You'll notice in today's picture that I was able to photograph Andrea without any breathing tube in place. I've mentioned before that she is removed from breathing support every three hours for her assessments. During one assessment today, I was able to get this picture. We think she looks surprised.
The biggest change for Andrea today was the removal of the support breaths from the nasal IMV. She is now on CPAP (for real, as opposed to when I was misusing the term) which just provides pressurized air. All the breathing is Andrea herself. After an hour of no supporting breaths, the nurse ran a blood gas, and it showed that Andrea is getting enough oxygen without the help. So for now, she'll remain on CPAP and see how things go. Her levelof oxygen support is 30% most of the time. When she gets to 21%, they can consider removing CPAP, since 21% oxygen is the same as breathing room air. When Andrea is assessed, she is given the chance to breath unassisted. Her nurse uses that time to see how she is progressing toward removal of the support. Right now, when she breaths unassisted, we can see how much she has to struggle.
Now that Andrea is breathing on her own, more or less, she is likely to lose a bit more weight, since she's burning more calories just breathing. I wish I breathed more calories by breathing! She is still getting 15 ml of milk with extra calories. Also interesting is that she still gets caffeine, which helps prevent apnea episodes. Despite the fact that she's gained more than 300 grams since birth, she's still on the same level of caffeine, and has not had any apnea episodes. That speaks well to the state of her lungs.
Thank you for continued support and prayers. We are closing in on 6 weeks of life on the outside, and Andrea continues to move forward at her own pace. Please continue to keep her in your prayers.
“There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever”