At this very minute while I'm typing this entry, they are literally closing Olivia's chest next door in her room. Sure we had originally planned on all this happening around 1PM today, but there are other kids in worse situations than Liv that needed the doctors attention first. Who am I to complain about the additional waiting time on something that's a non-emergency? Besides, it's an accomplishment that we are already getting her chest closed because it means that her body has purged enough of the retained fluid for the doctors to feel comfortable about the procedure. Tonight will bring a drugged up baby that will be out of it until tomorrow, but tomorrow brings the start of giving Olivia some real food. They're going to start her out on 3 ml/hr of breast milk to see how she tolerates the nutrition in her tummy and then we're really going to be moving along.
Once she shows that she can tolerate a continuous drip they're going to stop them to dehydrate her a little bit (particularly in the lungs) in preparation of taking her off the ventilator. She's already doing well there too since she routinely breathes over the ventilator settings and her vent settings are on room air without any additional oxygen. Removal of the vent means that Brian and I will be able to hold her. So I'm hoping, really hoping that they can pull it out this weekend and I can get my hot little hands on her. When she cries her silent cries it's heartbreaking and just about the only thing that makes it better is rubbing her head to soothe her. Hopefully she will find it just as soothing to be picked up because at this moment I can't imagine not over-indulging her once she's free of some wires and tubes.
All in all, nothing but good news on this front. She has her moments where she throws tantrums and has had a few blips with the oxygen saturation dipping down, but most of that is due to her tantrums. We have been very fortunate up to this point and continue to hope that things move forward so we can get our girl home. I'll let you all know how she does tomorrow with some real food - I pray that my family's love of food rubs off on her!