Here is a quick synopsis of the PDA situation (and, no, this is not copy-pasted from wikipedia):
Before birth, a baby’s blood is oxygenated by the placenta, not the lungs. Because of this, the circulatory system of a fetus is very different from that of a newborn baby. A small amount of blood goes to the lungs to nourish them, but most of a fetus’s blood bypasses the lungs completely. Instead of going to the lungs, blood flows through the ductus arteriosus (a hole between the pulmonary artery and the aorta) and out to the rest of the body.
After birth, the baby begins to breathe and the lungs start to oxygenate the blood. When this happens, the PDA should close, allowing blood to flow freely to the lungs. However, when the ductus arteriosus does not close, deoxygenated blood flows through the PDA, into the aorta, and out to the body instead of going to the lungs to become oxygenated.
This damn hole just keeps coming back to haunt us ... it has already significantly closed twice, but yet here we are again.
They are hoping it will close on its own again, but her oxygen saturation stats need to be much more stable. So she is going back to a high-flow cannula, with a lower percentage of oxygen (previously she was receiving less air through her cannula, but it was 100% oxygen). The nurse told Josh that this is a lateral step, and not a step backwards. That is a hard thing to believe, however, because the high-flow cannula disqualifies her from bottle-feeding. She was previously allowed three PO feedings per day (either breast or bottle), and that hasn't changed. What that means, however, is that Josh can't feed her for the time being. In order to get three PO feedings per day, I am going to be spending a lot more time at the hospital (especially because it is better to have them spread out). This means more gas money, more eating out (so I don't have to try and drive home), and fewer chances to get things done around the house. But I am excited about getting to spend so much time working on feeding with her!
Here is how you can pray:
- Pray that her PDA closes ... now! That pesky hole has been around too long, and we want to see God quickly and completely close it off.
- Pray that she has the focus and energy to breastfeed well. The better she gets, the more PO feedings we are allowed, and the sooner she comes home!
- Pray for her lungs ... a lot ... like all the time. Her latest x-ray still shows haziness in her lungs, meaning that she is still inflamed from being on the ventilator for so long. As her lungs heal, she will require less oxygen supplementation, which will help close her PDA. The idea of bringing her home on oxygen is really scary to me, so I would love it if God would help a sister out and just heal her lungs!
I was talking with Miles (a friend and mentor to both Josh and I) about the time that he and his family spent battling his wife's cancer. He said that it would have been easy to feel like they were on a roller-coaster, since her progress was always tainted with periods of regress. But they chose instead to let their emotions be defined by the stability of God's presence and kindness -- and this is what Josh and I are choosing to do. We have no faith in diagnoses or predicted take-home dates, but we have all kinds of faith in the God whose timing is perfect.
As we were walking into the hospital the night before she was born, I remember pointing at my stomach and yelling "Don't even think about it! You are not ready to come out yet!" But I am so thankful that I got to meet my nugget early -- I wouldn't trade this extra time of knowing her for anything. So we are choosing to trust God as He orchestrates the perfect set of circumstances for her to come home with us.
And, once she makes it home and this is all behind us, I have decided to call her "The Girl who Lived" (in keeping with my inordinate love for Harry Potter).