Andrea's primary nurse is an amazing person. She was scheduled to work today, and I arranged with her to be at the hospital early, in order to give Andrea her bottle, since it's Mother's Day. When I got there, Andrea had a card for me, written out (she has very neat handwriting for a 10 week old baby!) and signed with a foot and hand print. So many of the things that happen with a full term, "standard" delivery don't happen in situations like this. We never got footprints from Andrea's birth, among other things. In the scheme of the universe, that shouldn't be a big deal, but it's still something we missed. This card is the first tangible record of how small she really is, and she's more than three times her birth weight. It makes it impossible to even process how small she was at the beginning. So, KL, thank you for making my mother's day so special. You continue to make this experience as pleasant as it can be.
Andrea is moving along like gangbusters. She is up to 1570 grams (3 pounds, 7.4 ounces). She'll get measured at 6 p.m. tonight. She is now getting 30 ml (one full ounce) of milk at each feeding. She's also getting three bottles a day starting today. The other 5 feedings will still be through her stomach tube. Sucking from a bottle expends considerable energy for Andrea, and she needs to work herself up to bottles all day. I was there to feed her at 9 this morning, and she drank her whole feeding in 6 minutes. She's allowed up to 30 before the nurses would turn to the stomach tube to finish the feeding. That has not been a problem for Andrea. I came home to see Kenny, and Ken is going to give Andrea her 3 p.m. bottle. It'll be the first time he's been able to feed her. It is such a joy to hold her as a swaddled baby. She's still so tiny, but she seems more sturdy when she's bundled up.
Even though it's Mother's Day, Ken was able to get to the hospital to see Andrea, and got a chance to feed her for the first time. There aren't too many pictures of Daddy on the blog, so I decided to include this one here.
We continue to be amazed at Andrea's slow and steady progress. At the very beginning, Ken and I decided that we would consider all days positive, unless Andrea actually lost ground. So, a neutral day, where she moved neither forward nor back, was still a positive day. Andrea has had remarkably few "bad" days. Even her brief return to CPAP, after 48 hours on nasal cannula, was a mere blip in her recovery. We are truly lucky and blessed to have things going as they are. We are anxiously awaiting her homecoming, but it will be bittersweet. The nurses, therapists and doctors have become an extended family to us. We love that they care about our baby, and are continually grateful for the work that they do.
"It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop."