After about 6 days of bad news, it seems Brynn is now on an upswing (HOORAY)! She was on 25% oxygen today--21% is equal to room air--which means that she is ready to start being weaned off the traditional vent. Her oxygen would not have been so good if her PDA was large, so for now she's escaped surgery. And although the doctors tell us the PDA could re-open at any time, we're hoping for the best.
As for the vent, right now each time she initiates a breath, the vent supports her by giving her all the air and volume she needs. The next step is to get her to take her own breath AND pull in the air that she needs by herself. So as they wean her, she learns to do it more and more on her own instead of relying on the vent. Currently, she still has pretty consistent apnea (due to prematurity), but slowly weaning her down will help her to get stronger and help her brain to remember to breathe, even when she is sleeping.
Once she gets strong enough, they'll switch her to a new vent called the CPAP. With the CPAP, the tube sits at the base of her nose instead of down her throat--which will be much less invasive, but also less supportive. She'll likely be given caffiene to guard against bad apnea spells during which the nurses will have to resuscitate her. The biggest plus of the CPAP is that I can start breastfeeding--even if all she does is nuzzle a little bit at first to get used to me. If I understand correctly, we'll also be able to hear her little cry. Even though she cries right now, the endotracheal tube is between her vocal chords so we can't hear her.
I still remember the cute little cry she made when she was born and I can't wait to hear it again--even if several months down the road I'll get sick of it and want to get some sleep :)
Anyway, I got some good pictures of her hands and cute videos of her little expressions so I'll have to post some goodies this weekend. Until then, I thought I'd share our good news so none of our faithful readers have to worry about surgery!
Noah's 5th Birthday
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