A tot and a peanut

We have 2 new little ones to love on in the Bercario:
This is Chelsia (pronounce: "Shel-see-ah"):
She's 9 months old and arrived on friday. Her mom is slightly mentally unstable and is extremeley poor. She lives with 6 other people in a tiny tiny house right next to the bocaria (the garbage dump). To make money they dig through the dump to find bottles and food to sell. Chelsia had been being breastfed and offered whatever food they could find for her. She has been known to our clinic because she is often sick and needs medical attention. It took her the whole weekend to adjust to her momma being gone and to the fact that she couldn't ride around in a comfy capalana all day long. She is fitting in nicely though now and I've seen lots of smiles and heard lots of babbling....she can sit and crawl and pull up. She's loving mushed up center food and papinha and finally taking bottles of formula. She looks really good and only has a little chest infection at the present. Please pray for her as she adjusts to being here and we get to know her. Also pray that her chest infection gets better!

Meet the newest and youngest and tiniest member of our bercario.......Jaime (pronounce: "Shjah-mee"):

He was born at 31 weeks (9 weeks early) in his house. His mother had complications from delivery and died within the first week of his life. He only weighed 1800 grams at birth (almost 4 lbs). His dad and an aunty (with another small baby) tried to care for him for his first 3 wks of life, but formula is very very expensive, and he is so small and tiny and sick. So we have him for now. He weighed only 1500 grams when he arrived yesterday (3 lbs 5 oz). He is scrawny and has quite a few problems:

He is jaundiced (normal for preemies) and so is getting sun therapy 2x a day for 10 min each time.

He cannot really regulate his own temperature very well (and when he does he is burning way too many precious calories and exerting too much energy to do so). So he now has only one long-sleeve sleeper with feet, plus a hat, and a receiving blanket, all wrapped up and placed in a small Moses basket that zips up and has a hood to keep the drafts away...and I've snuggled a hot water bottle in there to act as an African incubator. Now he doesn't have to do all the work.
Also, he gets quite tired from eating big (1 ounce) meals every 3 hours and sometimes doesn't breathe like he should or can't catch his breath. So he has a feeding tube through his nose and into his stomach to give him a rest every now and then.
I am quite amazed that he made it 3 weeks at home without help. But I am also glad that we have him now, as I'm not sure he would have made it much longer. Please pray for Jaime as he adjusts here. Pray for wisdom for me to know how to treat him medically, to keep him healthy, get him stronger, grow him, and prevent him from getting sick without any monitors, phototherapy lights, iv's, labs, or incubators. We are lucky to be able to buy premature infant formula in south africa that costs an arm and a leg but is worth it! Please pray that his bili levels go down; the iron I'm giving him works and his body starts producing more red blood cells to carry oxygen to his body; his body matures every day so that it can regulate his own temperature; that he grows stronger and stronger every day and can eat more without getting so tired! Pray that he is free from any other infections as it is quite easy for premature infants to get really sick really fast since they have no immune system. Pray that he gets enough sleep and isn't over-stimulated in a room full of active and loud toddlers. Pray that he gains weight daily! He is proving to be quite a handful at the moment, but he is full of personality and quite a sweetheart!
I'm already in love with him and feel right at home since i spent the first 5 years of my nursing career in neonatal icu's. we just have to improvise here.....
He's doing better today (as opposed to yesterday) with eating most all of his feeds by bottle, but tonight he's being a little lazy and it's back to the tube for him.
Thanks for praying for our team here and our children! I'll keep you updated on Jaime!


a said...

Two sweet babies! I'm praying for them - looking forward to more updates!

Amy said...

Funny how he looks even tinier than so many babies we are used to huh just because he is not nicely situated in an incubator with an IV. Glad he seems to be so well. He'll be nice and fat in no time with your loving care!