As of 5:29 this evening, Andrea is celebrating 7 weeks of life. She is one of the longer-term residents of the NICU right now, and as a result, I'm one of the more experienced parents hanging around. I'm picking up the language and the pattern of NICU, and I know which alarms to worry about, and which to ignore. I'm more confident to step in when something needs to be done - I regularly change Andrea when I'm there, among other things.
One thing that I find interesting is to be in NICU when the doctors come on rounds. I have learned a lot, not only about Andrea and her progress, but medicine in general. I have been paying closer attention during rounds, and have noticed that there is a pattern to the reporting. There is a doctor in charge, and a fellow directly under him. Additionally, there is a collection of residents, interns and medical students who are routinely grilled during rounds. Every day, the reporting begins with either the fellow or a resident reciting Andrea's history for the company at large, and I like the language they use. It begins with the introduction of "Baby Zimmerman, x-26 weeks (born at 26 weeks gestation), today is day 49 (or whatever) of life." I love that every day of Andrea's life is acknowledged in NICU - and today IS day 49 of life. Thank you God! From there, the resident reports on Andrea's medical condition and decisions are made about changes in her care. Here are the changes made today.
Yesterday, I reported on Andrea's unusual weight gain from Tuesday to Wednesday. (100 grams) Everyone, including her nurses, expected Andrea to drop some weight between yesterday and today. Well, Andrea is nothing if not fickle - she GAINED 40 grams, now weighing 1045 grams (2 pounds, 4.9 ounces). Because she's gained so much weight, her food has been increased again to 19 ml of fortified milk every three hours. The pressure on her CPAP has been decreased to 6, hopefully working toward removal of CPAP in the not too distant future. Yesterday at noon was her last dose of caffeine. It'll take 5 or 6 days before we know if she needs to have it back again. Caffeine reduces apnea episodes. So far, Andrea has had none, even though they never increased the caffeine dosages as she grew.
Andrea has made amazing progress over the past 7 weeks. We are grateful to all for the prayers and support. Please continue to keep Andrea in your prayers.
“Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.”