One thousand, four hundred and twenty-eight grams. That’s how much Nyana weighed yesterday on her one-month birthday. For those of you without a calculator in your pockets, that’s 3lbs, 2oz. To steal a phrase from Jenny, “that’s practically fat!”
She eats 18 mL every two hours. It takes her 45 minutes to eat. That means that in one 24-hour period, she spends 9 hours trying to swallow just one cup of formula. The crazy thing is that every 18 mL feed looks like a gigantic amount to feed such a small child in one sitting.
She has been intubated for 17 days. Nyana is oxygen-dependent and the breathing tube feeds her oxygen, which maintains her blood saturation around 90%. We use the phrase “desat-ing” when the saturation level dips below 86. Anything over 95 is “satting” high, and means they can turn the O2 levels down. She’s currently receiving about 50% oxygen; once she can maintain at around 40% they can extubate her. Just this morning the doctors decreased the respiratory rate on the vent down to 50 breaths per minute, to force Nyana to override it. She’s averaging about 65 breaths per minute. And just to ensure her little lungs are up for all of that, they’re continuously being stimulated with caffeine.
She gets her heel pricked every other day to test her blood gases. She’s had numerous x-rays and ultrasounds, 2 blood transfusions and one spinal tap. I won’t be surprised if she needs more transfusions.
Her Dad and I are adjusting to our new normal way of life. I spend about six hours a day by her side. It takes 45 minutes on 2 different buses to get to the hospital to see her. We’ve likely spent more than $500 on restaurant meals in the month since she arrived, because we have more important things to do than cook and clean. Nyana has one primary nurse and a team of doctors and respiratory therapists who examine her numerous times a day. She’s outnumbered in the nursery, boys to girls, about ten to one. And this blog is getting about 300 hits a day.
December 17th was her due date, and we’re optimistically hoping for an end-of-November release. That’s about one hundred days in the NICU. 31 down, 69 to go.