Believe it or not, Andrea is sucking on a regular pacifier, the smallest one made for "full term" babies. Prior to this one, she was using smaller ones made for preemies. Granted, you can barely see her face, but she's happy, and she really enjoys having something to suck on. She's learning to soothe herself, but isn't too jazzed about sucking her thumb. (I keep putting it in, she keeps spitting it out) She is beginning to express her boredom with the world around her by crying and fussing, which is wonderful to see, but probably hard on the nurses. She likes to hear people talking, and seems to enjoy being the center of attention. If the nurses are caring for other babies for too long, Andrea starts to exercise her lungs!
Andrea's weight remained the same from yesterday to today, and she didn't grow any longer since last week. Since she's the same size, her food isn't increasing, but the doctor authorized a move from three bottles a day to four. Every other feeding will be by bottle, as long as she can tolerate it, and doesn't lose weight. Since she's sucking down her milk in only 5 to 6 minutes, (when she can take up to 30) I don't think the weight issue is going to be a problem.
The temperature on the isolette has been dropped to 28.7 degrees (Celsius). Room temperature is 28 degrees. Once Andrea is maintaining her body temperature at 28 degrees, she can be moved to an open crib. She has been wearing her own shirts and hats, and we're going to try some pajamas tomorrow. She looks so cute!
PT is going well. The therapist is working with Andrea to help her build strength and range of motion. She is also working to help reshape Andrea's head after the effects of CPAP. It really looks dramatically better than it did, but it is still misshapen. The therapy will help it get better, faster.
Thank you for the continued prayers and support. We are at day 75 today. Each individual day seems to last a hundred years, and yet I still sometimes think this is all a dream from which I'll awaken. We are blessed in Andrea's incredibly positive recovery, and also in our family and friends who have been there every step of the way for us.
"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out."