Good news! Elsie was extubated this morning, and is back on the CPAP. She is on a slightly different type of CPAP this time that will hopefully help her lungs stay inflated without making her overly tired from the effort. This one is different in that the prongs that insert into her nostrils are slightly longer, and are surrounded by a sort of tape placed on her nose. The tape has two little holes for the prongs to go into her nostrils, and then the rest of the tape provides a seal around her nose so that no air can escape out. Then she has on a little hat with straps on it to help keep her mouth mostly closed so that not as much air can escape out of her mouth. It looks like she's wearing a little helmet, and the hat is sitting down so low that it pretty much covers most of her face. Here's a picture so that you can see what I'm talking about:
I know it's kinda hard to see or understand what you're looking at, but starting at her chin and going up, there's the strap that helps close her mouth, her green feeding tube, then the CPAP. The two prongs are going into her nostrils, and then there's the "tape" around her nose that is providing a seal. You can't see her eyes in this shot, as they're covered up with the hat.
Here's another angle from when she was on her tummy. The two prongs are going into her nostrils, and you can see the "tape" on her nose a lot more in this picture. It looks like she has a little piggy nose from the tape, so cute.
|One more shot, just a little closer up.|
We're excited to have the breathing tube out, and hopefully she can keep it out this time for good.
Other good news: Elsie had her first eye exam last week, and the results were optimistic. Preemies are at risk for Retinopathy of prematurity, or ROP, which is an eye disease that can cause blindness or vision problems. At this time, Elsie is NOT showing any signs of ROP--Hooray! Of course, they will continue to monitor her vision very closely, and it is possible that she still might get it, but as of right now, she is ROP free.
Elsie is still digesting her feedings very well, which is always a good thing. Her feeding amount has been decreased a bit, because she was gaining a lot of water weight. She was given a few doses of a diuretic to help lose some of the excess fluid, which can contribute to difficulty breathing. It's such a fine line between gaining weight sufficient for healthy growth, and gaining too much weight that builds up excess fluids.
While talking to the nurse today, she asked if I had received a steroid shot before Elsie was born. I did, but it was only given to me an hour or two before she was born. The nurse said that since Elsie was born so quickly, she didn't have time to get the full impact of the steroids that I was given. BUT, she also said that Elsie was right on par with where a 23-week preemie should be, and most other 23-week preemies had the steroids given to their mother 24 to 48 hours before they were born. So given the fact that she did not have as much exposure to the steroids as other babies had, and she is still doing as well or better than they are, then this just shows that Elsie is pretty much Superbaby. I contribute her good health to the plethora of prayers that are continually offered in her behalf, as well as her strength of spirit. I know that there are people out there praying for Elsie, and we are so grateful for each one. Whether you are family, friends, or complete strangers, Baptist, Presbyterian, Mormon, or something else entirely, we are thankful for your prayers and support.
|It's hard to look at pictures like this from when Elsie was first born. You've come a long way, baby.|