Everyone we know has been offering help. The first thing that Ken and I have learned as parents of a preemie, is that we don't even know what we need FOR help. The one clear cut piece was that Andrea needs blood. She had another transfusion today. We want to stress that these transfusions are NOT necessary because Andrea is losing blood or having similar problems. The only way the doctors and nurses can monitor her condition is to repeatedly take blood to evaluate her physical condition. Since Andrea is so premature, her bone marrow cannot replace the blood the nurses take for testing. So, the transfusions are absolutely necessary.
We put out a call to our families and friends, looking for O+ donors. We have been blown away by the immediate and selfless response to the call. Not only have our families and friends responded, but friends of our friends are making appointments and trying to donate. These people have no reason to help us, other than their concern for a helpless and innocent baby, and their love of us or our extended family. If that is not a clear sign of God among us, I don't know what is.
There are currently 8 donors in the process of donating and being screened. Each transfusion is about 7 ml of blood, so one pint will last a long time. The blood bank even commented to my sister about how many people are calling for our baby. If you have already donated, or have made your appointment, THANK YOU. We will never be able to repay the kindness. If you want to donate, we are asking you to wait a week or so, until we know how much blood we've "banked" for Andrea. Rest assured, we will put the call out again, if we need to.
Mom and I saw Andrea this morning, and are pleased to report it was another "good" night. Five of every six breaths are her own, not the respirator. She has been able to digest milk, and will now get some every 3 hours. To me, this was one of the biggest milestones, as she is now getting the antibodies from colostrum that will help her develop a strong and functioning immune system. Tomorrow marks one week since her birth, which is also an important milestone. We have been told that many of the current concerns (bleeding in the brain, heart problems, etc.) are much less likely after the first week. So, I guess we will shortly learn what challenges and obstacles await us in week two.
Please continue to keep Andrea in your prayers. She is our miracle baby, and you have all been instrumental in getting her to this point.