Wednesday, February 12, 2014

It's a Comfort Thing

Dear Ellie,

Today was one more day in a series that enjoyed progressive growth, without any major or minor problems.  You gained an extra ounce (now 1 pound 8 ounces and some change!) and we are continually weaning you off of the extra oxygen.  Our sights are still trained on getting you off of the endo-tracheal tube.  Unfortunately, like a lot of newborns of low gestational age, you have this whole thing about not wanting to breath consistently on your own.  Currently, the ventilator is taking breathes FOR you just in case you slack off.  Most of the time, you breath just fine... but that's only when you aren't on your back.  As soon as you are on your back, you kick and punch and breath irregularly.  On your belly, you sleep like an angel, your chest rising and falling in regular breathes.

Unfortunately, we can't keep you on your belly all of the time because it would damage your skin and warp your soft, malleable little head.  So until you stop throwing tantrums when you are on your back, the endo-tracheal tube stays.  As time progresses, however, the ventilator will begin to become problematic.  As I've said before, it irritates your throat, can deliver infections, and also damages your lungs.  The longer you remain on it, the more likely you'll be stuck on extra oxygen... perhaps even well into the future.  Not good.  Every week or so, they will test the waters to see how you manage without the tube.

Your first attempt was, admittedly, a bit over ambitious.  If you recall from my earlier letter, you'd clamped your little talons down on the tube and yanked it out of your throat.  I'm touched that you take after me in the sense that you enjoy assaulting challenges that are well above your level of skill, but sometimes you really have to choose your battles.    


  1. Beautiful Eleanor!


    Grandma Smith

  2. She is going to be a pitcher for a softball team with that grip!

  3. There's a surprisingly big amount of force behind those arms and legs. I've seen her punt a number of objects across her incubator.