Saturday, February 23, 2013

Day 7: Edmonton

Thursday, February 21

Every day is a struggle.  The waiting for a change either good or bad is what is killing me. No matter how we try, we are completely helpless to affect any change. So we wait, and wait, and wait anticipating the slightest change that we can latch on to and make some sense of what is happening to our little girl.

The days have started to blur together, without this blog I think we would be hard pressed to even tell you what day of the week it is. This new routine we have fallen into is completely foreign to anything we are used to, but we depend on it. I don't think either of us were aware of how much we relied on it until it was disrupted yesterday. I was a pretty dark place for most of yesterday as a result, so the goal for today was to try be as positive as possible.

Our routine was altered once again this morning, though this time it was of our own doing. Yay, finally some control over something. Mel left early to visit her parents who happened to have a three hour layover at the airport here on their way home to BC. This left me to spend the morning alone with Ellie.

When I arrived at the NICU I was met by our nurse from the past few days. She was very excited and looking for Mel. Ellie had a very good night and the doctors felt she was ready to have the ventilator removed. I told them that we had to wait till Mel returned from her visit to perform this monumentous (according to urban dictionary this is a real word) procedure.

With a few hours to wait before Mel returned I hunkered down with Ellie and tried not to think about the ramifications of what was to come later in the day. At home I read whatever I am reading to Ellie, so to pass the time I read to her from "The Great Gatsby". The passing doctors found this very entertaining and commented on how they all loved the book as they walked by. To me it felt like home.

When Mel arrived the team assembled to remove the ventilator, two nurses, one respiratory therapist, a few hovering residents, and the lead doctor is all it took. Everything went smoothly and within a few minutes Ellie was wide awake, alert, and just a little testy with all of us. It was wonderful to see her face without all of the tubes obscuring it. Though we were very happy to have the ventilator removed it was a little bitter sweet. She was very hungry and quite distressed as a result, but  we were told that food reintroduction will take a
few days to ensure her stomach can handle it. She is getting all the nutrients and fats she needs intravenously, so she is starting to gain weight again, only her belly feels empty to her.

Mel spent much of the afternoon holding Ellie and trying to comfort her. She was still very dazed from her drug regiment and the trauma of the past few days. After a few hours I was finally able to wrestle her away from Mel and get some daddy daughter time. Within a few minutes of her being transferred to my arms she passed out with her first nap of the afternoon. It was amazing just to hold her and feel her little body breathing the way it was designed to. It was so comforting holding her that I also fell asleep for a little while.

We left the hospital around 8pm, which is our goal every night, to ensure that we get some sleep, and after a day like today I am sure we will both be asleep before our heads hit the pillows.


  1. So wonderful to hear these positive updates on Eliana. Praying for you and Mel too, and the strength you both need day to day.

  2. We have been following your blog and praying for you and Eliana here in WV and have asked all our friends to be praying for the 3 of you also. May Psalm 18:2 "The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower" give you encouragement.