Weight: 2 pounds, 13 ½ ounces
Feedings: 23 mililiters fortified to 22 cal every 3 hours given over the course of 1 hour
Abby keeps on cruising along. Preemies are given lipids and TPN through a PICC line. The lipids are basically fat. The TPN is basically food. As Abby has increased her feeding amounts each day, she has needed less and less of the lipids and TPN. On Sunday the doctor gave orders to stop lipids and on Monday her TPN was replaced with clear fluid. Yesterday they took out her PICC line! So now little Abby only has a feeding tube and the leads that monitor her breathing, heart rate, and oxygen level.
Yesterday the nurses started to feed Abby by connecting her food syringe to a pump that slowly gives her the food over the course of half and hour. Today they slowed it to one hour. Previously the food was just “plunged” in the syringe and given to her by gravity. However, research seems to show that babies do better with the slower, consistent rate of food being given using the pump. We’re hoping this helps reduce the amount of milk Abby is spitting up. Preemies often develop reflux, so it’s not terrible if she does too, but we’re hoping to pump will help.
Now that Abby has reached her “full feed” amount of milk, she has started receiving fortified milk. This means that formula is added to the milk to give it extra calories and is pretty typical for every preemie. We’ll wait and see over the next few days to find out how much weight she starts to gain with full feeds and fortified milk.
As for the rest of us, thank you all for your prayers! Yesterday as I held Abby I was so filled with thankfulness and peace as I reflected on God’s leading in all of this. What a change that was from a few nights ago! I am encouraged to think that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed” and also that our trials and suffering produce perseverance, character, and hope. I have also been thinking about how God definitely does give us more than we can handle on our own, but never more than we can handle with His help. God has been helping us and the past couple of days have been so much better. We are so thankful.
On Monday night, a couple from church came over to babysit while Lydia slept and Dan and I got to spend some nice time alone with Abby. Dan also started going in to work for a few hours on Monday and Lydia and I have been surviving alright without him. Since I’m not able to lift Lydia for two more weeks, I’ve been building “stairs” up to her high chair and crib for lunch and nap times. The first day was rough at nap time, but she’s figuring things out and cooperating very sweetly.
We are growing more and more certain that Dan’s nausea was due to stress, lack of sleep, and irregular meals. As we continue to adjust and figure out a routine all of those things have been starting to improve. I am enjoying our new apartment a lot already, even without having unpacked anything yet, and Lydia loves it here now that Dan has started taking her to the pond to feed the ducks every day or so. Since we expect to spend another 6-10 weeks in the NICU and then have a newborn at home, we know that we’ll be sleep deprived for quite a while (though I, at least, get a nap a day when Lydia naps) so if anyone has any tips for keeping our energy up besides drinking caffeine, we’re all ears!
Praise the Lord
We are thanking God for:
-Abby’s continued progress, that she is off her PICC line and continuing to breath well
-a new normal, settling into some sort of structure and no longer feeling quite like chickens running around with our heads cut off
-an apartment that is already feeling like home (to me) and doesn’t appear to be the cause of Dan’s illness
-that our first little munchkin has done so well with an irregular schedule, lots of different babysitters, late bed times, and less play time with Mommy and Daddy
-generous friends who have offered help in so many ways: watching Lydia, providing healthy food and gift cards, and so many who are praying
-that Abby would gain weight quickly, continue to breath and digest well, and not have problems with reflux
-for a more consistent routine for us
-for strength as we are both (Dan and I) very tired