One of the chapters covers top heath concerns for preemies of different gestational ages. Remember, Andrew was born at 23week, 5 days so he's one of the smallest, right on the edge of viability. I was reading back through the list for 23 - 25 weekers the other day and mentally checking off what he has been through already. Wouldn't you know, that he's hit almost all of them?
- RDS - Respiratory distress syndrome; needed ventilator support at birth (almost all at his age need this) CHECK!
- BPD - Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (also called Chronic Lung disease); damage to the lungs, usually resolves by age 2 (65% of babies his age have this.) CHECK! His is mild, yet still causing breathing issues.
- Apnea - forgetting to breathe, should resolve by 38 weeks. CHECK!
- PDA - pulmonary ductus arteriousus valve does not close on own after birth, causes too much blood flow to lungs (40 -50%.) CHECK! Andrew had PDA ligation surgery at 10 days old to clamp the valve.
- IVH - interventricular hemorrhages; bleeding on the brain caused by small blood vessels rupturing (50 - 60%.) CHECK! He had a level 2 bleed, which is resolving on it's own and shouldn't cause any long-term damage, thankfully.
- ROP - retinopathy of prematurity; abnormal blood vessel development in his eyes (almost all at his age.) CHECK! Right now his is at stage 1 (out of 5) but could progress or resolve. Long-term effects TBD.
- Hernia - loop of intestines slides into the groin from the abdomen (15%, mostly males) CHECK! He'll need surgery at some point to correct this, it's not an issue now unless it gets trapped.
- NEC - necrotizing enterocolitis; inflammation of intestinal tract (5 - 10%.) He's avoided this one so far, luckily, but still could occur later in his stay. It sounds pretty harmless, but can be very serious, requiring surgery and removing part of the intestines.
- Infection (50%). He's also avoided this! Infections can be very serious, so we are hoping to land on the good side of the odds on this one.
|After his eye exam - chilling out|
|Visiting with Daddy the night of his exam|
|Awake for part of our visit last night!|