Her doctor said he could arrange for a NICU transfer if we were unable to return to the unit where Emmanuelle passed.
Rowan still resides in Room 14; Room 15 was Emmanuelle’s.
I’m okay being here. Clearly, since today is Day 62. I never really wanted to leave. I’ve always trusted these people. They literally did everything they could.
For a little while, it was hard to look anyone in the eye who was working on Emmanuelle that night/morning … whatever. Now, it’s bittersweet. I know they carry a piece of my Emme with them too. I know Rowan has a special place in their hearts as well.
The charge nurse who administered chest compressions on Emmanuelle still refuses to acknowledge us. But I like that. It blesses my heart because Emme had that much of an impact. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t want these caretakers to feel responsible or guilty. But Emmanuelle was a special little girl, and we fought hard for her that morning – all of us.
During the week of Halloween, Rowan’s heart rate and oxygen dipped down low for what seemed like forever. I was holding her; it was fucking terrifying. The doctor who cared for Emmanuelle while she was passing visited Room 14 to assess Rowan and the situation. He explained what scary things and what non-scary things could have caused this “episode”. I was shocked; I was scared; I started crying. I passive aggressively complained to him about how long it took a nurse to assist Rowan. I did this in front of the Godsend nurse who actually stimulated Rowan to “come back to us” as well as the nurse who was assigned to care for Rowan that day. She – the nurse responsible for Rowie – had sauntered on into Room 14 a bit late.
“My baby is 31 weeks gestation, and she just brady/de-satted for about two minutes. Alarms were screaming – the whole nine yards. Hurry. the eff. up. next time.”
That’s what I was thinking.
I really can’t imagine the look on my face during this entire exchange. Of course, Rowan was behaving very well; she had gotten it out of her system apparently.
Emmanuelle’s doctor blatantly stated: “You probably don’t want to be talking to me about this.”
“No, I don’t.”
Bless his heart. He’s a very compassionate doctor. I think that morning was hell for him too; I don’t know if he’s ever lost a baby.
“Trust me, I remember everything about that morning,” he told me a couple of weeks ago. “I even know it was your birthday.”
“Yea, we’ll just celebrate their birthday from now on,” I told him.
The week of Halloween was a low for us. We received a call on Friday night around 10:30. The doctor on duty was requesting a verbal consent to perform a spinal tap on Rowan. FANTASTIC. Her blood culture had shown bacteria … which could have been a false positive because Rowie didn’t seem sick at all outside of her … umm … “episodes”.
Excuse me, a false positive on a preemie’s blood culture?
Within the next week we learned that this sample was – in fact – contaminated because her follow-up culture was clear. Kiss my ass, you morons who contaminated my baby’s blood test. Do you have any idea…? Any idea at all…?
Thank our Heavenly Father that week is really the only low-low we’ve (I’ve? I don’t want to speak for my husband.) experienced with Rowie during this roller coaster from the depths of hell. Dramatic? Well, it IS that dramatic.
So … I spoke to Emmanuelle’s doctor today and asked him if we need a monitor at home for Rowan. He said no.
Rowan doesn’t need a monitor, but they’ll assess the situation before she goes home. You don’t understand how hard it is to watch your child’s stats teeter-totter for nine weeks, and think about taking her home without a monitor. Because she will de-sat. She will brady. Her reflux doesn’t only cause discomfort; it causes these episodes. And that’s why it sucks. Who knew heartburn could be so dramatic, right?
He told me I will be stressed. I will be afraid. He said it’s okay and totally expected … and – yet – Rowan will be just fine. *sigh*
BUT I WANT A MONITOR.
He explained what precautions he took with his own baby who was born full-term. He said he was scared too … because he knows too much. But – she will be okay.
He saw the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree I brought in for Rowan. Her nana bought it for her.
He very excitedly told me there’s a new Charlie Brown movie coming out next year. I imagine he will watch it with his family, which led me to ask how many kids he has.
“Just one. Yea. Will you have more?”
He knows our history. He reminded us of it the morning of Emmanuelle.
“… and I know how hard you worked for these babies. Six cycles of IVF. Donor egg. I’m so sorry.”
He quickly encouraged me to take a lot of time to recover. Enjoy our little miracle baby, Rowan.
“I don’t even know,” I said. “If there’s even a chance of this happening … I can’t do this to another baby.”
And this was the best part. Without even missing a beat, he said:
“You didn’t do anything wrong. It’s not your fault. This is just how your body responded.”