Monday, October 6, 2008

Ava's pictures and an update,

Ava on Friday morning. She had been throwing up at this time and was very thirsty. The bad thing is that is would come right back up. You can see here that her eyes had dark circles under them. They also were very sunken in.
Ava on Sunday night. This was approximately 13 hours after her surgery. I have other pictures but they are on a roll of film. Can you believe I didn't have my camera?
I love this picture of her. It looks the most normal. Her lips get very dry so we are putting lip balm on them to keep them moist. Is that the face of an angel or what?
This is Daddy's watchful eye. She stirs to the sound of his voice. She just knows her Daddy is near by always.
This one was taken this afternoon. She has been moving her arms around mostly to scratch her nose. I think she is getting used to the sedation medicines. She is definitely more awake than she has been so far. She doesn't try to open her eyes but if something hurts her she moves her body by arching her back. She is such a strong little bugger.

She is doing okay this afternoon. Her heart rate is in the high 160's and her stats are at 93 which isn't great but they just weaned a little bit of her Morphine and also lowered her vent rate from 15 to 10.

I love to see her move. She is such a trouper. Sad news is that they will be putting a pic line in sometime today. I'm not thrilled but I do know that it will simplify things for her and the nurses.

By the way I have forgotten to mention University of Iowa has been an excellent hospital. We have had the best doctors and nurses. They really keep us updated and we feel really blessed that Ava has received excellent care. We had Patty as a nurse when we first got to the Peds dept. She was so loving and caring. Then the radiologist that did Ava's GI test was very informative and explained everything so clearly. Then we met Ava's surgical team. Dr. Shilansky was very though and took his time finding Ava's blockage and re patched her up. We were very worried she was at the right hospital with the best care. This has definitely been an eye opening experience. Then when we got up here to the Pediatric Intensive Care floor we were greeted so warmly and was constantly kept informed. I naturally sanitized her room before her arrival. I was expecting the nurses to look at me like a loon but actually the opposite happened. Bonnie was our first PICU nurse. She is wonderful. She has such a gentle spirit and really loves Ava. Then in the morning we had Haley as a nurse and she was great too. I love how they spend time getting to know all about what Ava likes and what makes her mad. Then today we have Amanda. She is really soft spoken and reminds me of Jennifer Garner. She's so nice. We are really getting spoiled by all these wonderful nurses and doctors. The main Doctor that looks over Ava's care is Dr. Moreland. She listens to all I am saying and asks if we have any questions. She is very nice. So we have been truly blessed with this hospital.

They are talking about exubation tomorrow morning. Her lung xray came back showing lots extra fluid from all the fluids that she has been given but they assure me this is normal and Ava will cough it up once the tube is out. So we will be weaning her pain meds and her vent settings tonight. So if all goes well I will be a lot less nervous once she is breathing on her own. However I do expect her to be in a lot of pain.

Lexis and Emeline is supposed to be visiting tomorrow night but I'm worried she will still look very bad and I don't want them to be scared. Yet on the positive side she needs to see them to heal. I have missed them terrible. They are sure cashing in on their grandma Helmick. She took them shopping and they winded up getting a lot of extras.

I want to close by saying how much all your support has helped our entire family. It is so wonderful to come on the blog and see all the encouraging messages. They really have healed and made us be able to accept this very frightening ride. Little did we know that a second surgery was to come when Ava was so healthy and so alive. I guess my new mission is to tell parents to listen to that gut instinct that God gives to us for a reason. Thanks again!



Owain's mommy said...


Thank you so much for taking the time to update the blog.

Stay strong Ava!

We are all praying for you!


Liz and Shane Nelson said...

Shane and I are in tears over Ava's pictures. She has endured so much pain. We pray God gives her strength and heals her quckly. We are thinking of you.
Liz and Shane

kmm0305 said...


We are thinking of you and sending our prayers and thoughts to Iowa City. We know how tough it is to be back in the hospital, but it sounds like Ava is a brave trooper. We hope she is able to be extubated and continue on the road to recovery. I'm sure she would love to see her sisters, if they are like my girls they miss each other.