Veronica’s gestational age is 34 weeks, which means she has been in the NICU for almost 10 weeks. She is doing well but the progress at this point is slower than we, or at least I had hoped. She is still on bubble CPAP and for the most part is breathing room air. There are times when she has “events” or “episodes” and requires additional oxygen. A few days ago, they lowered the pressure setting (PEEP) on the CPAP from PEEP 6 to PEEP 5. This was in an effort to begin the weaning process to room air. Unfortunately, they had to push it back up to PEEP 6 the next day because she had several episodes of low desats (low levels of oxygen in the blood). This was not necessarily a setback but just part of being a preemie. The goal is for Veronica to be at PEEP 5, breathing room air (21% oxygen) and having no desats. She’ll get there, but it’s just a matter of when. Once she reaches that point, they will trial her off of the CPAP for short periods of time and see how she tolerates it. We’re told that this is often a back and forth process. They go off CPAP, then back on, off and then on, just like Veronica did with the ventilator.
In regards to feeding, we expect the doctors will give the go ahead for her to try a bottle in the near future. It’s likely that she will still be on CPAP when that happens, which I imagine will make the whole process a little more challenging for Veronica, and her nurses as well. She’ll start with one small bottle a day and then gradually work her way to the point where she is no longer fed through a tube.
On a very positive note, at Veronica’s last weigh in, she was 1580 grams which is 3 lbs, 8 oz. We’re getting close to 4 lbs……go, Veronica, go!!