Monday, October 12, 2015

July 22

We now know why Anrel is sleeping so much and not eating. My baby is ill. I am wrecked over it.

Tep’s in-depth tests uncovered a problem with one of her heart valves. It’s not working properly, occasionally impeding blood flow. It leaves her exhausted and weak. Because she sleeps so much of the time, her metabolism is slowing and she doesn’t want food so much. But without eating like she should, her metabolism slows even more, creating something of a vicious circle. Plus her poor little body isn’t getting nutrients it needs, weakening it further.

Tep was quick to reassure me. “We expected problems of this nature since she was born so prematurely,” he reminded me. “Her heart and lungs have always been of concern, so we’re not entirely unprepared for this.”

“What can be done?” I asked. I was working hard to not be hysterical. Freaking out was not going to help Anrel.

“I’ve got several medications I can try to treat the problem and keep her comfortable. We’ll also get her the nutrition she needs through intravenous infusions. It looks to me like it’s a developmental issue, something that might correct itself if given time.”

“And if it doesn’t?” I didn’t want the bad news sugarcoated. I needed to know what my daughter is up against, even if there isn’t a damned thing I can do about it.

“Surgical correction may be called for. I see that as a last resort option, however.” Tep grimaced. “At the very least, she needs time to get stronger in case that becomes necessary.”

“How much danger is she in right now?” I asked.

Tep wasn’t all doom and gloom, thank goodness. “We caught it early. We’re taking steps to make sure it doesn’t get any worse. You’re not going to lose her to this, Shalia.”

He seemed pretty certain of that, so I suppose I need to accept it. However, I can’t bring myself to leave Anrel for a second. My bathroom breaks today might have set some sort of speed record. I’ve convinced Betra to bring meals to me, which I eat standing outside of Isolation and watching Anrel. I keep checking to make sure she’s still breathing, though the monitors on her little vest would go crazy with alarms if she quit.

No, there is nothing I can do for her. But I can’t bear to be out of sight of her either. I’ve already informed Tep I am sleeping in her room with her tonight and heaven help anyone who says I can’t. He didn’t argue with me. In fact, he had a mat wheeled in and set up next to her little incubator.

If I sleep a wink, I will be the most amazed person in the universe.


  1. I had a feeling something like this could happen. Preemies are known for heart and lung issues. Our littlest femal just needs time, good meds and a great doctor. she has all three and some loving extended family.

    1. I was worried too, given how early she was, despite their advanced medicine which can only do so much with what they start with. I was born 3 months early 39 years ago overseas, and simply wasn't expected to survive. Have had various "unrelated" health problems all my life, so couldn't help but wonder if Anrel might have problems too, especially given complications of the It and poison they used. Poor baby.