We've been busy over the last few days. Ellie is now up to 4lbs 7oz. They are really happy with her growth and nutrition, and so are we!
I got to give her a bath this week. She is still so small a small bucket was the perfect size for a bath tub. Our favorite nurse was there that day and she made it even more fun by sticking an oxygen tube in the water that turned Ellie's bath into a whirlpool tub!
Life in the NICU seems ever changing. How she is doing, or what their plan is, seems to change so much within each day. We've gone back and forth a lot on what to do about her persistent need for oxygen. Thursday while on the trial of the low flow oxygen, she was severely retracting while she was breathing (she was working really hard to breathe). They are still trying to figure out why. Most babies born around 30 weeks are progressing more quickly at being weaned off their oxygen by now. I had a long talk with one of the doctors today and they truly are doing everything they can. They are double checking all of her x-rays and we have put her back on high flow oxygen for now. She is already breathing much easier. The higher flow does a pretty good job of stenting open the micro-atelectasis in her lungs (which means the smaller branches of her airways are collapsing due to inflammation that is present). We've ruled out infection or underlying cardiac issues. That means right now her lungs are still immature. There are not any pediatric pulmonologists at Rex however it isn't time for a formal consult from one yet. If she doesn't make progress in the next few weeks we will need one.
On the bright side, she is excelling everywhere else. They repeated her echo that showed her PDA is nicely closed and her heart looks perfect. She is tolerating her feeds very well and is gaining weight nicely. She is now up to almost 40mL of milk every three hours! She is staying awake for longer periods of time (and 100% adorable while awake and asleep). She even stays awake during her feeds if you are holding her and sucks away at her passy. As soon as she can get back to low flow oxygen we will be able to start oral feedings. I can tell she is so ready for it!