Thank you to Daddy's friend, Lauren, for my pretty outfit. Mommy says I look too cute for words.
I know many of you miss the daily updates, and I miss posting them. I have to admit, writing this blog is very therapeutic for me. Unfortunately, I find that I have less time to write, now that Andrea is here 24/7. Of course, there is less news, too. As time passes, Andrea is becoming more and more like a regular baby. I don't want to start posting information about how many ounces of milk she's had and how long she's slept. I don't want to write it, and I imagine that reading it would be pretty dull, too, after a while.
However, having said all that, there is NEWS to share today! (Well, it's from Friday, but this is my first chance to write.) Andrea went to see the pulmonologist on Friday, for her monthly check up. The primary goal right now is to get her OFF they oxygen, preferable before I kill myself or throw the PulseOx monitor out the window. Last month, the doctor turned her oxygen flow down from .5 liters per minute to .25 liters per minute. We thought he might go down again this time to a flow of .125. Instead of that, he cleared us to take her off oxygen completely for up to 4 hours at a time, twice a day. She needs to have the PulseOx on so we can tell if she gets into trouble. As I write this, she's been off over three hours and her "sats" are running between 95% and 100%.
We are to continue to give her these four hour breaks twice a day (daytime only - oxygen all night long) until the beginning of October. At our next appointment, if Andrea is doing well, she will be scheduled for a "sleep study". She will spend the night in the hospital where she can be intensively monitored. In addition to her "sat" levels, they will look at how her respiratory system in general functions while she's sleeping. Hopefully, all will go well and we'll have our sleep study in October. My prediction is no more oxygen by Thanksgiving. Trust me, we will all be more thankful than you can imagine to be done with this!
The PulseOx is a mixed bag. We have fewer false alarms with it than we did with the apnea monitor. However, when Andrea is especially "wiggly", the monitor can't get a good reading, and will alarm. (We call this the "happy baby dance", when she's just playing around with her arms and legs) We can't turn it off, especially at night, because one of Andrea's favorite tricks is to yank the cannula off her face. Since we can't watch her around the clock, the PulseOx is the only way we have to tell when she's been up to mischief.
The pulmonologist has also been following Andrea's blood counts and electrolytes since her hospitalization. Her hemoglobin this last time was a whopping 10.5! It is my understanding that 11 to 14 is "normal", so we are incredibly close to normal. Andrea has never had a hemoglobin count this high without a blood transfusion, so it looks like her bone marrow has turned the corner and is finally up to speed. Her potassium, the only electrolyte that has been misbehaving since she stopped taking the diuretics, was finally within normal range, so we don't have to repeat blood work for a while. The doctor DID order a chest x-ray for the next time, since the last one Andrea had was in June, and she had the flu when it was done.
Andrea is now officially no longer a "newborn". She's wearing 3 month sizes in baby clothes and size 1 diapers. Her weight is up to 11 pounds, 8.5 ounces. Her length is 21 inches. I believe I mentioned before that preemies grow differently. Her head is still much larger than the rest of her body, and the length will be the last thing to catch up. Still, she's holding her own on the growth charts and moving in the right direction.
Thank you for all the on-going prayers, good wishes and support. I have always known that many more people are following this blog privately than publicly. In the past few days, I've gotten several encouraging messages from those anonymous fans, and they cheer me more than I can say.
“Friends always show their love. What are brothers for if not to share troubles?" Proverbs 17:17