My little fighter keeps on fighting #PrayersforJemma

kids

Hanging out with my big kids.  It is so hard being away from them but they are doing great with my mom and dad.  I am so blessed to have them in my life to take care of my babies for us.

Wow, it has been a whirlwind of activity and change the past few days.  I left off with weaning Jemma off the oscillator vent.  Well they decided to make the jump early (were planning by Wednesday) Monday morning because she had so much stuff in her chest that they could not get to with the oscillator vent.  They needed airway clearance and the only way to get that was to switch her over to a conventional vent.  With that they could suction more and better.  I was nervous.  Very nervous.  Monday morning I sat in her room full of anxiety.  I decided that I needed some God time.  I asked for a chaplain to be called.  Originally I was asking for a cross for Jemma’s room but was told that they don’t have any standing ones to just use.  I mentioned that I wanted to get my rosary and pray that and the chaplain brought one up to me that another family had left.  I sat down and prayed the rosary with the guidance of an app on my phone.  I just can’t concentrate!  Well, it truly was a bit of a miracle in my mind.  A sense of peace came over me.  I asked our social worker to have a priest come up and bless Jemma again.  The same priest I saw on the floor for communion shortly after our stay began came to the ICU. He blessed my rosary and the small hanging cross the chaplain gave me.  Then he prayed and blessed Jemma.  I was no longer anxious and was ready.  Let’s do this!

Jemma 1/22

Sweet girl.  She is looking so much better!

They switched Jemma over to the new vent with no problems.  They adjusted a few settings and started getting a lot out of their suctioning.  They started weaning her later that day because she was doing so well.  My little fighter just kept fighting.  She had a chest xray at 11pm that showed a little change (for the better) and I was feeling good.  She seemed to be more comfortable and actually looked to be taking breaths versus the “wiggle” of the oscillator.  I talked to Mike and we decided that the kids could see Jemma on Tuesday as long as all went well.  They removed the oscillator from her room about 12 hours after the switch and I did a happy dance in my head.  I was so glad to see it go!

When I came to her room Tuesday morning, I had a note from our favorite nurse that said to ask to see the chest xray from 11p and then the one from 6am on Tuesday.  Jemma’s nurse for the day shift didn’t even have to be asked.  She said her and the night nurse were so excited they were high-fiving and hugged each other!  ha!  The progression of just 3 xrays was amazing.  You could see a huge change  from the oscillator xray to the second conventional one.  It was just beautiful.  They added albuterol to her meds because of some wheezing but her lungs were sounding better all the time.

Holding mommy's hand

Holding mommy’s finger for the first time

Yesterday (Tuesday) they weaned her some more and I was told I would get to hold her.  Oh my gosh.  I was crying just thinking about getting my hands on my baby girl.   That was all pushed back a bit though because Jemma was able to finally get that PICC line (central line that can stay in longer than the peripheral ones and no more pokes!).  The process to do a PICC is much different than I am used to.  The nurses come in and use ultrasound to find a vein.  After that, they decided to put Jemma on a fluoroscope bed so they can see exactly where the line goes.  They had to have several people to help get all her tubes and lines up and someone held Jemma.  One bed was wheeled out from under her and another wheeled in.  She was placed on the bed and the process began.  After they inserted the line, they used xray (basically) to see where the line is.  Since it is such a small vein and line, they added some contrast and got it in place.  Changed beds again and she was good to go!

They removed her IJ (Internal Jugular) line yesterday afternoon right before xray came because the IJ and PICC tips were very close together.  They wanted to make sure that the IJ being pulled didn’t move the PICC.  It was all good.  They continued to wean the conventional vent.  Her paralytic med was turned off late morning on Tuesday.  She slowly started moving and coming around.  I said that I was going to go for a few minutes, gave her a kiss, and walked out.  The respiratory therapist stopped us in the hall and said to come back.  She said Jemma just popped her eyes open.  I came back in and her little brown eyes were looking right at me!!!!  She is still very sedated but she moved her eyes to see me and her daddy.  It was a beautiful thing and had tears of joy for the first time in weeks.  She also opened her eyes for my mom and dad last night.  Since then, the paralytic has worn off and she has been restrained to keep her from pulling her tubes but I hold her hand and love all over her when I am next to her.

Jemma door

I’ve updated her door to the ICU with pictures so the doctors and nurses can see her as a healthy little girl.  There is some art from Joley on the door too!  The kids were greeted with this when they came to the ICU the first time.

Brother and sister came up last night (as they do most nights to see me).  The Child Life Specialist made a little booklet of pictures of Jemma’s room with some explanation of what things were in her room.  I showed them the book and they seemed to be okay.  Joley was most concerned with the tube in her nose and was grossed out that she had food going through her nose!!  ha!!!  They were told she is very sleepy because of her medicine.  They came back to the room with us and Johnny read Jemma a book, they talked to her, touched her and did very well.  They were just so happy to see her.

I asked the night nurse if it would be possible for me to get to hold my baby again last night.  It was all pushed off because of the PICC placement but I was okay with it.  I just wanted to get my hands on my little girl.  Mike also talked to the fellow on shift because it really was so important to me.  They decided to do one better than letting me hold her.  They brought in a big bed to her room and let me snuggle up next to her.  It was wonderful.  I climbed into bed and just stared at her.  My God, she is beautiful.  Her cry is so sad because she makes no noise.  Every time I went to get out of bed last night (they won’t let me sleep with her now), she would grab my hand and cry.  Eventually they gave her some medicine to relax her for her respiratory treatment and she fell asleep after the percussions.  I dragged myself to bed.  It was a fantastic day!

Laying with Jemma

Laying with Jemma is my favorite part of my day now.  Just loving on her is the BEST feeling ever…. especially since it was 12 days since I last could do anything but touch her hands, feet, or head.

This morning I came in to her being weaned even more.  She basically (according to the doctor) is on the lowest settings they will put her on.  She is only being given 6 breaths from the machine but she is breathing over (and has been since yesterday afternoon) it and doing great.  Her saturation is upper 90s and she is just doing so good.  During rounds, her doctor said that they are going to start a steroid (precautionary and she was funny with the resident about it) to make sure there is no inflammation around her tube, they are going to start weaning her morphine, and they are going to plan for extubating her tomorrow!!!!  If she does well today and tonight, she is on target to get this tube out of her mouth tomorrow afternoon.  I AM SO EXCITED!  They are removing one chest tube today (the first one) and the other two will come tomorrow.

One antibiotic for the staph was stopped due to blood levels but she remains on one.  She also had a positive culture for trach aspirate so she is one an antibiotic for that.  Her last WBC was 14 yesterday and they only draw them twice a week now.

So today, I am just going to hang out with my baby.  I am going to lay next to her and watch some TV and just enjoy feeling her there.  I can’t thank everyone enough for all the prayers and thoughts.  It means so much to me that Jemma (and our family) have had such a huge showing of support.  She is not out of the woods so keep those prayers coming but please know that they are working and we are so humbled by the support received.  I can not thank you enough. Truly.

Stefany - Post Signature

Comments

  1. Laura @FrugalFamilyTree says

    Thank you for the update! I am so happy to hear she is doing better! Thank God! I have been having a gal at work pray for Jemma too. We will keep praying for her recovery so she can go back to being a happy healthy little girl. Your pics have me in tears. Gonna hug my little guy extra tight tonight

  2. Natasha M. says

    Wow…this is so incredibly touching!! You don’t know me, I just happened to stumble upon your blog due to a post by someone else. I can’t even remember who posted it now, as I kept your page up to keep reading long after I closed all the other windows. Normally I will read the first few lines of a story, and quite often not bother to read the rest. Not this time, I could not stop, and I could not stop bawling my eyes out. With your latest update, my tears also turned to those of happiness. Words can’t express how sorry I feel for you and your family, having to go through such a traumatic ordeal, and so much more for your beautiful little Jemma. I only hope that if I have to go though anything even close to this, that I can remain as strong as you have. It is amazing to see the power of love and prayer at work here. My prayers are with you, your family, and that little angel of yours. Here’s hoping for a speedier recovery so she can be back in her mama’s arms, where she belongs. :)

  3. Lynda says

    Have been following your plight this past week and Jemma and your family are never far from my thoughts and prayers. So glad to hear that things are improving and we continue to pray for all of you

  4. says

    So happy to get an update & see the precious pics. Love them immensely. Jemma has soooooo many that are rooting for her & the family. I cannot imagine what you are going through. I just want to hug you & kiss her little face! xoxo

  5. Amanda Duhon says

    I am so happy to hear of your daughter’s continued success. I just caught up on your posts and cried my way through them. I too am a mother of 3, all boys, and cannot imagine seeing my babies like this! May God continue to give you and your husband strength! So glad your older two are weathering this well, with the help of your parents. You are in my prayers.

  6. says

    Oh, I had tears in my eyes as I read this post. So happy to hear the positive news. We will continue to pray here for your sweet little one and for the family. Blessings.

  7. Barb @ FL Mom's Blog says

    Stephany,
    Jemma’s in my daily prayers that I say every night before I head to work! I’m so glad to hear of her progress! Awesome update on the young lady! Jemma’s fighting that bug, and the WBC count—-wow, to see it come down!

  8. says

    What a fantastic update :) I am so very happy to hear how much progress Jemma has made and that you are getting to cuddle her :)

    When Izzy was restrained, I read to her for hours and hours–it was the only thing that kept her calm and even then we would catch her trying to pull out her chest tubes with her feet ;)

  9. says

    This is such awesome news!!! Tears of joy! She is your little miracle. You have such a community of prayer and support surrounding you. I am just thrilled to read this update as I had been wondering how things were going and holding on to such hope for you and Jemma. I have a daughter just about the same age and it really strikes home for me. We are continuing prayer for Jemma, you and the family! So glad the kids were able to see her and that you have created such a positive atmosphere for her and everyone who visits her. Keep fighting, Jemma!

  10. Lynda Dwyer says

    Such good news and a great day for you both!! Will continue praying. Stay strong!!! God works in wonderful ways.

    Lynda

  11. Aimee says

    Oh, i continue to pray for sweet jemma. Im so happy to hear good news. Keep us all updated. We are all thinking of you & hope & pray for the best! Hugs!

  12. Missy says

    Don’t know you or your family, but THANK GOD for your miracle! :) Someone in a group I belong to shared the link to your blog, and I’ve been praying for you all since. What a WONDERFUL post to find tonight! What a fighter your little Jemma is, and what a fantastic Mommy you are! :)

  13. Kirstin says

    I have not stopped thinking about your little girl since I saw your first post. I am continuing to pray for her healing, and I am so glad to see such wonderful news!

  14. says

    Tears & tears & tears. I’m so happy that she’s improving every day!

    I can’t wait to keep checking in on you two. Keep fighting, Jemma! We’re all so proud of you!

  15. Irina says

    You don’t know me, but we have a common friend on Facebook who posted a link to your blog. I will pray for you and your sweet little girl! Feel better soon, little Jemma!

  16. Rita Jinkins Knits says

    I am SO very happy that things are FINALLY going so well! Yay for being able to cuddle with Jemma. Enjoy your day. Still praying that all goes well :)

  17. says

    Praise the Lord for the miracles He is doing!! I am so glad to hear that Jemma is improving! What a marvellous little fighter you have there! My mommy heart brought tears to my eyes when I saw her little hand holding yours and the news you got to hold her! We’ll continue to pray that Jemma will be home again very soon! Go Jemma!!

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