Oh lordy, what a day. Sorry for the lack of pictures, but i'm exhausted, hooked up to a pump, and in a different room from my camera. Feh.
Anyway: Today was full of adventures. First, the kids came to the hospital, and Max held P again -- but this time wasn't scared, and totally said "I'll do whatever you say, tell me how to hold her" -- to ME! And not only that: both kids were so amazingly sweet with her, it gave my coal-black heart just the slightest smidge of hope that, you know, things could work out for all of us.
ptui ptui ptui
Anyway. When Randy and the kids left, the first thing that happened was that P lost the IV in her hand -- it started leaking, couldn't be saved, so it had to be removed. This left her with only on IV in her foot. I think we're all familiar with my thoughts on things being stuck in my daughter's hands and feet (and head), so I charmingly pointed out that I'd been told she'd probably be taken off the 4th medication tomorrow, so maybe we could hold off on trying to stick her again? So as of this moment she's only got the one IV. I'll investigate tomorrow.
Once that drama was over, Penelope was most definitely awake, so I stripped down for some breastfeeding practice. Let me tell you, the child is a breastfeeding genius. A champeen. If Bela Karolyi had been there, he would have been red-faced and cheering "she can do eeet!" She rooted, had her tongue in the right position, latched on and even sucked a bit, though you could tell it's still hard work for her. But it was amazing to see her do it. When she opens her mouth up, I sort of wonder: yawn, cry, or chomp? And it was always chomp. She was all about getting her food-friend positioned perfectly.
She's gaining weight like a champ, too: up 110 grams to 2100 since yesterday. Yesterday she had gained 60 grams since the day before, so that's quite a jump -- we checked 3 times to make sure, and yep. So while I can see that she's not maintaining her body temperature quite yet (that's one of the three main factors in determining that she can graduate from the NICU), if she continues to gain like this she'll be a nice little chubster in no time. Some of the preemie books say she can go from the isolette to the crib around 2000 grams, so I'm saying yeah, another day or two and they're going to start talking to me about it.
That's 4 lbs 10 oz, for those of you playing the home game. More than a pound gained since birth (3 lbs 7 oz), and very respectable if you ask me. It shows, too: Max had pictures from last visit on his phone, and seeing them side by side with current pictures was astounding.
But that's not all: After the nurses changed shift (7 to 8 pm), I went back in and after a while she woke up and was more alert than I have ever seen her. Not upset or angry, just gazing around, blinking, throwing her arms and legs in the air. So I asked if this was bath night, and it was: the babies are bathed every other night, spongebath style. Oh. My goodness. This baby LOVES the bath already, just like her cousin Harry.
First we picked her up and put one of those blue wee-wee pads under her. Then we got two bowls of warm water, one with soap, one for rinsing. Then she got all naked, no diaper, and the nurse and I lathered her up and wiped her off. Last was her beautiful hair, which I washed and then rinsed and then dried very well. Then the little hat went back on. Through it all she just kept looking around, happily, and was so comfortable she even pooped. Then we changed her leads (the little stickered-on montiors on her heart, belly and lungs) and covered her back up. Then her dad arrove in time to watch her eat (14ccs, with 2ccs residual from the last feed -- not too bad). Then we soothed her down, though she was still dozily awake when we left.
All in all, just a beautiful day.
Oh, but then there was this: When I was watiing to give her her sponge bath, she was being totally crazy -- rooting, moving her head around, and since she was on her belly, shoving her face into the blankets and chewing on them. I said, "This crazy girl is chewing on blankets." The nurse, who was attending to another kid at the time, said "Does she have her pacifier?" I said, "Oh right!" And she said "Or maybe you want her to keep chewing on blankets....?" I felt like such a dummy -- and the paci was EXACTLY what she wanted. Now that I'm trying to get her to breastfeed, I get why it's so good for her to have it -- she's learning to suck, and the more she has it, I think the more her muscles get used to that action. So ok! Pacifiers all around.