Well, general consensus from the people who weighed in is that I post even if the news is mostly the same as the day before. So, here we are with the daily update.
First, some have asked about me. We have a visiting nurse coming twice a day to do the wound care. In the good-news-I-guess department, my wound is considered an "acute" wound, (as opposed to "a cute" wound) and therefore in need of professional care for the time being, at least. Mom is certainly more than capable to do the work, but if the insurance will pay for a nurse, we might as well benefit. According to Mom and the nurse, the wound looks good, and is healing nicely. I try to avoid looking at the whole thing. I have to follow up with my doctor every week until I'm healed. At each appointment, the doctor will reevaluate the need for home care. (I tried to give details without being graphic.... the whole thing is still really icky!) Other than being a bit sore and having to move slowly, I seem to be on the mend.
Life continues to be stable in Andrea's world. She gained almost 2 ounces over the past day, although some of that gain will be lost in the diaper, if you get my meaning. She is up to 9.5 ml of milk per feeding, and the decision was made to keep her there for the time being. The maximum would be only 10, so she did pretty well for such a small baby!
Right now, the biggest concern of Andrea's doctors and nurses is her small size. When she was born at 26 weeks, she was the size of a 23 week old. Now, a day shy of three weeks after her birth, the doctors would like her to gain weight as fast as possible. To that end, they have already been fortifying her milk with extra calories. Starting today, I've been bringing them what is called hind milk. Since most of you probably don't want details of how I get it, all I'll say is that this milk is higher in calories than fore milk or the milk she was given before. (Google "hind milk" if you really want to know all about it.) Andrea is limited to the 9.5 ml feeding because her stomach is so small... using higher fat milk and adding additional calories to that milk is the best way to get her to gain weight.
One interesting thing we learned today was Andrea's APGAR score. For those of you without children in your lives, all newborn babies are assessed right after birth, at one minute and 5 minutes. Five factors - activity and muscle tone, pulse, grimace response, appearance, and respiration - are used to evaluate the baby's condition and each factor is scored on a scale of 0 to 2, with 2 being the best score. A baby who scores a 7 or above on the test at 1 minute after birth is generally considered in good health. We were thrilled to learn that Andrea scored a 7 at one minute and an 8 at five minutes! She continues to be a healthy baby who had a bad placenta. Her progress bears that out.
We have had a tremendous outpouring of love and support. I have been avoiding using the names of anyone here, except Ken, but I have to give a "shout out" to some people. Ken works for a school called Celebrate the Children, and I teach in Demarest. The people in these two places have gone above and beyond in reaching out to us. We have been the grateful beneficiaries of blood for the baby, meals ready to heat and eat, restaurant gift cards, baby gifts, rides to the hospital, child care and more. Our families have been keeping our household running, doing laundry, shuttling children around, getting me to New Brunswick to see Andrea and so on. Ken is doing as much of the above has he can, while holding down his job, taking care of his son, and filling the void of Mom for Kenny G. We would NEVER be able to manage without all the help we've gotten from everyone. We will NEVER be able to repay the generosity. But you all know who you are...and we thank you for everything. And I am writing thank you notes... they just take time.
Keep praying for Andrea and our family. Andrea continues to progress, and we're trying to hold on as well. We need all the prayers we can get.
"Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.” Samuel Johnson