Veronica spent 16 hours on CPAP but unfortunately needed to be reintubated this morning. The level of oxygen that she was requiring with the CPAP was just too high, which could potentially cause severe eye damage. While going back on the ventilator was disappointing, we knew it was a possibility. And when we went to bed last night, we knew that it was likely. So they will try again in a few days and we will hope and pray that she remains off the ventilator for good. Being on the ventilator for too long puts her at risk for chronic lung disease.
While I was visiting with Veronica today, I had a bit of a meltdown. I cry fairly regularly these days but I usually try to contain my tears in public. But today I just couldn’t keep them in. I was comforted by Veronica’s nurse as well as one of the doctor’s and within a few minutes, I felt so much better. They have a way of doing that. The doctor pointed out that while it is understandably difficult to see what Veronica is going through, she is doing much better than most other preemies her age. And despite the fact that she is back on the ventilator, she remains on very low settings, which lessens the risk of lung disease. The NICU doctors and nurses are so concerned about this potentially serious complication which is why they push the babies to do some breathing on their own. I learned that the NICU at
has a significantly lower rate of lung disease compared with other NICUs. This is what I needed to hear. George Washington University Hospital
So when I left the NICU, I was feeling better and I remembered that as bad as things are right now, they could be a whole lot worse. So I started to think about all of the things I am thankful for in this whole ordeal. Here are some of them, in no particular order:
- A vaginal birth (after 5 prior c-sections).
- The steroid shots given to me when I was admitted (which helped to mature Veronica’s lungs).
- The six days from when my water broke that Veronica remained in utero.
- The amazing doctors and nurses in the NICU.
- No brain hemorrhage.
- My five children at home who make me laugh.
- My husband.
- Friends and family who are supporting us in so many different ways.
- My faith which gives me strength.
- Two words - breast milk
- An awesome, hospital grade breast pump.
- Veronica’s stable vital signs.
- Veronica’s baptism on April 19th.
- Amazing medical technology.
- Several ventilator free days.
- No more feedings through the central line – it’s all about the breast milk now.
- Very low vent settings.
- My ability to function on fewer than 6 non consecutive hours of sleep.
- She’s a girl. (Girl preemies have a better prognosis than boy preemies.)