Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thirteen Weeks Today!

As of 5:29 p.m., we are wishing Andrea a very happy 13 week birthday! It is truly a miracle, especially considering that she wasn't even due until next week.

A lot has happened in the 24 hours since I last posted. Andrea had her vaccines yesterday afternoon (Hepatitis, DPT, Pneumonia, Meningitis and Polio) given in three shots. Other than a mild fever (99 degrees) that lasted for only a short time, she seems to have had no ill effects. I think the ordeal wore her out, though. She spent much of today sleeping.

Also yesterday, Andrea had her hearing checked, which is standard practice before these babies go home. I was curious as to how they could check hearing in such a tiny baby - I'm sure you all remember the hearing tests we had in school. "Raise your hand if you hear the sound". The doctor put a little speaker in Andrea's ear and attached sensors to her forehead and behind her ears. The sensors measured brain wave activity when sounds were played. Andrea passed with flying colors, so we know her hearing is OK. So when she ignores us as she gets older, we know it'll be attitude, not a hearing problem.

Every night, the babies in NICU and SCN are given baths. Until yesterday, Andrea had a sponge bath. For the first time, she was given a tub bath last evening. We weren't there, unfortunately, but the nurse said she was crying until she hit the water, and then she didn't know what to make of the whole situation. The basin they use for her is about half the size of a standard kitchen dishpan!

Ken is currently at the hospital for a visit, and he will be able to bathe Andrea tonight. I left the camera for him, so hopefully I'll be able to post a bath picture when he gets home. In other news, Andrea's weight is unchanged from yesterday, and the doctors decided to go back up to the 27 calorie milk, which has both human milk fortifier and powdered baby formula added. The concern is that she is now 39 weeks gestation and still requires oxygen support. By giving her the extra calories, the doctors are hoping she'll grow faster and be able to get off the oxygen.

The doctors are considering sending Andrea home ON oxygen, since she is getting NO other support from them. She is completely bottle/breast fed and she can maintain her body temperature. She is on no medications other than vitamins and minerals. If she was off oxygen, she'd be a completely normal newborn. Of course, we will take Andrea home whenever the doctors are ready to discharge her, but it's scary to think of her being home and connected to an oxygen tank.

Andrea's primary day nurse, who spends much of her time advocating for what is best for Andrea, keeps reminding the doctors that Andrea is actually -1 week old right now. She is still a week from her due date. I think she's convinced the doctors to wait until she's actually "0", meaning at her due date, before they make a decision about the oxygen at home. So, for all of you praying for Andrea, please say a few extra prayers for her, that she grows well this week, and her lungs develop the size and strength they need to function properly.

"He conquers who endures."


1 comment:

  1. Hey guys, so great to hear of Andrea's truly AMAZING progress! It's awesome! It can be hard to imagine taking a baby home with any type of medical "equipment". I remember us feeling the same way when it might have been a feeding tube and oxygen. It is incredible that we managed much much more (trach, ventilator, oxygen, feeding pumps, IV's, etc).
    Know that you can do it if it does come to that. It is easier than you might think and before you know it an oxygen tube is just an "accessory" that helps your daughter live a better life, probably for a short period of time. You will master it easily, just as you have everything else.
    If you need any help or support in figuring out how to handle setting things up, please contact us, as we have done all of this and more at home for years! It just became part of life and actually, an easy part!
    You guys are doing a terrific job! Hope she gets home very soon!
    Much love and prayer,
    Deb & Scott