Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Baby Ping

Baby Ping weighed in at 1.75 kilograms the day after she arrived at our baby home in April but appeared otherwise healthy. She went through a cycle of becoming sick then getting better before getting sick again. She arrived with the tiniest eyes, looking small even for such a tiny frame. The baby home director, Raphaela, laughingly remembers joking about Ping being an alien because her head was so oddly shaped. Ping's ankle also had an abnormal dip in it, as if something was missing, and her right hand had a slight deformity with the thumb. Overall, though, she was mostly battling the general difficulty of being born prematurely. Until about four months of age, she even slept curled up in a tiny ball, as if she was still in her mother's womb.

On August 6th, she died--no heartbeat or discernible oxygen level--before suddenly breathing in 10 minutes later. At that point, Raphaela redoubled her efforts to stabilize Ping. Miraculously, Ping's eyes were again filled with life, a moment Raphaela will not soon forget.

Since then, Ping has gained weight, though she still has an oxygen tube (which she tries to pull out often enough that it must be gently taped to her cheeks). She has difficulty feeding because she bites at the bottle nipple instead of sucking, though Raphaela has observed her sucking her thumb happily, indicating that she does at least have the ability. This difficulty has been cause for concern, though, and she was being feed via feeding tube until recently. We are hesitant to put her back on the feeding tube just yet as we hope she will still develop a normal feeding ability without it. We are hoping for a winter free from sickness, but she is currently fighting another bout. Join us in hoping and praying for a healthy next few months for Baby Ping!

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