On August 4th I was having contractions, thinking they were probably just Braxton hicks, I called the nurse line just to see what they said. They said they wanted me to be seen at Methodist hospital so that's where we went. They hooked me up to a machine to monitor my contractions and ran a few tests. They kept telling me things that can sometimes present themselves as contractions or false labor- like a UTI. Once the labs came back they confirmed I was actually in preterm labor and immediately gave me a steroid shot to help mature her lungs, and placed an iv and put me on medication to try to stop the contractions and sent me by ambulance to Abbot Northwestern, which is connected to children's in case she decided to come early. By the evening the contractions had slowed down and were almost none existant. They just figured they'd move me in the morning to an anti partum room where I'd be on bedrest until I delivered. Harper had other plans. The next morning the contractions continued and I continued to dilate. The doctor decided it was best to get her out before she was in distress. Within 40 minutes of that decision being made, Harper Laura was born at 8:41am weighing 1lb 14ozs. She was immediately taken to be intubated and then once she was stable she came to visit us for a few minutes in the OR before she was taken to the NICU and I was taken to recovery.
On the 6th of August Harper was extubated and put on bubble CPAP, and she did very well with it. She had a possible grade 1 brain bleed on her first head ultrasound (super minor and usually resolve themselves) which has since resolved itself. Other than a blood transfusion for anemia and some labs to rule out infection because of some tachycardia, she'd had a rather uneventful time in the NICU. Focusing on breathing and growing. For now she's on continuous feeds that they will up as she grows.
On the 30th of August they noticed a bruise on her forehead from her bubble CPAP. They decided they were going to try out a different kind of CPAP for a while that only had a nasal cannula in hopes that she'd last long enough on it to give her skin a break and let the bruise heal. She lasted about a day on the NAVA cpap and it was CONSTANTLY beeping. She was too small for it to pick up on her respiratory rate so it didn't think she was breathing. The next morning they tried a different kind called RAM. It gave her a little more help than the NAVA but still only had the nasal cannula and she seemed to be doing great on it. She needed very minimal oxygen support and all was well.
On September 5th she was officially a month old! 2lbs 10ozs
On September 6th, everything went downhill. She was having Brady spells every half hour, which means her heart rate and oxygen saturation would both drop to dangerous levels. A small amount of Brady spells in a preemie her size is normal, but this was excessive and very out of the ordinary for her so we immediately knew something wasn't right. The doctor ordered a blood culture and a urine culture as well as some other labs to see if it was an infection causing her breathing problems. When the labs came back her white blood cell count was slightly elevated which indicated a possible infection so they immediately started her on antibiotics. They also saw that she was slightly anemic again but the doctor wanted to give her a chance to try to fix that on her own, she recieves iron every day to help her body learn to replace it's on red blood cells. I slept there that night because I wanted to be there if something bad were to happen. Josh stayed until a little after midnight then went home to get some rest because he needed to work the next day. The next day her spells slowed down a little so we thought the antibiotics were working.
On the 8th she was still having spells so the doctor ordered some blood in hopes that it would give her her energy back so she could focus on kicking whatever infection she had.
On the 9th she was still having spells so they decided to put her back on bubble CPAP and the spells came to a screeching halt. The bubble CPAP creates more pressure, helping her lungs and airway stay open and the doctor thinks the other CPAP was wearing her out because it didn't create the same pressure.
She's been doing great the last few days, hovering just below 3 pounds. She had her first eye exam on the 10th and should have the results back soon.
Now that you've been filled in on the last month, I will try to update regularly :)