Merry Christmas to everyone! We had a great day with family and then a wonderful night with Braden. I got to do an hour long hold with him and feel him squirm to find a comfortable position while I felt his body expand and collapse as he breathed against my chest.
Braden is doing well and we are in more of a plateau phase at this point. He is 31 weeks gestational age and 22 days old. He made such wonderful progress these first few weeks and at this point the milestones are much longer and slower to show results.
On the up side Braden started feeding through a tube last week and has made solid progress in terms of volume as he went from 1cc to 22cc every three hours. Feeding is a long process and this is a great start, even if he is spitting up :) He also had his PIC line removed which means he is off IV support in terms of nutrition and getting his support through this feeding tube which includes breast milk (yes I am on the every 3 hour pump schedule), and additional vitamins.
The doctors have reassured us this is all expected with preemies and we need to exercise patience as we hope to cross the next several milestones. These markers include Braden continuing to tolerate his feedings as volume increases, meaning he keeps them down; moving his oxygen support towards 21% (room air); and reducing the flow through his nasal cannula. They also want to see his red blood cell count come up and are attempting to do this via medication in order to avoid another blood transfusion.
Braden is a popular guy in the NICU and we love that the nurses fight to care for him. We are also so thankful and blessed that our ante partum nurses, maternal fetal specialist Dr. DeStefano, and OBGYN Dr. Neyman all continue to take an interest in Braden by stopping by to check in on him.
He is surrounded by love and we need every ounce, thank you and Happy Holidays!