Archive | June 2015

Transition

The big news of today is that Little Miss Minion is officially double her birth weight! Born at 1 pound 14 ounces. Tonight she is 3 pounds 12.7 ounces!

She was moved to the stepdown unit yesterday after I posted. She’s in a temp room right now, and then we are moving tomorrow into a room with a window. It will be nice to see the sun again, and she is developmentally ready for day and night cycles now. Her eyes seem to focus on things now, like our faces. I feel like she can look at us and actually see us now.

Breastfeeding attempt number 3 was mostly a nap. She was very awake and alert when Mr Minion held her earlier, and then I tried to feed her and she fell asleep. So the new plan is to try and feed her whenever she looks awake, whether it’s time for her scheduled feeding or not.

Looking forward to the window tomorrow!

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Moving on Up

Little Miss Minion is now a resident of the stepdown NICU!!! She’s in a temporary room right now and they are moving her on Monday to her permanent room with a window!

She weighs 3 pounds 11 ounces today. We tried to breastfeed again but she was trying to poop at the same time, so it didn’t really work. She’s not too great at multi tasking lol.

So excited about the move! The nurses say she could be going home in 4 to 6 weeks. So happy!

Baby Steps

They took Little Miss Minion’s nasal cannula out yesterday afternoon. The cannula was only there to help keep her lungs open. She handled it very well, even though I was watching the monitors and waiting for her to desat. They were hoping to see how she did and maybe try oral feeding later next week.

She did so awesome for the rest of the day yesterday that they said she could try practicing today. The lactation consultant got us all set up and LMM did perfectly!  I get to do it once a day until she gets used to it.

They think we might get to move to the stepdown unit soon! Baby steps will get us home in about 4-6 weeks!

Lucky

This morning, I was really crabby. I’m stressed about how Little Miss Minion is doing (she’s totally fine, making great progress) just because she’s so small. I worry about how this will affect her in the future. Will she have hearing problems? Vision problems?  A learning disability or a physical disability?  I get angry walking to the NICU through the hospital lobby because I see so many still – pregnant women and I think “that should be me” and “LMM wouldn’t need to be in the NICU if I was still pregnant.” Those same women are often complaining about how miserable they are and how they wish they could just have the baby tomorrow. I would give anything to have kept her in a little while longer, but it wasn’t healthy or safe for either of us.

So instead of focusing on how I wish things would have gone or things should be, I’m going to try to focus on how incredibly lucky we are.

I’m lucky that my doctors are very good at their jobs. That they saw the preeclampsia brewing almost a month before she was born. That they made me do weekly testing to see how it was progressing. Preeclampsia has no cure other than delivery, so is important to monitor for changes.

I’m lucky my doctor put me on bedrest, even though it turned out to be 2 days. Those 2 days took stress off my kidneys and therefore off LMM.

I’m lucky that steroid shots exist, and that I was able to get some in April and a booster round before she was born.

I’m lucky that I picked such a good hospital to deliver in, even though I needed it 3 months early. The NICU is the best in the area and we weren’t separated after she born.

I’m lucky that she’s such a fighter. 1 pound 14 ounces of ferocious determination.

I’m lucky to have my husband, who helped me get through the emergency C Section and everything afterward. Who keeps the house running and keeps us running.

I’m lucky that so many people literally around the world were praying for her during her birth and after. I can’t think of any other reason why a baby born at 28 weeks exactly would be able to breathe on her own and not need a ventilator. It’s very rare for that to happen.

I’m lucky I got 2 days of magnesium exposure for her. It kept me from having strokes or seizures and it helped protect her brain from bleeding and cut her chances of getting cerebral palsy.

I’m lucky that I noticed the lack of movement on her fetal monitor. I’m lucky they sent a team to do an ultrasound on her. I’m lucky they conferred immediately with my high risk medical team. I’m lucky they decided to get her out when they did. Another day would probably have meant one or both of us wouldn’t be here.

I’m lucky.

Father’s Day

It’s looking like Little Miss Minion probably doesn’t have an infection. She looks good, her monitors look good. They are waiting on blood tests and cultures to come back before they stop the antibiotics. She had her feeds started again, since they had stopped those due to her intolerance of the fortifier. They won’t try that again for a couple weeks.

She dropped .7 ounces, so she’s down to 3 pounds 7 ounces. She didn’t eat anything for a day, so that explains the weight loss.

We painted coat 1 of 2 in the nursery yesterday. It looks pretty good. We need to do the trim as well, since the yellow makes it look dingy. It’s 80s white, which is really not white. Now all we need to do is get all her stuff up there, wash all her clothes, buy the things we didn’t get, and get it all put away. We’re working with about 20 minutes of time a day for about 6 weeks, which is hopefully when we can expect her to be coming home.

I gave Mr Minion his father’s day gifts this morning before we came up. I got him a nice pair of slippers, since he wore his old ones out while I was in the hospital. I also got him some good coffee, a t shirt that says “Daddy since 2015” and two daddy books he can read to her once she’s out of her isolette. I made pancakes with sweet potatoes in them for breakfast, since he’s always asking me to make pancakes and he loves sweet potatoes.

He is kangarooing her now, so I think I’m going to take advantage of this nice, quiet, dark room and go for a nap. It’s been another busy weekend.

One Step Back

They started an IV again because LMM has been having trouble maintaining normal body temperature. She was cold, then hot, then her blood work came back and they are giving antibiotics again on the off chance that she is developing another infection. They were adding fortifier to her breast milk and that made her gassy and bloated, on top of whatever else might be wrong. That’s been stopped for now.

I got to give her a touch hold while they put in her IV. She didn’t cry, which was good. She was definitely angry about it though, which is good. Now she keeps swinging her arm around, all taped up with the IV, with this look on her face like, “wtf? We were done with these?”

They are doing blood cultures and lots of other tests to check for infection. She will have antibiotics for at least 2 days, until the results come back.

Tonight, Mr Minion and I are painting the nursery. I will be cooking lots of dinners to freeze to bring to the hospital and helping paint while things cook in the oven. We are going to order pizza, watch a movie, and maybe have drinks. I’ll be having a small one, since I’m pumping. One of our friends gave us a bottle of chocolate martini mix and a big bottle of vodka at the shower, so we will probably break into that tonight.

She weighs 3 pounds, 7.7 ounces today. Only a couple more ounces until she doubles her birth weight. I’m very excited.

Tomorrow is father’s day and I’m so excited to give Mr Minion his gifts. I’ll have to update on that tomorrow. Time to start working on thank you cards from the shower.

Day 37

Today’s stats: day 37 in the NICU. LMM is 33 weeks and 1 day gestational. 5 weeks old yesterday. She weighs 3 pounds and 6.7 ounces, a little over 15 inches long.

This has been a great week for LMM. She got her finished her last dose of antibiotics and got her picc line out on Wednesday, which means no more IV pole. I got to lift her up out of her isolette that evening for massage. Normally, the nurse has us sit down and then they lift her up and arrange her on us.

The massage was awesome because we haven’t been able to really touch her since she can’t process it. I got to do her head, her back, her arms, and her neck/shoulders. They are coming back next week to do her front half. Preemies can’t handle lots of stimulation so it’s important to let them tell you what works and what doesn’t. During the massage, her heart rate was good, her respiration was great, and her blood oxygen levels were excellent. She really seemed to like it.

Today, she has decided to attempt to crawl up her SnugliĀ  (kind of like a little bed inside her isolette) and suck on the covers. She isn’t strong enough to pull herself up and she’s tucked in anyway, but it’s very entertaining to watch. She’s very determined. She rolled herself halfway out earlier.

She has now given up or tired herself out trying to escape. Picking her head up is a big deal, especially being a Preemie. She was facing to the right, and she picked it up to face center, then held it there while she was trying to move, then turned it to the left and settled it in to be comfortable. Great developmental movement.

She’s going to be a handful.