Maddie started eating this past weekend! The doctors started very conservative, only giving her one cc of breast milk every six hours. Since then, she’s progressed to one cc every three hours, and I just found out that she’s been upped to three ccs every three hours! She’s a champion eater already. She mostly eats through a tube that goes through her mouth down into her belly, but a few times we’ve given her milk orally and she’s done REALLY well. She didn’t breast feed directly in those cases, though. Instead, we’d put a cc of breast milk into a syringe, and while she sucked on a pacifier we’d squirt a little milk into the corner of her mouth. That way, she got used to the idea of getting milk while sucking. The nurses are going to give her her feeds this way whenever she’s awake. When her volume goes up a bit more, she’ll graduate to an actual bottle.
She had another eye exam and the Ophthalmologist was so pleased with her eyes that she won’t have another exam for two weeks! Mike and I are very happy that she had something go her way, and also relieved that she doesn’t have to go through eye exam trauma for a few more weeks.
The best news is that she was moved to the Observation, or step-down unit! It’s still technically the NICU, but now she’s in a room with only three other babies. It’s great that she’s in Obs now, it is much quieter so she will really be able to rest and thrive. The nurses call Obs the “feeders and growers unit” because most of the babies in there just need to grow bigger and eat more.
Maddie still has the nasal cannula, but on an extremely low setting. She is getting 21% – 30% oxygen; room air is 21% oxygen, so this is good. The doctors thought she might be ready to go back to the basic nasal cannula, but her x-rays showed that she still needs the high-flow cannula as it’s still helping open her right lung. It’s just going to take time for that to open all the way. She’s on antibiotics again as yesterday she had a small incident where her temperature spiked as her oxygen saturation dropped. Most likely she was overheated from trying to breathe, digest, and poop all at the same time while under a heavy blanket, but the doctors wanted to be cautious. So, she’s on a “48-hour roll out.” It takes 48 hours to get back lab results on cultures, so while they wait for the results to come back they start a course of antibiotics to be on the safe side. If everything comes back clear, they will stop the antibiotics.
She also got her first bath. She’s had sponge baths before but this time she was actually in a little tub. She both loved it and hated it! It was so cute. In the picture below she’s looking a bit confused, and showing off her bald spot and four-pound, ten-ounce body.