Monday, June 23, 2008

Briefly...

Just wanted to give everyone a brief update:

Becca is doing great.  They were able to take her off the ventilator yesterday.  That's right; the day after she was born, they took her off the ventilator.  She's truly amazing.  Now she's breathing on her own with a little support from the CPAP machine (set at its lowest level, even).  Now that we can see a little more of her face (because there is less tape), I'm thoroughly convinvced that she's got John's adorable little tippy nose.  She's ridiculously cute (also like her daddy). 

Here's an inventory of her wires and tubes (as far as I can remember - I'm trying to keep all of this information straight while on pain meds!): 

She's getting nourishment through a tiny tube in her bellybutton.  Right now it's mostly souped up IV fluids (with lipids, etc), but we're hoping to be able to start her on breast milk soon.  I think that we may have to switch to a tube down her hose before she can have the milk, though (and mom still has to start producing it - but we're getting there!).  Basically, I think anything they give her right now goes through this bellybutton tube.  She's getting blood products fairly regularly, as they are having to take a good bit for all of her labs, and she just doesn't have enough to replenish on her own.  She's also on preventative antibiotics. as infections are some of her biggest risks right now.  Oddly eough, they are also giving her caffeine.  Apparently babies this small often just forget to breath, so somehow the caffeine stimulates her brain enough to remind her to breathe. 

She's got another tiny tube down her mouth that helps bring air out of her belly, as the air she takes in can tends to settle in her little tummy, which is a bit distended right now.  That's one thing they seem to be watching closely and is somehow related to when and how they will let her eat.  She particularly loves to pull this tube out, so today's nurse secured it with a tiny piece of tape. 

The little leads on her arms and legs measure her heart rate, which is hanging steady in the 140's. 

The little wrap around her foot measures her oxygen saturations, which are looking great.  (This is what they will watch to determine how to support her breathing.)  Every time I've been back there, she's been in the 90%'s. 

Somewhere on her she's got a sticker to measure her temperature.  She also likes to rip this one off.  Basically, she likes to rip off anything she can get her hands on.  She's feisty like that. 

I think you can see her teeny tiny blood pressure cuff in one of the pictures.  It doesn't seem to stay on her all the time, but, gosh, it's tiny! 

I think that's everything she's got hanging off of her.  Even the micropreemie diapers are too big for her, so they either just lay her on top of an open diaper or fashion one from a gauze pad.  Since her skin is so fragile, they have to cover her in some kind of lotion all over to preven her from feeling any friction or tearing her skin.  When she's under the lights she looks like she's all greased up to tan.  Too cute.  John and I (and the nurses, of course) are the only ones allowed to touch her, and we do so sparingly, but she's grasped each of our little fingers in her tiny hand.  She's got a great grip, and we just love holding her hand!  Occasionally if her isolette door is open (which it only is while they are giving her some kind of care) you can hear her cry, and she sounds like  a newborn kitten.  I think she recognizes our voices, though, and I swear she calmed down when she heard us last night.  She flails around a lot, which is good because it means she's got quite a bit more muscle tone than normal babies her size, but we also try to keep her calmed down some so that she can conserve her energy and not drop any weight.  Last night she weighed in at 400 grams (or 14 ounces), which is up about 10 grams, but that's probably due more to the blood products they are giving her (as in, the increased volume) than to her actually growing - but the important part is that she's not dropping weight right now like most newborns.  She just doesn't have any extra to drop!  So, in sum, she's got a loooooooong way to go (she'll have to at least quintuple her weight before she can go home), but she's already blown the odds out of the water and is stable right now.  We never know what each moment will bring, but we're so thankful for every moment we have with her!

As for me:  I'm feeling much better - phenomenally better than on Saturday before delivery (turns out I was one sick puppy dog and didn't realize it), and considerably better than yesterday.  I've got the normal pain and soreness that accompanies a c-section (which is, I have now learned, major abdominal surgery, even if it is relatively common), but my liver, platelets, etc. are getting right back where they need to be.  If everything checks out okay tomorrow morning, I'll be going home to Bethpage.  I'm excited to be back at the house, to check out all the work our families did unpacking, rearranging, etc, and to see my puppies that I've missed terribly, but I'm sad that we'll have to stay so far away from Becca.  It's about an hour's drive, and as I won't be able to drive for at least 3 weeks, I'm afraid I'll be missing her something awful!  We're on the waiting list for a room at the Ronald McDonald House, and I know I've got lots of places to stay, thanks to the hospitality of our Nashville friends, but we're not sure how it's all going to play out with puppy care, etc.  Of course, we don't know how any of it's going to play out, so we're just really taking it day to day and treasuring each moment we get to share with Becca and with each other.  John, of course, has been a saint, and all I've got to say there is that I chose wisely.  ;)  He's the best. 

I know that was far from brief, but, believe me, given how much I want to sit here and write about how amazing our little girl is, it is brief, really.  She's just incredible.  As her attending physician said, "There's just no textbook for her;" that is, she's making up the rules as she goes along because nobody's seen a girl like this before!  We know it's no coincidence that this has got to be one of the most prayed-over babies ever - I think she's on prayer lists of churches we've never even been to!  So keep it up - and we'll try to keep you posted!

Love from Tennessee,

Nancy, John, and Itty Bitty Baby Becca

36 comments:

  1. Do you think they can hook me up with a caffeine tube in my belly? Seriously, that is such awesome news. I can't believe she is off the ventilator already!!! Praise the Lord! Go Becca!!! Thanks for the update!

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  2. That's so wonderful! :)

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  3. Hey Nancy, Thanks for the update. I have been checking the website hoping for an update just like this one...filled with good news. Thinking about you every minute of the day!

    Marie

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  4. It's great to hear a good report! With her being a SpeasHill, of course she'll be a fighter! Continued prayers and thanksgivings!

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  5. Amanda, Travis, and PaxJune 23, 2008 at 9:57 PM

    Hey! So glad to hear that things are going as well as can be expected! We can't wait to see what her future will bring! Lots and lots of love and prayers for you and your precious little bit!

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  6. That's amazing. I'm so glad she's gradually getting better! Praise God!

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  7. Off the ventilator?!? What an amazing little girl! But we already knew that, right? The whole chaplaincy staff at my new hospital prayed for her today. Sending you all tons of love.

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  8. Hey Nancy and John!
    I know you are tired, yet your messages are so uplifting! Becca is one special little girl and so very blessed to have you both as her parents!! Take especially good care of yourselves and rest safe in the arms of Our Savior!! Love to you all, DEB

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  9. I'm so glad to hear of your good news. Your family and Baby Becca is on the prayer list at my church. Glad to hear she is so feisty! :o)

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  10. Are we surprised that she's feisty? No way! She's just showing 'em what she's made of!

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  11. Hello Hill Family! You don't know me but I'm a friend of Suzi & Derek in Shelbyville, KY and she shared this with me. I'm also having a baby and we are at 29 weeks, so your story has completely hit home! What awesome news that little Becca is off the ventilator and doing as well as she is. Please know that I will be praying hard for her and your family. It sounds like you all are very strong and can get through this. If you talk to Suzi, ask her about our little miracle...they do happen! Hang in there and may God hold your little one in his loving hands to comfort her and keep her safe.

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  12. You don't know me, but I'm a friend of Ashley Briggs, and she has kept me posted on your pregnancy, etc. I just wanted to tell you that all of you are in my thoughts and prayers. Becca seems to be quite the tiny fighter! :)

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  13. Suzy Robinette sent me an e-mail asking me to pray for ur sweet itty-bitty baby Becca. This has really touched my heart n an amazing way...maybe because I also have a "baby Becca"...but she is 21 years old. "I" was the one who had complications after our precious Becca came into the world. We weren't sure for a short time whether she would have her mama in her life. But HERE WE ARE! BOTH of us-together-21 years later! You and ur precious Becca will be joyfully covered by prayer and with many good thoughts of love and well wishes. I'm certain she will do great things in her life. She sounds strong and determined already!
    BEST wishes and may u feel the arms of Jesus securely and lovingly wrapped around u throughout this time and always. I'm quite certain His arms r around Baby Becca! May u feel hope knowing that. If u ever need a mama to pray with please let me know. Blessings - Annie

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  14. Becca (Holladay) AbelJune 24, 2008 at 9:13 AM

    Nancy! I am so happy for you! I read over this and I am inspired by Baby Becca's tenacity and you and John's faith! Praise God!

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  15. Hurray! Wonderful news. Thanks so much for the update.

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  16. Jay and Heather GormanJune 24, 2008 at 9:20 AM

    Congratulations on a beautiful baby girl. Fiesty girls are the best!We are so happpy she is doing well. We continue to pray for all of you and think of you daily.

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  17. Hi there, You don't know me but I am from Bethpage Church and I just read your whole blog after hearing about your amazing little girl Sunday at church. I just want you to know that I am praying every minute for Becca and you and John. I feel like I already know you guys having read this. Just know that if I can do anything, all you have to do is ask. We love dogs so if you need a sitter our door is always open, and we are praying hard for your family.
    Lots of Love The Overmans

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  18. You all don't know me, but I'm a friend of Andaleah Silka, who is a friend of Nancy's friend Ashley Briggs. I just wanted to say that my thoughts and prayers are with your family and little Becca. May she gain weight and strength quickly so that you may be together at home VERY SOON. Make sure to take care of yourselves, too, so that you can be there for Becca.

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  19. Nancy and John, what wonderful, wonderful news!!! How exciting that Becca is already off the ventilator. Wow!!! Becca and both of you are continuing to be in my prayers, and all the chaplains here at BHE send their love,

    Jan

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  20. Go Becca Go!! I have to admit I have been in tears of joy and every emotion combined watching the news and hearing from Katy and Erin. I love you guys- and I love Becca! She is so amazing. I tell Baby Snow that he is going to love meeting her- even though she'll be so much more wise and mature than he will be! But that's boys... : ) Loving you and praying more than I knew how!! -love-Sarah : )

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  21. Hi Hill Family, My name is Christy Cooley and my family goes to Bethpage Church. We have been in prayer for your itty bitty Becca and are so happy to hear the good news. Babies are amazing miracles and a true gift from God. We will continue to pray for you all and we look forward to hearing updates. If you need anything please don't hesitate to ask. God Bless you all
    Love The Cooley Family

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  22. Wonderful news! I've got my church praying too. Please try to get some rest. Although I didn't really listen to that advice, I think it really helps the whole healing process :)

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  23. The Rollergirls send their best and can't wait to get Becca into training!

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  24. What a great update and such encouraging news, folks. The prayers are continuing. Little Becca is already the most inspiring story I've heard in a long time. Keep hanging in there!

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  25. What great news! I'm hooked. I'll be praying for your family and continue to visit for updates and pictures!

    Peace and Hugs,
    Becca & Ella

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  26. I'm keeping up with ya'll, God bless and keep the updates coming!!!

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  27. Your update brought tears to my eyes.God is with your family the whole way!!!just keep on keeping on!!! MY HEART & PRAYERS ,BRENDA W.

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  28. That girl, she is a hoot! I love her spirit already. She is quite the combo of the 2 of you ;)

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  29. Shannon and Chris SeidtJune 24, 2008 at 9:39 PM

    Congratulations on your adorable little girl.... and how great it is that the ventilator has been removed... what a blessing! You all are in our thoughts and prayers... God can move mountains!

    Always,
    Chris and Shannon

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  30. Raul and Bilha AlegriaJune 25, 2008 at 7:45 AM

    Becca es una bendicion de Dios.Take care and may god continue to bless her and her family.
    Raul y Bilha

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  31. John & Jil McClanahanJune 25, 2008 at 9:07 AM

    You'all are in out thoughts and prayers. Becca must be a tough little girl, and we look forward to seeing her soon!

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  32. Hey Nancy,

    I've been in Germany and so out of the loop... Christy gave me your blog address. Goodness gracious! So many goings-on! You guys have an adorable little baby girl, and sounds like despite all the stress you are hanging in there great. I will be keeping you in my thoughts in the coming days. My apartment is right next to the Ronald McDonald house and very close to Vandy - you guys can feel free to use it as a spot to stop by or stay anytime (everyone but the dogs, that is, I'm afraid, but maybe Will, also very close by, would agree to dog-sit.

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  33. Hey!
    I am so excited that things are going so well. She truly is an amazing baby! I believe God has great things in store for that beautiful baby girl! I am constantly "on my knees" asking God to protect Becca and be with the two of you. Just so you know, my whole church is praying for you! Love, Pam

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  34. So glad she is feisty - she'll need it! :) I am so sad that I can't be there, but our prayers and love are flowing - both our churches will be praying for you guys and for little Becca! We love you so much. Can't wait until we get to see more pictures ... and someday in person!

    Erin, Matt, and Miles (and Buddy!)

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  35. Yay Becca and Nancy and John! All of you are amazing and we are so thankful for the news. I just showed my mom and she's praying too. Much love and prayers heading y'all's way! YAY, YAY, YAY!!! =0)

    Narcie, Mike and Enoch

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  36. Rannie & Charlene CooperJune 30, 2008 at 2:30 PM

    John, Nancy and Baby Becca,
    Got the latest update at church yesterday from Grandpa Fred. All of the people at SAUMC in Ashland are certainly keeping your special family in our thoughts and prayers. We cannot wait to see you in person!
    Love, Rannie & Charlene Cooper

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