Today was another landmark…28 days spent outside of the womb, 28 weeks gestation. Olivia continues on her peaceful road to recovery. Her blood pressure remains steady after weaning her from the hydrocortisone and fentanyl. They have also continued to wean her oxygen. The fellow informed me that the hope is to transition Olivia off the ventilator if possible within the next week as her oxygen needs are relatively low. This is so exciting!
Within the past few weeks, the dishwasher sound of Olivia’s heart murmur has become increasingly loud. The attending physician had informed me this could mean the PDA has gotten smaller or that it has become enlarged. The echo performed yesterday revealed the PDA is quite large; however, it is not impacting Olivia’s overall functioning. The team will be evaluating whether the PDA is a concern or not within the next few days. I was informed that many babies go home with the large PDA only to have a surgery once they are bigger if needed. The PDA could also still close on its own. They will operate if the PDA causes blood to back up in her lungs. They are going to attempt to “dry her out” by shrinking her intake of fluids. They also gave her a dose of Lasix today to flush out any fluids that may be in her lungs.
Meanwhile, the surgeons have continued to pull out the drain a centimeter or two daily. She also had a bowel movement while I was changing her diaper yesterday–it must be instinct to let it go upon being hit with fresh air, even in preemies. It was not the dark meconium stools she has been producing. This was fresh, green slime TPN feces! Of course, I was elated as was the team this morning. Olivia may not have actually had NEC as I was told by the fellow. Her bowel may have perforated and resealed itself as evidenced by yesterday’s bowel movement. Again, we have a long road ahead to determine what has actually occurred. For now, the future looks quite bright.
Today, a volunteer from the hospital’s parent group kindly took pictures of babies in the NICU. I was able to hold Olivia for the first time–not kangaroo care, but I’ll take what I can get! It felt wonderful to hold my little sugar booger in my hands. While she is still exceptionally tiny, she has grown in leaps and bounds. She is now weighing in at 1 pound, 10 ounces! I purchased a few micro preemie dresses from Etsy for an occasion such as this. Although sized for 1-3 pounds, she ended up swimming in it. I guess we will just have to save it for the next picture day. The pictures in the post were lovingly taken by Mike, although the others will follow soon!