The surgeon briefed us on Thursday that the following 48-72 hours would be a great indicator as to how Olivia would fair in recovering from her NEC infection. NEC is an extremely deadly disease for infants, especially those as young and small as Olivia. It was clear immediately after surgery that Olivia was relieved. She was sleeping soundly with stable vitals as we left the hospital. I forced myself to not call that night as the surgeon had briefed us the next 24 hours could be difficult. I called first thing in the morning Friday to find Olivia had slept well through the night, was stable and working on weening her dopamine. She had an extremely peaceful day Friday.
Saturday, Olivia had difficulty with the tube to her ventilator which apparently needs to be replaced every so often. They replaced it and although they have increased her oxygen, she has continued with stable vitals and was weened from her dopamine by this morning. They are now working to ween her from the hydrocortisone. She has continued to be stable, but desires higher levels of oxygen.
While we are by no means out of the woods yet, we are relieved that she appears to be recovering from her illness and procedures. Again, there are complications that may arise: NEC can recur, she may need a bowel resection down the line or she can have strictures of the bowel that develop as she begins feeding. Outside of gastrointestinal issues, we have many other hurdles ahead including the possibility of her PDA not closing on its own (she is now outside the window of treating it medically) and the possibility she could develop Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia, a condition caused by long term ventilation. Horror of all horrors, there are MANY infections Olivia could contract and have to battle.
Mike and I appreciate all the prayers and well wishes. We have enjoyed these three days of relief, but struggle to eat and battle anxiety. We wait with baited breath for what is around the bend. For today, we will enjoy some normal time with Joe and hopefully eat some pizza. I will say that if anyone has some big girl pants they can lend me, mine seem to be a bit worn. Is there a sale anywhere on big girl pants? Do big girl pants have a date of expiration? Can I patch them? Here’s to hoping so.