December 23, 2006
All three of our babies were doing very well right after the birth. Lukas and Niklas required only C-Pap which is essentially oxygen over the nose, while Gabbie required help from the ventilator. However all 3 moved were eventually on the ventilator and then the oscillating ventilator. The oscillating ventilator delivers 700 gentle breaths per minute keeping the lungs gently inflated. It's very common for pre-mature babies to make backwards steps like this their first few days out of the womb due to the stress. Niklas suffered an air leak in one of his lungs, but he recovered from it quite nicely. All 3 babies have been under the blue jaundice light at one time or another as well. With all of that being said, they are still doing very well and nothing out of the ordinary for babies born at 28 weeks. At around 34 weeks of gestation a babies lungs start producing a chemical called surfactant. This gives the lungs an elastic property that causes them to open back up after an exhale. Our babies are 28 weeks, so they do not yet produce this chemical, so they are given it artificially and are put on the ventilator. The ventilator allows them to be more comfortable while their lungs develop, as trying to breathe without surfactant is much too stressful.
Posted by Jason R. Myers