Friday, May 29, 2009

3 days

One of the nurses told us on the first day that a typical week in the life of a micro-preemie consists of 2 good days, and 5 bad days. I'm not sure that we'd classify today as a "bad day", but we weren't very thrilled with it either.

The good news is that the twins' vitals remain unchanged -- no backtracking, and no new crises. However, both babies were given an echocardiogram this morning to check for "patent ductus arteriosus" (PDA). All fetuses have a special artery (called the ductus arteriosus) that is used to redirect blood away from the lungs. When a baby is born, blood begins flowing through the lungs, and this artery closes on its own. PDA is a condition in which the artery does not close, and it is common in premature babies. As a consequence, when the twins were born, they were put on medication to encourage the artery to close. Unfortunately, the echocardiogram showed that the artery has not closed yet in either baby. Bryce has a "small opening"; Chloe's exam wasn't finished when we visited, but given that the doctors could hear a murmur, we suspect she has a larger opening. A large opening means to0 much blood goes to the lungs, which can cause many problems.

PDA is not unusual in extremely premature babies, but we would have preferred to hear that it had closed on its own, because it means the twins will have to be put on another medication for 3 days, which will postpone their introduction to "real food" (mama's milk). Nevertheless, we are very grateful that the twins have made it through three days in relatively good health, and we're anxiously anticipating the one-week milestone. Print this post

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