There's been a slight change of plans, and Lea will not be coming home tomorrow like we were expecting.
When my phone rang this morning, I eagerly answered knowing it was the doctor calling to go over last minute details for tonight's "rooming in." Instead, she broke the news that our plans had changed. This morning, after her feeding, Lea had a severe bradycardia spell. Bradycardia is when one's heart rate drops below 100. Her heart rate is typically around 160 beats per minute. She had dropped down to 50 and stopped breathing. As scary as this sounds, a simple pat to the back or rub of the foot is enough to bring the heart rate back up most of the time. Tonight, Lea will undergo a 12 hour pneumogram (sleep study) to determine the cause of the bradycardia.
If you've ever been a NICU parent, or know someone who has, you know the phrase "two steps forward, one step back," all too well. It is the fluctuating pace at which preemies grow and develop. Each "step back," has made me a patient person, and each "step forward," has made me an thankful person. And each little step in between has helped me to rediscover my faith in God and the power of prayer. My husband and I have gained WAY too much strength, patience and trust in the Lord throughout this entire experience to even be slightly disheartened by the news that we received today. We surrendered this situation to God weeks and weeks ago. It is out of our hands. Lain and I are just here for the journey.
I can't help but be thankful that this bradycardia spell did not wait to occur once we had her home. We've had our infant CPR training, and we are fully aware of the signs of a bradycardia or apnea spell, but this happening at home would have been MUCH scarier than it happening while she is still in the NICU hooked up to monitors. In the hospital, Lea is surrounded by tons of highly skilled nurses who love her to death and care for her like she is their own. We are so lucky for that.
Thinking back on our experience this far, its as if we've been running a marathon. And with the finish line finally in sight, we've tripped and fallen. We've watched other NICU parents cross that finish line over and over throughout out stay... and with each baby that leaves the unit, we get more and more anxious. However, this is no race. We are prepared to continue to be patient until the time is right to bring our girl home. We will just continue to pray and remain faithful in the Lord. He has a plan, after all.
"Count all these trials as joy for the testing of your faith produces patience" - James 1:2 (Thank you Rosie Oswald for sharing this incredibly perfect and inspiring verse.)