It's finally March and we have the "okay" from the pulmonologist to start weaning Juliana off the oxygen. We are hoping to convince the surgeons to go ahead with the surgery even if she is still on oxygen. I am so glad that her pulmonologist feels the same way I do. It is pretty unlikely that Juliana will be completely off by May or June but it is more likely that she will be on a very low flow at night only. She is way over due for this surgery and we both would like to see it done as soon as possible. I understand the surgeon's desire to wait till she is completely off but another year of ostomy's and the ng-tube is not ideal.
I am very excited to see what her belly is capable of when it's all back together. It's very hopeful that she will be able to get all of her nutrition enterally and with some time she could even come off the TPN. The central line (Broviac) puts her at a high risk for infection and other complications like clots and air embolisms. If she can come off the TPN we can pull the line and dramatically reduce the risks. We have been very fortunate to be infection free for the last 10 months.
This will also open the door up for more babysitter options. Currently we only have one babysitter qualified to care for Juliana without my husband or myself present. It really limits the things that we can do like working or having child free time together. Fortunately our one babysitter (my Mom) has been really great and will even spend the night when we need her.
So the plan is to turn her down to 1/2 a liter for two weeks. If all goes well we are then going to drop her down to a 1/4 liter for another two weeks and then we can try shutting it off completely for two hours at a time. Juliana typically doesn't like to follow plans and usually does things her way, so we will just have to wait and see if it works.
We have also changed her formula to Peptamen Jr. It offers more calories and she actually tolerated the trial run. The best part is that is comes ready to serve in a can which means no more mixing, no more powder and no more bottles to wash. What is nice for Juliana is that it comes in flavors. I am hoping that this will help with feeding. It tastes much better than the neocate which may be a good incentive for drinking from the cup. Of course that is if I can get the cup anywhere near her first (still a work in progress).
It so wonderful to think about where we've been and how far we've come since that sunny afternoon when my water broke and my whole life changed. Many people may think how unfair that she's had to go through so much in her young life but I say how blessed we are to have made it through.