Today was another upbeat, positive day in Andrea's life. Her food level has been increased to 15 ml (or a full tablespoon!) at each feeding. Since she started getting milk, the nurses have been fortifying her food with something called "human milk fortifier", which makes the milk more caloric. Today, they started adding some powdered baby formula to the milk, in addition to the fortifier, all with the goal of making her milk more fattening. I'm so jealous - I wish my only purpose in life was to gain as much weight as possible in the shortest possible time! Andrea adjusted well to the decreased support from her Nasal IMV, and she gained another 10 grams. She's now 780 grams, or 1 pound, 11.5 ounces.
Once the nurse returned Andrea to her isolette, we were treated to the most animated baby we've seen yet. Andrea was on her back, and quite alert. The nurse left the top of the isolette open, so we were able to interact with her in a less restrictive way. Andrea was awake and very active - waving her arms and legs and making faces. We wonder what she's thinking when she looks around... how strange this environment is for her, compared to where she should be right now.
We saw Andrea's doctor again today, and he repeated his comments of the past few days. She is doing well, and they're going to continue to support her lungs while allowing her to grow as fast as possible. I know everyone thinks their baby is special (and they all are, of course) but right now, Andrea seems to be the darling of NICU. So many people have been, and will continue to be, involved in her care, and they all comment on how cute she is, and what a feisty baby she is. Some of the staff who saw her at delivery cannot believe how far she's come in 5 weeks. She's still really small for a 31 week baby, but she'll get to the finish line in her own time.
Just a note to those of you following the blog who live locally. We are happy to have visitors come to NICU to see Andrea. If you want to visit, just email us and we'll set up a date (children are not allowed in NICU). Unfortunately, Andrea is going to be there for several more weeks. We're making the best of the situation.
Thank you to all who continue to support us through your words and actions. The gifts of meals and play dates have made life infinitely easier for us. We strive to remain upbeat and positive, as negativity will help no one. You enable us to stay strong, since we have so many people behind us. Please keep praying for our baby.
"A friend is one who strengthens you with prayers, blesses you with love and encourages you with hope."