Breathing and Bath Time

We call her Princess Chub-chub of The Sunshine Brigade. We started calling her chub-chub back when she was reaching for three pounds, when the doctors were telling us that if only she’d grow, the lungs would follow. Well, she’s still our Chub-chub, now tipping the scales at a whopping 6lbs 3oz, and we’re still waiting for the lungs to follow her lead. I’m thinking perhaps we should start calling her Princess Puff-puff instead. Maybe then she’d pick up on this breathing thing.

The doctors and the RTs are stumped. No one in the NICU has seen a case of BPD this serious in years. Typically, I’m told, symptoms of disease present themselves, the baby is intubated for ten days or two weeks, and then everyone moves forward with little trouble. It’s not often that a baby in the NICU remains on the ventilator for as long as Nyana has due to poor lungs alone.

I had a cuddle with Nyana earlier this week and while we were sitting and singing together, one of the more senior RTs stopped by to visit with us, followed by a resident RT and then another. Before I knew it, Nyana and I were both listening, wide-eyed, as this group of respiratory therapists discussed her case and the options available to finally wean her off the vent. It was interesting to see the varying ideas from the varied levels of experience. The more senior RT is pushing for a more aggressive approach—lower the settings and force her to follow along—while the younger residents seemed to prefer a leisurely wait and see approach, where we wait for her to tell us to lower the vent settings. If there’s any confusion, I’m siding with the more senior’s aggressive approach. But that’s just me, and I’m not allowed to make decisions.

I called the hospital this morning to see how Miss Chub-chub did overnight. Our primary nurse Heidi is back from vacation and back to looking after Nyana, and had good news for me. Our O2 levels are down to 40%—back to where we were before Don and I got sick and her requirements shot up to the 70-80% range in our absence. In rounds this morning, the decision was made (thank you, aggressive RT) to reduce the respiratory rate from 45 breaths per minute to 40, and she appears to be tolerating it well. Sure, we need to run things on her time and let her tell us when she’s ready to move forward. There’s nothing wrong with giving her a gentle nudge every now and then, though.

Breathing issues aside, Nyana is a perfect little angel. She loves having her hair brushed, loves when Mum sings Barenaked Ladies songs to her, and loves when she gets to come out of her crib for a cuddle with Dad. She opens her eyes at the sound of our voices, looks absolutely delicious in her adorable outfits, and has mastered the art of soiling a fresh diaper before we can even finish fastening it. And as we learned yesterday, she doesn’t mind a bath every now and then, either.

The Brackett family

We Bracketts are getting pretty good at this family portrait thing.

Up close and personal

Don gets in close for a snug with his Babygirl.

Um, I didn't sign up for this

Nyana's first tub bath, she's not too sure what to think. I'm going to say she liked it.

Ok, this spa thing isn't so bad

She realizes that it's not so bad to be exfoliated all over, especially after two months lying prone.

So fresh, so clean, so good to me

Nyana waves to the camera as a way to say thanks for the bath. Really, she loved it.

And, sleepytime.

After a bath and a cuddle, it's time for a nap. It's exhausting being this adorable.

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About Mrs. B

Wife, mother, marketer--not always in that order. Lover of fine food, good company, and exceptional grammar. Mother of one former micro-preemie and one full-term monster baby. Building childhood memories in Vancouver's suburbs.
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6 Responses to Breathing and Bath Time

  1. Carolyn Schmid says:

    I love the last picture where her hand is in either yours or Don’s. So precious. Sending warm thoughts to all of you.

  2. Mary Ward says:

    Carolyn, I love that one too. A sleeping baby is just a beautiful thing to look at.

  3. Lynn Duncan says:

    Love her pouty lip in the pic with Don! She’s such a beauty, isn’t she?

    Also can just feel how she got all clean and then loved her nap. And feeling so safe to have both of you back with her, too.

    I know next year she’ll celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving, but seems like she is having a good US Thanksgiving this year.

  4. Juju says:

    Awwwwww, just adorable.

  5. T says:

    One step at a time. Slow and easy.

    Not the same situation, but when my Momsy was in University Hospital with her COPD, they said they couldn’t do anything for her. But with their black and white minds, she was either on 1o0% co2, or off of it. They sent her home to the rinky dink 25 bed hospital in Podunk, Iowa to die. They gave her 2 weeks, if that. Her small town doctor decided to throw the books out because the books weren’t working. He very slowly weaned her down to 6 L of oxygen. The books said OH NO THAT’S TOO HIGH. She was able to come home. Eventually, we got her down to 3 1/2 L of oxygen. Because the small town doctor the big wig university doctors looked down on took it slow and easy.

    Nyana WILL do it in her own time. Looks like slow and easy seems to be working. I do have to say tho, once she gets home WATCH OUT. Cuz she’s gonna be a fiesty lil one. And I know you guys will love every minute of it!

    God Bless!

  6. Biscottiii says:

    Oh I just bet Nyana enjoyed feeling ‘fresh as a daisy’. Been a while since she was sloshing around in Mom’s belly and feeling contented. Maybe the new experience will help her get to working on her timeframe and wanting more experiences.

    Sweet beautiful baby! Loved the family portrait.

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