Friday, March 16, 2012

Breathe, Little Lady, Breathe!

Our daughter is off the ventilator! Yipppeeee! She transitioned to CPAP around 10am today. She only had one apnea episode (not breathing), but did not have to be bagged to bring her sats back up. She immediately brought up her heart rate on her own and her nurse had to rub her sides a little and turn up her oxygen to stimulate her lungs. Her oxygen levels do vary greatly from low (60s/70s) to high (98-100), but the doctors said this is completely normal for a preemie who is new to CPAP. Once again, CPAP requires Elise to do all the breathing on her own. She does not have a vent taking breaths for her. So when/if she decides to not breathe, her oxygen levels will dip. Eventually, she will get the hang of this "breathing idea" and start to breathe continuously. Then, we will see her oxygen levels stay steady (great levels are anywhere between 88-95%). It is our prayer that she does well on CPAP this time (if you remember, she was on CPAP for 48 hours a week or so ago). She acts much stronger this time so we are hoping for the best!

Here am I on CPAP! No, I do not like it! ;-)

The doctors continue to play around with Elise's feedings, trying to get her to pack on the pounds. I learned today that Miss E should weigh approximately 3.5 pounds if her age (31 weeks) matched her weight. Unfortunately, she was small for her age when she came out of the womb. With her losing a few ounces before getting on a steady weight gain track, she is hanging out below the tenth percentile. The doctors are thinking that she may never catch up...meaning, she might be petite for her age throughout life. As we all know, this is certainly not as disturbing for ladies as it is for men! Petite girls are much easier than petite boys when it comes to buying clothes and even social issues in school. (P.S...I'm glad Carter's carries preemie clothing. Looks like Elise will need preemie outfits for quite a while after coming home).

Speaking of gaining weight-- when Elise is at a point in her NICU life that she is just eating and gaining weight, Columbus Regional Hospital offers a step-down NICU. If we request it (or lovely insurance says we must go), Elise would be ambulance transferred to Columbus. For those that don't know, Columbus Regional Hospital is 25 minutes away from Seymour vs. St. Vincent's being almost 90 minutes away. Of course right now, Elise is in no way ready for CRH, but it is something to contemplate for the future. Right now, my gut says no way. I'm getting very attached to these doctors and nurses and the care that Elise is getting at St. V's. There's a lot of power in the statement, "These nurses and doctors have been with Elise since the beginning." However, when Elise becomes stronger, I probably will too. Once she is in a crib and able to be fed by me, I will want to be with her everyday. A 25 minute commute is very enticing versus a 90 minute commute (with rush hour). Also, G could make a lot more trips to see Elise if she was just a short hop away. Now, he must take full days off of work to make the trip worthwhile. We are thankful we don't have to make this decision now, but we can ponder it for the future.

We hope and pray for a "quiet" night for our Little Lady and are excited to spend tomorrow with her!

G & J & E

P.S...exciting family news: We are adding another doctor to our family! Uncle Jordan just got accepted into IU School of Medicine's Neurology Residency Program. He graduates in May from IU Medical School and is one of SIX residents in IU's neurology program. 'Proud' can't begin to describe our feelings! Elise will always have doctors watching over her. This Momma is extremely grateful and can take a few bricks off her shoulders.

1 comment:

  1. I have been praying for Elise's smooth transition to the CPAP...sounds like she is doing great so far! I know baby girl doesn't like it but hopefully it will just be there for a short time and then she'll move on making more strides. I'll be praying her feedings continue to go well and that she keeps gaining more weight! Congratulations again on Jordan's news...reasons to celebrate today for sure!! Love you!!