Monday, March 31, 2008
For some reason, my level of free time seems to have diminished quite a bit! Things that we were able to get done in a relatively easy and quick fashion, now take forever!
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Abby is doing good. She really sleeps a lot - which is great. That lets her heal, recover, and grow. The feeding is going well. Her head and neck are getting stronger. Grandma gave her about an hour of belly time this afternoon.
Grandma flys back tonight. We are all going to see her off to the airport.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
We have a nurse come in on Tuesday and Friday to change her dressing and check her overall well being. It is so good to see her here at home. We drove by the hospital and it is weird to know that she isn't there anymore. She is home, where she belongs. She is still recovering though. It's no where near a normal situation yet. But, she'll be fine. It's so much better than being in the hospital!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
We had our first excursion today. We went to the pediatrician. Abby weighed 8 lbs 12 oz and was 21 inches long. The funny thing was that Grandma packed our diaper bag. We had clothes, hats, wipes, butt paste, lotion, etc. But no diapers!!! She's not going to live that one down for a while.
I will try to get a copy of the newscast tonight from friend who TIVOed it. I'm pretty sure I can somehow get a copy to the blog. Many thanks to everyone who has sent cards and left messages. We are so appreciative.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Abby had a very busy day for her 5 month birthday. She went to the OR to have her broviac taken out, every culture they sent due to her fever came back negative and as long as she does not have a fever, she is coming home tomorrow. Greg and I are learning how to administer feeds, medication and other fun stuff that Abby will need when she gets home. KATU News will be there so we are very excited for this great day and can't wait to update you all on our adventure.
Reflecting back on our experience tomorrow will be very bittersweet. Whereas we are so thankful that she is coming home and ready to start the next chapter of being "parents", we are sad to leave the friends and staff at Emanuel Hospital. Not because we are afraid of doing things on our own, but the staff at Emanuel have been the best support system for Greg and I. First and foremost they saved Abby's life and were with us through thick and thin, shared laughs and cries and became our family. We will definitely make sure one way or another they will be a part of our family as Abby grows (just not as a patient :))
Sunday, March 23, 2008
We got some polaroid pictures with the Easter Bunny yesterday. Today, Abby had her Easter outfit on.
Dr. John changed her dressing. He said it looked really good. Her broviac cultures came back negative - so that means so far, it has not grown anything. She still has a temperature, but seems to be in fairly good spirits. Jenn took off her oxygen and she was in the mid 90s.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Happy Easter to All!! Carol & Tom
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Abby had a good day. Jenn and I took a Infant CPR class down in the NICU this morning. While we were there, a volunteer named JP (Jean-Pierre) held her. He said it made his Easter. Tomorrow, she gets her wound vac off and we can get her some much needed "tummy time."
Things are still looking good for Monday. Lots of stuff happening.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Abby got moved back out to the floor today. She is off oxygen. We are coming home on Monday, March 24th - her 5 month birthday!!!!! We are coming home soon!!!! Jenn's parents fly in tomorrow, so that will be great. Things are looking good.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
She looks great. It's amazing what having all your arteries the way they are supposed to be will do for you. We move out to the floor tomorrow. We should get the wound vac off on Friday. After that, we may come home at any time.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Abby did great today. She continues to amaze. She looked great after the procedure compared to what she looked like on Wednesday. Dr. Kaiser was able to balloon her left artery from less than 1 mm to about 4 mm. He also re-did her right side to 5 mm. Later on, 6 months down the road, he might put in some stints. She will not need surgery at this point. I can't believe it. It still hasn't sunk in. She could come home next week. She will get extubated tomorrow morning. Get the wound vac off this week. She should come home with oxygen and the feeding tube - which is awesome. It's no big deal.
Jenn and I were talking, and she has challenged Dr. King, Dr. John, Dr. Kaiser, Jason, Dr. Hagop to their max. It's unheard of. She will be 5 months next week. It's been so unbelievable. We can not tell you how much we appreciate everyone who has sent their prayers, love, and support. Jenn said it is like Dr. John is almost like a religious figure. He is always so peaceful and was like a man who was full filling his Purpose. Those doctors literally saved Abigail's life. I remember the first time I met Dr. John. I asked him questions that, looking back, were so naive. We really knew nothing then. He sees that stuff every day.
The father of the baby who got moved in to our room today could see me and Jenn talking to all the nurses, doctors, and therapists. He asked me if I worked there. I told him, "No", we just have been there quite a while.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Abigail is still doing well and is kind of in a holding pattern until Monday. We are still confident Dr. Kaiser will be able to balloon her left side.
Abigail's great grandfathers are both really just plain awesome. Jenn's grandfather, P. Abbott Asplin, Class of '39, Franklin & Marshall, was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2000. He played football on offense and defense. He turned 90 last year and is a recent newlywed. My grandfather, is in his late 80's, is doing good, but just went into the hospital today with some seemingly minor symptoms. They will check him out and monitor for a few days. We know they both care and think about Abby all the time. We are honored that Abby is a great granddaughter to such admirable men.
Friday, March 14, 2008
This is a tough one. Believe me, that was not what we wanted to hear yesterday. We are all hoping they can balloon the left side open on Monday. That would be the best case. At this point, there is no sense in worrying about anything else. We just have to wait and see what happens.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Here it is. But, she can do it a lot more than that.
The procedure took a long time. They wanted to balloon out both of her pulmonary arteries. They did the right one fine, the left one's opening was too narrow to get the wire in there properly, about 1 millimeter. They will try again in about 3 months - give her a chance to heal and grow. We are back in the PICU for a few days. Abby is on the ventilator until tomorrow. She is puffy around her eyes, hands, and feet. Her vitals were fine the whole time. She is a trooper, poor little thing. Lying on her back again with that tube down her throat. She is not a happy camper. But, so far, we were told that she could possibly come home next week!
We saw an "educational" video about the procedure filmed about 10 years ago. Dr. John had a moustache! It was pretty awesome.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Abby and I had a nice visit from our friends Clarencia, Iris, Dana and Shelly last night as well as our friend Dawn and her little boy Tim. It is really nice to be with friends and have them share in Abby's success and progress.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Besides smiling, she also does "The Lip." We all know that fathers have little or no defense against this deceptively evil attack! I'll try and get some pics.
Abby weighed 3960 grams this morning. She is starting to gain some weight, which is great. She still gets physical, occupational, and speech therapy every day. We massage her back a little bit. The kidney doctor, Dr. Guillery, stopped by to talk about the blood in the urine. There's not much or anything, just under a microscope you can see the red blood cells. He's not too worried about it. He is doing an ultra sound and urinalysis to get some more info. The balloon is still on for the end of the week, so we'll see what happens. Cultures all negative. Wound vac thing is getting smaller - looking good. She got some blood because she was little anemic.
Jenn and I worked out a schedule for the next week or so, until Jenn's parents come out on the 20th at least. Hopefully, Abby can home sometime when they are here. It might be close, but certainly possible.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Things out "on the floor" are definitely different, but manageable.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
Abby will need another procedure next week to fix her pulmonary branch stenosis -which is a narrowing of the artery in one short segment, this procedure will consist of using a balloon to open the artery his is similar to an angioplasty. We are hopeful that this will happen next week. She needs to get over a new infection that they found yesterday - the Docs are suspicious that it is due to the broviac since it has been in her for a long period of time - downside of that is it will make it very hard to pull labs and give medicine. We are hopeful that with administering antibiotics, rest and nutrition she will beat this infection without removing the broviac. Either way, she will need to be put back on the ventilator for the branch stenosis treatment but it should be no longer than one day. This will push back her discharge date back.
On a very exciting note, we were contacted by Emanuel Hospital's public relations office and wanted to know if we would like to share Abby's story. Which of course, we do. KATU News which is an ABC affiliate picked it up and will be doing a story on Abby the day that she leaves the hospital they are also going to pitch Abby's story to Good Morning America! Thanks for all the prayers - keep them coming.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
We took Miss Abigail on her first wagon ride around the hospital - something that we have been looking forward to for a long time. It was great. She loved it and got quite a few compliments about how good she was looking.
She is not on any oxygen anymore. She is completely breathing on her own fine for the first time ever. She still has the wound vac and has an NG tube. The wound vac will be on for about another week, maybe less. Dr. John said she has an incredibly fast healing capability. The feeding is going ok - it's going to take some time - but I'm sure things will be alright. Jenn and I are both patient. Abby always does things on her schedule.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Abby was sleeping in her new room this afternoon with the daylight coming in through the bright window. This was the biggest day ever. Finally coming out an ICU for the first time. We went left down the hall instead of right - which was down to the O.R. We are in the School Age section - which is awesome because its in the same section where BINGO is played!
Abby is doing awesome. It's truly incredible. I couldn't believe a week ago she was intubated. I never would have said we'd be out on the floor in a week. Jenn and I so thankful. We are kind of in shock. Not in a bad way though. We're excited - but just can't believe it. I am going to take her for a wagon ride soon. Maybe tomorrow or the next day.
Jenn started breast feeding for the first time today. It is going to take some practice, but should be fine. She is also eating a little from a bottle, but still gets tube fed for now. Her wound was cleaned today and parts of the skin have come together already -which is so fast - she's like Wolverine from the X-men. She is barely on any oxygen/lung support.
The entire staff at the hospital - all the doctors, nurses, surgeons, therapists, chaplains, food, life, etc. have been so kind to our family. Thank you so much. For everything.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
For the first time ever, Abby took the bottle 3 times today!!! She drank 10 ml each time. It was amazing. She would suck a few times, then get excited because she would forget to breath. Then she would breath, and get excited because she wanted the bottle. She is still feed through a tube too. Of course, Abigail Rose continues the "genius baby" theme in our family and eats from a bottle the very first time.
She will be leaving the PICU and going to the floor tomorrow!!! This is huge and will be a big transition for everyone. She is doing so good. I can't believe how fast things are going. But, it's fine with me. She may be home sooner than I thought. It's crazy to think about how fast she is continuing to recover. It just makes me think about how long it took to recover from her surgery and how sick she really must have been. It seems like a million years ago.
Monday, March 3, 2008
Abby was enjoying her new swing. She falls right asleep. She was on just regular nasal cannula - really only getting a whiff of air. So she has been doing great. The therapists have been working on her neck, back, and shoulders. We are swaddling her so her arms and legs are in close to her and moving her to her sides. She still loves her pacifiers. Her voice still has to heal quite a bit. Dr. King did not decide to try to feed her yet. I heard he spoke with Dr. Baxter in the NICU. Abby will be going to the floor and not back in the NICU. The neonatologists said she is too far along. The insurance also said she didn't need to be in an Intensive Care Unit.
Also, she got her last catheter taken out, plus got her wound vac changed out. I saw the wound. Jason said it looked great after 3 days already. The skin is coming closer together. He said maybe another week or two.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
The pictures do not do her justice. Abigail Rose is truly beautiful. She was being real active and alert. But not fussing. I think her neck is still a little stiff. But I'm sure she loves not having those bars in her chest and that tube down her throat. Her voice is getting a little stronger each day. Her progress continues. We also found a little birth mark on her back - so that was cool.
Today we went to a concert. Our friend Tim plays the tuba in the Portland Community Wind Band. It was pretty awesome. They played with a local 6th & 7th grade band too.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
She did get extubated today and skipped right past cpap and is on a high flow nasal cannula. She has been doing great. She could come out of the ICU soon too. She can either go out to the floor or to the NICU. There are 2 sides of the NICU and she would be on the less critical side.
She's had a room mate for the past few days. I think she is about 7 and has cancer. She seems to have gone through some tough times, but is recovering well. Her parents are really nice.