Thursday, March 12, 2009

Officially Two Weeks Old!

We are pleased to report that as of 5:29 p.m. today, Andrea celebrated her two week birthday. This is another milestone we are relieved to have reached. We saw her earlier today, and she now weighs 530 grams, or 1 pound, 2.5 ounces. She gets weighed every day, but only measured on Sundays, so we don't know how much she's grown since last week. Still, weight gain is awesome, and we'll take every gram we can get.

In great news, we finally have a blood match for Andrea. We have had several people make "directed donations", but so far, only one has been compatible enough to be "marked" for her. With luck, others in the system will also match. However, since Andrea is continuing to grow and develop, she might not need another pint after this one.

Countless numbers of our family and friends continue to express interest in donating blood to Andrea. We cannot tell you how much that offer means to us. I am embarrassed to admit that I never thought much about donating blood, always assuming that enough "other" people were doing it that I could skip it. We would like to implore everyone reading this blog to consider going to your local blood bank and making a donation. A completely random donor saved Andrea's life. The first pint of blood they used for her (so far 5 transfusions, I think) was one that just happened to be in the blood bank. Some selfless, caring person gave a gift. While our baby might no longer need your blood, the sad truth is that there is always another baby, or a cancer patient, or a cardiac patient, or people with countless other medical conditions who are relying on us to provide them with the blood they need. We plan to make blood donations part of our new world order. (I need to be 6 weeks post op before I can donate, and Ken donated the day after Andrea was born). If you were moved to donate for us and for our baby, we hope you'll be moved to donate for others. We have a new appreciation for how important that gift really is.

In other news, Mom happened to be in NICU while doctors were doing rounds today, so we got some "inside" information on Andrea's progress. Since Mom is a nurse, she actually UNDERSTANDS what the doctors and nurses were discussing. The best way to sum it up is that everything is progressing as it should. On an ongoing basis, the nurses make adjustments to Andrea's ventilator settings. No one is alarmed by that, and her settings remain at the low end. That means that she is getting minimal breathing support, and does breathe on her own as well. She is continuing to tolerate and digest ever-increasing amounts of milk. As of tonight, she'll be getting 4 ml every three hours. We also learned today that the milk is being fortified with extra nutrients. There are limited to what, and how much, can be added to her IV or passed into her blood. By fortifying the milk she gets, the doctors are able to increase her nutrition. All other things were good. There were no concerns about her blood counts, her kidneys are working properly, and she continues to be active. There is nothing better for me to watch than her arms and legs waving away. She grasps things, including her tubes, and has even done "thumbs up", which made me laugh.

As always, please continue to pray and send Andrea positive energy. While it's true that she is doing well, she is by no means out of the woods. You've all brought her so far. Let's keep her heading in the right direction!

“This day and your life ... are God's gift to you , so give thanks and be joyful always!” Jim Beggs

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