There are two major hurdles left that Hannah still has to clear before coming home.
First, she has to be Apnea free for a certain amount of time. Although her episodes are rare, they still happen. She just had one last night. She is so little that she still forgets to breath sometimes. Most of the time, however, she recovers on her own, and quickly. Most NICU babies get a shot of caffeine in their feeding tube every day to help with overcoming apnea. It has proven extremely effective. Hannah just transitioned off her caffeine a few days ago so she is being monitored to see how she does without the extra help.
I am allowed to take her off the monitors when I breastfeed her, which is giving me practice at not relying on the monitors to know if she is okay. It is a good thing, but a little nerve-racking when it looks like she is not breathing. 🙂
Second, Hannah has to eat a full feeding from the breast and/or bottle for a certain amount of time. We are up to three breast feedings a day, she gets really tired and cannot eat the full amount. Lately she has been getting between 16 and 2o mls on the breast. Lactation calls her their little rockstar too. She is doing great. But her full feeding is 38 mls right now so we give her the rest down her tube. The doctors will up the amounts of time per day she is allowed to try from the nipple until it is full time.
Hannah has tolerated her food well from the beginning, which has helped her gain strength at a really good pace. She was just taken off the added protein, which has helped her gain muscle. Her food is still being fortified, and will continue to be for awhile.
She is four pounds, just about what she would be in my tummy. She gains about an ounce a day, which is very normal for a baby in utero or out. She’s not gaining too fast or too slow. We couldn’t be happier with her progress. All in all, she is doing great…keeping up with her two little boy buddies…showing them who is boss!! We can’t wait to bring her home. Only a couple of more weeks!!!!!!