It’s true, every word of it. I can back it up – I’ve seen it for myself. Not only can Nyana breathe room air, but she can do it fairly well. In three large chunks now, she’s done really well all by her big girl self and has only had to go back on CPAP because her time was up. There hasn’t been a largely noticeable difference in her stats yet, so far she seems to behave quite normally without the CPAP on. Which is to say, mostly breathing regularly but with a few dips along the way. Some bigger than others, but self-recovering often. The biggest change that I can see is how happy she is without all the tackle on her face and how much more mobility we can have during cuddles. I can only hope that this will motivate her to keep up the good work.
Tonight was a good night. First CPAP-free cuddles for Dad. I was thinking about it all day but trying not to get too excited because there was still a chance that something might happen to stop the trials, but secretly I was bursting inside with giddy disbelief. When we got there and Nurse Awesome was still giving me the green light, I couldn’t believe it. It feels kinda like if you were to win a shopping spree. There’s a whole “really I can haz?” vibe that I took extra time to enjoy before I scooped her up without an oxygen support system. It was 8pm.
Like a 12-year old on a skateboard, I beelined for the door. I needed to see how much wiring I was still left to contend with. She has a g-tube still in her mouth, but it’s capped off with about a foot of tiny tubing that can be bundled up and taped on her back. That leaves her vitals probes – 3 little wires that feed into a cord, and then a second cord, both feeding out through a leg and heading south. Turns out both of those are about 8 feet long…just long enough to cross the threshold of her room. With her perched high up on my shoulder, we went out to introduce Nyana to The Hallway.
Tonight was one of the best nights we’ve had in the NICU. I came home and as I was taking out my contacts I noticed the drool stains on my shirt and for once they didn’t come with the memory of plastic tubing and scratchy velcro bashing into my chin every time she wiped her face back and forth across my shoulder. Tonight, Princess Munch was fantastic beyond words and the two of us are ecstatically proud of her and her recent progression. It’s hard not to get too far ahead of ourselves because there’s always a “step back” around the corner to be wary of, but at the same time the light at the end of the tunnel just got a lot brighter this week. We’re that much closer, and The Sunshine Brigade is full steam ahead.