Long Night...

In an effort to get rest, and stay updated and close to Grace, Topher and I split up last night...he went home to sleep there, and I stayed here in a Sleep Room.  Although it was plenty quiet, and comfortable, I feel like I didn't ever really fall asleep.  I'm sure that in actuality I was out, but I woke up so many times that it feels like all I did was lay on a bed with my eyes shut for...11 hours- Yikes!  I can't believe I slept that long and feel just as exhausted as yesterday!  I had asked the Nurse to please please get me if anything was happening or was wrong, and so every time I heard a door open, which was more often than you'd think, I popped up in bed, just waiting for them to knock on my door and get me. 

So that was my night.  Hopefully Topher's was more restful.  And Gracey's I'm sure was more restful....I think I could use some morphine right now too... ;)
So, something we didn't mention yesterday is that when Dr. Kouretas gave us his report on the surgery he told us that there was a period of time when they had to stop her blood circulation to her brain, and the problem with that was that they weren't able to stop the circulation at the desired time, and it also occurred for longer than they would have liked.  Dr. K told us that he would seriously doubt there would be any long term brain damage from the loss of oxygen, but that short term damage was possible, and if it occurred it would probably happen in the form of seizures or something similar.
To monitor it, they have been checking her cerebral oxygen saturations as well as still monitoring on her hands and feet, and last night the levels were about 40 points lower than they would have liked...however, that was the only symptom of possible brain damage.  She was still physically reacting, so I tried not to worry too much. 
As an extra precaution, they ended up putting her on a cooling blanket, to lower her body temperature to 35 instead of 37, this would lower her metabolism so she doesn't use as many brain cells, and it would also cause her to shiver a lot if there was no damage.  Well, she definitely was shivering, it was really sad to see her little body trembling not be able to just scoop her up and hold her.  
They also attached a bunch of little leeds to her head to monitor her brain waves throughout the night.  
This morning when I went in to see her, she wasn't on a cooling blanket anymore, but she was still shivering, so they had her on a paralysis medication to stop her from shaking.  They had monitored her brain waves all evening, and nothing seemed amiss.  Also her cerebral saturation were about 30 points higher.  So, I think she's doing much better.  Her nurse thought she had just slowly been progressing all evening.
Nothing much is going to happen today.  Her Doctors and Nurses feel like her body just needs to rest as much as possible, esp. because of how long her surgery was, and so they aren't going to close her chest today, because it can be physically challenging for her.  However, they are planning on closing her chest tomorrow.  Once her chest is closed, they can begin slowly trying to extubate her and then I can hold her.  And that will be wonderful.  My arms are aching for my little baby.  But again, this is what I'm sure every heart mom feels when they can't hold their little ones.  Seeing them vulnerable and possibly hurting and motionless triggers something; the strongest need to hold your baby safe in your arms, even though realistically it wouldn't fix anything.  That's just what you feel like a mom is supposed to do.  My heart goes out to all the moms out there whose arms ache for their little ones.
Well, hopefully today will be a nice, slow day, with nothing worth posting about. :)
I know some of you have requested pictures, but I just don't think that its a good idea to post them.  Grace doesn't look like herself, and although I still think she is my beautiful baby, its not easy to see her in the condition she is in.   She is still beautiful and still our Gracey, just much more puffy...like a strawberry marshmallow. :)
Being in the hospital again has made me feel so grateful for Grace.  She has always been such a tough little girl, strong and always quick to recover.  We are so grateful for how blessed we've been with her.  She could have so easily been much harder to take care of and had so many other problems, but she never did.  She always made things as simple as they could be.  Maybe that's why she was so feisty....just making up the difference. :)
So many other babies are in the hospital at any given time, please keep them in your prayers.  Pray hard for the babies and their families.
Please also continue to pray for Grace that she will have a quick recovery with few to no speed bumps along the way. 
Your prayers have buoyed us up so much, thank you thank you thank you.
Love you all
the Andersens 


Allie said...

wow knowing all that I can see why you feel like you didnt sleep much.Way too much on your mind. Hope today will put you at ease so you can get some good sleep in. I wish there was something I could do. Just let me know. Allison

kalani said...

I agree with Allie. I wouldn't have gotten any sleep either. You are doing amazing though. I wish I could help out too. I hate just sitting here with no way to help out. I am so glad to hear she is improving. What an amazing little baby.
Lots of love,

Pam said...

I so know how you feel. Those sleep rooms are really hard to sleep in, especially when you are really stressed, you hear every sound.

We learned that with Rhett's hypoxic brain injury that babies brains handle going without oxygen better than adults do because they are constantly growing and making new cells. If an adult were to go without oxygen like that there would be permanent damage.

Rhett has regained everything that he lost when he was without oxygen, other than some vision issues. Babies are amazing when it comes to recovering from things.

I know that Grace is going to do wonderful, and that soon she will be in your arms. That's when you need to post pictures!!!!

Here's rooting for some good sleep tonight for you, and a great day for Grace!!


Pam and Rhett

Andrew and Marti Enke said...

I think you and Topher and Grace are the bravest people I know! Your love and faith continue to inspire many. Thinking of you and praying for you.


aj said...

Yes, you should all just rest today. The possibility of brain damage must have been entirely overwhelming for you to hear yesterday - on top of already being overwhelmed! I'm so happy that she is improving.

And even though Grace is shivering, her body will soon recover from all the shock, and once again be in the warm arms of her mommy :)

I feel for you, Alysia, so much. I have had that ache for my children as well, but when I was away from them. I can't begin to understand how hard it must be to be standing right over Gracey, and not being able to hold her.

You are a very good, tender mother. Thanks for reminding so many of us moms just how blessed we are to have a child to hold - even if my toddler won't let me get anywhere near her at the moment because she is currently bouncing around on the couch and throwing things at me.

And Grace will be doing the same - soon enough. I'm so EXCITED to see this little spitfire of yours grow up. The Lord has big plans for her, I can feel it :)

And I understand perfectly why you're holding off on the pictures. And I'll also hold off on asking if I can come visit today. Too much already for you to be processing, I'd think. You don't need me stuffing balloons and teddy bears into your face :)

I will save all the fanfare for next week - when Grace is feeling well enough to see the balloons for herself.

We love you all! Our prayers will continue!!

G-Pa Chuck & Donna said...

Praise God!!! We are so thankful for this precious miracle! We are keeping you all in our prayers and asking for His angels to surround lil Gracey all the way through this...for a speedy, easy, full recovery! And, for God's peace, comfort, and rest to you and Toph!!
You are both doing such an amazing job through this all. God has blessed you immensely and will continue to bless all of you!

We love you all!!! And, thanks so much for being so good with the postings! That in itself, is probably more than I could keep up with! :-)


Gpa. Chuck & Donna

Allie said...

Alish and Topher, This side of the family really wants to help you we just dont know what we can do. Please let us know any thing we can do we feel helpless. All we are doing now is watching the blog and praying but not feeling like we are doing enough. We are so greatful for buggies family being there for all three of you please let us know what we can do with out getting in the way thanks Allison

Sara and Company said...

I can't imagine what you are going through watching your little child go through so much and not be able to hold and comfort her. You are stronger than you give yourself credit!....and your little Grace is too. She has excelled so well before and I know she will fight just as hard to get better this time too. Love you.

Ashley, Jesse and Ryker Smith said...

Alyshia. You write so beautifully. I can't help but cry everytime I read your posts. Esp. the last few. My heart goes out to you and Grace. I can't even fathom what it is like for you and the challenges that the Lord hasd blessed you with. Grace has such a strong spirit. Jesse and I have you guys in our prayers. We are so happy for you guys and so glad that Grace is recovering well.
We love you guys