Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bathing Beauty

Andrea wearing Ken's wedding ring. It gives you an idea of how small her hands are. When she was born, the ring would have slid up her arm to her shoulder, so we've made major progress.

In an effort to give Andrea's head a break from the pressure of the CPAP sponges, her nurses try to give her some time off every day. When I hold her, she has the CPAP prongs in her nose, but I support it, rather than relying on the sponges and straps. In this picture, the nurse has given her a total break; no sponges AND no CPAP. Andrea loves the freedom of nothing, but really can't breathe well enough to get by without it. After about a minute, her oxygen level drops too low, and she needs to be reconnected. Still, in this picture, we think she looks like she's lounging on the beach.

Andrea weighs 1055 grams (2 pounds, 5.2 ounces) today. That represents a 15 gram gain from yesterday, which is considered "healthy" by the nutritionist. We were told that a good daily weight gain is 15 - 20 grams per kilo of body weight, and she's only 1 kilo right now. Her meals have not changed - 19 ml of fortified milk with MCT oil. She has been tolerating the feedings amazingly well. Once she's off CPAP, even if she still has a nasal cannula, she can try to eat from a bottle. That's something to look forward to.

The nurses got the results of Andrea's thyroid follow up, and the endocrinologist has decided to not treat her condition right now. The recommendation was to repeat the test again on Friday, 4/24. We have faith that the doctors are looking at all the options and making the best decisions for Andrea. At least her thyroid is functioning - they just need to figure out why the other hormone is being generated. In the more good news department, the nurses had to take 4 ml of blood for these tests, and yet Andrea did not need a transfusion. Her last transfusion was April 4. It is a relief to see that her bone marrow is starting to do its job and is making more blood.

I spent about an hour holding Andrea today, and she was wide awake for a big chunk of the time. It was amazing to hold her and see her looking around. We're told that right now, she sees very little. We are mostly large, blurry shapes, so I don't delude myself that she's watching me. Still, when I was holding her, she would look up toward me, them move her eyes around, as if scoping out her environment. During our kangaroo time, Andrea was more mobile than usual, too. She kept trying to move her head, and at times, seemed to be trying to climb up my body. It's hard to hold her, because there are so many wires and tubes of which to be aware. Also, unlike holding a full term baby, I can't easily shift positions, or move her around. When she cries, there's not a lot of ways to comfort her. She is learning to use a pacifier and will occasionally try to suck her thumb. Fortunately, she is able to comfort herself fairly quickly, at least when we're cuddling.

Thank you for ongoing prayers for Andrea. She is our miracle baby!

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”
Mother Teresa of Calcutta

No comments:

Post a Comment