Saturday, August 23, 2008
3 Weeks and Counting!
Avery Ann Hansen turned 3 weeks old yesterday!! Steph still likes to track her in pregnancy weeks, so tomorrow, she'll be 33 weeks. She does a lot of snoozing nowadays, and looks more and more precious each day. Her first week, she would cry and flail her little muppet arms and legs each time the nurses would check her vitals and change her, but they say that the older the babies get, the more used to all the extra stimulation they get. Sometimes, she'll barely crack an eye open or just sleep on through the exam. Her little isolet is nice and warm...they keep it at about 40% humidity now, and we like to just pull the cover aside a bit and peek into her warm cozy little world- but watching her sleep so comfy in there...I've left many a forehead mark on the side of her isolet as my gazing turned to dozing!!
She took well to her transfusion and her skin is nice and rosy pink. She has her nasal cannula back on, because they are continually increasing her feedings, which leaves her with a more full belly most of the time, and less room for her lungs to expand. She's up to 20 ccs of milk, to which they are adding lipids and sugars to increase the caloric value from 20 calories/oz to 22 cal./oz. and her oxygen is down on the lowest possible level- 10 ccs. They took out her PICC line on her arm, so the cannula, her feeding tube and the little monitors are the only thing she has hooked up. Oh how great the day will be when we have a wireless baby!!
She had her first eye exam the other day, which is always one of the big benchmarks for preemies. The opthalmologist comes by every other week or so to check the baby for any eye problems, especially for ROP- retinopathy of prematurity. This is a complication that affects about 7-10% of all preemies...depending on where you get your stats. It's caused by abnormal growth of the blood vessels in the baby's eyes as they develop. It can lead to the baby needing glasses all the way to blindness. Babies who were on high levels of oxygen since birth are especially at risk, and since Avery was on room air for most of the time she's been in the NICU, and on very low levels of oxygen whenenver she's had her cannula, she's got a better chance of not developing ROP. It's nerve-wracking nonetheless, and we're happy that she passed her first exam with no abnormalities.
All in all, we are still so grateful that she is doing so well. Thank you for all your kind thoughts and prayers, as we're sure that they are what sustain all three of us day to day. We couldn't do it without each of you... the thoughtful notes, cards, emails, texts, blog posts, pictures, gifts... you are all so generous. May you each be blessed for your kindness...and don't you ever hesistate to call on us when we can be there for you.