October 7-8, 2009 - Visiting Ella

Jill and I wake up on Northside's 5th floor.

Grandma holds Ella as she's fed through the tube in the 2nd floor SCN, per doctor's orders.

Ella is "promoted" to the 7th floor SCN, which is reserved for less-critical cases.

Ella enjoys some skin-time with mommy.

Mommy enjoys it, too!

Jill gets discharged today, so we spend most of the day with Ella, then do some paperwork in the evening.
The nursing staff h as noticed that we haven't left the Northside premesis at all and spend all 9am, noon, 3pm, 6pm, and 9pm feedings with Ella. We spend other feedings, as we're able. So, they rewarded us by allowing us to stay another night at the hospital, albeit at a different room.
So, we move rooms and spend one more night at the hospital.

The next day, we spend more time in Ella's room.
The nurse says she has to tube feed her at noon, so we head home real quick to drop of dirty clothes, pick up some clean ones (plus some things for Ella, like her boppy and some shirts with built-in hands).
We're only home for `2 hours, but by the time we head back to the hospital...

...someone has put balloons and a sign in our front yard.

We thought Ella's full name was going to look pretty, but everyone writes it so well, making it look so pretty - Amy, Aunt Martha, GrandBubba. She's going to be disappointed in how it looks when mom and dad write it!

We make it back to the hospital and meet the doctor. Since Ella nurses so well and is no longer particularly interested in the bottle, we have a plan: Nurse on demand. After a day of this, if she's eating well, we go home tomorrow. Great!
Then we get nurse Heather again. Immediately, she again talking about going home Saturday or Sunday "maybe." We're tired; we're confused; we're scared. We weigh Ella before and after a nursing (on scales that are amazingly inconsistent - you can put her on the right vs. left and the wight variance translates to eating +/- 16ml) and they say she only ate 34ml. Sounds pretty good to us. Nurse Heather checks the chart, which says all this stuff in shorthand. It means if she doesn't nurse, bottle-feed her. If she bottle feeds every 3 hours, give her 40ml (if every 4 hours, do 52ml). She interprets this to mean make sure she gets 40ml exactly every 3 hours. Heather says we need to give Ella 6ml by bottle. If she doesn't take it, she's going to tube feed her (which to me means Ella would be guarenteed to stay aother 24 hours).
I throw an absolute fit. That's not what the doctor said. Ella no longer needs to be here. She's been off antibiotics for 72 hours, had absolutely no breathing or temperature issues for almost 96 hours, and the scales they use to judge her health are not accurate. (Jill had fed her well one time and they measured only 4ml. Total BS! [That means "bad stuff," Kelsey.] Another time, Jill had fed her OK and they showed 70ml, which we admitted and even told them wasn't right.)
Long story short, Heather escalated to the charge nurse, Nora, the voice of reason. Nora showed Heather how she misinterpreted the message - and after a long slightly heated conversation, found us a place where we could sleep in a sofa bed with Ella in the room, feeding on demand. The rule: whenever Ella nurses, we call them so they can come see for themselves. Also, we record the number of dirty/wet diapers (time, Ella's temp, etc). Deal.

Tomorrow: you get to see how that goes... Tomorrow: see how that goes...