Friday, December 11, 2009


On Wednesday, Andrea had her rescheduled "well-baby" doctor's visit, along with her monthly RSV vaccine. We are pleased to report that her development continues to be normal, with her developmental milestones being reached at the tail end of the accepted ranges. One thing we had postponed for a while was the introduction of solid foods. It was the advice of the NICU nutritionist that we hold off until six months or so. (Doctors recommend introducing solid food between 4 and 6 months). Andrea's well-baby visit was her 9-month check up, but she is developmentally 6 months. So, Wednesday night she got to enjoy some Gerber Rice Cereal at dinner. I have captured the moment in today's picture. She seemed to enjoy the experience, and ate pretty well. Last night, she had more, and devoured the whole bowl, except for what wound up in her hair and up her nose. Since she tends to have skin issues, we are adding foods slowly. We'll do the rice cereal for two weeks, then try oatmeal for another two. After that, we'll branch out into the fun-filled world of other baby foods.

Next week, Andrea gets her second H1N1 vaccine, and we begin the process of her 9 month vaccines. The doctor is amenable to continuing to space them out, one a week until she gets them all. I also learned something interesting from a physician's assistant. We had been giving Andrea a dose of Tylenol after each vaccine to ease the discomfort. Apparently, research shows that children who do not have Tylenol after vaccines have better antibodies than children who take it. So, unless she runs a fever, we have to just try to stick out the crabbiness that goes with the shots.

Yesterday, Andrea saw her pulmonologist for a follow-up to her most recent illness. For the first time (ever, I think) the doctor said her lungs sound GREAT! This is a HUGE deal, as most of her problems stem from crummy lungs. The doctor gave us clearance to try her off the oxygen for some time over night, as long as she stays on the PulseOx so we are aware of any problems. Before we can try that, though, we're waiting for the oxygen company to come out and reset the PulseOx meter. It is set to alarm any time Andrea's heart rate drops below 80 beats per minute. When she came home from the hospital in June, she was almost 8 pounds lighter, and her normal heart rates were much faster. Now that she's bigger and older, the doctor said a rate in the 70s is not unusual when she's in a deep sleep. A few nights ago, we had 2and a half hours of alarms, because she was sleeping so deeply and her heart rate was hovering between 78 and 82. One thing we've learned about using oxygen in the home is that you need a prescription for EVERYTHING. I called yesterday to get the monitor reset, and nothing can happen until the doctor's office sends an updated prescription. Apparently, this was something I was supposed to know. Granted, I know more now about all this stuff than I ever hoped to, but still, it seems like someone should be more on top of helping us out.

In January, the pulmonologist will have us in for another sleep study, to take a close look at what really happens when Andrea sleeps. If all goes well, she might be off the oxygen completely by her first birthday. It's a good thing that no one told me up front that this would be our lives from June until February. I think I would have had a nervous break down. However, I reserve the right to fall apart as soon as all this is over. It has been a long haul, and I'm grateful so many of you are still along for the ride. It helps us feel less lonely.

Out of difficulties grow miracles. Jean De La Bruyere


  1. So glad to hear that Andrea likes her cereal! Keep in mind that rice is binding. If she gets backed up, mix the cereal with a tbs or so of prune juice. If it gets really bad, you can get baby sized glycerin suppositories at the pharmacy. We went through this with Jay before switching over to oatmeal. Bon appetit!

  2. When I was small, my Gran used to sit me on her knee and say, "You only get OUT what you put IN to anything in life"...

    ...and Beautiful Andrea the Second is testimony to the love and care that you and yours have invested in her. God Bless.

    Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, and A very Happy and Healthy New Year.

    Love sue (t'other side o't'pond) x