Sunday, August 15, 2010

Our First Moment

I was finally able to hold our tiny Isabella!  A Respiratory Therapist and Bella's Nurse Practitioner were present to assist me, and to watch her vital signs.  She tolerated her time out of the Incubator much better than we expected and I was able to hold her for 20 minutes.
   I can't come up with a word or phrase that would do justice to this experience.  I fell in love with her long before she was born. I've anticipated our "first moment" throughout my entire pregnancy. If you have kids, I'm sure you understand. For those of you who don't, let me explain.  Just after you deliver, the doctor places your baby in your arms. There is an immediate and involuntary outpouring of love, laughter and tears that spills straight from your heart. There's no stopping it, all you can do is let your emotions go, and adore your baby.
Sadly, we missed the "first moment" bus the day she was born. Isabella was taken to an incubator and put on life support before I could catch my breath or regain sanity and self control.  I waited patiently...sort of...for our bus to arrive. Nearly one month after she was born, on August 11th, I held her for the first time.
There was a beautiful rush of emotions that soared through me, I became lost in our first moments together. The first time our skin warmed one another's. The first time I kissed her head. The first time I smelled her. The first time I comforted her. The first time I held my baby.The first time our beautiful little angel was held by her mother.

PDA Ligation and NEC

  • 8/15/2010
    Isabella is struggling today.  She was just diagnosed with severe Necrotizing Enterocolitis.  She is at very high risk of her intestines perforating through the lining of her stomach. If this happens, she will be sent to Primary Children's Hospital for surgery.  She also has an infection in her blood, her kidneys have stopped working and her blood pressure is extremely low. Her oxygen levels have improved over the last 4 hours and her lungs look good.  She's mainly being treated with BP medication, antibiotics and steroids. She will receive a transfusion in hopes that it will help her BP.  We should know within the next 72 hours if she will recover on her own, or require surgery. 

Isabella had surgery today. The procedure went well and she is recovering nicely.  She was expected to sleep for two hours but she started waking up after about 6 hours.  Her co2 level is a bit high, so she is being put back on the Oscillator.  

Thursday, August 12, 2010

8/12/2010 update

  • 2.4 pounds on the 13th
Isabella isn't doing as well as we had hoped for her.  Her blood gas didn't produce very good results, and her saturation levels on the ventilator had to be turned up to 43.  Her PDA is still open and is now causing the left side of her heart to swell.  She is scheduled for a PDA Ligation on the 14th at 9am.  It's a very routine surgery that they will perform here at the U.  There is a risk of damage to her vocal chords but the benefits far out weigh that risk. Hopefully as a result of this surgery, she will be able to wean off of the ventilator and be ex-tubated sooner than later. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Family walk to the waterfall!

  I instinctively want to call this a "hike", but it would be a rather pathetic one, so, lets go with "nature walk".  The kids had a great time exploring all of the what if's of  the outdoors, for example, "what if a giant bird came down and we could ride it"..." what if a bear came out of that tree?..." and so on.  Jayson confused  rock climbers with landscapers, each time he climbed a steep hill, he'd say "look mom, its just like landscaping!", I let him say it a good 5 times before I corrected him because it was really cute.  Alanah and Ashlynn would go to a look out or climb a post and exclaim to the world that they are the princesses.  Nate and I walked hand in hand and optimistically explored our ideal if / then scenarios.  It was a perfect time to de-stress and have some much needed QT with the family.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chicken Soup for my Soul

There aren't a whole lot of things better than seeing my kids play together.  They get lost in their games and totally consumed by whatever creative character they are for the day.  I love the confidence that radiates from their contagious smiles as they dance and sing to the music.  It's difficult to learn each one's individual love language, but the times that I get it right, their gratitude illuminates my soul.
The result of a boy giving a girl, in Jayson's words,"the ultimate makeover".   Alanah loved it, just because Jayson did it.

Green Tea (water with green food coloring) and marshmallows. We do love a good tea party.

Playing "Dress up" never gets old.  

The funniest water fight between Jayson and Alanah! 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

They looked so cute having a drink after our Sunday visit with Bella

8/05/2010 Update

  • 1 pound 14 Ounces by August 11th.
  • Saturation down to 20-24 but she's not tolerating it well. they will go up a little on the 7th
  • She still isn't tolerating weaning the vent levels by the 10th and has to go back up to 30-34
  • Isabella had a rough night and is now up to 38 on the ventilator. I previously mentioned that 15 is ideal.
This was a really good week for Isabella, busy...but good. She's grown quite a bit and was given a bigger intubation tube.  She's breathing well on her own and her murmur doesn't seem to be slowing her down thus far.  She is slowly weaning off the ventilator and taking small steps toward ex-tubation.  She is awake and playful for a good portion of the day and loves putting her hands in her mouth. She started smiling this week...sure it's gas, but's a smile. 

Isabella is doing so well!  Nate and I have been doing her cares and it's amazing.  It's only taking her temp and changing diapers, but, it really aids in eliminating some of the helplessness that we feel. Her heart murmur sounds a bit louder but this could be a good thing. It may be because it's closing. She's beginning to look a little bigger, on the 6th.  Isabella is gaining about .5 to 1 ounce per day.  
  • 1 pound 12 ounces on the 7th.

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    Isabella Bunnell

    As you all know, I delivered our new baby girl 15 weeks early.  It was spontaneous but thought to be due to an infection in the placenta. Isabella's doctor explained to us that she has a better chance of survival outside of the womb because of the infection.  Three days after her birth, we named her Isabella Victoria Bunnell. Our hearts broke as we left our tiny 1 pound 7 ounce baby in the NICU and headed home.We expect her to be hospitalized until late October.  Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers, they mean so much to us. She is doing very well so far and we have faith in the power of prayer. no matter the outcome, your support greatly blesses our lives in our time of need.

    Labor and Delivery

    On July 15th at 6:32 PM We hopped onto an unstable roller coaster ride with prayer and optimism on one end and fear of the unknown on the other.

    Three days after my prenatal check up, which went so well that my doctor was certain I'd carry to term, I started labor.  I had a fever, which is never good when your pregnant, then, the contractions began! Typically, when you complain of back aches and contractions at 25 weeks gestation, you're called a wimp, if the pain stays, you lie down on your left side for one hour, if that pop Terbutaline tablets like they're orange Tic Tacs.  
    No amount of medication or lying down availed my attempts to stop the labor.  3 hours later, we went to the South Valley Hospital's Labor and Delivery Unit. I was contracting every three minutes, hemorrhaging and dilated to 5 centimeters. They started steroid injections to help the babies lungs develop, antibiotics to fight any possible infections and Terbutaline to stop the labor.
    Within the hour, I was at 8 centimeters dilated and being Life Flighted to The University of Utah Hospital. Ten minutes after arrival, I was fully dilated and began to push. Did you notice my LACK of mentioning pain meds? OUCH!!! I will spare you the details but I did scream into Nate's shoulder, and I may have hit the doctor, with a malicious intent to injure her, but one couldn't be certain.
     After spending an eternity in agonizing pain, which manifests its self as a measly 30 minutes on the clock, our nameless baby girl was born. She had a strong heartbeat but her blue and limp appearance frightened us.  The doctors explained to us that she was stable, "for now", but this would be a very difficult "roller coaster" ride for her and us.  I thought to myself, "So hold onto your hats and glasses folks,'cause this here's the wildest ride in the wilderness". Great timing huh?

    We'd love to continue to share this roller coaster of a journey with you.  Isabella's  health changes daily so we've decided to track her progress  through an additional page on our blog.  Click on the tab titled Isabella's Page for updates.

    My wonderful kids came to visit me after I delivered.  We had so much fun playing with the controls on the bed.

    Monday, August 2, 2010

    Do you hear that?...the lonesome cry of crickets on my page? It's Pathetic, really. I have been totally MIA for some time now, well, to blogging at least. I spent a few months on bed rest, where I could have blogged, but I would rather watch children's movies, read books and play games with my kids. I can admit that blogging was heavy on my mind for some time. I felt rather pathetic for the relentless lethargy that befell me at 8pm...but I'm not sorry. I saved the small amount of energy that I had, for my husband and kids. I'm not super woman and that's ok, When I have to choose, my family will always come first.

    I'm trying to make somewhat of a comeback but it wont be pretty. My posts will most likely be sporadic...but that's no surprise, and My pictures may or may not have captions. Forgive me for my sloppy posts and I will forgive you for not commenting on my cute