Weight: 3 pounds, 1 1/2 ounces
Feedings: 28 milliliters fortified to 24 cal every 3 hours given over the course of 1 1/2 hours
No news is good news.
We don’t keep babies until Kindergarten.
Lydia is so cute!
These are some of the most commonly used phrases in the NICU (lately).
First of all, Abby is continuing her stable pace. She’s has officially reached her birth weight, and passed it. And her feedings have increased along with her weight. Over the past couple of days her spit ups have decreased significantly, which is an answered prayer. The nurses (and Dan and I whenever we’re there) are doing some foot exercises at each feeding time to try to straighten out her left foot. We’re unsure yet whether or not we notice any improvement.
Abby’s recent blood work showed that she was very low in electrolytes so she has been receiving a sodium supplement which is added to the milk at each feeding. Because of the gestation at which she was born, Abby also received caffeine in each feeding (that’s to help stimulate brain activity). So we’ve dubbed her feedings salted caramel lattes. An interesting little tid-bit to go along with the sodium update is that it’s common for preemies to have trouble holding on to sodium because their kidneys are immature. To check this, the doctor ordered a urine test for sodium. Typically the urine test comes back high in sodium because the baby is losing sodium in the urine as the kidneys are failing to absorb the sodium Baby needs. However, despite our doctor’s insistence (he jokingly bet his monthly salary) that the urine sodium count would come out high (around 70), it came back very low (14). In fact, we tried to hold him to his bet, but he ordered a repeat test today because he’s convinced it must have been a bad test. Dan and I are trying our own little experiment upping my sodium intake to see if that helps Abby out any. I’ll have to report back later on the results of our experiment and whether our doctor can keep his salary or not!
So Abby is cruising along. Most times when we show up our nurse welcomes us with “no news is good news”, and we continue our long wait for Abby to come home.
The rest of us are doing fairly well. Life is a roller coaster as we keep trekking back and forth to and from the NICU, leaving Lydia with different church families while we go, and getting way too little sleep. Dan is trying hard to get in his time for work and spend time with his girls. We sure do miss Abby. While the hours go by way too fast (to get anything done), the days are still long, and the weeks are longer.
Meanwhile, Lydia has made a name for herself among the medical personal at St. Joe’s! The techs (clerks at the front desk of the NICU) shower Lydia with praises and stickers. The janitor does too. The nurses welcome her as we enter and head to Abby’s bed. The respiratory therapists stop by to marvel about how well she is talking. The neonatologists gush to others about how Lydia was in the very same NICU two years ago, and “just look how cute she is!”. One doctor opened our curtain while we were holding Abby this morning because she “just had to see Lydia”. Then, as the small team of doctors, therapists, and nurses made their way to our bedside for rounds, we heard some exclamations of, “Oh! Is Lydia there?” from behind the curtain. And of course, everyone we passed on our way out said goodbye…to Lydia. Yes, she may just be the most popular NICU visitor these days.
Praise the Lord
We are thanking God for:
-Abby’s steady progress, reduced spit up, and recent weight gain
-Lydia’s good behavior and that she is handling this crazy-ness so well
-Dan’s employers patience and understanding as he works odd hours and doesn’t often make it in to the office
-that Abby would gain weight, and that her sodium levels would reach what they should be even without supplements
-that Abby’s foot would straighten out and she wouldn’t need any invasive treatment
-that the rest of us would get more sleep, or that God would graciously multiply the sleep we are able to get
-for wisdom as we try to see Abby, parent Lydia, and get Dan’s hours in at work
-for our patience and perseverance for the still long road ahead