Though she did make it to 35 weeks gestational age, her lungs are not fully developed. So, the past several days have been a roller coaster ride of adjusting to being a NICU-parent. We're not sure how long this road will take. For the first three days it seemed that we were only moving backwards, with Annika ending up on a ventilator by Thursday morning. She's been holding steady since and today she's actually been making forward progress going down in both oxygen percentage and number of breaths the vent is taking for her. We're hoping that she'll continue to make forward progress, but no one can really tell us when or how that may happen. The kids are both thrilled to have a little sister, but a bit confused as to why they're not able to hold her much (they've both gotten to do so once before she was vented) or play with her, or have her live here at our house. All in all they're doing OK.
Her bilirubin levels rose steadily over the first few days, but she started to poop yesterday, and the levels were down today, so she's only on a bili-light now, and was able to retire the bili-blanket. Even though she hasn't been able to work on eating yet, she's receiving intravenous nutrition, and after initial weight loss, she's picked back up a couple of ounces over the past two days, so we're hopeful her weight is on the way up for good.
So, we're taking things one day at a time and hoping and praying she'll be able to join our family at home as soon as possible. Leaving her behind when I checked out of the hospital was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life, for sure the hardest thing as a mom!