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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: July 14, 2012

July 14, 2012

You’re not supposed to get middle of the night phone calls about your son misbehaving until he’s in his teens. Oliver’s a bit precocious. I got one at 12 days old. They had to put Ollie back on the oscillator last night. His carbon dioxide levels kept climbing and he was desatting. It’s called a pulmonary hypertensive crisis. His lovely nurse Mary explained that it’s often triggered by too much handling or not enough sedation. So now they’ve backed off on touching him and are giving him a lot more sedatives than they did yesterday (they’d backed off sedatives). I feel SO much guilt about holding him yesterday. It was too much for him. We pushed him too far and now he’s taken this big step backwards. Today is a hard day.

His RT, Christina, told me that he was on the highest settings on the conventional vent and that he’s now on very low settings on the oscillator. She told me not to worry, that he can easily be switched back, but as his heart is still hypertensive there’s no rush to do it. She explained that the oscillator is gentler so it’s better for him while he’s trying to recover and get himself back together. I asked her if his pulmonary hypertension is actually going to go away or if that’s just a maybe. She told me that his hypertension was triggered by an event, rather than being a structural problem that would require surgery. Because his body wasn’t getting enough oxygen it reverted back to its fetal way of pumping blood through his body. When it feels happy with how it’s receiving oxygen, it should switch over. But there’s no predicting how long it’ll take.

I’m trying to be confident that God is just telling us to wait. His hypertension will resolve and he’ll be strong enough for surgery. They were talking about doing surgery tomorrow but he wants more time to get stronger. I’d rather him be at his peak for surgery, and God is (maybe? hopefully?) telling us that he’ll get there, but not tomorrow, so back off for now. It’s hard though. Today is hard.

They’re going to do another echo today and they have to redo his arterial line (for measuring sats & taking blood for gases) but other than that they’re just going to leave him alone and let him recover. He’s so beautiful. I love him so much. I read “On the Night You Were Born” to him when he was awake today. I have to bring some less-sentimental books in for days like this.

Back on the high frequency vent, looking just like his sister

Cutie pie!

His baby hand without a line in it

My baby <;3


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  1. 40deuce permalink

    Dont worry Alex. These things take time. I know Oliver is going to be fine, he’s just taking his time getting there.

  2. I am sure that a good day is around the corner tomorrow. He is going to be good, and surgery a few days later might be the best thing for him. Maybe he wants the weekend to rest more and he will be ready by Monday. I am sending all my positive thoughts your way for the pulmonary hypertension to ease.

  3. I wish I could be closer to provide more support, but I am sending you blessings and positive thoughts from across the Atlantic Ocean.

    Cousin Greg.

  4. Belle permalink

    Mama, you holding Oliver yesterday is not the reason for his difficult overnight. Rather, I think it may be because they backed off on his sedatives a bit too quickly. You holding your little warrior strengthened him – it did not hurt him. Keep breathing mama… Take your time and trust your Mama’s gut. Thoughts and prayers for a better tomorrow.

  5. Phil permalink

    He is absolutely adorable … a few extra prayers for all of you today!

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