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Monday, April 26, 2010

Our Girl

We've been hanging out with family all weekend, celebrating Charlotte Amalie's great-grandfather Knickerbocker's 80th birthday. So here's the catch up.

(I'm trying to hyperlink medical terms so that I'm not constantly explaining things poorly.)

Weight: 994 grams (2 pounds 3.2 ounces) She's just REALLY trying to avoid hitting "1 kilo" (1 kilo is usually a benchmark used in medicine. ie Babies weighing less than one kilo do such-and-such, babies weighing more than one kilo do this-and-that, etc.).

Lungs: Her lungs have been pretty wet lately, so her doctors have put her on a few different kinds of diuretics to help clear the fluid. She's also been wheezing so she's now getting treated to an albuterol dose every 6 hours, as long as her heart rate is under 180. She's still experiencing atelectasis but she really likes the SiPAP machine, so they are leaving her on it and hoping that she is able to wean herself. They tried a different machine to help her breathe today and it was a very definite no-go, so the SiPAP it is. We assume she will be on SiPAP (or CPAP) for at least another month.

Heart: Charlotte Amalie's heart is doing really well. She has shown us that she is capable of getting irritated and usually uses a rather high heart rate to express such irritation. However, as with everything CA does, a high heart rate affects her differently than it would an adult. So they just watch her and hold any medications that would increase her heart rate if it's getting too high and we hope that she just learns how to control herself sooner or later. They'll start getting worried if she starts having a hard time eating or her O2 requirements go way up and her heart rate stays elevated all at the same time.

Adrenals: CA's starting to make her own stress hormones, so they are going to decrease the amount of artificial hormones that she is getting. Yay!

Feedings: Charlotte Amalie is up to 20 mL/3 hours-- that's 2/3 an ounce! Her feeds are fortified to 26 cal/ounce (regular breastmilk and formula is 20 cal/ounce).

Eyes: Preemies can develop a problem called Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) which basically causes the blood vessels in the eyes to go haywire instead of growing in a nice, orderly manner. Charlotte Amalie has started to be screened for this disorder (which is usually treatable). This week, the doctor said that he couldn't see any symptoms of it yet, but that her eyes look "hazy" so he is going to keep checking her weekly. 80-95% of micropreemies develop ROP, it's just a question of what stage she will get. ROP is only treated if it gets to Stage II with PLUS disease, or Stage III, IV, or V. So far though, so good. We'll take anything we can get.

Other: CA is starting to handle being touched A LOT better. We've been able to start helping with her physical therapy now and she loves it. The nurse was able to get a picture of her the other night when CA was being weighed, so here is the first picture we have of her without anything on her face. What do you think? Does she look like a Charlotte? A Molly? A Mollie? We need serious help here.

And just because she refuses to cut me a break, it looks like we've got another spitter. And yes, pictures of her spitting up are totally necessary, I don't know why you would even question something like that.
Her birth mark changes on a day to day basis, but on this day, it looked like a heart. It is right below her scar from the PDA Ligation (the surgery to close the duct in her heart).

Our first family portrait. Charlotte Amalie's not looking at the camera and Caleb is scratching his head. I guess that's going to be standard practice for family photo shoots with two kids.

Caleb was much more interested in her this time. She doesn't have any lines in at the moment, so she's not so scary looking. Caleb kept asking to see "all the other baby Charlotte's." We informed him that there's only one Baby Charlotte and he was rather confused by this. He also kept on pointing to her Isolette and saying, "That's Charlotte's house where she sleeps!"

And that's about it these days! We're just trying to keep her growing.


  1. Wow, Im hooked, she's so cute and so little and I find myself wanting to know how she is doing. How you all are doing.... you guys look great, and that is so darn cute that Caleb got to come visit. My vote is Molly. I dunno but there is something about that little face that says, I'm a Molly. She's so sweet, and such a fighter, can't wait to read the next update. Give hugs to Caleb from Zoe and Dane (and me too)!!!

  2. I think Molly. For some reason, the spelling "Mollie" makes me think of a dog. ??

  3. Despite her premature status, she still has more hair than my 15 month old! Wish I could help with the names, but since they both can be Frenchified, I'm game for either! Unrelated, Maurice called us today. He had nothing but wonderful things to say about you guys. You seem to really have been influential in his life.

  4. I have to go with Charlotte. Not only do I love that name, but I think it suits her perfectly. And by the way...she's gorgeous!