Now that Andrea is eating from a bottle, at least once a day, and breathing on her own except for some oxygen support, the next challenge is to see if she can maintain a body temperature. In order to measure how well she can keep herself warm, she's now dressed in an undershirt, swaddled in a blanket and covered with another blanket. Then the temperature in the isolette is lowered, and the nurse takes Andrea's temperature. If Andrea is too hot, the temperature in the isolette is lowered further. If she is too cold (which hasn't happened yet) they would warm up the isolette.
Andrea weighs 1520 grams (3 pounds, 5.6 ounces) today. She is finally approaching the weights you usually hear about when people discuss premature babies. She is still under size for her age, (Kenny George was born at 37 weeks and weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces!) but she's catching up in her own time. Her milk was maintained at 27 ml today, but will be increased tomorrow if she does well today. She will have a repeat of her thyroid screen tomorrow as well, and if it's normal, we will leave thyroid concerns behind.
I got to feed Andrea her bottle today. Right now, she gets one a day, although the nurse was going to request going to every 12 hours starting tomorrow. It's a lot of work for Andrea to suck, swallow and breathe all at the same time, and she needs the practice to build skill and stamina. She drank her whole bottle in less than 15 minutes today, and finished with a nice loud burp to show she's playing with the big kids now. The hardest part for me is learning how to hold such a tiny baby - she's too small to put over my shoulder for burping, and she even ate stretched out on my lap, rather than cradled in my arms.
Tomorrow marks 10 weeks of life for Andrea. We can not tell you how blessed we feel to have made it this far, with so few complications. Please continue to pray for Andrea... we are approaching the point where we can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. We're not there yet, but I believe we're closer to the end than we are to the beginning.
“Prayers go up and blessings come down”