Emily has had some (thankfully!) pretty boring days since our last update. Her weight is now 880 grams (1 lb, 15 oz!). She’s moved up one diaper size because the nurses are tired of her exploding diaper trick. One day this week, she went through all three of the outfits Jennifer bought for her in one 12 hour shift.
Yesterday she had a fantastic blood gas. Her CO2 levels were lower than they have been in weeks. She was also breathing around 50% oxygen when we left last night. Emliy has BPD (bronchopulmonary dysplasia), which means that she suffers from occasianal bronchial spasms which constrict her airways. Her blood O2 saturation levels are generally good, but we can see when she’s having an episode; the respirator is hooked up to a real-time sensor which draws pressure-volume curves showing compliance of her lungs. The PV curves should be loops, but when her airways are constricting, they turn into ‘pancakes’. After 30 seconds, the pulse ox sensor shows her blood saturation levels dropping and sets off an alarm. After about a minute or so, her lungs open up again and the PV curves turn into loops. About 30 seconds later, her blood O2 levels begin a gradual climb upwards until she sets of the high saturation alarms. She’s getting albuterol every six hours to help her with the BPD.
Emily has started holding her pacifier on her own now. She no longer needs it taped to a rolled-up hat. She also figured out how to push on it to keep it in her mouth, though if she drops it, it’s a bit to complicated for her to grab it and put it back in. The nurse was surprised last night when she flipped over Emily and she kept her pacifier in her mouth the whole time. She also lifted her head about an inch or so off of her bed last night. (This probably explained why she extibated herself around 4 AM today.)