We have been blessed with a very capable and wonderful primary care nurse for Samuel. This woman is most certainly a gift from God (although I'm not sure that she realizes just how special she is.) Carolyn has been with us since the night Samuel was admitted to Children's. Unfortunately she only works three or four days a week...if only she could stay by Samuel's bedside 24/7! She has been encouraging me to begin stepping in to help with Samuel's care. At first it was taking his temperature, then changing his diaper, then holding him when he needed to calm down, and then yesterday....I got to hold him in my arms. They were having to change him into a new isolete - and while they changed out the bed, I got to hold him. I was so scared that his vitals would drop. Instead, Carolyn handed him over to me and he looked up at me with his wide eyes very calmly, like he knew exactly who was holding him. His heart rate, his oxygen level, his blood pressure.....all perfect.
Oh my goodness....I could only kiss him and tell him how much I love him.
The steroids that the doctors gave Samuel for his lungs have worked wonders. He has come way down on most of the ventilator settings. He is still at 33%...which isn't really lower, but since the other settings have dropped down, he will require more oxygen. His vitals continue to be stable and he is resting well. The x-rays look minimally better this morning. Slow progress is better than none though!
This morning the doctors did an abdominal x-ray and found that Samuel's feeding tube (tube through his mouth down to his stomach) had been pulled out a bit too far. They also noticed some unusual activity in his stomach and intestines. There appeared to be a lot of air in his tummy, and his intestines looked inflammed. As I have mentioned before, everyone is VERY cautious with Samuel's digestive tract since his bowel perforation. The doctors decided to stop feeds and get another x-ray early in the afternoon. The second x-ray showed that the intestines still weren't looking well - so they stopped feeds for the rest of the night. Hopefully, giving his digestive tract some rest will help things.
Praying for nothing to be wrong with his digestive system - that his intestines and stomach will be in good shape in the morning so that we can continue feeds. Samuel needs to grow, grow, grow in order to get off the ventilator.
Many times over the last month, people have described their time in the NICU as a roller coaster. One day is good, the next isn't. I can see what they mean. I must have been at the top of the roller coaster yesterday when I held Samuel in my arms for the first time.
I've been thinking a lot about that analogy and to be honest, it bothers me a little. When I hear it, I imagine myself clanking up the side of a big wooden roller coaster - anxious to get to the top but fearful about what is on the other side. I've learned a great deal about giving up control. I can see the drop coming and hold on, and hold on, and hold on.....but finally realize that I'm not the one in control. I never have been. Each time I realize that, I'm amazed at God's provision when the tough times do come.