Friday, July 24, 2009

Still a preemie (59 days)

It seems that perfection is fleeting. When I walked into the NICU early Friday morning, Bryce's nurse told me that he'd gained more than two ounces overnight. My first thought was "uh oh, that can't be all good weight; he must be retaining fluid." About an hour later, my fears were confirmed when Bryce reminded us that he is still a preemie by suffering one of his worst spells to date. Shortly after we removed him from his isolette, his breathing became labored, and his oxygen saturation plummeted to 30-50%. It required significant intervention from Bryce's nurse to get him back into a healthy range, and the anxious onlookers (Mom, Dad, Great Grandma and Great Grandpa) were all feeling pretty strung out by the time the rosy pink flush returned to his cheeks.

The nurse practitioner stopped by for a quick exam a few minutes later, and no one was surprised to hear that Bryce's lungs sounded "wet." When preemies retain fluid, it has a tendency to collect in their lungs, which makes it more difficult to breathe. Thankfully, Bryce isn't exhibiting any symptoms of infection; however, watching your child turn blue and gasp for air for several minutes will ruin any parent's day. I won't bore you with all the medical details, but they decided to increase his caffeine dose (yes, he's already an addict) to encourage regular breathing and to give him a blood transfusion, which will indirectly dry out his lungs by helping his kidneys to expel more fluid.

Later in the afternoon, he was doing much better, so the caffeine-spiked blood must have done the trick. I'm pretty sure my son is not a half-vampire, but given Christie's insatiable appetite for those Twilight books, perhaps I should be concerned... Print this post

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