Ava gets her first bath in a tub! Eye test results, PFO

After the Michigan win yesterday, we of course went to see our little angel and wow, she must have been pumped about the overtime victory! She was fed at her normal time of 4pm and took 50mLs of milk! The feeding before that, she took 48mLs of milk. Her minimum is 35 mLs, so this is quite a bit. She did not even want to break for a burp, she just kept drinking and drinking! We thought she would be so tired after that, but as I sat by her bed side for 2 hours after the feeding, she was still moving around like crazy! We read a book to her, played on her Boppy pillow, took photos and videos, took off and put back on again her hat and socks, sang to her, told her about the game, told her about how we are getting her room just perfect for her and she was still a wiggle worm! Her stats all were great and her incubator was still down to 28.1 degrees celsius. This girl is on a roll! P.S. Check out that hair below…it’s getting longer!

Since this week was so busy, we did not have a chance to post about Ava’s first bath in a tub. The tub was a hospital tub and as you can see below, Ava’s nurse put a heat light on her so she wouldn’t get too cold. She has really changed in the last 8 weeks, as you can see as well. She definitely has some pipes on her too…when she didn’t know why she was being undressed and taken out of her isolette, she definitely cried pretty loud. Then when we were pouring the warm water on her, she really liked it. It was adorable because she was holding on to my finger like she was saying, “Mom, protect me!” She liked when we were washing her hair too. What a great first bath! You wouldn’t think that would tire a baby out so much, but for preemies it takes a lot out of them. She was tired for about two days after, not taking her full feedings and not being as active. What a fun memory though, she was so cute in the tub.

Ava had her follow up eye appointment as well from 2 weeks prior, and the results are positive! No abnormalities so far, although her eyes are not fully developed, still only being 35 weeks. She has another follow up in 2 weeks to see her progress. We are so thankful yet again!

Finally, something that we have not written about is a heart murmur that the doctors have been hearing on and off during Ava’s journey in the NICU. It is very common with preemies, even newborn babies, to have some sort of a heart murmur when they are born. It was not too concerning for Ava, as she did not have any other symptoms and was able to come off the oxygen support and did not have any episodes that would tell the doctors the murmur was something she may not be able to grow out of. The doctor this week, however, decided to schedule a consult with the cardiologist to check Ava’s murmur. It is indeed, what they had thought – something that she will most likely grow out of. It is called a PFO, or a small Patent foramen ovale. It is a hole between the left and right atria (upper chambers) of the heart that fails to close naturally soon after a baby is born. The nurses continue to check her daily, which is standard for all preemies in their care, and will follow up with Ava’s pediatrician after discharge. I was actually able to hear it myself and it is a very faint sound that occurs between each beat. Again, we are optimistic because the doctors are as well and continue to pray.

If you haven’t done so, take a moment today to be thankful. We are absolutely so happy for our little angel and everything we have! Have a great rest of your weekend and Happy Veterans Day to all of those that serve for our freedom. We are so lucky.

Love,
Jennifer, Evan, and Ava

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Ava hits 4 lbs. !

Good afternoon everyone. Jen and I could be at the Michigan vs. Northwestern game right now, but we are simply too exhausted. So instead, you all get another blog update while we are watching the game. Well the title says it all… Yesterday, Ava turned 8 weeks old and she has come from being born at 1 lb. 10 oz all the way to above 4 lbs!!! She is actually now 4 lb. 3 oz which is simply CRAZY to think about. She is such a fighter and so stinking cute!!

The weight gain is a good thing for multiple reasons, but one of the most important reasons is so Ava can keep herself warm. Ava is still in her incubator and before she can come home, she must be able to maintain her body temperature. As of this morning her incubator was set to 28.1 degrees celsius, which is VERY CLOSE to being able to try her in a crib. If she is in her incubator for 24 hours at 28 degrees celsius and her body temperature stays normal, then they will put her in a crib. Like I said earlier, this is a must in order for Ava to come home, so we will take any additional body fat for warmth (so keep slamming those bottles, Ava)!

Below are some pictures of 4 lb. Ava and her cute clothes. All of the nurses loves changing Ava, because they get to go into her “closet” and pick out an outfit. Halftime of the game…14-14… Go Blue! And as always have a great day and thank you!

Love,
Evan, Jen and Ava

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Ava gets her Nasal Cannula taken off!

Good evening everyone. Life has been keeping Jen and I busy, but I know I owe all of you an update. Plus, we have some new followers to the blog due to Ava’s Story being posted on Project Sweet Peas Facebook page (picture below). It has been a great week so far for Ava and we will probably do multiple posts to get you all up to date.

The BIGGEST news is that Ava is back to ZERO oxygen support and is completely breathing ON HER OWN! While she has done this before, Jen and I are hopeful that she will be off oxygen support for good. The nasal cannula was actually taken off this past Saturday and she has not shown ANY signs of needing to go back on. A nice side benefit to the tubes being out is being able to see her cute little nose better and play with it (don’t worry, I am gentle).

On that note, we actually saw Ava with NO TUBES for almost 24 hours. Ava had been eating her bottle so well that when she was due for her feeding tube change, they decided to just not put the tube back in until she didn’t finish a feeding. Well, you guessed it, our tough little Ava went 8 FEEDINGS until she just got too tired. Her current feedings are up to 32mL, so that is a lot of work and she had to get her feeding tube put back in. We were so proud of her (of course we are always proud of her, so I guess we were extra proud…) and it was such a joy to see Ava COMPLETELY supporting herself, even if it was only for a couple hours. We know it is only a matter of time until the feeding tube will come out for good too!

Well, that is it for now. Like I said, more updates soon to follow and as always we are SO thankful for everyday and for all of your support.

Love,
Evan, Jen, and Ava

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