Anamaria is 5 days old today, and boy has she had a lot to think about in her first 5 days of life! Because she was born so very early, everything from breathing to peeing to eating is a whole lot of work for her. But she is proving to be a champ and has taken all the challenges that have been thrown at her in the best way that such a little person could. Anamaria was born at just under 24 weeks gestation, and weighed 1 pound 4 ounces at birth and was 12 inches long–a pretty impressive size for her age, if you can imagine that! She has been very active from the moment she came out of the womb (and from before she came out as well actually). During our week long stay in the hospital (which I will write about in another post), Ana was very difficult for the nurses to find on the heart beat monitors, and not because her heart beat wasn’t strong! She would either wiggle away from the monitors or kick and punch like crazy so they could hardly hear the heart beat! All the nurses and doctors said she was feisty before they even met her! Once she was born, she continued to kick and punch, and even cried after being born–quite a feat for someone with such little lungs! At 5 days old, she still doesn’t like people to bother her, and kicks and squirms whenever we try to mess with her. We’re happy to know that she has a little fighter spirit!
We know that Ana will need to be in the NICU here at Beth Israel in Boston at least until December, which is when she was supposed to be born. She is currently in an incubator, where she will be for many, many weeks. Her skin is still very fragile and she looses a lot of fluid through her skin, so she is in a lot of humidity–it looks and feels like a tropical rainforest in her box! 🙂 Ana is drinking breast milk through a feeding tube, and gets other fluid through an IV. She has a breathing tube and is hooked up to a ventilator that is helping her breathe, but is not receiving any extra oxygen, which is also pretty impressive for such a little lady.
There are a couple of things that Ana could use some special prayers for in these next few days. Ana has a very small heart murmur which is a result of a PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus), a duct that oftentimes opens in premature babies. This is especially common in babies who are born at her gestational age. It can become problematic, because it can cause fluid to flow the wrong way and end up filling her lungs. So far, she has been handling it very well and has continued to breathe well and not need extra oxygen, but we are watching it closely. Sometimes these can close on their own, and sometimes they need to treat it with medication. At this point we are just watching and waiting. We know that God is capable of closing that duct and giving Ana the ability to continue to breathe well without problem! Join us in praying for her heart and lungs.
The other thing that Ana needs prayer for is her brain. Babies this age have very underdeveloped neurological systems, and bleeding in the brain is very common. Ana’s head ultrasound yesterday showed a minor bleed in her brain, which doctors have told us is very normal for babies born at her gestational age. They have assured us that they are not worried about it at this point, and that they will just continue to monitor it, but let me tell you, the words “bleeding” and “brain” together for a mother is pretty hard to handle! We are trusting God’s power and grace in Ana’s life, and praying that he heals that bleeding quickly, so that it does not create any more problems for her. Thank you for praying with us!
Thank you for loving on our little one through your thoughts and prayers. God has consistently shown us through these weeks filled with trials that he is gracious and ever-present and that He has a perfect plan throughout all of this. He has reminded us to trust Him time and time again, and we can see His hand in every step of Ana’s entrance to the world–a story for another post–so we have no doubt that His hand is continuing to sustain her now. Ana has excellent doctors and nurses at her bedside 24 hours a day, but we know that she is surrounded by angels looking out for her as well! God is always good and he never forsakes us!