Today Kathryn is 1 week old! The doctors continue to be optimistic and tell us that they have yet to see anything negative with the smallest Ellis!! She is maintaining her birthweight if not a little above right now, but we have still not seen the 1st full pound. We are certainly waiting to celebrate that milestone!!
I am still in the hospital as they continue to monitor my blood pressures. With PIH (Pregnancy induced hypertension), it takes several weeks to get it back under control and many patients leave the hospital temporarily on blood pressure medication. They have not seen me return to normal enough blood pressures even with medication though to release me at this point. Yesterday I saw a cardiologist and they did an echocardiogram to see if there was a particular reason that I continue to experience blood pressures as high as 196/109 or even higher a few random times. The concern is that they get those blood pressures here in the hospital when the extent of my activity is showering and getting dressed, visiting Kathryn in the NICU (by wheelchair), and lying on my right or left side. If they can't control it with that limited activity, they have been afraid to release me to my family knowing that my activity will naturally increase at home! At this point, I have told Greg that I am convinced that they are simply researching ways for me to be able to work, drive, eat, and play while lying on my left side for the rest of my life!!! :-) All kiding aside, I am extremely ready to leave the hospital as a patient and return just for daily visitation with Kathryn.
Kathryn had a head ultrasound yesterday (not her first) and there were no concerns that they could find. For babies of this gestation, they are looking for bleeding in the brain, but our little fighter is doing just great!!! The chances for any of that decrease to less than 10% when the babies reach 1 week old, so it looks like we just reached our first milestone!!! Another step for now is that the billiruben light is gone for now. She will likely go on and off of that many times, but it's nice to see her now without her little sunglasses!! In case we haven't shared yet, she has the longest blond eyelashes and it looks as if she may be a blond. Of course at this point, it could be just her baby fuzz and her hair color could change as she grows.
Kathryn continues to receive blood transfusions and may be on her 4th or 5th already. The doctors assure us that this is extremely normal and expected for a baby of Kathryn's size and that she will have many more until she leaves the NICU. Her little body only holds 1 ounce of blood and with the tests that they perform on her every three hours, she doesn't have time to reproduce enough on her own yet.
Many people have asked us about blood donations. If you are here in Birmingham, you can go to Life South at the corner of Oxmoor and Lakeshore in Homewood and specify that you want to give in Kathryn's name. (You probably have to give her full name of Kathryn Bryan Ellis.) If you are not local, I believe that you can visit your local American Red Cross office and do the same thing. Kathryn is B+, but even if you are not a match for her, you can give in her name and she will receive a credit. This and prayers are the best things that we can do for her!!
Well, enough of a novel today. My cardiologist just came in to let us know that as long as my blood pressures remain ok today, then I can go home this evening around 6 or so. We've heard that for a few days now, so maybe this time is for good. Fingers crossed! Please pray for all of us!!