Monday, April 20, 2009

Another Tansfusion

As we expected, Andrea had to have a blood transfusion today (thus all the tubes and gauze on her hands and arms). We were forewarned, so it didn't come as a surprise. Also, her last transfusion was April 4, so she lasted a long time without one. Andrea's original transfusions were 7 ml of blood. We know she's growing, because today she got 16 ml! This transfusion came from one of our directed donors.... we don't know which one yet, but someone reading this gave Andrea blood, and she's enjoying it today.
Another piece of good news is that it appears Andrea's bone marrow is working properly. When the nurses do blood counts on Monday mornings, they can see that there are immature red blood cells present. That means that her bone marrow is making new cells at an appropriate rate. The transfusions become necessary because the new cells don't mature fast enough, and it's necessary for the staff to take relatively large amounts of blood for various tests. Still, it shows that Andrea is moving in the right direction.

Andrea gained more, now weighing 1085 grams (2 pounds 6.2 ounces). That 2.5 pound mark is getting closer all the time. While I was holding her today, I noticed that she is filling out to the point that she has a "dimple" on her shoulder! She has enough flesh to actually dimple!!! To accommodate her larger size, she's now being given 20 ml of fortified milk plus MCT oil at each feeding. As Andrea grows, the dosages of supplements need to be adjusted for her larger size, so she's getting a larger dose of multivitamins and calcium and phosphorous. In the next day or two we'll know if there were adverse reactions to removing the caffeine from her care regime. As you coffee drinkers know, it takes several days for all caffeine to leave your system after you quit. Andrea's last dose was Thursday at noon. Pretty soon, the nurses will see apnea episodes if she's going to have them.
The nurses are trying to encourage Andrea to use a pacifier - it serves a multitude of purposes from helping her learn to suck and breathe at the same time, to providing comfort when needed. Today, for the first time, I actually saw Andrea sucking on the pacifier. It's the smallest one I ever saw, and Andrea can just about fit it in her mouth, but she seemed to enjoy it. We love when she does "typical" baby things.

Please keep the prayers coming. We gain strength from the support of family and friends.

I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)”

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