First, Bonnie's pulmonary hypertension was looking somewhat better today. Whether that was because of the new medications she's on to help with that (sildenafil, milrinone), the fact that they got her ductus to open (part of fetal circulation that closes at birth--they gave her a medication-prostaglandin-to help it open back up, and it acts as a "pop off valve" so that her heart doesn't have to work so hard to pump blood through the blood vessels in her lungs), or that her pneumonia is being treated, we're not sure. It's probably a combination of all of the above. We're just thrilled that it's looking better, and pray that it continues to improve.
Second, her pneumonia seems to be improving. Her x-rays still don't look great, but apparently it can take a couple days for the x-ray to "catch up" with what she's doing clinically. They heard breath sounds today (which they hadn't for a couple days), and they've been able to suction a lot of secretions out of her lungs. Also, her tidal volumes (amount of air her lungs are accepting from the ventilator) are better today than yesterday. All of these are good signs. Praise God.
Third, while her chest tube is still draining, it has slowed down a good bit. They want to make sure that the chylothorax is completely resolved before they remove it, so I'm not sure how much longer it will be in, but we're encouraged that the drainage is at least slowing down. I do want to ask you to pray that Bonnie would have minimal pain and discomfort from the chest tube being in. It was apparent today that it was bothering her. Anytime anyone touched her right side (where the tube is) or moved her right arm, she would grimace and sometimes cry. We can't hear her cry because she's intubated, so it's even more heartbreaking to watch her sweet face wrinkle up in pain. I so wish I could scoop her up and make her feel better.
Finally, our prayers for Bonnie to let us know if she wasn't ready to get off ECMO were answered rather dramatically a couple days ago (when she failed her trial off after 5 minutes). We had a discussion with her neonatologist about what a blessing that was. At that point, we didn't know she had pneumonia, though it was probably brewing. If she had been taken off ECMO on the day we were originally aiming for, she likely would have had her hernia repair the next day. Doing chest surgery on a baby with pneumonia would have been a disaster. Even if they hadn't attempted her hernia repair, having pneumonia when you only have 2/3 of a lung would have been terrible if she had already been taken off ECMO. Praise God for his perfect timing.
So there's our day today. We pray that we have many more days like today, where we see steady and significant improvements. Thank you all again for your faithful prayers and positive thoughts for Bonnie.