Made of Gray

Central Line

No More Mommies Milk

201 Days in the NICUHolly D Gray8 Comments

Just a comparison of how much Caleigh has grown since birth. She's just three days shy of 3 months old. She's a whopping 6 pounds 7.2 ounces & 18 inches long today.

Caleigh has been feeling better since Saturday. Yesterday, The doctors put a picc line in her left arm and it will serve as the 'IV food' line until it doesn't work anymore or it gets infected. The picc lines get infected easier than the central lines but it is a temporary solution. The area where the central line had been is looking a lot better. Less red and a lot less swollen. Early Sunday morning Caleigh started having bloody stools and it hasn't really stopped. The blood is dark which means it is old blood. Her belly got really huge again. So they stopped her feeds and put the suction tube back in to get the air out of her belly. Eric and I stayed at the hospital all day on Sunday and right as we were leaving Caleigh had a 'Brady' episode where her heart rate dropped, her o2 saturation dropped and she was basically a shade of purple-blue. They gave her some oxygen and she recovered fine. Obviously, this scared us. We had to leave during shift change so we came home, I pumped, slept an hour or so and then went back to the hospital and stayed all night with her. Eric started driver school for work today so he came up around 5am and sat with us before going in. She had a better night and no more episodes of not breathing, thank God. Today her belly looks better and her central line site is clearing up. All the preliminary lab work has come back negative for infection. We are still waiting on the cultures which they let 'grow' for a few days to see if anything is there. No signs of Necrosis either, it a miracle!

So Dr. Vaughn, the best surgeon ever, came by and talked to us this afternoon. He thinks she did out grow the central line and it just 'popped' apart inside her. He isn't going to put another CVL in unless they use up all her picc line spots. He thinks that the belly being distended and the bloody stools are a reaction from the stress on her body. It would have happened sooner or later but the line getting displaced stressed her body enough to show us the belly problems. She had been tolerating the breast milk, but had started having loose stools. Basically, Dr. Vaughn thinks that Caleigh's intestines can't handle the complexity of the breast milk. Case in point the bloody stools. A lot of short gut babies can't break down all the elements in breast milk and we knew this going in. So we are going to wait about a week or so to let her rest and then we will start an elemental formula. I'm really sad about this and actually cried because I won't be able to breastfeed Caleigh or give her any of the milk I have been pumping for almost 3 months. But, It's best for her and that is all that counts. Plus I can donate tons of milk to preemie babies all over the country who will grow strong because of it.

So, no surgeries right now, mom feels better about the decisions that have been made and Caleigh is feeling physically better. Today was a good day & I'm ready for some sleep.

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Room 3, again

201 Days in the NICUHolly D Gray6 Comments

Caleigh 2 days ago. She even sleeps just like daddy!!!

You know that feeling....the one you get deep inside your gut that just keeps coming up no matter how hard you try to ignore it? Mommies intuition, gut feeling, GOD yelling at you from the inside. When they moved Caleigh to room 2 it started. I pushed it back down trying to be positive. When she moved to room 1, I started to analyze my feelings more, still trying to stay optimistic. Yesterday, I almost spoke up about moving her back to room 3, but I decided not to. Of course it wasn't anything against the room, or new neighbors, or nurses. Everyone has been amazing with our family, but I kept getting the feeling that Caleigh wasn't ready ....... that we weren't ready for the move ..........

This morning I woke up early, so I decided to go to the hospital a little bit earlier than usual. When I got there and went to change Caleigh's diaper I noticed that the area around her central line in her chest was red and very puffy. Caleigh was fussy and her temp was warm for her. We called the nurse practitioner, who called the doc on call. Dr. Sidebottom decided to take Caleigh's central line out and try a regular IV for the day. He couldn't get a great stick on her arm so he had to put one in her head. Caleigh now has a baby mohawk because he had to shave both sides to see where he could get a good vein. It looks horrible but it is a great vein on babies. They gave her some pain meds and took out the CVL. The CVL (central line) gives Caleigh her nutrition intravenously. This is the TPN and lipids (fats) that I have talked about. It's very important for her to have a line especially since her feeds aren't very high yet. So they sent off a ton of blood work looking for infection and we are waiting on that to come back. Some of the lab work did come back and she needed a blood transfusion. So they started that this evening and it is normal for preemies to need this especially if they aren't getting full milk nutrition. Dr. Sidebottom started Caleigh on antibiotics and seems to think that she just outgrew the line. She's more than tripled her size since birth and these things happen. They will want to put another central line in soon and that requires surgery, but until then, they are going to put a pic line in. It is a temporary version of the central line, and it is more prone to infection than the CVL. She needs her fluids and these are the steps we need to take. Now we just sit and wait for signs of infection, necrosis and effects from the fluids leaking into her chest. Hopefully, we won't see any of these signs........that we are just experiencing some growing pains. So Caleigh is now in room 3b where mommy thought she should have been all along.

Caleigh's new room with a view. Yep, that's a window in the corner.

The gauze on her chest is where the central line was. When they go to put a new one in they will have to put it on the other side.

What we would love from everyone is prayers. Thoughts and prayers to continue on. God only gives you what you can handle goes through my mind daily. We still feel strong with only weak moments and I know this is how Caleigh feels too.

When opening my fortune cookie tonight it read: 'Be both a speaker of words and a doer of deeds.'

GOD whispering to me again.

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Labor Day Photos

201 Days in the NICUHolly D Gray6 Comments

Eyes open and smiling every now and then. It just melts our hearts!

Today was picture day! Look how big that binky is!

Snuggling her bunny while napping and wearing the Cpap breathing machine.

Here's Caleigh with her first hair bow....how cute is she?

Awwwww......family picture.

Here's mommy doing some kangaroo care.

Caleigh's stats are great when we get to hold her and mommy is happy too!

Caleigh Holding Mommy

Daddy watching Caleigh sleep in her hotel suite! She already has him wrapped around her finger.

We are still waiting on Caleigh to start feeds. This morning the nurse (Caleigh's favorite, Ashley) gave Caleigh a suppository to help her have a bowel movement for the first time. She had a small one, but unfortunately there was blood in her stool. The doctors want to watch her for awhile to see if anything else might happen. We are a little worried about the blood and have been praying it is just a fluke thing. If all goes well they might try tube feedings some time this week. As far as breathing machines go....the vent is gone (yea!!) and the cpap machine is being rotated on for 4 hrs and off for 8 hrs. So Caleigh is breathing on her own most of the time and she is doing great! I'm sure the docs will have her off of the cpap machine by the end of this week.

Yep, we finally did it! This is our new breast milk freezer! Later known as the meat freezer, says Eric.

This is how much milk we had to put in it. No more room in the regular freezer. This is just 2 wks!

Plus there is this much stored at the hospital! I feel like a milk factory!

Daddy gets to go to the dentist tomorrow and get his very first root canal! Wish us luck!

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day!

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