45 days old (30 weeks, 1 day adjusted)
1230 grams~ 2 pounds, 11.5 ounces
(…3 pounds, here we come!)
Ana has been given the tile, “the smartest baby in the NICU.” It always makes me laugh to hear all the nurses and doctors in the NICU say that babies are “smart” when they do well. Like Ana is sitting there planning her next move. But since they’re the ones that started it, Ana is seriously one smart cookie.
She has been on CPAP of 5 for about a week now, since last Monday and she has been flawless. She has had almost no oxygen requirement (in room air–21%) and has only had a handful of spells that were usually when she was being held and when she was being fed–a combination that can sometimes make her a little overwhelmed. Needless to say, her team has been very, very impressed. Now the plan is to try her off of CPAP sometime this week, and see how she does. Initially the plan was to do this on Monday, but I thought to ask about her first eye exam, which will be happening sometime this week as well. All premature babies have lots of eye exams, especially micro-preemies. On top of the fact that her eyes just are not as developed as they should be at birth, the extra oxygen that most micro-preemies need to stay alive can affect their retinas negatively and can end up causing eye troubles and even blindness. For this reason, Ana will be getting eye exams every 2 weeks from now on, now that she has hit 30 weeks. Oftentimes babies struggle on the day they get their first eye exam–it is not a pleasant experience for anyone around–and they often have more spells and need more oxygen. Because of this, we are going to try to keep her on CPAP until after this infamous exam, and then try her off of it afterwards. Everyone keeps reminding me that it is most likely that she will need to be put back on CPAP, but that it’s worth a shot. I know this is true, but I also know that Ana has beat all the other odds they have thrown at her, so I have no doubt that she will surprise us with this one as well. She has shown that she is able to tolerate being off CPAP, at least for short periods of time. Many times this week when we lifted the blanket covering her isolette to take a peak, we found that she had pulled the prongs out of her nose, and she was still breathing great! Yesterday, we gave her a bath, and ended up leaving the CPAP off the whole time (about 15 minutes) and she did so well! Mid bath Ana pulled out her feeding tube, so we got to see her face with NO tubes at all. She is officially the sweetest thing around and looks a LOT like her big sister.
Ana is gaining weight like a champ and tolerating her feeds great. They are thinking about lessening the amount of additives they are putting into my milk, since she has done so well gaining. One of her primary nurses has been advocating for this, and not that they just decrease the amount of breast milk, which is what some others have suggested doing. What a gift to have primary nurses who care about your child enough to go against the grain and advocate for what they think is best. I could write a whole other post about how wonderful NICU nurses are–they have to be the most patient, loving women/men I have ever met (there are no men at Beth Israel, but it doesn’t mean there cannot be!) Ana’s 3 primary nurses so clearly love and care about her. They celebrate every ounce gained, every poop, every new development with the same excitement that we do. They sneak in snuggles and cuddles when they take Ana out for any reason, and they marvel at her progress. They lovingly talk to her while they do her cares. What a gift, and we are so thankful!
Big things are coming up…there is talk of swaddling Ana sometime in the near future and one of the nurses even said the “C” word–that’s right–CLOTHES!!! Mommy can. hardly. wait. I may or may not have already washed and folded all the preemie clothes.
Seriously Mom, I don’t know why you are so excited about this. I happen to like being naked.
And do you see what I am wearing in this picture?? That’s right–a PREEMIE diaper! No more micro-preemie size for me!
Thank you for your prayers! Please pray for Ana this week as they test her eyes and take her off CPAP! And continue to proclaim with us that Ana will grow up to be a little girl who loves Jesus with all her heart. Grow baby Ana, grow!