Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's Abby's Turn

As soon as one baby gets somewhat stabilized, another one decides to be, as the nurses like to put it, naughty.

Abby has been riding her vent settings for the past week and half and has just refused to budge on how many breaths she needs. Sean and I have thought that something was wrong, and have asked several times what is wrong with her, but we’ve been assured she will outgrow the vent and eventually be able to try the CPAP. She has been extremely touchy and likes to dsat (meaning her oxygen needs go up as her heart rate drops) whenever her diaper is changed, she is fed, or she can even just hear us talking.

Yesterday, when I got to the hospital, Cathy her nurse, looked at me and said, “This isn’t the same baby that I had 9 days ago.” Cathy had been on vacation, but prior to that, she had been Abby’s nurse for several days. Cathy told me that something was wrong with her and that was why she wasn’t able to wean off of her vent. She alerted the doctor and suggested that they run some tests to check for an infection.

The initial tests came back showing that she has an elevated white blood cell count which means that she does have an infection somewhere. They have sent off blood cultures and lung secretion cultures to the lab to try to figure out where the infection is.

Meanwhile they have started treating her with two different antibiotics that treat the two most common infections that NICU babies get. It’s frustrating to know that she’s been fighting an infection for several days that nobody caught, but we are glad that she is now being treated and can, hopefully, get better soon.

Our other three babies are rocking their CPAPs! Ellie is keeping up with her brothers in spite of her PDA. Our little fighter is making us proud! All four babies are on or are starting fortified breast milk feedings in the next day or so for increased calories, and with the exception of Abby, the other three are keeping their oxygen needs low.

We would appreciate prayers that the antibiotics that have already been ordered for Abby do the trick with her infection. She is our biggest and has just tipped the scale at 3lbs, but she’s the furthest behind at the moment.

Also, I would appreciate prayers that I can keep up with feeding all of these babies. My milk supply has not come in even at the level needed for a single baby. The only reason I’m keeping up right now is that they are all preemies and aren’t eating that much. However, they are going to quickly outpace me. I never intended to breastfeed exclusively, but had hoped to at least provide half of their food. I’m working with a couple of different lactation consultants to try different things, but I know that prayer definitely won’t hurt anything! And to the lady who reads our blog who dropped the hands-free pumping bra off at the NICU for me one day when I wasn’t there, thank you! Your name was on the card but no contact information. I wish I could thank you in person, because it’s actually helped me relax which has increased my supply a bit. It is awesome!!


  1. We'll keep the prayers up that the antibiotics treat the infection and that everyone else keeps doing well. And we hope your milk starts to increase, because that formula can be quite expensive. Have you gone and applied for SSI at the social security office yet? All 4 of your babies will qualify for low birth weight and you should get $30 per baby a month while they are in the hospital. Take care, hope to get to see you guys soon.

  2. I hope all is going well with you. I pray for you, 6, often.

    Todd (Patient Transportation)

  3. The hands-free pumping devices that are available really make all the difference. I am pumping exclusively for one baby and can't imagine doing it without my pumping band! What a wonderful gift!

  4. My prayers are with your family! I had a low supply too and was devistated when I was unable to keep up but all the nurses and doctors told me whatever they can get while in the NICU is a huge plus! Generous donations from strangers are always so touching. I am so glad that you got your hands free bra. Keep up the great work!

  5. Rebecca,

    I'm sure your milk will come in more once they actually get to feed off of you. Congratulations for even doing it. I can't imagine that for a week abby has been ill. Thank God that nurse came back to work today and noticed something was off. Prayers going out for all of you but especially abby. I can't imagine.

  6. Praying. Have they given you a lactation or mother's tea to drink? That helped my daughter in law. Praying for you to relax and produce milk.

  7. Hey,

    Praying for you guys always. Have a question for you. I have Medela Breast pump that I bought brand new. Used it with both boys when I needed it. Let me know if you need it.

  8. Tell those nurses to stop calling our babies naughty! I'm sure they are doing the best they can with the tiny bodies they have.
    I was told I "almost killed" my mother by being "so stubborn and refusing to turn around". My mother had to have an emergency C-section, which was all my least that is what I believed for most of my life. It took a counselor to tell me that no baby is bad or evil, not even me! Okay, off the soap-box now.
    Fiona and I are praying for your, and all your little family's, needs to be met! Praying for peace and no worries for you and Sean.
    You know with the milk supply thing, for me the supply kept up with the demand - The more the baby nursed the more milk my body made. I pray it will be the same for you!
    Oh, just remembering my mother gave me a glass of wine to help me relax and nurse - that's probably an old southern remedy. <3

  9. I'll be praying for your milk supply too! Just remember that every little bit they get is super awesome, so don't be discouraged! you are doing a wonderful job!

  10. Is Elizabeth doing lots better? She was scheduled for surgery, did that go through or did she show everyone how tough she is without it?

    This must be so emotionally draining for you. Caring so much for these tiny little ones but limited on what you can do. They must already feel so loved. You are such a good mommy, Becca. It will be so wonderful when you can bring your cherubs home. We are all praying for you.

  11. I breastfed both of my babies, the youngest turns 16 next month. One thing that would get me going was the sound of a baby crying. For years after I quit nursing, I would feel the letdown reflex when I heard a baby. Could you listen to a recording of a crying baby and pump at the same time? Do you have access to a life sized soft body doll? If not, The Doll Cradle in Shawnee, KS would have one. Wrap it in a blanket and hold it as you would a nursing baby and fool your body into thinking you are nursing a baby. Hold a blanket to your nose that has been wrapped around one of the Quads. I will keep praying too!

  12. I am proud of your babies, they are some fighters! Fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God,by Him, for Him, and for His glory!

    I am proud of you and Becca too. You two are good parents!

  13. Sharri Adkins ZahnterMarch 18, 2011 at 3:55 AM

    Your entire family is in my prayers! These tiny ones are such a gift from God. My grandson was in NICU & dropped to 1lb 15oz. He was so tiny but he's 8 years old now & doing incredible! Before u know it they will be outside playing & these days at the hospital will just be memories. God Bless u all!

  14. I took Finugreek and blesses thistle to increase my milk supply!


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