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Late night thoughts

on August 10, 2014

I’ve grown accustomed to “sleeping” with lights and noise. The nurses do their best to keep the room dark and quiet, but some light is necessary for them to see my baby girl. The care team whispers amongst themselves as they administer meds, change Audrey’s position and provide the care she needs to get healthy enough for another homecoming. Though I am awake, I lie with my eyes closed on the make shift bed that once resembled an orange square chair. I strain to hear each word analyzing if my sweet girl has improved or worsened since my failed attempt at resting. Low pressure, fluid retention, access issue and other medical jargon that are now a part of every day life tell me things are the same. An alarm beeps letting me know that her oxygenation has fallen too low, but she quickly recovers.

The medical team slips out of her room one by one as her vitals and care are complete for the moment. The orange plastic of my bed groans as I roll to my other side and reflect on the days events. The morning started off with Audrey’s night nurse standing bedside holding my sweet girl’s breathing tube in place. It was obvious she had been there for quite some time. My daughter’s sedatives were at the maximum dose allowed by her doctors and she still was wide awake. With open eyes she would arch her back attempting to remove that breathing tube. When that was not successful she would raise both legs and slam her feet into the bed. As shift change approached her nurse tagged out as a tech took her place holding the tube until the next shift nurse could tag in.

I stretched and took a few minutes to get my bearings. Then I checked her monitor and pumps. An analysis of the situation told me that Audrey was not in pain and wanted that breathing tube out. I began contacting her doctors in hopes that one of them could come to her room and help out. Success! Once the doctor came a decision needed to be made. Extubate her and hope she breathes well or snow her with more drugs to keep her from pulling the tube out. My recommendation was to extubate. My recommendation was also wrong. As soon as the breathing tube came out she began to struggle her chest rose and fell in a pattern that displayed how hard she was working to breathe. Her lungs were pulling to get the breaths in and couldn’t push enough of them out. The nurse and respiratory therapist worked hard to help her gain control, but she was not able to and required reintubation.

I stood against the wall next to her attending doctor as the medical team surrounded her bed and prepared to put the breathing tube back in. Surprisingly, this was the first time I had witnessed an intubation. Thankfully, it was a year into this journey as the mother of a medically complex child. I never could have watched this at the start of her life. Audrey’s airways were swollen and reintubation proved to be a challenge. I saw my sweet girl get bagged several times during this process. I’m not really sure how I managed to keep my cool, but I did. God must have held me in that moment.

The day continued on with Audrey’s little body throwing out challenges. Her broviac line had flipped and was no longer central, her blood pressure was low due to having to increase her sedatives, she was retaining fluid and the list just grew. My husband showed up in the evening and we stood by as the team attempted to get another IV access. The nurses used a special light to look for Audrey’s veins. Oh how those veins love to hide. Today was no different. The nurse checked to see if we were alright because we were so calm. It must be a sign of parents going into shock. But we’ve been through this before countless times. In fact, we know that the best veins are in the head and will often times request IV placement there. Sounds odd, huh? But it has proven to be less traumatic for our baby girl. And damn it, she has been through more than enough! IV access was not obtained and a plan to move forward without it was.

I trust the doctors making this plan. They have loved my daughter since she was born and walked this journey with us. At times none of us were sure what her future would hold or if there would be a future for her. Amazingly, we just celebrated her first birthday this week. What better place to celebrate than in her hospital home with all of her friends? It is not the party I dreamed of as a mother. But it held so much more meaning than I could have realized. It has been a tough year filled with trials. But it has also been a year filled with some major blessings. I never would have dreamt of or asked for this journey. It’s beyond difficult. Some days I barely make it. But I will never walk away from this journey with my daughter and family either. I’ve been told countless times that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. Let me tell you that He absolutely does give you more. He has given me way more than I can handle. But He also stands in the gap for me, gives me His strength, carries me through the fire. And I know that while I lay in this bed sleepless, He holds my baby girl.

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5 responses to “Late night thoughts

  1. Oh honey for me not knowing y’all I couldn’t love y’all more if I did. I wait to get news on precious Audrey and you and your family. My prayers are always with her and y’all . God bless her and the family and thanks for the information.

  2. Sandra Postal says:

    Christina, once again beautifully written More times then not your writing of Audrey’s journey and the struggles you are facing as a mother, has brought tears to my eyes and I feel like I am right there with you. Stay strong, prayers are with you and the family!!!

  3. Tracy Klapish says:

    We’ve never met, I only know your husband from work, but I follow Audrey with every one of your posts. Audrey has all of her prayer warriors, but so do you. You are clearly a wonderful mother and you have so many of us on the Wiggins team that you may never meet. we are here on the sidelines with tears in our eyes during times like today and huge smiles when we get to see the progress. You are never alone as God has us right behind him in your lives.

  4. Sharon Green says:

    There is no where in the Bible where it says God never gives us more than we can handle. He does or allows it. We need a Savior. We can’t do anything on our own. He is our strength, our all in all. Praying with you through this journey God promises to be glorified in. Nothing is too hard for Him.🙏

  5. Karen Lane says:

    So beautifully written and spoken from the heart I admire all the strength and courage you have to face all these challenges head on. Thank you for inviting us into your life and making us a part of it . We are all standing strong with you May God Bless Audrey, you and your family

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