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!
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).
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).