fairy wings in tow and found Marjorie awake and alert as I walked in. Her bed was open and the lights were on. Marjorie was having a great morning and still doing well on her new and improved high-flow nose cannula. She even had a Halloween poop (yes, even fairies poop!).

I immediately slipped the pink tutu around her tiny bottom and her sweet nurse and I both squealed. She was such a doll! We then placed the wings on her back and a hat on her head. Voila! The most precious miracle fairy you’ve ever seen laid before our eyes. We called all of the nurses in to see Miraculous Marjorie’s costume. Even Nurse Lisa was there teaching today and got to peak in on our fairy!

My heart BEAMED with gratitude. Thanks to some extraordinary people in my life and divine intervention, my sweet girl had her first Halloween. My trick or treating cup runneth way over…

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Happy Halloween!

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Day 24 * Saturday, November 1, 2014 (8:00pm)

Well I survived my first day without seeing my girl – barely. I held myself back from calling every hour. It certainly helped knowing she was in sweet Nurse Jayne’s loving care. I spent the day enjoying a PJ Day with Manning. We played trucks and watched Mickey all while wearing our PJs. I sipped coffee until 11:30 and relished in every quiet moment.

At one point, Manning and I were wadded up together on the couch watching Mickey Mouse. Manning turned around to look at me and grinned so big his eyes closed. He quickly turned back around. It felt as though he was checking to see if I was still there with him. For the first time in over a month, I finally had the energy to truly be with my son. Alone. Just the two of us.  I was so happy to be focused solely on my little guy.

Marjorie must have known I needed a day with her big brother because she was on her best behavior today. Jayne said she and Marjorie were playing a little game today called, “Find Marjorie’s Cannula.” Apparently, our little wiggle worm kept knocking out/pulling out her nose cannula, but it’s safe to say Jayne won the game every time.

Miraculous Marjorie is doing wonderful with her feedings, just minimal residuals. When I checked on her last night, I was thrilled to hear she had gained another 40-ounces! My little peanut weighs 2-pounds, 10-ounces!

Only one quick Brady today that was caused by a missing cannula! Jayne even said she put her on her back for a while today too! She said Marjorie was so alert and interested in the new scenery. I guess I will have to decorate the top of her incubator tomorrow. I wonder where those glow-in-the-dark stars I had in my room in high school went.

As for me, I am back to human status again. I am so grateful for my Nurse Mommas for shoving me into a day off. I missed Marjorie every second today, but I did not worry. I knew she was with Jayne. I was able to focus on Manning and more importantly, myself. I am certainly not 100% yet and I don’t think I will be until I have both of my chickens back in the nest. But for now, I am feeling a thousand times better than I did 48-hours ago.

This journey has been exhausted. It has also been filled with more joy and gratitude than I ever thought was possible. My family and I have experienced the unwavering generosity and love of the human spirit. There is no doubt this has been the most trying and difficult period of my life, but it has also been the most beautiful. My daughter was born! She is here and she is alive! Marjorie was born into a world full of people who are more giving, more loving and more caring than I can ever describe in my simple blog. While this situation is one I would not wish on my worst enemy, I feel blessed to be where I am. And I certainly feel like I won the lottery in that God hand picked me to be the mother to not one, but TWO amazing kiddos.

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Day 25 * Sunday, November 2, 2014 (8:30pm)

Marjorie has some very exciting news to share today. She is moving on up to the B-Side of the Wolfson NICU! We’ve been waiting for this day. The B-Side is the more stable side of the NICU so moving signifies major progress!

This move came at the perfect time. Even though I am feeling better, I found myself a bit down when driving to see her today. I am still painfully tired, but my heart just felt heavy. I loved my time at home with Manning, but felt so empty not having my baby girl there too. When I got to the NICU today, I saw that once again two of Marjorie’s neighbors were no longer there. I can only assume they went to the B side. My heart sank a little. When will it be our day?

A nurse saw me walking in the hallway and asked if Nurse Mary told me the news.

“What news?” I asked.

“Marjorie will be moving this evening,” she said.

“To the B-Side?” I responded with excitement building in my voice.

The kind nurse confirmed my assumption and I squealed. Another nurse turned around and grinned at me. She said how excited they all were that Marjorie had been doing so well. They said she would be moving at the nurse shift change. So at 7:00pm, Marjorie made the big move. Insert catchy theme from The Jeffersons: Movin’ on up…to the B-Side! Our day was today! I could hardly believe it.

Marjorie had another wonderful day (obviously). She is now able to be on her back during her feedings. Being on her back was hard on her until now. She would have multiple Bradys, residuals, etc. But now that she is growing bigger and stronger she can tolerate it. This is a plus all around, especially when it comes to shaping her head. Since she only laid with her head to the side, her head seems to resemble that of a toaster rather than a round ball. Obviously, I don’t care what shape her head is as long as my girl is healthy. But getting to this stage is just another marker on her amazing progress!

As I walked out of the NICU tonight, I could feel a pep in my step. It’s been so long since I’ve felt genuine joy and cheer. I smiled as I drove home and looked out on a gorgeous sunset over the Florida/Georgia line. For the first time since this all began, I could see a small flicker of light in the distance. Yes, there IS a light at the end of this long tunnel. And day by day, gram by gram we will get there. One day soon, my Marjorie will be in the back seat riding home with me.

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Day 26 * Monday, November 3, 2014 (8:30pm)

Our first full day on the B-Side was, um, eventful. I skipped into the NICU excited to see my girl on the B-Side, knowing that I would also get to hold her today since the Ebola cough is practically gone. After changing her diaper and having a morning talk with her, it was finally time for a little skin-to-skin or Kangaroo Care as it is also known. Nurse Lynda and I decided we would try for an hour and see if I was okay. I told her I was just getting over a terrible cough and didn’t want to risk holding her too long and having a coughing spell.

Lynda agreed and we started the process of moving her wires in preparation to leave her incubator. My heart soared as I placed my little peanut onto my chest. After a week of not holding her, we were finally back together. About five minutes into our snuggle, Marjorie’s oxygen levels started to go down. I checked to make sure her chin was too far down and blocking her airway. She looked good and so did her nose cannula. Suddenly she had a Brady, a pretty big one.

A nurse passing by quickly came in and found me shaking her bottom to get her to breathe. The nurse checked her cannula and said it looked fine. Just then Marjorie had another big Brady and her oxygen levels sank too – along with my heart. The nurse thought it best to put her back in her bed to check her over.

I sadly handed her over and we gently placed her back in her incubator. She looked fine and her lungs sounded good. I then realized this was the first time I had held her with her new high-flow nose cannula. Maybe she was having to work too hard? The nurses said that could be it or it could be something else. She could be completely great tomorrow. But for now, she would stay in her cozy donut in her incubator. The nurses walked off and I could help but choke back tears. I just wanted to hold my baby.

I promised Jordan (and myself) that I would not stay all day so that I could get home early to rest. I am still on the mend and need to take it easy. It took everything in my power to leave her this afternoon. I sat next to her bed for over an hour fighting back tears. My hurt today and it still hurts. It has just been one of those days. They are bound to come and even better they are bound to go.

Leave it to a pair of “Island Aunts” to bring me just what I needed: home-cooked soul food. Chicken n Dumplings and Butter Beans appeared at my door with a massive hug from an “Island Aunt” I hadn’t even met yet. My appetite has been less than existent lately and it was so nice to have a warm meal to fill my belly. And Manning’s sweet teacher sent him home with a meal for us to put in the oven tomorrow! The love and support of the St. Simon’s Island community has truly been overwhelming. We are SO grateful.

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Day 27 * Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Well I had planned to start this update talking all about my amazing hour plus snuggle time with Marjorie, but that just changed with a phone call from Nurse Lisa. (The snuggle update is just below this)

I was stepping out of the shower when Jordan came in and said, “Lisa just called.” I love Lisa to pieces, but I know she isn’t called to chat about American Idol. Rather than trying to relay medical information, Jordan simply said, “Marjorie is okay, but might have dilated loins. Just go call Lisa.” Jordan knows medicine is not his strongest suite.

I quickly ran and grabbed my phone to call the NICU. Lisa answered and patiently (re)explained what was going on. Marjorie had two large feeding residuals today, one when we were there. She also had two very large stools, also one when we were there (Jordan actually got that diaper!).

When Lisa saw the second large residual she called the doctor, who wanted to do an x-ray of her belly just to be safe. The x-ray revealed two dialed bowel loops (not loins). This can be a sign of feeding intolerance. Thankfully, Marjorie is not showing any other signs of intolerance like poor coloring, firm belly, etc.

They think it is caused by her high-flow cannula so they lowered its settings. (For those medically savvy readers, [that means you Dr. Liz & Jess], they lowered her liters from four to two.)  They also put her back on her belly, which we all know is her favorite position! Hopefully, these two things will do the trick and this will not develop further.

Now for the snuggle update! Today, my girl and I were reunited for over an hour. I could have sat there forever. There is nothing sweeter than holding your baby. I am so grateful for that hour every day, especially after a week of not getting to hold her!

I’ve been asking Jordan to put the crib together for the last few weeks. He has been so busy, but today after holding her I told him I really needed to have the crib together. Even though we still have a ways to go before getting her home, I knew it would be good for me to start her nursery.

My boys lovingly put together “Sister’s House” as Manning called it and I watched with joy. It was nice for all of us to do something in preparation for her homecoming. I cleaned up the crib and placed a few of the many gifts Marjorie has received inside. Afterwards, I sat quietly in the glider next to her crib and cried. It was a mix of emotions from sadness to happy tears that we can see a small flicker of a light at the end of the long tunnel. My baby will be home one day and that alone is plenty of reason to smile.

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Day 28 * Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Our little peanut had a wonderful day. It seems the high residuals from yesterday were caused by her high flow cannula. After lowering the liters per minute from five to two and keeping her on her belly, Marjorie rocked every feeding. She had small (less than one or two) residuals – even a big fat zero residual at 3:00pm.

I’m also ecstatic to report that our girl is now a whopping 2-pounds, 14-ounces. She weighs 1295-grams. We have our sights set on 1500-grams so we can wear clothes and shop for more!

AND today she also got her third brain ultrasound. Nurse Lisa called with happy news and reported that it looked great.

Marjorie is progressing forward wonderfully. It is really like watching a miracle grow before our eyes. Her personality comes out more and more every day. From being a wiggle worm to stretching her long arms, she keeps us all laughing. It’s almost like she knows her momma needs a good giggle every now and then. I certainly needed one today.

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