Saturday, July 27, 2013

Day 10 - Jonathan a year ago today

About a year ago today, we got some bad news. If you know anything about preemies, this bad news won't be a surprise to you, it is common. But this is the first bad news we received. It came in two bits. First, Jonathan's lungs were getting worse, not better. He was becoming more dependent on the vent and they'd stopped talking about weaning him from it.

This is common. Most micro-preemies have a honeymoon period for their breathing - it looks fairly good for immature lungs for about a week and then it get harder to breath.

 The second bad news was his heart. There is a small vessel that is open in all of us in the womb. It diverts blood away from the lungs (where it doesn't yet need to go) and to the rest of the body. Usually it closes in the first few days prior to or after birth in full term babies. Pressure changes outside the womb make it so more blood, not less, goes to the lungs and the blood is poorly oxygenated, so it causes a very inefficient flow of blood. It is called a patent (open) ductus (duct) arteriosus (of the artery) or PDA. (Turns out if you know Latin and Greek, most medical diagnoses sound, well, less diagnostic and more just descriptive.) This also is common in preemies, and they started him on a round of drugs to help close the vessel. I believe they said that 80% of the time, drug therapy alone would close the vessel.

Despite all this, things were overall looking okay. He was digesting. He had started growing again. We had high hopes that he'd be back up to his birth weight soon.

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