Tuesday, November 18, 2008
So, I have to share these precious photos of my Katie. After a meeting last night at the NICU, I came home and searched my Photobucket account for these photos-and boy, did they bring back some memories. These pictures were taken on the night that Katie "crashed" in front of me. I had just "kangarooed" her, and the nurse was getting her settled back in her warmer. That is when Katie's nurse frantically called for another nurse, and my little girl suddenly lay limp before my eyes. It seemed so surreal. This was not supposed to happen to my healthy 3.8 lb surprise little girl.
I went to the local NICU last night in order to be on a parent panel for the March of Dimes. The MOD was doing a presentation to the NICU staff for continuing education credits. I was asked to be on a panel to talk about my NICU stay and offer any suggestions I may have to improve the stay for parents in the NICU. I was not prepared for the emotions I would have. Now I have been back to this NICU several times, but always with my children to "show them off"! But last night, I was alone. As soon as I went in the elevator to the 3rd floor, I got choked up. I saw the hand sanitizer around the floors and I went up and grabbed some. Oh my-the smell-I couldn't get enough out of it. It brought back a rush of emotions for me.
As soon as I walked into the conference room, I instantly saw the two nurses that saved my baby girl's life that fateful night on Nov. 19, 2006: Diane and Karen. I will NEVER forget these ladies. For minutes, that seemed to last a lifetime, these two women breathed for my little girl, and beat her heart for her. I know they were "only doing their job", but it was more than that to me. I was there and I saw it. They cared. They loved my daughter just as I did. They saved her life that night, right in front of my and Tom's eyes, and I am forever grateful to these two ladies.
I must also mention the doctor involved in saving Katie's life was phenomenal as well. As Diane and Karen fought so hard to keep Katie breathing, the doctor also worked so hard in getting her on the ventilator. It was an extremely scary sight for me. He tried SEVERAL times to get the tube down her throat, and just coulnd't seem to do it. It wouldn't go down. Somehow, by the grace of God, one of the final attempts worked. You could almost see and feel the relief in the room. She was breathing. Amazingly, once she was ventilated, she became "alive". The entire 16 days of her life, she barely opened her eyes, barely moved a muscle in her body. The doctors even talked of Katie possibly having some type of "muscle" disease, since she did notmove. Amazingly, as soon as she didn't have to fight to breathe, and use all of her energy to breathe, she became "alive". She opened her eyes and kicked her feet. We were thrilled.
I just want to take the time to thank all of the NICU staff for their amazing care of ALL four of my little ones. I consider you my extended family and am forever in debt to all of you. And to Diane and Karen, and to Dr. B., I will never forget that fateful night in November 2006. That night you saved my baby girl, and I am so thankful for that. I love you guys!!!! :)
PS-the one picture is of Katie on her CPAP before she crashed that night. Then, she was ventilated, and finally opened her e yes and was so active. It was amazing to see life throughout her body. And last, thereis a pic of Katie and I upon her arrival at CHOP, where she was airlifted to the next day following her crash.