I'm going to say some scary words in this post, so keep at the top of your mind the fact that P is resting comfortably, that her blood-gas results (an indicator of her health) are slowly getting better and better, and that she's on all the correct antibiotics and responding, albeit slowly.
Penn has an strep infection, most likely something she got from me while being born, though it could also just be something random from being handled over the past two weeks. It's one of three bugs -- the culture will show what it is today.
In babies, it's very easy for an infection to spread from the blood to the brain, so she also has meningitis, which is much less dire for her than it would be for an adult or an older child. It was caught very early and the treatment is the same antiobiotics she is on for the strep infection.
This has really exhausted her -- she needs all her energy to fight the infection -- so she started having some trouble remembering to breathe. So last night she was put on a ventilator. This gives her the chance to relax and recover without doing the extra work of breathing. She will be off it as soon as she is feeling better, and she should be feeling better in a matter of hours or days.
Again, her prognosis is excellent. Nobody is worried about her survival. The worst-case scenario is that there's a slim chance she could have "some hearing issues" or "some learning disabilities." And that's a slim chance. So just sit tight and hang in there and there'll be some good news soon.