Veronica is maintaining her slow and steady progress. Her PO feedings (feedings by mouth) have increased to six per day and the remaining two are still gavage (tube). For the most part, she is able to finish her bottles completely. When she doesn't, the remaining milk is put through her OG tube. Her progress with PO feeds has been significant, especially since oral feeds for a preemie are more challenging than oral feeds for a full term baby. The sucking, breathing and swallowing reflex is a lot for a preemie to master. As we feed her, we are told to watch her closely to see if her color changes or if we notice a change in her breathing. In the NICU, the monitor will tell us if she stops breathing but we won't necessarily have a monitor once she is discharged. Overall, Veronica seems to be getting it and is learning how to pace herself appropriately. We're hoping she will be on full PO feeds real soon which would mean another step closer to her coming home. We've also had a few good nursing sessions which is encouraging. Of course with breastfeeding it is difficult to tell how much milk she is getting so she is given additional milk through her OG tube after each session.
In regards to breathing, Veronica continues to be on CPAP for the majority of her day. We really thought she would be off by now but we are assured that every baby is different and she will come off when she is ready to come off. Veronica had one day when she was off for 11 hours and we were thrilled. But most days she seems to average 5 or 6 hours.
She was given a blood transfusion two days ago because she was anemic again (a common condition for micro preemies). This was disappointing but we were told that the transfusion would possibly help her to come off CPAP. But the day after the transfusion, when she trialed off of CPAP she only last 45 minutes. This felt like a huge setback. Although we know its part of the process (two steps forward, one step back), its difficult not to feel discouraged when we are hoping for so much more. We try to remember though, that Veronica is doing amazingly well overall. Sometimes, its just hard being patient. But today Veronica has has been off of CPAP for 7 hours and counting.....could this be the day she stays off for good? Go, Veronica, go!!