Posted (jooosh) in All Posts on August-24-2007

Ella’s rough night turned into a so-so day. The swelling in her head was starting to cause a bit more concern. For this reason Dr. Kays ordered an echocardiogram thinking that there may be a clot in her superior vena cava. After two of these tests were performed, one by a tech and another by a cardiologist, they were unable to confirm any conclusive results.
Tina and her mom spent most of the day with baby Ella. I think it was hard for them to see her so swollen (heck, it was hard for me to see her so swollen the other day too).
Dr. Kays had planned on adding a second chest tube this afternoon, but held off due to this mornings x-ray results. He did turn down her O2 level on the ventilator to 50, and she seemed to tolerate it ok, but throughout the afternoon she became agitated.
Tina and Grandma came back to pick me up around 8pm tonight. We grabbed a bite and then headed back over to the hospital. We found a couple things had occurred in our absence.
Ella’s stats dropped after 8pm, without a quick rebound, and the staff paged Dr. Kays. He then took another chest x-ray and it looked as though the fluid was building up again on her right side. Right then and there, he decided to add the other chest tube. Immediately her stats improved and within an hour and a half, 100 mL drained from her right side. This confirmed that the additional chest tube was working.
Tina and I spent a good amount of time with her tonight and she seemed very comfortable. The swelling in her body and head appeared to have reduced as well. We were all encouraged by how well she looked tonight, and her stats confirmed how well she was doing. Dr. Kays mentioned that he was still “pleased” with where she is at, but he’s planning on having another echocardiogram done on Monday just to be sure.
We’ll get some better sleep tonight knowing that our little girl seems to be back on the right track.
Please continue to pray for the safe reduction of fluid and for no ill affects related to her swollen head. She still has more fluid to lose and it needs to be done slowly and safely.
Thanks for all the love and support!
A FEW SIDE NOTES: First off, a praise report: baby Evan got to go home today! Second, for the people who may be concerned that we aren’t letting out our tears, be assured that we are crying plenty =). Also, the question was asked about the “bandage” across Ella’s head. Actually, it’s a sensor pad that’s used to monitor oxygen saturations in her brain. Finally, Grandma brought 2 other monkeys to join Ella’s zoo: Julep (hot pink) and Ramona!
UPDATE (1:45am EST): Just gave a quick call to the NICU to check on Ella, and nurse Lisa confirmed that she is doing real well. Just wanted to let you all know. =)

Posted (jooosh) in All Posts on August-24-2007

Well, we were hoping for a perfect streak, but Ella had a rough time last night. Dr. Kays and the team are being challenged to manage her fluids. They’re having to constantly calculate how much and decide what to put back into our baby girl’s body.

Due to the rate of her fluid loss, she risks being dehydrated, even with all the water retention! It’s her circulatory system that can lose too much fluid while her other tissues retain it. Her poor little head is really swollen too.

This type of swelling is to be expected, but it’s not a good thing. It is also building up in her chest cavity on the right side which is reducing her lung capacity. Dr. Kays is going to be placing a chest tube on her right side early this afternoon. We hope that this will give some relief.

Her cO2 gas wasn’t looking good last night either. It was pretty elevated (in the high 50’s, should be around 40). They were able to bring this back down this morning after a good suctioning though.

Her other stats look pretty good. Her O2 saturations are doing alright, and her acid levels are in check.

Ella is still very sick though and we need to pray for her to get over this fluid management hump.

Father God, we lift our baby girl up to you and know that you are in control. Please ease her fluid retention and let her stats improve. We also pray for no negative events around the other chest tube being inserted. She is weak but You are strong. Thank you for our baby girl, and the support and prayers of others. She is in your hands Jesus. Amen

SIDE NOTE: Tina’s mom made it last night, but her flight was delayed and it took awhile for her to get the rental car. She didn’t arrive here until 3:30am! It’s nice to have some family around and we look forward to our future visitors too.