Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Best Day Yet!

So many momentous things happened today, it's hard to know where to begin. First off, Andrea is now triple her birth weight! On top of that, she actually weighs more than 3 pounds! Her weight today was 1375 grams (3 pounds, 0.5 ounces)! Her birth weight was 450 grams, so we are more than 3 times that amount! Her milk has been increased to 26 ml, and she managed well for another day on nasal cannula. Her oxygen support is a very low 25%, and she had no serious desats. (There are times she desats because she's crying, the nurses are changing her, etc. Those events don't matter, as long as Andrea's oxygen levels come back up pretty quickly.

The most exciting thing that happened today is that Andrea had her first bottle! No one really knew how she would take to it, and the nurse was prepared in case Andrea couldn't manage just yet. Her feeding tube was moved from her mouth to her nose, because she won't be able to suck the bottle with the tube in her mouth. Also, she will only get one bottle a day, at most, for a few days. The nurses will gradually increase the number of bottles as she gets stronger. In the meantime, Andrea needs to eat, so the tube needs to stay.
Andrea getting her first bottle. She is being fed by her "primary" nurse. This woman cares for Andrea whenever she is assigned to work. Andrea has 4 primary nurses - two who split the day shifts and two who split the evenings.
Andrea getting burped for the first time. Unfortunately, I missed the look on her face right after the burp. She looked bewildered!

Much to our surprise, Andrea ACED the bottle! She drank the entire 26 ml in about 20 minutes, and kept it all down. I was worried she might spit up or have other problems, but she did great! She would suck a few times, then rest, but she was always ready to try again. From the look on her face, Andrea did NOT like being burped! When she is fed through the tube, she doesn't get any air in her belly, so burping wasn't necessary. That'll be something else she needs to get used to! If Andrea has a good night, and is awake and alert when it's time for a feeding tomorrow, the nurse will try another bottle. The idea is to get Andrea used to bottle feeding without fatiguing her too much, or causing her to burn too many calories. For the time being, all the feedings will be done by the nurses. Once Andrea is better at the eating, Ken and I will be able to feed her when we're there.
"Your life is a gift from the Creator. Your gift back to the Creator is what you do with your life."
Billy Mills

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