Juliana had another follow-up laser procedure on her left eye today and the doctor says it went very well. We’re hoping it is the last procedure. She is enjoying her crib in satellite. Her nasal canula pressure has been turned down to 0.1 at 100% oxygen, exactly the conditions she would have if she needed oxygen at home. They are hoping to wean her off of it, but it is good to see she can tolerate a solution she could have at home. Breastfeeding is now unlimited, so Jen can be in the NICU every 3 hours if she wished. Jen is going to be spending as much time as she can in there.
Juliana is moving into Satellite sometime tonight. Satellite is the room babies stay in when they are preparing to go home soon. We were happy to be in the “VL” (Very Low Birthweight room) for so long, but it was time to leave. Jen will be heading back down to Baltimore on Monday to continue breastfeeding and taking care of Juliana during the day. I’ll head back down next weekend after working this week.
In football, before the end of the half, is what is called the “two-minute warning”. This is a mandatory timeout that lets both teams make plans for the remaining time left in the first half or in the game itself. We had our “two-minute warning” today.
We met with Dr. Viscardi, one of the neonatologist attendings, to talk about plans for taking Juliana home. We went over the steps that she needs to take to come home. We will detail the steps more later, but we are very excited.
Today was a fun day with Juliana. I got to hold her for about 2 hours this afternoon. She did really well on the nasal canula and was very comfortable. She peeked her eyes open a few times, but was content to sleep most of the time or occasionally suck on her pacifier. After we put her back in the isolette, Jen got to give her a “sponge bath” in the isolette. We then dressed her up in a new outfit and Rachel, her nurse, swaddled her. She gets to have 3-hour trials on the nasal canula twice a day now. They also increased her feeds to 10 ml per hour. We weighed her today and she has hit 1500 grams! She is gaining weight rapidly. We left her to go home for two nights. We are celebrating New Years with friends and running some errands tomorrow. We’re looking forward to a better new year.
Jen has spent most of the day with Juliana today while I worked at the RMH. I stopped over after lunch to visit and heard some exciting news. Juliana is 1470 grams today and they are going to dress and swaddle her! First, Jen is going to spend a few hours kangarooing with Juliana on a nasal canula, but then she gets to dress her up in her first real outfit! Juliana’s eyes are looking a little better today, though she is still keeping them closed for the most part. She is gaining weight rapidly and doing well!
Eye surgery was completed this morning. I have not talked with the surgeon yet for his report. She is on bi-phasic CPAP for now to give her a little more support from the sedative. Since some are asking, she weighed 3 lbs. last night. More details later.
The surgeon says it was a difficult procedure because of her small size and estimates a 50/50 chance she may need a follow-up laser procedure. He will check her eyes again on Monday. Until then she will get eye drops twice a day for five days. They took her leg splint off and she really enjoyed stretching both legs straight out. Jen is kangarooing right now for a couple of hours. They will start nasal canula trials again tomorrow. Her eyes are swollen but she is snuggling happily.
Juliana had another eye exam this morning and the opthamologist found evidence of Stage 3 ROP. We have decided to go ahead with laser surgery to correct her eyes. She will get it done 7:30 tomorrow morning. This evening we will kangaroo with her nasal canula on her face. She is getting brief trials off of her CPAP. She is 2 lb 15 oz as of last night.
We visited Juliana this Christmas evening with grandparents and aunt and uncle in tow. She has stayed steady with her CPAP at +5 but her feeds have increased to 8.5 ml per hour. We dressed her up in a Christmas outfit and took a family photo. We will post it tomorrow. Juliana also received some Christmas presents! She got a “Daddy loves me” preemie onesy in pink and brown with matching pantsm She got a similar “Mommy loves me” onesy that is a little bit bigger. She got a 3-6 month size Baltimore Ravens onesy with matching hat and booties that she can wear next fall. Pictures of all her gifts will be posted tomorrow.
Tonight we went Christmas shopping for Juliana. She will have a few presents for Christmas that we will reveal here that day. 😉 Her PICC line was removed today so she only has two oral medications now. Her feeds were increased to 8 ml and she is doing well keeping it down. We spent a little time holding her head and letting her suck on her tiny pacifier. We will kangaroo tomorrow for sure.