Hope everyone is having a good week so far. I know many of you are looking forward to the World Series starting tonight. Obviously Ava says “Go Tigers!”
Ava’s day to day updates are pretty similar. She is still on the nasal cannula with low oxygen support (usually anywhere from 23% – 28%). She continues to take all of her food and they have increased her feedings to 28mL every 3 hours. She tries to take a bottle a few times per day, but simply runs out of energy before she gets too far into the feeding. This morning, she took 18mL of her 28mL! Even though that isn’t the full bottle, Jen and I can tell she gets it, she just needs time to get a little stronger. Because she is eating more she is also pooping more frequently (sorry if you weren’t ready for the poop commentary). This is a good thing, other than the fact that she got a pretty rough diaper rash. We actually had to go to the store and get maximum strength Bordeaux Butt Paste, because it was higher zinc % than what they had in the hospital.
Also, since she is eating more, she is also gaining weight. Ava now weighs 3lb. 2oz. While we are very excited that she is gaining weight, it is really hard to tell what is true muscle/bone mass and what is water weight. For example 3 nights ago, she lost 20 grams and then 2 nights ago she gained 85 grams!?!? She does still seem a little puffy, but the doctors have not put her on another diuretic yet, because it has not impacted her breathing.
This week Ava will get her eyes checked for the first time, so hopefully that goes well. Eye development is one of the many concerns for preemies. You can see in some of the pictures below, she is alert and awake and opens her eyes when it is time to eat. She focuses on things sometimes in her Isolette [she is looking so concerned at Jen’s hand below!], the clouds and stars on the ceiling of the NICU [picture below as well], or will follow our voices with her eyes when we are around. We have been told we do not want to be there when they do her eye exam, as you can imagine can be tough on a preemie. We are praying everything looks normal. Other than that a pretty normal week. In the NICU world, normal is good! Ava loves her doctors and nurses – the Oakwood NICU is filled with amazing people. Thanks again for being incredible family, friends, co-workers, and new acquaintances. It truly means so much.
Evan, Jennifer, and Ava