Day 10 – Thursday November 20th 2008

A varied day today.  I arrived at the hospital to find that Eva had been promoted to the High Dependency Unit.  This is the next step but one she made only really because they needed her bed and she was the best of the worst!  Anyway she is coping in there.  It is a 1:3 nurse:baby ratio and there is less medical intervention. Andrew and I are happy because it is a much more relaxed atmosphere and there are less beeping machines! Eva may of course move back if the need arises.

Soon after I arrived a doctor approached me about the plan for Eva today.  Her blood results came back with an increased CRP.  A C-reactive protein (CRP) test is a blood test that measures the amount of a protein called C-reactive protein in your blood. This protein shows general levels of inflammation in your body.  Thus this may be the sign of an infection in her tiny body.  They are not too concerned because she is not showing any signs of a massive infection but they are very good at preventing it.  They have started her on intravenous antibiotics which will stay for at least 48 hours when the tests will come back to say what if any infection she has.  Pam, the Consultant, warned us that this may happen regularly and this is policy in the unit.  If anything the most likely it will be in a Staphylococcus bacteria that has entered her blood stream. 

The medical team was very quick to react to this.  They put a long line into her right leg which is a line travelling up the vein in her leg to her heart.  This is how her medications will be given now.  The remaining umbilical line has been removed.  Eva had a chest x-ray, which came back clear of a chest infection.  Eva also had a lumbar puncture performed, which is the collection of spinal fluid from between the vertebrae of her spine.  This is to rule out meningitis, which they say is highly unlikely.  I stayed with her during the long line and lumbar puncture because I couldn’t stand her to be on her own.  With the help of glucose drops she didn’t actually seem to be too sore.

I am finding it hard to resist touching the machines when I know what needs doing.  At least today Tori did change the alarm settings of the annoying machine so it barely beeped at us!  A much better option after yesterday.

Eva’s breathing has remained pretty good and they are very happy with her on the CPAP machine.  She does not need any oxygen.  Her weight is a little down at 680g but this is within the normal fluctuation.   Eva continues on her medication to heal the PDA (hole in her heart).

Amongst all this the light was removed as her jaundice has improved.  This means that she now has a pink blanket on top of her crib that used to belong to her cousin Amelia.  I am getting much more relaxed about doing the nappy change, mouthwash and feeds now. 

Lesley the Catholic lay chaplain came to visit to check how we were going.  She especially is concerned for me that I am getting enough sleep etc.  She is lovely and it is nice to have someone to check up on you. 

Most wonderful was the two hours that Eva and I spent in Kangaroo Care in the afternoon.  She was very settled with only a few cries.  I read “Guess How Much I Love You “ and “The Happy Prince” to her, which she seemed to like.  Also I sung to her and chatted lots.  Eva really is more settled when she returns to the cot, which is nice to see.

Tomorrow I hope to do Kangaroo Care in the morning so that I can come home to have an afternoon nap.  Andrew is hiring a car again Friday night so we have transport for the weekend.  Although I must say the hill to St Michaels is really going to help me get into shape!

Tonight we went out to dinner for our Fourth Wedding Anniversary.  It was a good time for reflection and my first glass of wine in many months!  After this we went to visit Eva.  Daddy got to do a nappy change and mouth care.  He found HDU much more relaxing.  Andrew was busy at a meeting at work today so was feeling a little left out of all the changes that were happening.  I think he felt reassured that the doctors weren’t really concerned they were just being cautious.

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