Today we begin the process of compressed feeds (we thought this might start earlier this week, but it was put on hold). We are counting down the days to breastfeeding! This afternoon Juliana will begin receiving 30 ml over 2 hours, every 3 hours. (15 ml = 1 hr). If she handles this well, she will probably continue to wean down each day and be ready to try breastfeeding by next Tuesday. The occupational therapist gave her a quick evaluation yesterday and said that she is ready to try sucking and swallowing. She was 35 weeks gestational age on Wednesday, so she is at the point where she should be able to accomplish these challenging tasks. She continues to make use of the calories from her feeds: yesterday she weighed 3 lbs, 11.2 oz! Big girl!
She is also still doing well on her nasal cannula. Today her oxygen is hovering around 23%, which is fantastic. They have to turn her up occasionally during cares or during her eye exams, but she generally tolerates a very low level of O2. It is our hope that she won’t have to come home from the hospital with an oxygen tank, like some extremely premature babies do.
Yesterday Juliana received some packed red blood cells because her hematocrit was low. Even though her blood draws are few and far between, her little body still has a hard time producing enough blood to keep up. We hope that this will be her last transfusion; as she continues to grow, her body will be able to sustain itself better and better.
We also got an update from ortho yesterday: her leg is healing well. The splint has been off for a couple of days now, and she is moving her leg freely with no pain. We are so glad that it is doing so well. We don’t have to worry about it so much now, which is especially helpful now that we are dressing her. See photos below.