Ava keeps gaining weight (up to 2lb. 5 1/2 oz.)

Good morning everyone. I know I have not been very timely on my posts the past couple of days….Sorry. We have just been so busy. As I said before, we are still having Ava’s Baby Shower on October 28th (her original baby shower date and my Birthday), so doing all the preparation for that has been crazy. Thankfully we have our parents and Jen’s friend Heather, who made an AWESOME invitation. We also have to get Ava’s room ready…. We got her crib on Sunday, thanks to my cousin Chad and I put it all together with my father-in-law that night…. It looks SWEET! So, between all that stuff, visiting Ava, work, and normal life stuff….Been kind of busy.

Onto Ava, as I said in the title, she has consistently been gaining weight. She has gained weight for 9 STRAIGHT DAYS and is now up to 2lb. 5 1/2 oz (1060 grams)! Jen and I really are starting to notice her weight gain, especially when holding her and touching her tummy. She is still eating 20ml of milk through her feeding tube, but just today they decided to try to feed her by gravity instead of using a timed pump which delivers the milk over 2 hours. Using gravity instead of the pump delivers the milk much faster, so hopefully Ava adjusts and continues to finish all of her milk.

Ava is still on the nasal cannula (she doesn’t like the tube in her nose and always tries to pull it out) , but the Doctors and Nurses continue to reassure us that this is not a huge setback. It could be a multitude of factors why she has needed a little support (when I say a little, she has been needing about 22-26% air flow, and normal air flow is 21%). Some of those factors could be her stuffy nose, her weight gain making her tired, her weight gain causing her stomach to press against her lungs, etc. But, I guess if the Doctors and Nurses are not concerned, we shouldn’t be too concerned either. I think it is just really hard for us to see our baby with tubes back in her nose, but we are adjusting and trust the staff.

Below are a couple more pictures. Many of you have commented on the comparison pictures and really liked them. I took one today of her umbilical cord stump that fell out of her belly button next to a grain of rice…pretty tiny (yes that’s my handwriting and I write like a 4yr. old). Also one of Ava in her second outfit and her FIRST PAIR OF PANTS. Hope you like the pics! Thank you as always for all of the love, support, and prayers. And Ava wanted me to tell all of you to “Thank you for everything. Have a great day, and to be thankful for today!” What a sweet girl and she is only 25 days old… 🙂

Love,
Ava, Jen, and Evan

PS. We are going to Village Ford in Dearborn, MI to test drive a car today… For every test drive from 4pm to 8pm today, Village Ford will donate $40 to the Oakwood NICU where Ava is being cared for. Please come join us if you have free time tonight. Thanks.

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Ava goes back on Nasal Cannula

Even though they prepared us for the possibility, today was a tough day when they put Ava back on the nasal cannula. For those that don’t know / remember from earlier posts, nasal cannula is simply two small prongs that go into her nose and blow air in. So, Ava is still breathing on her own, this is just giving her a little rest. She had been breathing without the cannula for 16 days, so it totally makes sense that she might need some help, but it is still hard to see. The doctor’s again do not seem to be too concerned, especially considering she is still only 30 weeks and 1 day old. They would expect her to have some assistance at this point. Hopefully she gains her strength back and is able to go off the cannula soon.

Another small concern has been her left eye. For the past couple days she has still had some yellow build up. They have been giving her antibiotic drops that seemed to be helping, but it has still not gone away. So those are the couple concerns from today, but don’t worry there are still some positives for Baby Ava.

First, she is now up to 1010 grams or 2lb. 3oz.!!! Since last Sunday she has gained 200 grams….Incredible (picture of her being weighed below)! She is now eating 20ml of milk every 3 hours and tolerating that well. Another first, was Ava wore her first outfit! It was a preemie outfit and still pretty large (we had to roll up the sleeves), but SO CUTE!

Well, honestly we are exhausted… So we’re going to close this post down, but please if you find a moment after you read this, say a little prayer for Ava. She is simply a little tired and could use a pick me up. Thanks for all of the support we sincerely appreciate it…. AND we hope you had a great Saturday (helped that the Wolverines and Tigers won and yes that is a Maize and Blue bow in her hair)!

Love,
Ava, Jen, and Evan

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Ava turns 3 weeks old!

3 weeks ago today at 9:22am, Ava Lillian was born. WOW, I cannot believe 3 weeks have already gone by! She was born on a ventilator, with an IV, required phototherapy, and ONLY weighed 1lb. 10oz. Now three weeks later she ONLY has her feeding tube, is still breathing on her own (has been since Day 6 in NICU), looks beautiful (I had to throw that in there), and weighs 2 lb. 1oz (yes she gained another ounce last night)! What a MIRACLE journey so far.

Speaking of the feeding tube, the soonest they would try to remove the tube and feed Ava orally would be 2 weeks from today (32 weeks gestation). How she handles and accepts oral feeding will be a big determinate on when she can come home. In terms of Ava coming home, the soonest Ava could come home is 4 weeks from today (34 weeks gestation). So that date would be November 2nd. From the beginning of the process though the Doctors have always had a goal of by Thanksgiving and we would be ECSTATIC if she was home with us by then.

In terms of thank you’s, I could write a book with so many names of people and the things each of you have done for us…. But I have to just throw a couple out there. First, as many of you know, Jen and I are pretty healthy eaters and prefer to eat home cooked meals. With everything going on that has been extremely hard, so when our friends J Mike and Anna brought over homemade chili, cornbread, and fresh cheese it couldn’t have been better timing! Then yesterday we received a MASSIVE box from Washington DC. It was from our friends Jake and Julie who had 2 premature twin daughters themselves (Their daughters Larkin and Adelyn are healthy and beautiful!). In the box were all of their daughters preemie baby clothes…. Just an INCREDIBLE act of kindness. WE were overwhelmed with the gesture and the clothes were SO CUTE!

Thank ALL of you again for what you have done for us. We are so grateful to have met so many wonderful people in our lives cannot say thank you enough. Below are a couple pictures from last night. Ava actually fits into a preemie hat now (kind of…) and we had her hold Jen’s wedding ring…Pretty sweet. Hope you all have a good Friday.

Love,
Ava, Jen, and Evan

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