These are the days all of you NICU graduates warned me about. We had a great morning. My mom and I made the trek over for Kate’s 9 am care time. Nurse Rose already had one of the comfy chairs and a set of the privacy screens over by her bed. She was alert and hungry so after a poopy diaper change, I got her out and attempted breastfeeding for the first time. She was amazing, latching on almost immediately. Who knows how much she got down, but it was the practice I was most interested in and I followed it with 15ml from a bottle to make sure we knew she got something to eat — a step forward.
I also took some photos of her with her handmade bee hat that Kelly made. I’m afraid she will forever hold on to the nickname “bee”.
I spent the rest of the day getting some things done around the house and responding to some work email. Most everything is washed and ready for her to come home whenever that might be.
Excited by the morning, Kelvin and I went back for her 6pm care time with hopes we would try feeding again. We arrived to Kate without her bili-pad; her levels were good enough to take her off — a step forward.
That excitement was overshadowed for me by the fact that her gavage was back. Her nurse said that she had petered out with her bottle and had only taken 15ml from her in a half hour– a step back.
Kelvin held her while they added my milk to her tube. She seemed super sleepy and not as animated as usual. You can tell the tube makes her uncomfortable. Hopefully this will be short lived and she’ll bounce back quickly. She’s got some more progress to make; they’re working on cooling her crib a degree at a time. I’m looking forward to her being in an open air crib, and closer to the exit door.
I just got off the phone with Kate’s nurse, Rose. She said she really didn’t have anyting to report. Kate has continued to take between 20 and 30 ml from her bottle (the gavage has been out for a full day now). Her temp that was a little low last night when we were there is back up at normal 9though I didn’t ask if they have adjusted her crib temp to get it back normal). And her bili level came back about the same as yesterday so we get to keep the glow worm look for now to combat the jaundice.
Today is bath day so I plan to go up around 11:30am to help with that and the rest of her noon care time before I head to my baby shower at 2pm. I’m sure I’ll be a little emotional, but I can’t wait to spend a little time this afternoon with a group of the amazing females in my life. Just wish there was a way to shrink distance so some of you (you know how you are) who are futher way could be here.
I’ve continued posting pictures to Flickr, but here’s one from last night. You see why we’re in love.
How many times have I heard that? And of course, it’s true. The past days have been a complete whirlwind. Because my girl already understood how to work the system, and arrived just after midnight on June 2 that gave me really an extra day at St Lukes. Don’t get me wrong, I was ready to be discharged yesterday after 11 days in captivity. But it was nice to be able to walk over to see Kate whenever I wanted.
She is doing amazingly well in my book; she’s such a strong girl. She dropped 2 oz each of her first two weigh-ins, but when we called last night to check on her, she had gained back 2 oz. Not good if she were on Biggest Loser, but I’m ecstatic that my girl is back up to 4 lb 7 oz. Of course, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that she’s gaining; she’s a little piglet (and I love her for it). The first night she was in the NICU I was able to pump a tiny bit for her in the middle of the night so I walked it over for her. Her nurse told me they had given her 1 ml in a nipple and she took it. I was sleepy so I thought maybe I misunderstood her. Until the morning when we went in, they got her out and handed me the tiniest bottle with just a little in the bottom. She scarfed it and hasn’t looked back. Kelvin and I have each fed her twice now I think. She’s doing so good with it that they were able to cut back on her IV to the point they removed it last night. Between what she gets on her own power out of the bottle and the remainder we put down her tube, she’s being nourished.
Her only setback at this point is a little jaundice. Labs came back when I was there yesterday morning and she was right on the cusp of needing the blue light special. So I told Dr. R that I agreed that we should go ahead and start her on it so we can get her off it sooner. When we went back yesterday afternoon they had her on the billy pad, but it was inside her clothes, making her look like a little glow worm. It made her squint her eyes when we were holding her so Kelvin would put his hand to shield them so she would look at him. Spoiled already.
Being home is nice. Kelvin and mom fixed steaks and sliced potatoes for dinner last night and for dessert we had cake from my work shower that I Google video chatted into yesterday from room 311 at St Lukes. It was fun to peek in and watch the Lager’s open gifts. We actually stopped by my office on the way home to pick up the leftover cake and also brought home gifts. I think we’ll have a mini-shower this afternoon to open them so I can start on thank you notes when I have time between tasks.
It’s pretty crazy to me that this morning marks a week from the time I came in to triage to get checked and ended up admitted.
Things actually haven’t changed much since I’ve been here, and that’s the point. But i do have moments where I think there was some mistake and I’m here for nothing. My temperature is consistent, blood pressure is normal, and the monitoring they do on the bee for an hour every 4 hours looks great. So I sit here and wait — 10 more days.
I didn’t get an update posted last night for all the excitement. Mom flew in around 5p and Kelvin went to get her and grab dinner at 5 Guys. While he was gone they decided to close CW3 where I have been since they admitted me because I was going to be the only patient there and they can’t staff a private nurse for me. So my nurse packed up all my stuff and got me ready to move. After we ate they took me and my entourage to the regular maternity ward. I’m in a huge room that has a table & chairs, love seat, glider and stool. Not nearly as cozy as my other room, but this has definite party potential!
Things are good this morning. Still a little irritability, but no real organized contractions. I’m on the monitor now for my hour and bee’s heartrate looks like normal; just buzzing along.
I did make the mistake of telling the resident that it felt like i pulled my hamstring so she’s going to make me wear compression hose and use those inflatable boots some while i’m in bed. bleh.
Breakfast is served here. I better work on that so I’ll be hungry again when Kelvin goes to get our free Spicy Chicken Sandwiches from Chick-fil-a at lunch.
Have I really just spent five nights in the hospital? I guess it’s good time is going by relatively quickly. We had another good night last night and today has almost felt typical if I pretend this bed is my couch and that the short walk to the kitchen was my weekend run.
I had blood drawn at 3:30am this morning for them to check more closely for infection. I haven’t had any of the clinical signs showing up (fever, tender belly), so it was just a precaution. I was on the monitor for my hour at 11 when Dr B came by. We walked down the hall to the ultrasound room so he could take a look and check fluid levels. Things look about the same as on Tuesday when they admitted me so that’s a good thing. The bee has been very busy buzzing around today and even stuck a tongue out while we were watching on the ultrasound. I can imagine bee was also singing “nah-na-na boo-boo”.
In other exciting news, while I was gone I got clean sheets. It’s the little things really. Kelvin’s busy taking a nap in the daddy chair, and I’m partially paying attention to Star Wars while I lay here. Pretty typical Sunday afternoon.
It’s been a pretty quiet day around here, but pretty great too.
Dr. B, the perinatologist I met on Tuesday came by this morning to check in on me. He did reassure me that there really is a reason for me to be here; I was beginning to think this was a not so funny episode of Punk’ed. So if things stay quiet with us today they plan to do a blood panel tomorrow morning to check on things; particularly my white blood count to make sure we don’t have an infection setting in. He also said we would go around the corner and do an ultrasound to measure the fluid around the baby.
The latest hour on the monitor did show some contractions, and I am feeling them now. They’re not very strong or organized so we’ll hang tight and see what happens. Hopefully they’ll stop again for another day or two.
Kelvin brought duck pad thai from Thai Thai II for lunch and now we’re watching “Lockup” trying to decide if we should film our own version while I’m here. And while I know the baby news is the most important, Dr B also said Braut could come for a visit! Luckily Kelvin took him to the spa this morning for a bath and pedicure so he’s set to come see me today or tomorrow (if I’m not busy letting bee out of the hive).
The good news is we made it another night. The even better news (for me) is that I slept pretty well. As has become our custom already in this short stay, Kelvin tucked me in around 10 when the nurse came to hook me up to the monitors. I was awake until she came to free me at 11 and I went almost immediately to sleep. I was able to stay pretty much asleep when she put me back on at 3am and I was sleep when the resident came by around 5:15.
I did ask him about false positives, but he assured me they did three different types of tests and they were all positive. He was really nice about it; I’m sure I am not the first to lay here and wonder if there was a mistake. I just want to be assured that delivering the bee early is really necessary. The thought of wires coming out of my bee’s head and being hooked up to everything is more than I can really wrap my head around right now so I’m trying not to think about that until it’s a reality.
So we will see what Saturday brings; hopefully just a few visitors and some duck pad thai that Kelvin will bring for lunch. They have mentioned bloodwork and another ultrasound for this weekend, but I’m not sure when those will happen.
Did a happy dance (really more a happy wiggle in bed) around midnight as I was hooked up to the monitor listening to the bee buzz and we realized we made it to the 32 week mark. That was our second goal; first was to make it 48 hours from the time i was admitted to give the drugs the time they needed to work.
They’ve switched me to oral antibiotics and hopefully will take this line out of my hand at some point today. We will still monitor heart and contractions for an hour every four hours.
We did have a few contractions this morning but they have been mild and disorganized. And the bee seems to be sticking to our usual week day schedule: playing around 6:30 or 7am (that was one of the contraction times), attending morning “staff meeting” around 9 when some combination of Ken, John and Jason usually come by the office and we talk about the day’s tasks, and now around noon when mommy is getting hungry and there is no lunch being consumed.
So I sit here, continuing to try and get things tied up neatly for work while watching Paula Deen cover the top of a pie with a stick of butter. It was nice to see Jason and Tami last night (everyone has been talking about the beautiful roses they brought me), and it will be nice to see those of you wh0 said you would do the drop in this weekend.
Looks like grandma will be flying in Sunday afternoon whether the bee is or not. It’ll be good to have her here regardless of if she has to sit and stare at me for a couple of days or begin taking care of me as soon as she gets here.