Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Our little peanut

The month of June passed without me knowing it!  Life at the hospital and here in Togo has become my “norm” and I have settled into a routine.  I am constantly amazed at the variety of illnesses I see here, and find myself waist high in textbooks trying to find the best way to diagnose and treat without the labs and medications I am used to having.  It is very challenging and refreshing to actually give things over into God’s hands and watch him work as The Great Physician. 

Many of you have already heard about Akou through facebook.  For those who don’t know, Akou is a 26-week-old premature infant who was born at home and brought into the hospital at about 3 hours of life and weighed 1 pound 6 ounces. The first miracle is that she was alive, period.  A 26-week infant born in the US is normally put onto a ventilator immediately, or at least some intense support to help the baby breath.  We don’t have these abilities at HBB, so we put her on a nasal canula, as well as antibiotics and another medicine that helped her remember to breath.  Then we prayed. 

During the first 2 days, she stopped breathing twice and required chest compressions.  After day 3, she showed herself as a true fighter and hasn’t required any major interventions since.  We didn’t have a way to provide adequate nourishment through an IV (called TPN) so we slowly ( SLOWLY) started feeding her.   After many weeks of minimal growing, she started picking up weight.  We were able to find a food scale so that we could weigh her in grams and know exactly how much she was gaining each day.  Many of us gather around the small scale each morning to see how many grams she has gained.  

Today she is 90 days old and weighs about 2 lbs 3 ounce.  We are praising the Lord for each and every gram.  We celebrated her “1000 gram” weight achievement with chocolate chip cookies (poor Akou only got more breast milk) J. Her faithful mother has stayed with her the whole time, despite having two other children to take care of.  Her dad is able to visit every few weeks and is always so joyful to be able to hold her.   She is the smallest infant we have ever had survive for this long at HBB.   Please pray that the Lord would graciously continue to guard her life and protect her small body from infection and feeding difficulties.   Please also pray for her family, especially her mom, who has patiently stayed by her bedside all this time.  And of course, pray that her survival may be a testimony, to all who see her, of how the Lord has knit us together for His purposes, He cares for us, and He desires us to grow in Him.

sweet Akou with a little smile for you

Thanks to each one of you who have joined me on this journey in so many ways.  Your support, prayers and encouragement reach further than you realize.  

Grace and Peace.