Being a parent comes with it’s own unique set of challenges. Tough decisions will need to be made at one point or another that will be in the best interest of your child. This week posed just such a decision for hubby and I. Mighty Mouse has done unbelievably well from the day that she was born, far greater than most micro preemie babies of her age. She has excelled and passed all her tests to date with flying colours. All with the exception of her lungs, and even that she has technically excelled in. Last week though we reached a crossroads in her course of treatment.
The long and short of the situation is that Mouse has been intubated for too long and has grown ‘comfortable’ being intubated, in the sense that she has not needed to rely on herself for 100% of her own breathing. Initially the decision to intubate was because she needed a break from breathing on her own due to her tiny stature, but at nearly 32 weeks gestation, she should be doing this mostly on her own now. An intubation pipe is also an easy and direct route for germs and viruses to enter her system, it is a potential breeding ground for bacterial growth, it is a foreign object for the body, one which scratches and irritates the throat and vocal chords. The longer it stays in, the more of a liability and a hindrance it becomes. Getting it out as soon as possible is critical.
A week ago we attempted an extubation and for the first few hours she thrived on CPap and our first session of skin to skin therapy. Four weeks after her birth I was able to hold her for the first time, it was terrifying and mind blowingly amazing all at once. But she grew tired very quickly and by the end of the day we were forced to re-intubate her. It was here that I started hearing whispers about Cortisone treatment and a few short days later we were faced with our first crossroad of decision making: do we implement the DART method of treatment which involves the use of steroids, or do we hope that she is able to come off the intubation on her own, considering that already her vocal chords and throat were swelling due to being intubated. Down each road were potential setbacks which could results in both short term and long term side effects. After careful consideration between hubby and I, consultations with her medical team and some medical research, we made our decision.
Mouse is on the 4th day of her treatment and her team and us are absolutely blown away by how she has improved these past few days, one of her specialists wants to extubate her tomorrow as she is already breathing without much assistance from the intubation tube. This will allow us to begin skin to skin therapy again, which she thrives on. Dad and I will be able to hold our child, for Dad it will be the first time.
It’s overall been a big week in progress for our Mighty Mouse, her skin has formed so well that she is now able to tolerate the same humidity that the rest of us are able to tolerate, the plan had been to take her out of her Giraffe Incubator and to place her in an open air incubator yesterday, but NICU can get quite busy on very short notice and we’ve had to postpone the great move for this coming Monday instead. She is also just a little short of her first weight target of 1kg.
Overall our Mighty Mouse is well and truelly living up to her nickname (proudly and aptly named so by another NICU mommy and her NICU graduate baby) and blowing us all away with her strength and determination. She has become an inspiration to so many people, we receive messages from near and far and I’m trying to write them all down for her so that one day she will be able to read for herself just how truelly remarkable she is and what she means to so many.