Gestation: 34 weeks, 6 days
Weight: 4 pounds, 6 ounces
Feedings: 40 milliliters every 3 hours by gravity or bottle
Wednesday Night: nursed 14 ml
Thursday Morning: nursed 14, bottled 24
Thursday Night: nursed 16, bottled 25
Friday Morning: nursed 30, bottled 8
Wednesday total: 44%
Thursday total: 42%
The past couple days have been much better for Abby. At 11 AM yesterday (24 hours after they stopped the fortification) she had the first dirty diaper without a suppository in over a week. She had two more Wednesday night! Dan and I returned to the NICU Wednesday evening to find this note from Abby’s morning nurse letting us know the news:
Wednesday night, some of the ladies from our Bible study came to the hospital and each took a turn praying for Abby at her crib side. It is exciting to hear such prayers and then come back Thursday to find out that Abby was having quite the turnaround.
Since stopping the fortification, Abby has also had less residual (leftover milk in her tummy) at each feeding. In the past she has had residuals greater than 10 ml at times, but in the past couple of days she has consistently had 0 to 1 ml. She has also started nursing a little better, although she’s still not up to her numbers from last week. And she’s been taking more and more of her bottles. Last night was the first time she finished a bottle that either Dan or I had fed her. And this morning she was back to her old self, taking in 75% of her feeding while nursing (and 20% more by bottle).
The problem is that Abby didn’t gain any weight. She didn’t lose any, but she didn’t gain any either. The doctor is giving her until Saturday to see if she starts gaining. If not, we have to figure out another way to get her extra calories. Another issue is that Abby needs extra calcium and phosphorus to help her bones grow. If she was still in utero, she would be getting these things from Mommy, but as a preemie, she’s not able to get enough of these just from Mom’s milk. Depending on the weight gain Saturday, she may be started on a different fortifier called and “elemental formula” that would provide what she needs while being easier to digest than regular formula.
Abby also had a follow-up head ultrasound yesterday to make sure there is still no bleeding in her brain. Dan and I happened to be there for the ultrasound, and everything came back normal.
Praise the Lord
We are thanking God for:
-drastically improved digestion off of the fortifier
-better nursing and bottle feeding
-no brain damage from being born early
-that Abby will have a substantial weight gain (at least 1-2 ounces) tonight
-that Abby will have more energy at meal times
-that Abby would continue to take more and more of her feeds by mouth
-for wisdom for Dan and I and the doctor as we decide how to fortify Abby’s milk