Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The importance of a gram

I'm sure at some point during my early schooling years I had a science teacher (or maybe math?) teach me about grams, kilograms, milliliters, ounces, pounds, etc. At the time I think I "learned" the info and then moved on with my life, thinking (other than pounds on my waistline) it was good to know, but not info that would be earth-shattering. Funny how life changes your perspective and suddenly things that seem so meaningless mean everything! I have finally learned the importance of a gram--as I'm poking Miss Banana full of every single milliliter I possible can hoping she'll gain an ounce a day, and every single gram counts. All those little milliliters/grams/ounces going up and down mean the difference between "failure to thrive" and a healthy baby...each little gram fattens her up for her upcoming open heart surgery so she can recover faster. Who knew grams were so important??? In the past three weeks I've become MUCH MUCH faster at converting milliliters to grams to kilograms to ounces to pounds...I'm sure whatever teacher it was would be proud of my new speedy mental conversions. As of today, Miss Banana weighed 9lbs 4oz...which means she is about 2oz short of where she should be from my last pediatrician visit, but she is up an ounce from yesterday, so at least we are moving in the right direction! Here's hoping that tomorrow she is 9lbs 5oz.

UPDATE: No luck today, she is still 9lb 4oz. I guess I should explain too why her weight is so important; with her heart defect, she has two major holes in her heart, one between the top atria and one between the bottom ventricles. When her heart beats, those holes open up together to make one big hole in the center of her heart, causing all of the blood (oxygenated and non-oxygenated) to mix together. Because her heart is pumping a mixture of blood to the body instead of just oxygenated blood, her heart has to work harder to get the necessary oxygenated blood to the rest of her body. So pretty much her heart is working double time of what normally happens. Because of this, she burns calories extra fast--the simple act of eating, especially nursing, can cause her to burn more calories than she is actually taking in and her body is working against itself. Right now the goal is to fatten her up before her surgery and then once her heart is fixed, we won't have to be so concered about each gram.

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