Monday, November 24, 2008

Movin' on up!

Let me tell you something, this little girl of mine is amazing. Today I went in to see her, and she'd been moved again. No biggie, I checked the other bays -- but she wasn't in any of the usual places. Turns out she and her roommates have checked into the "high observation" nursery -- down the hall, right off the "well baby" nursery. She's moving on up!

She's also up to 5 lbs 1 oz, maintaining her body weight, and as alert and aware as any full-term newborn. I have to keep reminding myself that she's still a pipsqueak, and as strong as she seems, she's still fragile and sensitive to noise, light and germs. To me, she's huge; to anyone else, she's still terrifyingly small.

But she's so vocal! She lets me know when something's amiss, and when I fix it, she stops fussing. That's magic!

The other big news from today is that we're switching to "ad lib feeding." That means she eats ___(noun)___ whenever she ____(verb)____. No wait! that's "mad lib feeding." Ad lib feeding means she eats on demand, unless she doesn't demand anything for four hours (not likely). And it means she eats directly from me whenever possible, so whenever I arrive I can just whip off my shirt and let her go to town, and I don't have to make her stop for fear of exhausting her, nor do I have to wait for feedin' time. Let me tell you, this child likes to breastfeed, and she's not shy about it. Which helps my cows come home, so it's win-win.

This might be TMI, but they have these little thingers that go over my nipples to make them smaller. Apparently, the fact that she CAN open up her head like Ms. Pac-Man and get it all in there is all fine and dandy, but it's also exhausting. Making them smaller lets her get more without working so hard, and bonus: it hurts less. So she was able to feed a lot more efficiently. The downside to that is that she was concentrating so hard on the suck-swallow-breathe trifecta that she forgot how to keep her heart beating a couple times (totally normal, that's called a Brady, remember?), so with so many steps forward she took a little step back. Remember, she's supposed to still be in utero, so her "dumb preemie brain" still has to figure some stuff out, and we're giving her time to do that. It's no problem. We'll continue to let her breastfeed, and give her stimulation if necessary -- a jiggle or two does the trick.

If she were doing that while lying in her bassinette, it would be terrible. But we know why it's happening so we're just continuing to let her figure it all out, and in a day or so she'll have it down.

She's very close to being released, but it won't be this week. Okay. That's fine! I can see where we're going and what needs to happen. She's not getting the stupid tube down her throat anymore, or much less, so I'm OK. (She'll only eat by breast when I'm there, and we'll track her weight carefully to make sure she continues to gain. If not, we change the plan.)

All in all, she's doing fabulously well. Sorry for the lack of pictures -- i was literally falling asleep at the hospital and barely made it home with my eyes open, but had to check in with you people. Photos of last night's bath should be posted tomorrow.


Jessica, Mark & David said...

Penn is doing GREAT, Amy. You're nearly out of the woods. And she doesn't sound so TINY anymore. Heck, Davey was 5lbs 6oz when he was born 3 days early. She's nearly that big now. Yay!!

kg said...

Thank g-d for nipple shields, right? Sounds like Penn will be home with you in no time. Happy Thanksgiving! Love, Kar