Steady as She Goes
Before we came to Dallas there were some things I worried about: Would we be able to manage school? Would we have packed everything we need? How will the kids adjust? Will we have to be here for Christmas? I still think about how the kids are adjusting, but the other stuff just doesn't seem to matter. We could be here until next Christmas and that would be fine. It's funny how the things that may have been important just a few days ago really aren't important at all right now.
A few days before Anne Marie was born our computer hard drive was erased. All of my lesson plans I had prepared this summer are gone. It's going to take some effort to retrieve my Quicken accounts (if I can at all). At the time I was a little irritated, but now it's just not a big deal. Not that those things aren't important, but in the perspective of where we are now they are just small details. And then there are the petty things that I'm ashamed to admit might have bothered me before. Somehow in the rush of leaving town I didn't exactly pack the right things so I've pretty much been wearing the same thing over and over. Sunday morning I realized I didn't have the right church shoes so I ended up wearing old flip flops. Last night the kids and I had to run to Target to get a few things and the checkout lady said, "I see you have another one on the way." The poor girl felt terrible when I told her I had already had the baby; Jack Henry stood there smirking because he thought it was hilarious. These things might have bothered me at one time, but now I don't give them a second thought. The list of things I once thought were important has suddenly been whittled down to just a few.
As for Anne Marie, the doctor told us this morning that she is still very ill but that he is pleased with her progress so far. She is still stable on ECMO and the doctors aren't doing anything to "rock the boat" right now. At this stage of ECMO, one concern is fluid build-up. Sometimes these babies aren't able to get rid of the amount of fluid coming in and they can get quite puffy and swollen. This can also be hard on their kidneys. If this happens they are given some medicine to help with urine output to get rid of all this extra fluid. If the medicine doesn't work the doctors then decide to do something like a dialysis procedure to help. So far the medicine Anne Marie has been taking has been working and her urine output has been great. The doctor said that it wasn't uncommon to have to do the dialysis procedure, but that it is just "one more thing" they would rather not deal with if they don't have to. So we are very happy the medicine is working; please pray that she will continue to have good urine output so she can eliminate the extra fluid on her own.
Looking ahead: Surgeons don't want to operate when the baby has extra fluid, so the doctors will continue to monitor fluid and also hope to get her pulmonary hypertension a little more under control. When these things appear to be at a good place the doctors will start thinking about surgery. They don't have a timetable for this yet. It just depends on how she is doing.