Friday, July 3, 2009

The next stage (38 days)

It is becoming difficult to distinguish our "micropreemie" from his older neighbors in the NICU. Bryce is still quite a bit smaller (weight hovering around 1 kg, or 2.2 lbs), but he has made great strides in terms of his physiology. He needs very little ventilator support, and he's usually breathing room air. Bryce's episodes of hypoxemia (low oxygen saturation) and hypotension (low blood pressure), which occurred constantly until roughly a week ago, have become all but non-existent, and he's down to a pair of medications in regularly decreasing doses. Comparing his condition today with last Friday is mind-boggling: he really does seem like an entirely different baby.

The exciting news of the day is that Bryce is scheduled for extubation sometime on Monday, and the medical team is optimistic that he'll be off the ventilator for good. That means that in less than 72 hours, those phantom cries might become the real deal!

The scary news is that his feedings are going well, so they've moved him up to 3 ml of milk every two hours. Of course we're happy that he's eating, as it will help him to grow, but like the surfer who's been bitten by a shark, we find ourselves less than eager to jump back into the water. Unfortunately, not eating has its own risks, and eventually we're going to have to give our little boy a chance to prove that he can swim. Thankfully, the medical team has been very sympathetic to our concerns in this regard, so they're progressing cautiously and monitoring Bryce's condition closely.

So, we wait with bated breath, hoping and praying that our readers will come back from a pleasant holiday weekend to find us snuggling a baby boy who is breathing on his own and passing milk through his bowels with the greatest of ease. Print this post

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