Wednesday, November 30, 2011

First 24 hours - Sophia and Annabel

Hi Everyone, Thank you for all your support and inquiries. It's been a pretty eventful couple of days in the hospital for our newest family members. The good news is that Annabel is completely off CPAP and she is digesting her food while her vitals remain stable. This morning we spent a good 20 minutes with her while she was actually awake! It was very exciting for us all! Sophia continues her struggle with being able to breathe on her own. Since my last update there have been a few set backs in her progress. Sophia has been diagnosed with RDS (Respiratory Distress Syndrome). Her lungs didn't have a chance to develop fully and it's ended up being a bit of a challenge for her. Initially, the medical staff put her on CPAP but after 24 hours of lack of progress they took some XRays and found a small hole one of her lungs. The air she breathes has been escaping her lung and creating a a cavity of air in her chest which in turn compresses her lungs and makes it even harder for her to breath. The NICU staff unsuccessfully attempted to remove the pocket of air with a needle and syringe. In order to the keep the air pocket out of her chest while her lungs heal, she now has a tiny needle sized chest tube to release the pressure. She has been breathing well now for 18 hours but her lungs are still unable to process enough oxygen to sustain her vital functions on their own. She currently has been breathing air with a mixture of 42% oxygen and compared to room air which is 21% oxygen. The goal is to get her below 40% oxygen mixture before additional steps are taken to help our baby girl breathe. She has an Xray at 8am this morning to look at her lungs and determine what the next steps will be for her recovery. Annabel eats at 2am, 5am, 8am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm, and 11pm each day. We try to spend each of those feeding times with the babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit but it's quite a process to do so. Mary is still recovering from the surgery and it takes nearly 30 minutes to get her all set to "ambulate" down the NICU. Once we are there, we spend about an hour with the babies and then return to the room for an hour's rest before we do it all over again. Needless to say sleep has been a missing part of our routine. So, if we have been less communicative than normal, please bear with us as we are keeping busy with our new routine. We appreciate all the support that you have all given us! We can't wait to bring out babies home and the staff here has assured us that many premature babies face the same challenges that Sophia is currently facing and that she will make a full recovery! David and Mary

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