||[Apr. 21st, 2011|11:04 pm]
Charlotte ("Lottie" being the nickname of choice) is still in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the hospital. She's being treated primarily for respiratory issues, which is not uncommon in babies at this level of prematurity. Nurses are guessing she'll be able to go home from the hospital in 1-2 weeks.
How's she doing? What's happened?
She is doing pretty well. They started her on supplemental oxygen about five minutes after she was born because her blood oxygen levels were low (around 80-85% where 95-98% is normal). Her lungs are just not quite developed... Babies need those last weeks to finish up some parts.
So they gave her a respirator and breathing tube which is a prerequisite for using a steroid surfactant that triggers lung capacity development. She has responded well to that treatment. They removed the tube and now have a little CPAP machine and face mask for her. They also don't need to give her extra oxgyen; she's just breathing normal air with a little extra pressure to assist her lungs.
Apart from that, she has been pretty stable. Heart rate and reactions good. And though the above might sound a bit dire, I want to point out that it's not too unusual and it's still far better than Tim did so we're hoping not to go through those depths of anxiety again.
To go home, she needs to develop her lungs and show she can breathe unassisted while maintaining good oxygenation levels. She also needs to be able to maintain her body temperature and be able to take milk.