I'm just back from today's visit to Andrea. We currently have 6 pints of blood in the process of being screened for her, and I needed to write today in gratitude for these Angels. Blood has been donated not only by my brother-in-law, (who would have done it anyway, but if he hadn't, my sister would have nagged him forever) but by two coworkers, a friend of a coworker, and two friends of my sister. These people all drove a considerable distance to donate, and gave our Andrea something truly irreplaceable. The doctors and nurses can give her nutrition and fluids to mimic what my body should have provided. There is no substitute for the gift these people have given. How do we ever say "thank you"?
We are overjoyed to report another positive day. Andrea needed another transfusion, but there is blood available, so we are happy. She has been tolerating milk, although she couldn't have any before or after the transfusion, and going to the bathroom on her own, meaning her digestive system is working. She is still on the ventilator, but also continuing to breathe on her own. Her blood gases are good, as is her sugar. Most amazingly, she gained 27 grams since yesterday. (0.95 ounces)
I was able to "hold" Andrea briefly today, the first time in several days. Holding a preemie, especially one this small, is not like holding a full term baby. I was able to rest one hand over her legs and feet so she could feel me, and I got to hold her hand. She is able to grip, which is an amazing thing to see, given that her hands are so tiny. She can grip the tip of my index finger, and holds on pretty tightly. Days like today give me hope that we will hold her outside the isolette and eventually have our daughter home.
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.