I can hardly believe that it was over 2 weeks ago that Aamaria made her grand entrance into this world, and over 2 weeks ago that our lives were completely changed. The hustle from work to hospital to time with Abi to sitting on the couch and falling asleep with Esteban, with lots of pumping in between, is starting to feel a little bit normal. The nurses and doctors keep telling us how impressed they are with how much we are at the hospital, but we feel like we wish we could be here more. If we could just do everything at Anamaria’s bedside I think we would–though I’m not sure how Abi would feel about that.
Abi has been a champ throughout all the craziness of the past few weeks, and is in love with her baby sister. She loves to look at her and “ooo” and “aaah” at how tiny she is. When Anamaria had a little cut on her foot from where the oxygen monitor was, Abi was quite concerned, and kept telling the nurses they should put “crema” on it (cream in Spanish). She loves to see how Ana gets her “leche” through a tube and when I showed her a video of Ana crying, Abi wanted to watch it over and over. She always tells me about all the things that she and her baby sister are going to do when she can live at home with us, and it makes my heart smile. I’m so thankful that God has given Abi such a love for her little sister already, despite the abnormal circumstances, and I pray that her understanding and grace for her parents during these next few months continues and even grows. She has such a sweet spirit and so much joy, and we are so thankful to have her to come home to every night!
Anamaria is also doing fabulously, and continues to amaze everyone here in the NICU. Doctors and nurses are starting to tell us what they really think about baby Ana (in the beginning they were very cautious with their words–making sure to remind us always that it was a “long road). Now they keep telling us how amazing she is, how wonderful she is doing, and how they “just can’t believe her”. We keep telling them that God is amazing and Anamaria has half the world praying for her, so the odds are in her favor. Anamaria has continued on CPAP since last Friday, so she has been off the breathing tube for about 9 days now. Yesterday she was switched from the big ventilator machine to the bubbling water one, which is more gentle on her lungs and easier on her little body. She has ranged from needing anywhere between 21%-35% oxygen, and today has come back down to around 21%-25%. Thursday and Friday, Anamaria started having more “spells” which is when her heart rate and oxygen levels both drop, and she needs someone to stimulate her by rubbing her back to remind her to breathe, or needs someone to increase her oxygen to come out of it. Yesterday (Friday) the nurse changed her feeding tube and cleaned out her mouth and nose, which were filled with lots of saliva and goo, and since then she has only had one very minor spell. When they checked her blood gas levels they were great, which means that she is doing a good job managing the carbon dioxide in her body and balancing her pH levels–basically the spells are not affecting her too much. Usually when her oxygen drops she is able to pick herself back up on her own, which is pretty impressive for someone her size! We are praying that she continues to remember to breathe and remains stable so there is no need to intubate her again with the breathing tube.
Anamaria is also making great progress with her eating. They have been increasing the amount of breast milk she gets every 12 hours, and she has been tolerating it very well. Yesterday they started adding extra calories to the milk and today they are adding a little more–so far she is getting a whopping 4 extra calories in every feeding! At this point she is almost up to full feedings, which means she will be off the IV fluid completely! Up until now she has been getting nutrients through her IV, and as they have increased her feedings they have decreased her IV. We are hoping to be able to remove the IV sometime in the next couple of days. Then we will continue to increase her feedings and add more calories to help her pack on the pounds. She is still quite the skinny minny so we need her to keep eating! Last night she weighed in at 615 grams–about 1 pound 5.5 ounces. This week her weight has gone up and down, so hopefully this coming week she will just make a steady increase!
Thank you again for praying with us. God’s sustaining hand is so evident and we are so thankful!
Oh and we got moved to the window side of our room–an upgrade! AND our little lady FINALLY OPENED HER EYES at 16 days old! What a surprise! Pictures still to come!