She’s really starting to grow now! That 5 pound mark isn’t far off. Yesterday we got a little more information out of the nurses as to when they might ship her home.
The story is this…. they want to weane her off of the Oxygen. That’s the big thing for now. As with many medical treatments, (like asthma puffers and morphine), the body will get used to, and come to expect a certain amount of oxygen. Basically, it would make the lungs “lazier” than they should be and lead to problems for Jades breathing down the road.
So, they’re slowly decreasing the amount of oxygen she’s getting. As I said last time, she has times when she doesn’t seem to need the oxygen at all.. but there are others when she does need it. Hopefully as she grows more she’ll continue to need the O2 less and less.
So that’s criteria #1: no more O2
#2: Once she’s off the O2, she has to stay off of it and be 100% healthy for at least a week before they will let her go.
#3: Because she was born so tiny (only 1lbs 12oz remember!) they want to keep her until she’s at least 5lbs… which is a little more than the 2000g that they said before. This is just purely for developmental purposes… to make sure she’s ready to fend for herself and there aren’t any health problems that might pop up.
So that’s about it really.. the other thing they’d really like to see is Jade taking full meals from nursing/breast feeding we’re working on that now. She gobbles down the milk from a bottle very easily… but she still gets too tired if she does it at every meal, or is bathed before hand… and then she needs the tube into her stomach instead (“Gavage”).
All the feeding type things should improve as she grows and gains strength. Until then we’ll keep playing it by ear and making sure we recognize when she’s too tired to try breastfeeding or even too tired to eat from the bottle.
So given all of that, we think the soonest she’ll be home will be in about 3 weeks.
Finally… on the breastfeeding note. Things have been going progressively better. After trying again a few days ago, the nurses wanted Theresa to come in at every feeding time during the day (no night visits, yet 🙂 ) so that she could try nursing everytime. Yesterday they think Jade took about 14ml from nursing… which is already almost half what she normally takes by bottle.
Nursing is, of course, much more difficult for Jade than the bottle… she has to work a lot harder, so hopefully she’ll continue to gain strength and eventually take her entire feeding (about 45ml!) from nursing.
Talk to you all again soon!