another long one….
Tuesday (2.9.10) – Day #2 in NICU
The doctors and nurses are really impressed by Anna’s progress. Her incubator is set to 27 degrees Celsius, which is basically room temperature. She is essentially regulating her own temperature, but they have her in the incubator just in case. They will probably switch her to a crib in a few days. The problem is trying to throw too much at her at once. She has to get feedings down before she can go home, so there isn’t a huge rush to get her out of a incubator at this point.
Anna had been on IV antibiotics to prevent any infections due to my amniotic sac being ruptured for so long. The neonatologist (Dr. Dawson) stopped those meds today. She is getting lipids and electrolytes through the IV now as well. She will have those until her feedings are up enough to be getting all the needed nutrition. Dr. Dawson asked if we are okay with supplementing with formula while we wait for my breastmilk to come in. Of course, we said yes. So, they started her on feedings every 3 hours. She is getting high calorie formula (22 cals/ounce) in order for her to gain weight. They started feedings at 5 milliliters. She sucked it down and acted like she wanted more!! So far there are no signs that she can’t tolerate the feedings. She’s been peeing and pooping like she should too! She weighed 4lb 8oz – so the same as the night before, 2 ounces less than at birth. Hopefully she will start to gain now.
She was awake in the afternoon when we saw her. So, I tried to have her latch on. She fell asleep after a bit. We did kangaroo time (skin-to-skin contact) for about 20 minutes. She was extremely content to sleep on my chest! It was really nice to bond like that. Alex changed his first ever diaper!! I promise it won’t be the last… He did pretty good! Tuesdays and Thursdays are bath night in the nursery. I gave Anna a bath in her incubator. I loved it, she hated it! She screamed so much she turned bright red. Maybe one day she will like bath time!
While we wait for my milk to come in I’m pumping every 2-3 hours. Nothing makes you feel more like a cow being milked than an electric breast pump. I didn’t realize my boobies could look like that. It’s all a little odd. Well, I pumped at one point and got about a milliliter of milk. We sucked it up in a syringe to take down to the nursery. Alex was so excited that I finally got something that he raced it down the hallway to the nursery to deliver it. He was carrying the syringe like the Olympic torch. I walked into the nursery announcing “I am woman. Hear me Roar!!” It was hilarious! RAWRRRRR
I was discharged today. I broke down a bit in the nursery. I was holding Anna right before we left and lost it a bit. During my pregnancy I never pictured myself leaving the hospital without her. I would daydream about bringing my baby home. This is never what I pictured. I’m trying to stay really positive. God wouldn’t give us a situation that we can’t handle. I’ve also decided to try and keep busy. My mom is here staying with me the rest of the week while Alex is working. We’ve got a few times set up at the salon to get our hair done, pedicures, and massages. I love being pampered!! I’ve been trying to get some rest too. It’s amazing how hard it is to sleep at the hospital.
Wednesday (2.10.10) – Day #3 in NICU
Anna is doing wonderfully!! She tolerated all of her 5ml feedings, so the neonatologist is increasing her feedings by 4 milliliters every 6 hours. The nurses have told me that she will feed and always acts like she wants more. What a little piggy! She had 9ml at 11am and 2pm. It was upped to 13ml at 5pm. She has tolerated them all! A full feeding is considered to be 38ml, so are getting there. She is being watched to see any signs that she can’t tolerate the feeding and stays awake to feed. There is the very real possibility that she will have to have a feeding tube at some point. So far, she taken to feedings like a champ! She woke up for her feeding at 5pm. That’s a really good sign! Anna shows clear signs of hunger and is able to eat from a bottle. Her sucking reflex isn’t strong enough for breastfeeding yet. She was extremely alert at the 5pm feeding. She kept looking around just taking everything in! It was adorable!! She’s back up to 4lb 10oz! Yay for gaining 2 ounces and being back to her weight at birth. Hoping she only gains from here on out!
Her blood work looks great. Her bilirubin level went up to 9.2 from yesterday’s 7.4. They aren’t concerned that she has jaundice at this point. They monitor the level every day. It’s extremely common for preemies to have jaundice. The neonatologist isn’t ordering phototherapy yet. He’s hoping that increasing the feedings will take care of it.
She’s been doing so great! Her nurse today said that Anna doesn’t realize she’s a preemie because she’s been doing so well. It was a proud parent moment for sure! The nurse also wanted to know where Anna’s attitude comes from … her daddy of course! The doctor was calling for a 33-weeker to be transported to Children’s. The baby had an irregular heart rhythm. They brought the mom down to say goodbye to her baby before they had to leave. My heart broke for them. I can’t even imagine. That baby is the same gestational age as Anna. I am so thankful that Anna is as healthy as she is. Her situation could have been much worse.
My milk came in last night!! So, I finally had something to collect and bring to the hospital!! I had 4 bottles of milk to bring in. I packed them in my little bag with an ice pack to keep them cool. I loaded all my gear into my car to start the day. (It took me forever to get out of the house today … and I don’t even have Anna with me yet!) I took my car to the dealership to get the oil changed. My mom followed me out there. I moved all my bags to her car and we headed to Target. I needed some items for breastfeeding and postpartum. Well, I was down in the pharmacy section picking up some items. I thought my mom was right around me. I ended up calling her so I could unload everything into her cart. Turns out she was halfway across the store. So, I went schlepping through the store with an arm full of super absorbent maxi pads, hemorrhoid pads (for my stitches, not roids), and stool softener. I’m kind of wondering if people knew I had just had a baby (or if they thought I just had a bunch of ‘issues’ going on down there)…
We started toward the hospital after Target. It hit me that I forgot to grab the bag with my milk in it from my car. I swear I’ve gone completely crazy… Had to go back to the dealership to get the milk… Ugh. The mechanic looked at me like I had 4 heads when I explained the situation…
I got my eyebrows waxed tonight. They lady kept asking me if I was interested in a bikini or Brazilian wax too. I politely told her that I had a baby on Sunday and I’m letting my lady parts chill for a while. Can you imagine?? Yikes.
Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers!! Anna is an amazing little girl!!