It's hard to believe our baby's transformation. Here's the process:
When she was first born:
Then, she got sick, and was flown via helicopter from Baltimore to DC. When we arrived to the hospital in DC, this was where we found her:
Seeing your baby in that condition is shocking, devastating, heartbreaking. It made me feel completely helpless. She was on dialysis to remove the ammonia from her blood. She was on dozens of medicines. She was ventilated. She was put into a state of hypothermia to try to reduce the brain swelling from the ammonia. She had access lines (like IVs) in her scalp, feet, hands, belly button, neck, and groin. She had electrodes on her head to measure seizures. And then the basic heart monitors. She had multiple people in her room all working on her for several days. We knew she was getting better when she was downgraded to only having one nurse in her room. Then when her nurse finally could take a lunch break, we knew she really must be getting better. And then when her nurse was assigned to Luca and another baby, we knew she REALLY must be getting better. But honestly, at the time those two pictures were taken, I sat there thanking God for that moment, that she was still alive. Because, truly, we didn't know if she was going to stay with us. And in that moment, I was so grateful for the technology and people who were keeping her alive.
She went about 7 days without responding to us. We didn't know if the ammonia had left her in a state where she'd never wake up. We didn't know if we'd ever see her eyes open, let alone in response to us. Finally, on day 7 of being at Children's in DC, she opened her little eyes. The most beautiful eyes I've ever seen in my life.
And now, our baby looks like this:
And smiles huge every morning when she sees us peer into her bassinett.
She is so chubby! Her growth is something to be grateful for because considering how much her protein is restricted. She's in the 75th percentile for height and weight - a very proportionate little lady. And her getting big quickly is a great thing for her transplant - they want her to be as big as possible (not fat, but just a bigger baby in terms of height and weight - more space to do the surgery).