Leapster “Chapter 3”

Last night the neonatologist informed us that we are on “chapter 3, feeding and growing”.  He says chapter one was the umbilical vein catheter and trying to decide if we needed to intubate (they didn’t, but it was scary to talk about).  Chapter 2 was the CPAP and she is finally off CPAP!

I can't get over all that hair. How did she have time to grow so much? If she'd been full term, she probably would have come out with a ponytail.

It’s been more than 24 hours since they took her off and her oxygen saturation hasn’t dropped below acceptable yet (obviously saturation fluctuates, but anything above 85% is considered normal and acceptable).  Also, unlike last time, she looks much more comfortable breathing, rather than worn out.

It is so much easier to bond with a baby when you can see her (and rub her fuzzy head. Her hair feels like a baby duck).

This was right after eating (still through a gavage tube, but now they are taking it in and out). Before she ate, she was looking around. The CPAP scrunched up her face and made it hard to open her eyes.

The next step, besides gaining weight and getting older (we were finally told she has to be 4 pounds and 35 weeks before she can be discharged) is learning to eat.  Babies start to consider this around 33-34 weeks (she’s 33 weeks on Thursday).  The nurse told me she hadn’t shown any cues of wanting to eat, but then when I was holding Leapster on my chest she was rooting (looking for a nipple) and licking me (they’d never heard of that before, but obviously my kid is a special flower like her mother).  She took a pacifier and sucked on it as soon as I offered it to her.  The neonatologist assures me that my chest is her UDF (United Dairy Farmers, it’s a chain around here) and she knows it.  Either way, I’m hoping she’ll take a bottle closer to 33 weeks than 34, but I guess there isn’t a huge rush since she’s in for at least another 2 weeks and that’s assuming she can put on a little more than pound that fast (she’s gained almost half a pound since she was born 13 days ago, so I’m thinking I shouldn’t get my hopes up).  And she has to wean from her incubator to an open crib at four pounds as well, which would mean we could pick her up whenever we wanted instead of having to ask a nurse.  It feels like forever, but I guess nothing lasts forever.

Anyways, I’ve foolishly committed myself to finishing my dissertation draft this week.  It’s time to stop procrastinating and just get it done.  If I want to keep my original defense date, then my boss needs time to edit before I have to turn in my manuscript around April 1.  It seems sensible to keep my defense date since we have no idea when she’ll be home and even if she has just come home by then, I’ll be fully recovered from delivery and I can just focus on her.  If I was able to, I’d move my date up to be sure of being done by the time she gets home, but that’s just plain impossible.  Also, I’ll be able to enjoy my family being here and my baby shower this weekend way more if I’m not worrying about finishing the stupid document.  For the record, my advisor approved chapters 1-4, so I just have to finish 5-6.  I can do this.

Thanks for all of your kind words and support the last few weeks.  I look forward to catching up on blogs once this draft is in.  I probably owe you all a photo tour of the house as well (someday we will be unpacked).  Also, it’s time to weigh in and start thinking about eating right and exercising.  Well, not exercising quite yet, but soon.  I hope. Turns out a quick grocery trip is excruciating and the stairs are still evil, so another month until exercise sounds about right.  At least my stomach is starting to shrink (the skin is weird and feels kinda bread doughy).

I love this face.


About Sarah S @RunningOnWords

Married 20-something in flux and trying to cope by running and occasionally crafting.
This entry was posted in Leapster, NICU, Parenting, Preemie. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Leapster “Chapter 3”

  1. I love when you leave us with strange mental images when you close a post.

    I’m so glad things are going well!

  2. Grace says:

    She’s a darling little person! So glad that she is doing well, and I hope she gains weight like a champion.

  3. michelle says:

    I’m thinking about you guys. I can’t believe how strong you are going through all this and a dissertation. You’re doing great! She’s so beautiful! ❤

  4. Army Amy says:

    I adore the picture of Leapster and your husband! Too cute!

    I’m sending you good vibes on your dissertation. I hope you turn into a typing maching and get ‘er done!*

  5. Kara says:

    I love that your husband flipped his tie over his shoulder to hold her. The same thing he would do to eat a steak dinner….hmmmmm. 🙂

    I expect to be running a half marathon by the fall. No pressure.

  6. Mandy says:

    I love being able to see her little face in the pictures!!!

  7. Terzah says:

    I think it’s so good you’re getting the big “D” done. It will keep your mind occupied, and then be out of the way when your little girl (who looks so good without so much in her face!) comes home to you.

  8. Look at her! Too cute! At least we know you haven’t lost your sense of humor! Now if only I were as smart as you and had done all the research, I could help you with the dissertation. I am excited to see you at the shower this weekend! 🙂

  9. Kate says:

    All exciting things here! I’m cheering for you to get that dissertation DONE. Get that sucker out of your life!

  10. TriGirl says:

    Leapster looks great 🙂 I hope that you’re able to get the dissertation off the table asap!

  11. Marcia says:

    Wow Wow Wow! Where have I been I missed all of this? I am caught up now. Congrats–Leapster is beautiful and a fighter and growing so nicely. All the best with everything and I hope that dissertation is off your plate soon!

  12. Laura says:

    I love that she knew just what to do when you were holding her… isn’t that amazing? I hope the next couple of weeks go quickly, I can’t imagine not having her home yet…but it’s encouraging that she’s doing so well. Speedy dissertation writing wishes for you!

  13. Hi, I stumbled across your blog when Megan but both of our names in a tweet. I haven’t read all your posts since your little girl was born yer but wanted to let you know I understand what you are going through.

    I went into my 35 week appointment and my son had also quit growing. I also had the high blood pressure. The admitted me and he was born on march 5th via csection. He weighed about 3.5 pounds. He has been in the NICU ever since. He actually had to be airlifted to the nearest NICU so it was a few days before i saw him again.

    And yes i agree the magnesium was pure hell.

    Sorry if there are a lot of typos. That happens sometimes when I respond on my phone.

  14. YAY for being on chapter 3! Sounds like she is doing so well! Good luck with your dissertation!

  15. Pingback: 2012, now with (some) new pictures | Running On Words

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