For the past two weeks I have been haunted by beeps and flashing numbers. NICU parents develop this fear from the first day and I doubt that it will leave me anytime soon. For now I am living in four hour increments.
Early this morning I was told by the doctor that Sienna still hadn’t produced any urine and that there was cause to believe that there was a clot in her kidneys. On top of that I was told that her heart rate had dropped dangerously low and chest compressions were required to get it back up. I naturally asked what else could be done and the doctor flatly explained that she was out of ideas medically and that if there was a clot then there was nothing that she could do.
When we got to the hospital we were told that we would have to wait to see Sienna and so we went to Avery’s room. The doctor told us all of the good news about her but then explained that part of her brain in dead. The bad news just keeps coming.
When we got to Sienna’s room we were told that the one bit of good news was that her eyes had opened. This news caused Robin to collapse and me to become paralyzed. I’m not sure why it was so hard to take, maybe because it just feels like it would be easier if she does go to never have looked into her eyes, maybe it’s just because it’s one little good thing on top of a really bad thing. Due to our break down the staff put up the little screens so that we could have some privacy. I asked the doctor to be frank with me and she said that if there was no urine produced within four hours then the longest time that Sienna might make it is two days. My new friend Mike was there visiting his daughter and I saw him begin to sob with me. As I was making my way back to Robin, Mike intercepted me and offered his hug. New friends can be acquired in the strangest of places.
Robin and I asked to wait in the one area of the NICU that is without the beeps and blinking numbers that tell us that our baby is in need of help and while in that room we actually both dozed off, the emotions of the day taking their toll on our physical beings. We spent time going back and forth and before long it was 6:00 pm, five hours after we were told to wait four hours. The doctor came in and stated that she had made calls to specialists and that she had decided to give Sienna the maximum dosage of the medication that might make her urinate. She also told us that the Renal specialist had told her that on some occasions, the brain makes other organs shut down so that blood is diverted to the brain after periods of low blood pressure and surgery. She further stated that sometimes the kidneys start working again and that we would be best served to go home and try to rest and that we should try calling back in four hours.
The four hour window came and the call to the hospital revealed that there has still been no urine although most of the rest of the report was fairly good. Hopefully the next four hour report will be better.