34 Weeks/3 Weeks

Did you know that preemies are still dated by gestational age until the hit full term (40 weeks)?  Well, now you do.  Anyways, Leapster hit 34 weeks gestation/22 days old on Thursday.

Anyways, 34 weeks is a really freakin’ big deal for a preemie.  Most preemies can maintain body temperature at that time, although my little peanut is, well, still too little (4 pounds is the rule of thumb and she’s only 3 pounds 8 ounces).  She did gain 3 ounces that day, though, meaning she’s within y ounces of being ready for an open crib.  34 weeks is also when the suck-swallow-breathe reflex develops, meaning it’s time to start trying bottle feeding.  I was told this might be delayed because Charlotte is still on oxygen, but I arrived at the NICU on Thursday (34 weeks) to find that her gavage tube was now in her nose instead of her mouth, which is usually done once babies are ready to try a bottle.

You are too young to worry about gaining that much weight.

Turns out I’d arrived just in time to try her first bottle.

She was hesitant and mostly chewed on it a little, but she got 5 mL of 29 mL down, which is still a start.  Until she can do 29 mL in a sitting, she only gets one bottle a day, but at least she tried.  And her oxygen stayed up, meaning she can suck-swallow-breathe at the same time, which is huge.

She mostly stayed awake. I may had had to blow on her forehead a few times to wake her up.

And the day just kept getting better.  Turns out our NICU’s dirty little secret is that there is a HIPPA compliant “west wing” (the main room is not HIPPA compliant and is pretty overcrowded and miserable).  The west wing is just a room that holds four babies, but it’s palatial compared to the regular NICU.  We have our own space with a curtain we can pull so I can pump whenever I need to at her bedside.  We were transferred a few hours after her bottle and I feel like I died and went to heaven.  It’s the next best thing to her being home.

So to summarize, at 34 weeks/3 weeks she took a bottle, gained a pound above her birth weight, and got moved to the room for easy healthy babies that are considered low risk.  I’m impressed kid.

It's exhausting being this awesome.

She’s also had her oxygen turned down for the last 24 hours.  The next step will be for it to come completely off, but mom isn’t quite ready for that.  Last time she really struggled with it off and it made her so tired, so I begged them to leave it on a little longer since I couldn’t stand to watch her fail again.  It’s not like we were leaving anytime soon, so there isn’t a huge hurry.

Next we’ll keep trying bottles, show her a boob and see if she’ll take it, and mostly just wait until she’s 4 pounds and can try an open crib.


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 34 Weeks/3 Weeks

  1. She is making great progress, Sarah! She is just so stinkin’ cute! I love reading about her progress. The way she is going, she will be home in no time!

  2. Terzah says:

    I think I’m always online right when you post. I promise I’m not stalking you!

    WELL! So she’s strong like you. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I’m so happy. What an awesome day.

  3. Alyssa says:

    That’s so weird that they are still dated like that! She is adorable. You and your husband are being so strong. Sounds like she’s making great progress!

  4. Mandy says:

    I can’t even begin to describe how happy this post makes me!!! I love seeing you give her a bottle. LOVE.

  5. lcbilovesky says:

    “Show her a boob and see if she will take it.” That has got to be the best line ever. Or am I just 12?

    I am so happy to hear all this!! Glad she is doing well!! WOOHOO for privacy!

  6. megangwen314 says:

    So glad that Charlotte is doing so well! I keep praying for you all.

  7. Army Amy says:

    Yeay! Sounds like this was a good week! I did know that NICU babies are referred to by their gestational age because my bff’s baby (she was born on the 13th), ended up in the NICU. She was born at 34 weeks, so she was almost fully cooked. They weren’t in the NICU long, but seeing them go through that hurt my heart. I have mad respect for you. Keep hanging in there!*

  8. Kara says:

    I love her little pink bow! She is such a little fighter, I bet she’ll be sucking down bottles in no time!

  9. Kari @ Running Ricig says:

    That is awesome news!!

  10. Laura says:

    Such great news! That’s a great start with the bottle… and what a treat to have your own space.

  11. Kathy R says:

    Oh, this is a major turning point – certainly a reason to celebrate!!
    Well done to you and your strong little Charlotte – officially a “grower” in NICU lingo!

  12. kat9365 says:

    So glad to hear that she is doing well!!!! What a little trooper 🙂

  13. Kate Sullivan says:

    I just grin like an idiot reading your updates these days. I love that we can see how fast she’s growing!! It sounds like she’s doing wonderful things and I’m so happy to hear it!

  14. Yay Leapster! Like Kate said, I too grin like an idiot! LOL! She is just so sweet and so strong! Glad you are in your own space now and you can be more comfortable!

  15. I love her outfit and her cute little bow! I think when you show Leapster the boobie that she’s totally going to take it! 😉

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