What a weekend. The honeymoon period is over I guess! Still no news about the possible infection. They should have some preliminary results back today on that and the best results are 72 hours from the initial test so we will have those tomorrow.
We called on Sunday morning after church to check on Kathryn and Dr. Mena said that he wanted to have a chance to talk with us when we came to visit that afternoon. I am sure that we will get accustomed to that, but it's not a great thing to hear over the phone!! Well, long and confusing story short, here is the news:
Kathryn has to have her UAC line. This is what the doctors and nurses use to draw her labs to check her every 6 hours. Without this line, they would be "driving blind" as to her care right now. However, having this line can cause poor circulation to her extremities, namely right now, her toes. They have a purplish hint to them, or as Dr. Mena calls it, a dusky appearance. She gets regular foot massages and warm compresses on her feet to help this. Removing the UAC line would most likely correct this, but they must have the line. In some babies like Kathryn, if this remains a problem, there is a risk that she could lose her toes. Wow, that was a tough one for us to stomach this weekend. I ran through every scary scenario I could think of. I cried thinking of my child not being able to walk because I thought surely you need toes to walk, right? Greg, my mom, and Dr. Mena all reassured me that this is not the case. I guess Greg and I are at peace with this. We both know that there is nothing that we can do other than trust in her doctors and pray for them, the nurses, and for Kathryn. I mean in the grand scheme of what we could face, I guess we have been blessed so far.
Dr. Mena did mention that changing the UAC line out and reinserting a new one could help this problem. Of course, it could also make it worse or not change it at all. They don't want to do that if it is functioning properly. So naturally my question was, "well is it functioning properly?" Expecting to hear "yes", imagine my surprise when Dr. Mena said that it was starting to give blood very sluggishly. So, long story short, is that they may be forced to change her UAC line anyway. They assure us that this is a normal procedure and is not complicated. It is a little more than putting in an IV, but certainly not a major procedure. Each time they draw labs (every 6 hours) could mean that it is time for a new line. We won't know until it happens, but we are peaceful that it is a fairly minor thing.
I just checked in on her this morning. She is holding steady at 1 #, 2 oz today (8 days of a pound and counting) - kinda like the record heat in Alabama of over 100 for 7 days. She has not received a new UAC line as of yet and there is no change in her toe color. No better this morning, but no worse - that's great!! Her first labs have come back and there is still no bacteria growth, meaning no infection has popped up yet. (Remember we'll get our best results tomorrow.) Let's all pray for good results tomorrow too!!
Kathryn is hanging in there and growing some. She is so much a part of our family already and very are so proud of all of her accomplishments so far!! Please keep praying for her. Today specifically pray for great labs tomorrow morning, a great day for Kathryn, wonderful toe massages, and for her nurses and doctors.
Greg asked me last night if I think we are handling this any better or worse than some parents would. I told him that I think we are handling this like Christian parents with previous experience with parts of the NICU. I truly don't know how people face big experiences in their lives without the faith that we, as Christians, have. We look to each other and to God each day to carry us through this and I think that's why we can smile about it so much. (Of course, we cry about it too because it's scary.) But can you imagine how much scarier this would be without the faith that God will wrap his arms around Kathryn and carry her through this?) Greg, Madelyn and I all love you and appreciate the wonderful support you are giving our family of four!! You give us peace to face each day. God's blessings to each of you - he sure has granted mine!!