Sunday, October 6, 2013

34 weeks - Good days - breathing on his own (for a moment) and not needing IV nutrition

Woah. Something different is happening here.
On September 30th of a year ago, by 10 weeks and five days old, or a gestational age of about 34 weeks, Jonathan finally got a break from breathing support.  For his evening cares the nurse and I gave him a sponge bath and changed his diaper, all without the help of extra air and pressure. And then we weighed him. Two pounds, 13 ounces and 15 inches long. He was growing (and this time it wasn't all water weight), and he was breathing.  I took lots of pictures. I wished Steve were with me for this. I took a picture of the monitor. Against hospital policies (no images of medical equipment) but I had to show Steve. 161 beats per minute. Oxygen at 90% and climbing, and respiration steady and full at 58 breaths per minute.  It was like this for ten minutes. Then he went back on CPAP.  It still took too much work to breath like that on his own.

Steve had promised him that if he could breathe on his on, he would be free of all the stuff on his face, so it's no surprise that when we put the CPAP back on his face, we got cries.  Still barely audible squeals as his vocal chords continued to heal from intubation, but there they were. CRIES.

My son had an opinion. He was voicing it. I discovered that a crying baby really is a gift, sometimes.

He was also taking all his nutrition from my milk. The doctors believed he was showing that he could digest it well, despite the ileostomy, and so he was off TPN and lipids, again for the first time.  This was so good, as TPN (while a necssary IV addition for nutrition in most micropreemies) can damage the liver over time.

There were small concerns that he might be ill, as he was acting a little touchy, but the nurses were keeping a vigilant eye on things, so over all his progress was very very good.

He got moved from a z-flow mattress (like a memory foam mattress for preemies) to a swaddler, as he was now old enough and stable enough for the new bed.

On days like this, I danced home.

A day later, the colors of the world would change again.

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