Monday, September 1, 2008

A Long and Even Better (Due) Day!

This post will hopefully explain why it took so long for me to post pictures and add details to Brian's story about Saturday night.

The 31st was Reese's due date! And it was a great day for all of us. First, I had called at 5 am to get an update on her (they say to call at anytime..and I'm up pumping then anyway) and was told that she was doing very well on the Oxygen and nasal canulla, but that they had changed her from low flow Oxygen (where she did most of the work herself), to liter flow (which involves more pressure sent in to open her lungs so she doesn't have to). Besides that minor change, Reese was doing great. As usual Brian and I left for the hospital and got there are 9:30. Today there was a new Doctor on duty, but he was very informative and gave us a few new bits of information....

1. Reese is now being "stepped down" on her sedation. As the Doctor said though, she's been on narcotics since she was born, so it's going to be a slow process. Brian overheard the new dosage for her medicine and asked how it was being stepped down (it sounded like more), but it was actually a smaller unit of medicine so it all made sense. She is definitely "waking up" from her little sedated state now.

2. She is being weaned off of her IV nutrition now! Today she was given a very tiny bit of my breast milk every three hours through a feeding tube. Right now the goal is to slowly get her off the IV food and start her on the breast milk completely over the next few days. It's not a quick process because we really need to look out for her stomach and digestive system. Once she's done here she moves to a bottle and then my breast. Our pediatrician always told us to let them settle on the breast for 4 weeks and then introduce the bottle (which is what we did with Wyatt), but this pediatrician said that after we get her on the breast it will be like she never had a bottle to begin with. They have great lactation consultants and occupational therapists to help with the breastfeeding. Plus, they told me the second time around only makes it easier on me. I can not wait until I can feed my girl for the first time! I was getting about 3 ounces at each pumping session before I held her last night, but I told Brian I really felt my milk come in after I held her. Now I'm at 5 to 5.5 ounces per pump. I think I'm building quite the supply! We witnessed her little sucking reflex today when they put a small amount of breast milk on her pacifier, she went to town!

3. Kangaroo care was introduced today. This is the part we're most excited about! The nurse asked the Doctor if we could try it and he said yes! Kangaroo care is basically skin to skin contact. It's great for bonding, but in cases of respiratory problems, it's also helpful for baby Reese to lay on my chest and feel the rhythm of me breathing. Not to mention how comforting it is for her to hear something she was so familiar with for nine months (my heartbeat). For two hours today I was able to lie in a chair and lay there with my baby resting on my chest. It was the best I've felt all week. Reese and I were both tired so we fell asleep for bits and pieces of the two hours. Brian said that's when we were both the most calm and that judging by her her respiratory rate it was great for her. During the periods of time that we both slept her rate fluctuated a lot less and at some points stayed within 5 breaths of each other for minutes. I felt bad for Brian just sitting there for two hours watching me hold her, but his reward was changing a pee pee diaper afterwards. Holding her for that long was absolute heaven. I just stared at her and cuddled and did my best to set a good example for her to breathe by.

4. The doctor mentioned that we may possibly be looking at 4 to 6 days to bring her home. Everything has to go well with these changes, so please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers. There's nothing we would love more than to bring our girl home when the time is right!

The kangaroo care session was from 4 to 6, so Brian and I went back briefly around 9:30 just because we don't like to go long periods of time without seeing her. The nurses keep telling me to rest my feet (I've got some serious cankles and swelling going on), but I'm drinking tons of water waiting for that pee to come where the fluids leave my body and I lose 20 least that's what happened with Wyatt! She was doing very well. She had been bathed, had another round of footprints taken, and she was weighed (7 pounds, 6.5 ounces) and measured (20 and a half inches long). She was awake, but the nurse said they planned on making it a low key night for her. No big changes, just some sleep and getting her rest!

*I just called and checked on her and she's doing very well tonght (I try to call and check on her when I'm up pumping in the middle of the night). Apparently there was a poopy diaper she didn't enjoy much, but no changes to her oxygen or anything! We'll go see her in a few hours!*

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