Friday, February 26, 2010

The One Thing

That kept Avin in the NICU was Apnea, otherwise known as Bradycardic episodes. She had several of these during her hospitalization in the NICU.

The monitors that were hooked up to her would always go off, even if it was a false alarm. There was always dinging going on or something happening. My step dad said it was like watching the Stock Market. You can't watch that little screen because you will start to freak out about each little number. She has these monitors hooked up to her from the start and they finally took them off of her about 32 hours before she came home.

The bradycardic episodes are basically small bits of time ( not even seconds ) when Avins heart rate would drop into the 70s or 60s. The top line on those monitors is her heart rate ( 115 beats per minute ). We finally linked these episodes to when Avin was feeding. I could almost always tell when she was going to have an episode because she would make different swallowing sounds while I was feeding her. I would notice the change, watch the monitor, hear the alarms, take out her bottle, let her catch her breathe and go back to feeding her. She never turned that dusty color and I never had to touch her or move her to get her to start breathing again.

Because Avin was so close to coming home and the only thing keeping her in the hospital were these episodes they did an MMU ( memory monitoring unit scan ) on her on 2/19/10. This is a 12 hour test were they monitor her breathing. This test was then read by a neonatologist at St. Paul Children's Hospital. The scan was normal with a 5 second bradycardic even that occured during a feeding.

The Nurses and Nurse Practitioners and Neonatologist's told us that this was likely related to a premature bottling pattern and that she just needed to be paced. She would learn on her own and these episodes would just dissolve over time.

The Neonatologist ( these are the doctors I dealt with in the NICU and I loved everyone of them, they are amazing and treated us with such respect - One Neo, Dr. George was incredible and he even remembered Alex name and even said hi to her by name when she was walking with grandma in the hall way. ) called me on Saturday, the day Avin was discharged and wanted to make sure I felt comfortable bringing her home and I felt comfortable with these episodes and that I could recognize them and could handle her. I told her I felt comfortable, I wanted my daughter home with me and I knew that if they didn't think Avin was ready to come home and be discharged that they wouldn't discharge her.

Again I can not say enough about the nurses and doctors that took care of Avin and I while we were in the Hospital. I plan on going back to visit and get a few pictures of Avin with our favorite nurses. They were amazing, helpful, understanding, supportive and just there for us with whatever we needed.


Candi said...

i remember that dinging and i still get anxious if i am watching a baby show and hear it. carter didnt have apnea issues, but he shared a room with 5 other babies and those alarms went off every 2 seconds. scary and awful. so glad avin is out of there.

Anonymous said...

I am so thankful your sweet girl is home. I cannot imagine how it must have felt seeing your sweet baby there and having to leave her at the hospital. What a blessing that she is doing so well and she is so beautiful! Have a great weekend enjoying your family.