So Ella has made some real progress in the last few days. In fact so much that there has been lots of talk of going home. Ella has been eating on her own for days now and when she pulled her feeding tube out the other day they just didn't put it back in. She has done really well and was on a spell count (where they start counting spell free days and can go home after 5 days). Today would have been the first day she was eligible to go home. Since Shazam and I are at home watching tv without the little bubbers tonight you can conclude that that didn't happen. Ella had a spell yesterday when sleeping and two today when getting burped. This has reset her count and the earliest she can go home is Saturday.
Ella also had some trouble with her 12:30 bottle today. She was obviously hungry and would take a few sucks on the bottle and then cry and not swallow. She was a frustrated mess. Shazam and I were a frustrated mess. We tried burping, we tried a new nipple, we switched moms. It didn't seem to matter Ella, was not happy. We were very worried. She had a spell and her heart rate was all over the place. We got 40 ml of the 60 ml into Ella but it took almost 45 min. After that Ella took a nap and Shazam and I went for lunch. We all needed to regroup.
Another issue Ella has been having is a low crit level (low red blood cell count). She has been to this point asymptomatic but with her spells the last few day and with her problem feeding today the Drs wanted to do something about it. She has been in the mid 20s for about 3 weeks (she should be in the mid 30s) and they were hoping to see a jump. She had a good number of immature red blood cells the last few weeks. This morning blood test showed that number had dropped again so they decided that Ella needed a transfusion. I was going to be a directed donor but it takes 5 days to process the blood and the Drs didn't want to wait so Ella is getting bank blood. While there is some risk with this but Shazam and I feel that the blood supply is safe and the Drs and nurses put my worries to rest. With the blood Ella should be a new woman (or at least that is what the nurses are saying) tomorrow. This could really put Ella over the hump and get her home quicker. Let's hope so! The attending keeps telling me that Ella is on the launching pad. I want the rockets ignited and the rocket launched already. But as always Ella is in charge. We just have to be patient.
I just spoke with Ella's nurse and she seems to think that the bottle problem may be solved. When she was trying to feed her at 8:30 tonight she did the same thing that she did with us earlier. She noticed that the milk she was using was frozen milk. She has noticed that some kids don't like the frozen stuff so she did a little experiment. She heated an ounce of fresh milk for her and Ella drank it down like a champ. So we have now learned that our daughter is a bit of a milk snob! Fresh only for Miss Ella thank you! Janice said that if you heat the frozen milk up well enough that most babies will take it. Let's hope so since my freezer is full of frozen milk and the NICU freezer also is full to the brim. If this kid won't take my frozen stock I don't know what I am going to do!
Last week Ella decided to scare the crap out of us by loosing weight and getting the whole staff and her parents in a tissy. After much discussion and changes in her feeding schedule the girl decided to gain 80 grams the next day and 75 the next! So I am hoping that Ella is just messing with us again. Her transfusion will start at midnight tonight. I will be calling through out the night to check on the girl. If all goes well Ella will be packing up her diapers and saying good bye to her NICU friends by the end of the week.
My hope is that Ella will be watching the Patriot's season opener on the couch with us on Monday...her original due date!