5 Pounds and Lots of Sleeping

posted Jan 11, 2011, 8:13 AM by Grady Smith
January 11 (AM)
- First, here is an overdue weight update...  Grady Jeremiah is now 5 pounds, 3 ounces!  That's right, he passed the five pound mark!

He has been sleeping a lot the last several days, more so than we have seen in recent weeks.  He's been so sleepy that he has not been as interested in trying to breast or bottle feed.  A few minutes after getting him started, he just goes back to sleep.  It feels as though we have been stagnant in progress in his feeding these last few days.

We finally realized why he is tired and not progressing in his nursing ability...  His hematocrit (the percentage of his blood that is red blood cells, the cells that transport oxygen throughout the body) is dropping.  If you remember from the end of November, his hematocrit had dropped resulting in more breathing lapses.  That is when the doctors gave him a blood transfusion which immediately helped (see our post on Life Is In The Blood).  Because he is growing so rapidly, his hematocrit is getting low again.  Hence, he has less energy.  If you have ever been anemic from having a baby or blood loss or some other reason, you will understand what he is feeling :-)  However, this time the doctors do not want to give him blood if possible.  His body is beginning to produce red blood cells on its own.  In fact, around 5% of his red blood cells are reticulocytes, or premature red blood cells that are developing.  That is an encouraging sign.  Please pray that his little body will be able to produce enough red blood cells to replenish what is needed and keep up with his rapid growth.  The doctors say that an increase in red blood cells well help his breathing and feeding, things for which we have been praying recently.

For those of you near us who experienced the beauty of a rare winter storm over the last several days, we hope you stayed safe but enjoyed the beauty of the snow.  We are grateful for the many nurses and staff here at UAB who spent two nights sleeping on the floor of the hospital in order to care for Grady Jeremiah and the many other babies here.  It was reassuring to be able to look out the window and enjoy the beauty of the snow, while knowing that we would have power and good nurses here alongside us.  Most of all, it was reassuring to see the beauty of creation and be reminded of the Creator who made all things, including our little boy.