Maggie's heart rate was really slow for a baby. A normal newborn's heart should be beating between 130 and 160 times per minute, but her's is averaging 115 per minute. Not a huge deal, but every now and then its dropping into the 70's or 80's for about a minute at a time.
The doctors worried that it could have been one of three things:
1- Her blood oxygen being low, but it checked out
2- The electrical function of her heart, which they checked out with an EKG and it was fine
3- Due to the fluid on her brain it might be sitting on her brain stem and causing pressure. This was the really scary one, and they did an emergency MRI late at night only to find out that was not the issue.
So those three things were cleared, but they still aren't sure why her heart doesn't beat quickly enough. So they pushed back the surgery to Thursday to give her time to stabilize and gain more strength.
Alright guys, as her dad I feel like I can say this. She is a sassy little girl! We can't hear her cries yet, but every time you do something she doesn't like she lets you know with a well orchestrated full-body reaction. Her arm and legs work together to fight your cold hands away if that's what she is upset about, and her bright red face tells the tale with no audio needed. I'm in love.
Her lungs are doing a lot better too. The docs started her on nitrous oxide two days ago. It's job is to expand the blood vessels in the lungs so they work more effectively. It's working. She was down to 25 percent oxygen yesterday before they moved her rooms and had to raise it a little. Regular room air you and I breathe is 21 percent oxygen, and on day one she needed 100 percent oxygen to keep going. She still needs the help of light air pushing into her lungs, but she is improving so much.
Joy and I sat in bed this morning and teared up reading some of the blog comments and seeing how many people are praising our God for his faithfulness to our prayers. We are so grateful for his active work in our lives and the life of Maggie, but it's amazing to see the way he's working in the lives of so many others through it all.
A NOTE FROM JOY:
**As hard as this has been and certainly will continue to be, I am so blessed to have endured through this with you Stephen. Sometimes it's hard to feel like a mom yet when I can't feel what it's like to hold her or feed her, but I get short glimpses here and there that help me feel like a mom, and just in time for Mother's Day! Reading everyone's encouragement and own testimonies I would choose to do this again, for Stephen, for Maggie and for even just one of you who has fallen to your knees to God on our behalf or for your own relationship to Him. I nearly cried today just reading that this has caused one to pray more frequently and spur on faith. That makes this hardship awesome.