Friday, June 20, 2014

Little Miss Ellie Marie

Last Saturday, June 14th, 2014 our sweet baby girl was born.  She was fashionably early - as I was only 31 weeks and 4 days along.  I had been admitted to the hospital 5 days before with preeclampsia. That Saturday afternoon, just 20 minutes after my preeclampsia had turned into ecclampsia, she came into the world by emergency c-section.  Preeclampsia runs in my family, but we were not expecting it to manifest so early or so quickly.  We were hoping for a few more weeks, even if I had to be on bed rest, for Ellie to grow more.  We are so thankful for all of the modern technology that exists to help her finish growing so that we can take her home!  For now, she will stay in the NICU until she is as developed as a full term baby.

Ironically, we had recently thought about bringing the blog back to document our last few weeks of pregnancy.  Now we are planning to use it to give updates on Ellie's progress.  We have been so overwhelmed with so much outreach of love and support for us and for Ellie.  Words can't begin to be sufficient to express how grateful we are for each and every well wish, prayer, and cheer for us to get better.

I am home now, after being in the hospital for over a week.  It took a few extra days after delivery to get my blood pressure back to more normal levels.  I will be followed closely by the OB/GYN over the next several weeks. {And of course Wesley and my mom, who have already bought a home blood pressure cuff and are documenting my levels on a Google spreadsheet.}

So far, Ellie is doing really well.  In just 6 days she made it from a ventilator...

... to CPAP ...

...and now finally down to a nasal cannula for respiratory support.

She also has been under a UV light for 48 hours (during which my mom so appropriately coined the phrase "NICU spa" as Ellie looked extremely relaxed as if she was just getting a sun tan.)

Like most preterm babies, she also had a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), which they have been treating with indomethacin.  Basically, its an artery that babies need while developing in utero that closes on its own once they are born.  Ellie came so early, hers was still wide open.  Our nurse told us today that they are pretty confident it is closed now.  This also means she is starting to be fed every 3 hours.  Right now she has a line that carries it right down into her tummy.  She hasn't been eating for the past 3 days while she got the indomethacin, but now that it is finished she can eat!!  I have been pumping so it finally feels like all of my efforts are now supporting her too.

Today has been our favorite day as were were FINALLY able to hold her!  We have been waiting for them to get a PICC line in, which is a more stable type of IV line.  It took them trying for several days and last night they finally got one in.

It is so hard to describe how amazing it felt to hold her in our arms.  I didn't want to put her down.  We have to keep telling ourselves it will only be a few more weeks.  It is so hard to be patient.  We do count our blessings everyday that even though this past week was not ideal, and let's face it - enough drama to last us a year - we got through it and we are doing well.  

We will try and be consistent in posting updates.  We love you all so much!!

The Honeycutts
Wesley, Kristen, & Ellie

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