Just a mini Piper update for the week. (Recap from last Friday: she no longer has her breathing tube and is currently on a CPAP nasal cannula.)
This week, staff has been able to wean down the pressure settings on Piper's CPAP, wean down morphine & versed sedation/pain meds, increase her feeding dosage to 38mL, and approve her for kangaroo care and non-nutritive momma feedings! She also had an great eye exam and is now breathing room air oxygen (no additional oxygen concentrations needed!) Her surgical incision, a horizontal line form her side to her belly button, looks fabulous and has healed nicely! We shall tell her about this battle scar one day, and beam with pride.
Kangaroo care? This is skin to skin time with your baby. Both mommies AND daddies can participate. This is great for healing, bonding and overall awesomeness! I got to kangaroo hold Piper for the first time this evening. The biggest change from regular holds? - I'm not as tense with tubes and lines by only holding her in the nook of my arm. They stripped Miss Pip to her diaper, me to my tank top, and we got some serious skin to skin snuggles. This is the first time I felt she wasn't breakable. She was my baby, lying on my chest, like babies do. She immediately burrowed her head into my chest and we experienced baby bliss for over an hour. I can't wait until it's daddy's turn! One more way we can participate in her care and love on our precious girl.
Non-Nutritive Breast Feeding? This is a time for mommy and baby to bond, and practice latching and nursing before the real pressure of getting baby fed begins. Piper is still being fed breast milk through her NG (naso-gastric) tube, and will be until she weans down to a smaller nose cannula. In the meantime, they will have me pump beforehand, and Piper and I can get some practice in. This allows us to not be as tense during beginning feedings, not adding undo pressure to mom and baby if this shouldn't be successful. Piper was a bit too sleepy to try this evening, but I am sure excited for when we do! Cleft lip/palate babies need very specialized help with feedings by mouth, and this will be a great way for us to test out what is going to work for Piper before lip repair surgery. Essentially, breast feeding is a great option due to the fact that mom's pliable tissue can fill spaces a bottle can't - resulting in a successful latch. If this happens to not work, however, no harm no foul. We will just try specialized bottles, nose tubes, or even a tummy feeding port if necessary. This is down the road a couple weeks, so stay tuned! In short - yay for boob time! Girl Power!
So - what's next? A lot, it seems, but things are progressing so quickly with this child! Some future steps to begin adding to your prayer list are below:
- Weaning to a small nasal cannula and keep great stats with oxygen and breathing rates
- Begin to breast and bottle feed successfully to maintain nutrients without IV help
- Gentle weaning off pain meds
- That a meeting with the cleft team is soon - plan established for repair
- That a tiny assumption of coming home date is spoken about! YIKES!