Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Andrea Update

It's hard to believe, but it was only a week ago today that I was admitted to the hospital for "observation", and what we thought was going to be a long period of bed rest. In some ways, it has been the longest seven days of our lives, and we continue to be amazed at how things have evolved.

Ken and I both had a chance to visit Andrea today, and are pleased to report that she had another "good" day. (Remember, we are talking about "good" in the world of preemie babies!) Andrea is now on the lowest level of breathing support, and can be seen breathing on her own through her nose. Today's nurse explained that the breathing tube will remain a bit longer, because sometimes Andrea apparently "forgets" to breathe. It's hard to fathom, but there it is.

A recent ultrasound of Andrea's brain revealed no intercranial bleeds so far. That is a big worry for the first week, mostly, so we are coming to the end of the biggest danger period for that.

Last night, an arterial line was inserted in her arm, allowing doctors to send fluids directly into her larger chest vessels, instead of the umbilical ones they've been using so far. The line went in the first time, to the relief of all.

We learned today that Andrea measured 10.5 inches at delivery. Kenny George was 20.5, so she's almost half his size! I can't believe that Kenny even seemed small to me. I have a new concept of small!

A big high point for us was we got to "hold" Andrea for a bit. She cannot leave the isolette, but we were able to cup her head and feet, sort of cushioning her as she would have been inside. Her skin is so fragile, we can't stroke her, but it is a joy to feel her warm and safe. She was not under the jaundice lights today, so we got to see most of her face. Despite her small size, she makes facial expressions, and by turns looked annoyed, bored, and sleepy. She yawns, which cracks me up. More than once, she opened her eyes. Her nervous system is immature, so she doesn't focus on things, but she looks more real when her eyes open. Otherwise, she could be a doll.

So, thank you all who continue to pray and support us. God is listening and watching over our baby and us. As before, we know a bump is coming eventually, but we continue to be encouraged by her progress.

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