Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I knew it couldn't be this easy

2:45am- Capris alarms start going off.  By now though this doesn't faze me because every time she wiggles her foot the wrong way her alarms go off because they are not getting a good read.  I silenced the monitor and laid back down.  She was awake and restless.  As I lay there, listening to her breath it sounded like she was struggling.  A muffled inhale then a long pause then exhale.  I picked her up and checked her cannula, everything was fine.  Her alarm started going off again so this time I looked at her numbers.  Oxygen  91 Heart rate 159.  Now in a normal baby a heart rate of 159 is no big deal.  SVT doesn't usually happen until you are into the 200s.  But Capri is special.  She likes to be unique.  For her anything higher than 140 her heart rate becomes irregular and she goes into SVT.  The monitor said it had a good read on her so I knew she was really in SVT. I woke up Mike and told him to go get the stethoscope.  Listening to her heart she was at 164.  Our nurse had given us very specific instructions on what to do if we thought she was in SVT.  First, take your pinky and put it all the way into her mouth causing her to gag.  The hope is that it will shock her enough to re regulate the heart.  Watching the monitor as I did this it went from 155 to 110.  It worked. 115, 120, 130, 149... it didn't work.  She went right back.  Next try to stimulate her rectally. Using a Q-tip we did this again staring at the monitor.  152 to 105.  Perfect she's better.  115, 123, 149. Damnitt.  I don't want to do the next one.  I don't think I can do the next one.
 We watched her for awhile hoping it would go back down.  She bounced around from 130 to 160.  Finally we decided we needed to try to mimic the "divers reflex".  When you dive into a cold body of water your heart rate slows way down, sending your body into shock.      Obviously we are not going to throw her in a pool of ice so instead the Drs told us to take a bag of ice, wrap it with a wet cloth and place it over the bottom of her forehead, nose and mouth. Then the hard part.  You push down essentially suffocating her for 15-20seconds.  That was the longest 15 seconds of my life.  I couldn't do it, I had to have Mike.  She laid there, arms flailing, trying to scream and struggling to get away from the cloth.  After what felt like an eternity Mike let go and her heart rate dropped.  She continued to cry as I held her trying to comfort her.  I am grateful that it worked but I hope to God we never have to do that again.
We spent the next 30 minutes or so watching her monitor to see if her heart rate would stay down.  It bounced back and forth from 100-139.  We called the NICU to talk to a nurse to see if her still being in the 130s was okay.  Our regular night nurse wasn't working and the receptionist would not let us talk to another nurse.  They told us we needed to just call our on call doctor.  We haven't met with our pediatrician yet though and I have no idea if the on call doctor has any idea about our daughters case.  I don't want to wake someone up in the middle of the night for something that isn't imminent danger.  Finally the heart rate dropped to 107 and stayed there.  She fell asleep with her head on my chest exhausted from what just happened.    I spent the rest of the night barley being able to sleep, waking every 30 minutes to make sure she was stable.
This morning its like it never happened.  She is playing smiling and very alert.  We had an emergency and we handled it.  No unnecessary 911 calls or melt downs.  We did what we were taught and it worked.  Everything is fine.  We've got this.