I'm very pleased to report that Ava has now had FIVE really great days in a row!
After spending several days healing from some bleeding in her lungs, Ava has made great progress and was able to switch to a much gentler ventilator and needs much less oxygen to breathe normally. This is great news because it means that Ava's lungs will be under much less stress giving her lungs a chance to continue to develop normally. Too much oxygen can also have very serious side effects for developing eyes so this is a major step in the right direction.
Ava also suffered some bleeding in her brain and has an ultrasound every week to monitor the damage. We won't know in too much detail what is going on with her brain until she is able to have an MRI, which won't happen for quite sometime. The good thing about a still developing brain is that there is every possibility that any brain damage she's suffered will heal as her brain continues to grow. Right now, the bleeding is not getting worse. The doctors are so pleased with Ava's progress that they'll be monitoring her brain every 2 weeks instead of every week which is another step in the right direction.
Since birth, Ava has been getting all of her fluids and nutrients intravenously as her digestive system was also still developing. This week, Ava has started with very small amounts (about 1cc) of breastmilk every 6 hours to jumpstart her digestive tract. She is tolerating it well so far, so they'll slowly but surely increase the amount she gets until she's fully on breastmilk.
On Sunday, Emmett met his little sister for the first time, which was very exciting for him. He's very young and so hasn't been able to fully understand everything that is going on but he seemed very pleased to be able to put a face to a name lol. He even got to touch her little foot which he's been talking about all week.
Yesterday, we got to hold Ava for the very first time. We couldn't hold her close because she still on her ventilator but it was so nice to finally have her in our arms.
We're so very excited that Ava is doing so well but still know that we're at the beginning of a very long road. The support of our friends from all over the world has been incredible, truly amazing. Thank you all so much for sticking with us through it all.