Sunday, March 1, 2009

From the Beginning

Despite my years as a technology coordinator, I've never been much interested in blogging, even as it's become a big thing in the schools. However, Ken and I know how interested people are in what's happening to Andrea, and we can't keep up with the emails, texts and calls. I'm going to at least TRY to post updates - not sure how often, but as much as I can.

We've had a crash course in premature babies, and will learn tons more over the next few months. Some of this might be repeated information, but some of you are coming on new, so we'll start from the beginning.

Andrea Eda Lindsley (named after her two grandmothers) was born on Thursday, February 26, 2009, at a gestational age of 26 weeks. (Making her 14 weeks premature) She weighed in at slightly less than one pound. In the good news department, my AWESOME doctors at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital must have seen this coming, because I was admitted two days previously, and given steroid injections to help speed the development of Andrea's lungs. Working in Andrea's favor is the fact that she's a girl (preemie girls universally do better than boys) and that she was delivered in a controlled situation (as opposed to one where the doctors were working to save my life).

On the down side, at 26 weeks and less than one pound, Andrea has a lot of hurdles to overcome. She's doing as expected so far. She has a breathing tube inserted which is helping her respiration. Currently, she gets only minimal breathing support, but we're happy the doctors are being cautious. She has responded well to medication to close her heart valve, and recently started getting some milk. (1/5 of a teaspoon every 3 hours) She has had a few blood transfusions, which is not unexpected in preemies. We are asking family and friends who are type O to consider making a directed donation for her. If you are interested, email me, and I'll send you the information.

The NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) doctors have cautioned us that the 3 months ahead are going to be a roller coaster. We have been told to not get too excited by the high points, and not get too dejected by the setbacks. Andrea just had two good days in a row... so we're trying to steel ourselves for a bump in the road. All Andrea's caregivers have reported the same thing, and in pretty much the same words: She is a "feisty" baby. She tolerates the treatments she is given, but doesn't make life easy on the nurses. She kicks things out of the sterile field, and is just generally a bundle of personality. The people taking care of her are all amazing. The care and dedication we see every time we go to NICU are impossible to describe.

In the days and weeks ahead, I'll post news as we have it and may share some pictures down the road. Right now, Andrea is very much connected to tubes and wires. She's so small, we can't see much of her. Most of her little face is blocked by the breathing tube, and she spends most of each day under a light for jaundice. When the light is on, her eyes are shielded by a mask, making her look like a bathing beauty!

We ask for prayers for Andrea, that she continues to do well and grow strong. We look forward to bringing our daughter home to join her big brothers, and cannot wait to introduce her to our wonderfully supportive family and friends.

Once you choose hope, anything's possible. Christopher Reeve

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