9/4 NICU Day 12

 I've learned quickly to wait and write these updates in the evenings. This post is a long one, apologies! Our little Olivia continues to keep us on our toes. 

Today started off somewhat slow for us. Kevin and I both 'slept in' until 8:30 meaning that we were going to be late making it to rounds this morning. It just so happened that while we were in the parking lot I got a phone call from the NICU doctor. She called wanting to give us a heads up that Olivia had "hit a bump in the road" and that we may see a lot of people at her bedside when we arrived. She went on to explain that during the early morning hours it was noticed by the nurse that Olivia had dry diapers. By her third dry diaper the nurse was concerned. Then Olivia's blood pressure began to drop. The whole team immediately took action and started Olivia on medication to help her blood pressure and to help get her kidneys working (I'd go into detail on the specific medications but let's just save us all the headache and google searches). Labs were drawn and blood cultures collected and Olivia was also started on antibiotics. She had to receive another IV line for all her medications. Because the doctors needed a urine sample to further test for infection, little girl had to have a temporary catheter inserted to collect a specimen. The doctor explained to us that this whole ordeal would be most likely one of two things. Either Olivia has a urinary infection OR adrenal insufficiency (when your hormone level-cortisol-decreases).  The doctor assured us that adrenal insufficiency happens in preemies because they have been working so hard to survive outside the womb and sometimes their bodies can not support every organ without help. That most preemies just need a "bump" from the medicines and then they are okay after several days or weeks. 

Kevin and I never walked so fast into the hospital before (except Kevin, he ran into the hospital two weeks ago). As we were heading inside I texted my mom. Not a long text but just the basics and I asked her to share with her prayer group and bible study and to please start praying immediately. 

It was HEART BREAKING to walk into the NICU and see my sweet baby surrounded by nurses and PAs. They were finishing signing off on medications and drawing labs. I could hear poor Olivia whimpering and saw her little fists attempting to fight off the nurses. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to watch...and it wasn't anything completely abnormal to what I've seen at work (hanging medications, starting IVs, drawing labs...not uncommon). I just began silently praying. As soon as I could I went over to Olivia and laid my hand on her. I tried my best to soothe her. Eventually she did calm down and fall asleep. It was so difficult leaving her bedside, but Kevin and I both knew she was in good hands and peeled ourselves away. 

Message after message came in with people saying they were praying. And let me tell you-I should not have been surprised when we walked back into the NICU this evening to find that prayers were answered. The nurse was able to stop the blood pressure medication only 3 hours after it started because Olivia's blood pressure had significantly improved, her blood pressure continues to remain stable. The blood pressure medicine and the hydrocortisone (given for adrenal insufficiency) helped Olivia almost immediately begin peeing adequate amounts. So far no indication in the labs that she has an infection. The doctor came by to update Kevin and I and said she had been on the night before. As she was leaving this morning she was thinking of Olivia because she was her "most worrisome patient" and was astonished how quickly she turned around. Of course Olivia is still being closely monitored. By Monday, we expect her blood cultures to have resulted (used to indicate specific infections). And Olivia's blood pressure will continue to be watched closely over the next 8 hours. BUT the doctor was very confident that "the medicines worked very quickly and Olivia had a significant turn around". Through all of this, despite feeling heartache, I never felt worried or stressed. I felt an overall sense of peace. I know some of that is getting to know the doctors and nurses and feeling more comfortable with them. But ultimately I believe it's the prayers everyone was praying that allowed me to feel so at ease. My heart is so full. I am so thankful. 

Tonight during our devotional together, this verse was listed 2 Corinthians 5:7 For we live by faith not by sight. 
The devotional, which was speaking to Ps 88, stated "We walk by faith when we cannot see. We walk by faith when the darkness draws near. We pour out constant worship when we feel constant sorrow. We rejoice in our sufferings because our covenant God is ever near. The darkness is not dark to Him". 
This speaks to a lot of moments in life and for us, specifically, in the last two weeks. But especially today, when darkness seemed to close in, reaching out in prayer and putting faith in God and then seeing Him work...there is no doubt in my mind that He is here with us in this moment. That He is working all things out according to His plan. And that He loves us and will not leave us alone. 

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