Today was so awesome! We got to hold Ava for the first time, and it made us melt like a frosty on the pavement outside a Wendy's in San Antonio during August. The nurse was so nice and helped us hold her. She periodically checked her belly button IV and temperature to make sure she was remaining stable.
This event was due to her baby steps progress. It is actually a small miracle that her heart has been cleared. The postnatal duct in her heart has closed and the resulting bloodflow is normal! The cardiologist feared and expected that the resulting aorta would limit circulation to her lower extremeties, thus restricting her activity including feeding. Since that is not a problem, she has begun feeding today on formula and Terah's milk. (Thanks Terah!) She hasn't eaten much because she was sedated for a procedure last night.
She required an MRI to investigate the cysts in her brain as seen on an ultrasound image. These pockets of fluid should not be there and may be causing "itty bitty" seizures. Every so often she flinches and shakes her right arm. They have given her medication which reduces these episodes, but the NICU team is not sure what the cause is and if there are any negative effects. The preliminary results of the MRI show that there are two fluid pockets in her brain and pocket of blood at the back of the brain stem. The latter is probably asypmtomatic and many normal babies have this without symptoms.
Speaking of normal, she is peeing and pooping like a champ. She has duplicate collecting systems from both kidneys and a ureterocele that is causing flow problems, but her function has been good so far. On Monday, she will have a procedure to track the flow of the urine to see if it is backing up into her kidneys, which is problematic.
Overall, we are very happy with her progress although it seems that the docs are giving us curveballs at least once a week. She is bigger than expected, her heart is healthy, she is peeing and pooping, and we got to hold the little angel today. Thanks again for all the love, support and prayers!