Cheyenne Elizabeth was born on March 18, 2008. Her mother was put on bed rest in the hospital back on January 27th with pre-eclampsia. She was able to continue to carry baby Cheyenne until 34 weeks, when the doctors and parents determined that it would be best for both mother and baby to deliver. Cheyenne was born about 5:45 pm on the 18th of March.
Cheyenne had problems breathing on her own from the very beginning, which was not surprising, and had been predicted as a possibility by the doctors. She was taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where she was started on oxygen immediately. When she did not respond well enough, they started her on a regular ventilator. After a while, they decided they would put her on an oscillating ventilator (more on that later in the post). The doctors at the first hospital did what they could, but finally determined that she would be better off in Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. She was transferred there about 4 AM on March 20th.
Cheyenne has been working hard at recovery. Currently, her lungs are not working correctly, and therefore she is having trouble exchanging gasses. One lung seems to be over responding, which is making it larger than it needs to be. The other is under responding, which makes it too small. The larger lung is crowding the smaller one, making it difficult for it to inflate correctly. This has led to high CO2 levels, which they have been working to get down. This has been pretty scary, as they have had to paralyze her medicinally to keep her from moving. They also have her on a machine called an oscillating ventilator, which pumps air into her lungs at a very fast rate, which is designed to keep the alveoli (which are the air sacks of the lungs) open so that they can start exchanging the gasses correctly. It is certainly difficult to watch her in that condition, but we keep telling ourselves that we know that is what she needs. She has been making some progress in this condition over the last 24 hours. Aaron (Cheyenne’s daddy) reported that she has had 5 good blood reports in a row.
Aaron and Nikki were able to go to a motel and sleep a bit for the last 2 nights, which has been a rarity over the last several weeks. Nikki seems to be feeling better as well. She has had some rough days, since they released her early from her hospital so that she could be with Cheyenne at Children’s Hospital. She is still not supposed to go up and down stairs, which has made it difficult to find good accommodations close to the hospital. Rooms in downtown Pittsburgh are also very expensive, which has caused them some difficulties. They are hoping that they will be able to get into the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) today. They have been told that if they cannot get them into a first story room today, then they will put them up in a hotel for the same price as staying at the RMH, so that will be a big relief for them.
There have been a lot of people who have been praying for Cheyenne, and we are very thankful for that. Please continue to keep her in your prayers, that she might continue to improve, and develop. She is strong in a lot of ways, but she still needs to improve in a lot of ways.
We have also set up a way to help Nikki and Aaron with expenses. If you would like to help them out, just click on the button below, and you will be taken to a donations page, where you can give any amount that you choose. Any amount is deeply appreciated. Just to give you a reference, about $50 will provide a tank of gas, $60 will provide a motel room, and only $11 will provide a night at RMH. They will continue to have a lot of expenses over the next several weeks, and Aaron has not been able to work much over the last several weeks. So, if you are in a position to be able to help, they would certainly appreciate it!