Today was a good day. Emmett has reached 30 weeks gestational age (happy to be out of the 20s!) and put on another 30 grams, bringing him to 2 lbs 10 oz. Another huge milestone is that he graduated to the high-flow nasal cannula, so we said goodbye to the snorkel mask.
I’ll admit, as much as I missed seeing his face, I was very hesitant to get rid of the CPAP since he had been doing so well on it. We’ve had an amazing past few days with very few events, and I worried that this might take us back to the days of multiple desats and bradys. Happy to report that so far, things seem to be going just as well on the high-flow. I don’t think he’s desatted at all today and has only had one bradycardia, which was very brief and self-resolved.
In addition to changing up his breathing support, we’ve also increased his milk intake to 23 ML per feed, and have gradually reduced his feeding time from an hour to a half hour (still every three hours). They had previously stretched out his feedings to an hour since he kept desatting as his tummy filled, but since he hasn’t been doing that, they were able to get him back to 30-minute feeds, which is the standard.
In an effort to minimize any stimuli and allow him to conserve calories (and gain more weight), the nurses are now only doing his cares (diaper changes, repositioning, etc.) every four hours, instead of every three. Which means now if I want to hold him for the entire stretch in between cares I need to do it for four hours! I did it today, but by the end I was hungry, had to pee, and my boobs felt like they were going to burst with such a long stretch between pumping (and having a baby on my chest certainly didn’t help!). But dammit, I was determined to make it the full four hours. I was talking to another NICU mom the other day and she had also talked about “powering through” the long holds to give her baby maximum skin time with minimal disturbances. The sacrifices we make as moms, right?