Blake is starting to turn into a little chunker! He weighs 3 pounds 7 ounces! That was as of yesterday so who knows if he put on a little last night. I love going into his room to find out he's gained weight. It's been a struggle. He wasn't gaining really anything for awhile because he was just "dumping" his breast milk and not absorbing it's nutrients. That being said, they decided to put him on full feeds of Elacare which is a very gentle infant formula. They had been supplementing his breast milk with the Elacare before but they decided to take him off breast milk completely for awhile to see if the Elacare would help him gain some weight, which it definitely has. Since he has been on it he's gained on average 20-30 grams a day (30grams equals 1 ounce). Once he shows consistent weight gain, they will wean him back onto breast milk.
There hasn't really been much said about when to expect his final surgery. The only thing I know about it timeline wise is that they want him to be at least 2000 grams which is just about 4 and a half pounds. The bigger he is, the quicker he can recover from the surgery and the easier it will be to get him off the ventilator after surgery.
In order for him to come home he only needs to be able to regulate his own temperature without the help of the isolette, be able to take full feeds from the nipple whether it be bottle or breast and be able to breathe on his own. He's 34 weeks gestation wise right now which means he can start to practice nipple feeding. They told me two days ago that I could start non nutritive breastfeeding when I hold him. Non nutritive means I pump before hand so he doesn't get milk but he is able to practice and get ready for real breastfeeding. The only reason they don't want him to get any milk by mouth yet is because he is still on the vaportherm which blows quite a bit of air through his nose and they don't want the milk being forced into his lungs. And the only reason for still having his pressure on the vapotherm still kind of high is because they wanted him to spend all his energy on gaining weight and not wasting it by making him work a little harder to breathe. He is at 21-25% oxygen which is great, but he is on 5.0 pressure. Now that he has been doing a good job with weight gain maybe they will start bringing down the pressure.
I am sooooooo hoping that he doesn't have any more struggles before he comes home. I would absolutely love to have him home by his due date or at least before Christmas. But I also need to be realistic and realize that it all depends on Blake and he will come home when he is ready. No rushing. His health is far more important and we will wait til he is ready. He has definitely come such a long way and I am extremely thankful that he has done as well as he has.
|Two Months Old!|
|Love those big eyes!|
|Stretching his legs|