At our Beijing baby home, we have two preemie rooms. These infants, who were born early and didn’t have a full term to grow, are some of the most fragile babies in our care. They require constant monitoring to help them maintain a stable body temperature, develop healthy lungs, put on weight, and grow stronger day by day. Let’s introduce you to some of our littlest residents.
Little Fei came to the baby home when he was two weeks old, weighing only 1.61 KG (about three and a half pounds). As a result of the non-stop care of his nannies and some extra hours of Kangaroo Care, he’s gained more than two pounds in the past six weeks. He now weighs 2.72 KG, or about six pounds! These seemingly small gains in weight are significant wins for our medical staff, who are constantly focused on making sure these infants continue to grow.
Two of our littlest babies just arrived in mid-November: Xin and He. Little Xin has reached a weight of 2.78 KG, gaining 0.67 KG since she joined us two weeks ago. Thankfully, apart from being premature, she has no other serious issues.
Little He has a cleft lip. She just arrived a few days ago, weighing only 2.01 KG. Both He and Fei still need to gain weight and get stronger before they can have their first cleft surgeries.
When you see a tiny little preemie for the first time, sometimes with fingernails smaller than a grain of rice, fingers thinner than shoelaces, and not one gram of baby fat, it can be hard to imagine that with the right care and nurturing, they can eventually grow into strong, chubby babies and eventually fully-grown, healthy adults. Love, care, feeding, and careful monitoring can change their condition drastically.
Just look at Hui, Yang, and Yu: they all came to us as little preemies.
Hui arrived in April of this year, when she was just two weeks old. After helping her grow a bit, we were able to arrange heart surgery for her. She came back to the baby home over a month ago, and is now recovering in our preemie room.
Little Yu is about the same age as Hui, and came to us in May. Look at those tiny arms…
…and how they’ve changed!
Yang is the oldest of the three of them. She’ll soon be celebrating her fist birthday. Here she is in her first weeks with us:
And here she is just a few months later:
As we highlighted in this month’s featured child story about baby Jia, it’s not always major surgeries that can save these babies. It’s all the care and monitoring that the nannies and medical staff can provide at our homes.