Saturday, August 9, 2014

Introducing our teeny tiny preemies!

With it being a bit of a preemie season right now, we have so many new faces around Preemie Room #1. Most of the babies in Preemie Room #1 are under 2 kilograms. Tiny, right? Because they are so small, they need constant attention and care. Kangaroo care is one of the most important things for these little guys. Monitoring their temperature, heart rate, and oxygen levels while giving them physical contact is a huge part of their growth and development.


Wang is one of our bigger preemies in Room #1. In the short time he’s been with us, he has made such an improvement! He came to us weighing just 1.49 kg (3.2 lbs) and is already 2.9 kg (6.4 lbs). It appears that he has few other problems besides the normal preemie baby concerns. So for now, we’re making sure to stay on top of his vitals so that we can respond as soon as anything looks suspicious. That means lots of holding, loving and singing, which Wang seems to love as it lowers his fast heart rate almost instantly.

For such a little guy, he definitely knows what he wants when it comes to feeding time! Wang has just recently started drinking from a bottle! Such a big step in the world of preemies. The transition from a feeding tube to bottle feeding is a very gradual process that can take quite a while, especially with preemies this small. Now he is still fed through his tube for the majority of the day. But if he is awake and looking around, we try and get some bottle feeding time in. Wang still has a lot of growing to do, but he has already come so far in the few weeks he’s been with us!


Little Yi came to Little Flower very shortly after Wang, weighing only 1.13 kg (2.4 lbs). He is now up to 2.15 kg (4.7 lbs) and getting bigger every day! Yi struggles with apnea; though for preemies this is quite common. As he grows older and stronger the apnea should go away on its own. This is natural as his body learns to regulate itself.
Yi was definitely an interesting little guy from the start. When he first came to us, he had no fontanelle (soft spot). He had these very big ridges all across his head which we were very concerned about. But after watching him for another 2 weeks, his bones gradually separated on their own and he now has a very tiny fontanelle. We suspect Yi may have other medical issues, but nothing we can confirm at this point in time. We will be watching him very carefully and hopefully he keeps on improving!
One of the things that seems to help with his apnea is to change kangaroo positions. As you can see  in the photo above, he loves it!


Ao joined the group right when Yi did! When Ao first arrived he weighed 1.21 kg (2.6 lbs). He now weighs 2.21 kg (4.9 lbs) and is steadily growing bigger. He has just recently stopped using the constant feed machine and can now begin gavage feeding!

So far Ao is doing well. We haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary, which is a good sign at this point. Because he is still so tiny, it would be difficult to say whether or not he will have medical conditions later on. But Ao does an excellent job of regulating his own body. Preemies can be perfectly stable one hour and then the next fall off of the charts, so it is still so very important to monitor him closely. With continued care and careful watching, little Ao will continue to move out of the preemie danger zone, improving a bit every day! Here's a photo of Ao with his buddy Wang:

Wang, Yi, and Ao have all made so much progress since coming to us a few weeks ago. Each day they are just a little stronger than the last, becoming more and more aware of what’s going on around them. They still have a lot of growing to do, but before you know it they’ll be be out of the preemie rooms!

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