The last 24 hours have seemed like an eternity. Julia was discharged last night at around 7pm, and finally saw home after nearly 7 weeks in the hospital. We were met at the house by friends who brought an amazing steak dinner, and walked into a living room that had been decorated for Christmas by a group of our best friends. Unfortunately, the stay home was brief. Julia woke up at 1:30am with a fever and chills, and after talking to our doctor, we decided to head back to the hospital. The likely culprit: the same bacterial infection that had triggered labor 5 days before. There was some confusion at the hospital about whether we should go to Labor & Delivery or the ER, since she was no longer pregnant but likely still suffering from postpartum-related issues. They ultimately decided to send us to the ER and rolled us into triage. By 5am, we were admitted into a room in the general care area of the hospital. The confusion hasn't subsided, as the nurses here don't understand why a patient still recovering from a a complicated C Section is not in postpartum. We're just hoping the fever breaks soon, and that there are no further complications. Maybe the most challenging part is that NICU policy prevents parents from seeing their babies until you've been fever free for at least 24 hours. Julia is of course antsy to see Braden, and not being able to do so has been emotionally draining (as if we need that drain to be any bigger).
After Julia was settled into the room around 5am, Brian walked down to the NICU to check on Braden. There had not been much change from the night before. Five sleepless hours later, we got a call from the neonatologist. It's always nerve-racking when we first hear from Braden's doctor, but this time she had good news! Julia mentioned a few days ago on a previous blog post that Braden had been trying to pull of the "sunglasses" that are protecting his eyes from the bili lamp. Well, last night Braden decided to pull out the tube going from the ventilator to his lungs. I'm sure it set off all kinds of alarms, but to the nurse's surprise, Braden started to breath on his own! They closely monitored him for a while, and decided to keep the ventilator and nitric support off. He's now on a device called a Si-PAP, which gives him a little extra oxygen, but he's doing the breathing himself rather than relying on a machine. This is absolutely incredible considering that only 2 days ago the doctors said they expected Braden to be on the oscillation ventilator for another 2 weeks. He is truly a fighter like mom and dad, and all of our prayers are being heard and answered. Keep them coming.