There are complications with the ventricular septal defect (VSD) sooner than expected. (Heidi and Rich were told about it the day she was born) Cori Lou’s respiratory rate (breathing) and heart rate are fairly high. The good news is that
- she is so far maintaining a high level of oxygen in her blood
- she is sleeping peacefully much of the time
- she is still progressing with milk intake volume and digestion via the NG tube
The difficulties are that
- some fluid seems to be collecting in her lungs
- she cannot nurse by mouth for more than a second without distress
- she is working hard
The medical plan is to put her on diuretics, which is a standard approach for this. Diuretics should help her body get rid of any fluid hanging around. They hope to give her about 6 months to grow, even if she still does end up needing surgery. Physical examination of her abdomen convinces the surgeons that Cori Lou has already adjusted to having her liver inside, so this is not part of the problem. They plan on another echocardiogram before she leaves the hospital.
She did gain weight again and is now a whopping 6 pounds 10 ounces. She is quite alert when awake and seems to need to burp even though she is not sucking to get her milk. Her milk intake is all still Heidi’s up until now, but they may be adding something to try to give her more calories for the same amount of fluid. While I held her today, she was given 20 milliliters of milk at a slow rate, using a special machine to operate the syringe. She still gets some nutrition in the IV, but that will be decreasing.
It is hard to see her working so hard at breathing. Something each of us has to do, yet mostly do all the time without thinking about it. It reminds me that something so apparently simple as each breath we take is outside the realm of our own power. And then, just when I start to get too serious about life, Cori Lou gets the hiccups and just takes it all in stride.