Friday, September 28, 2012

Coming Home

On Tuesday, September 18, Lydia came home from the NICU. She was there for 33 days. I've already received the hospital bill, and it is 25% more than I expected it to be. She is totally worth it!

The day before Lydia came home, she had to do the car seat test where she sits in her car seat hooked up to the monitors for 30 minutes. The test is used to verify that premature babies can breathe normally in the semi-reclined position of the car seat. She slept through the whole thing and passed with flying colors. This challenge was her last hoop to jump through in order to home.

She looks so tiny in the car seat!
Sleeping soundly.

 On Tuesday I was super excited all day. I was taking my baby home. The hours flew by and soon Chip arrived in Tupelo to take us home.
Last photo in the NICU crib.
The trip from the NICU down the elevator to the car was just as eventful to Lydia as the drive home was. Since her birthday she had never been out of the incubator, crib, a chair where we fed her, or a bathtub. She was wide-eyed and alert, taking it all in as nurse Cami pushed her on a cart through the hospital. She was out in the world for the first time.

These hands, I love them.

 The car ride home was another big new experience for Lydia. You could see the wonder and amazement on her face as she heard cars and felt the speed of our car increase and decrease.
"What was that?"

I relished in watching her reactions to it all. Even the way that the sun filtered in through the windows as the road took turns was a new experience for her. It was fascinating. She listened and watched for about 15 minutes then fell asleep. Peacefully drifting off to sleep. Safe. Alone with her parents for the first time since her birth.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Happy, Happy News

Lydia is doing great in the crib! She has maintained her temperature swaddled in a big blanket with another one over the top, socks, and a little hat from Aunt Kelly.

Yesterday at the hospital we got the great news that she could be coming home as early as Wednesday, September 19.

Lydia's doctor called me this morning and said that she may be ready on Tuesday! I am so excited! I am feeling so many emotions right now, but the greatest is a feeling of THANKFULNESS that my beautiful little baby is healthy and has grown strong so quickly. I blessed beyond belief.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Big Moves

My baby is in a crib! My favorite nurse convinced the doctor that 1700 gram Lydia was ready to graduate from the incubator to a crib. We'll be monitoring her closely today to make sure she is maintaining a good temperature.

Being in a crib means real clothes (!) and her own baby blankets! I got to dress her in a sweet little pink dress today. Thanks, Ginger!

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Half a pound of tuppenny rice...

Half a pound of treacle.
Mix it up and make it nice,
Pop! goes the weasel.

Half a pound! That's all my baby needs to gain before she graduates to a crib! Once she gets to the crib she'll be monitored for a few days to verify that she can maintain her body temperature. Once she can then she gets to come home!

That is the last test that she has to pass. The other tests -- breathing/apnea/bradycardia, eating, digesting, steady weight gain -- she has already passed. Dr. Darling thinks it could be less than two weeks from now. I certainly hope so, but I'm still taking things one day at a time. It freaks me out to look at a calendar and see the weeks and days in front of me.

She is up a POUND from her birthweight -- from 2 pounds 10 ounces to 3lbs 10oz.
She has grown almost an inch -- from 15 inches to 15 6/8".

Thanks, y'all, for the tips and suggestions on how to beat this yeasty stuff. I'm thinking I've got it beaten now. The lactation consultant will visit again today, and hopefully I can nurse Lydia again. Whoo-hoo!

Here are some photos of our little booger from last night at the nicu. Chip left work early, and we drove over to Tupelo for the 5:30pm and 8:30pm feedings.

Just had to throw in this one of her blonde blonde hair -- just like Daddy's.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Look Who Is 3 Weeks Old!

This beautiful girl!

She has made so much progress over the past few days. Her weight today is 3 pounds 5 ounces. She had been up to 3 lbs 7 oz on Thursday, but she lost a little due to a couple other progressions.

Her feeding tube was removed on Wednesday because she was doing so well with eating. That means she's bottle feeding eight times a day which does take some extra calories. Her doctor increased her milk intake today, so she'll get 32 mLs every three hours. Also, baby girl breast fed for the first time on Wednesday. It was tough for her to figure out how to latch on at first, and of course that wasted some calories, too. But, once she (and I) got the hang of it, she did great.

WARNING!!! Lots of breast commentary follows, so just stop reading right now if you would rather not know about this stuff!

The bad news is that the lactation nurse told me that I have a slight nipple yeast infection. Yes, it sounds totally disgusting, but it isn't that bad because I didn't even realize anything was wrong. I have been a little sore, but I thought it was due to all the pumping I am doing. So, the lactation nurse had me contact my doctor to get some drugs for it, but she also gave me some advice on how to avoid getting these, and I found a few more fun tips on the web.

1. Limit your sugar, dairy, and alcohol intake. Avoid cheese, wheat, and flour products.
--> Oh goodie! So basically I can eat meat and veggies. BORING! No sugar or milk in my cappuccino? This girl does not drink black coffee... Guess I'll be buying soy milk and living without the sugar. No pie? The hospital makes delicious chocolate and pecan pies. What am I supposed to eat with my apples if I can't have cheese? No WINE? Getting to drink wine again was the silver lining to this rain cloud that follows me around these days!

2. Apply white vinegar to nipples with a clean cotton ball before and after each feeding/pumping to prevent yeast growth.
--> Great, so not only will my boobs smell like a salad bar, but this adds another 5 minutes to each pumping session. 7 x 5 = 35 more minutes out of my day just to spread vinegar on my tits.

3. Sunbathe your nipples for 10 minutes, twice a day. Expose all undergarments, and breastfeeding equipment with direct contact to the breasts to sunlight.
--> I spend 10 sunlit hours of each day in the car or at the NICU. So either the hospital needs to give me rooftop access to sunbathe or I need to drive to/from Tupelo with my breasts exposed. Actually, the multi-tasker in me is really drawn to the second option, but the highway patrol might not like it too much. And the other thing... 20 minutes per DAY? Add that to the 35 I will spend applying vinegar, and we are now up to almost an hour a day I have to carve out to manage this crap.

4. Boil all pump parts daily for 20 minutes until yeast is gone.
--> Yay! Now we're up to an hour and a half!

5. Wash all clothing, towels, and undergarments that come in contact with yeast in HOT water after each use.
--> Just what I was hoping to do... more friggin laundry.

6. Increase rest and decrease stress.
--> This is by far my favorite... When do I rest when I drive 2 hours a day, spend 8 at the NICU, pump for 4 hours at home, do laundry daily, and of course there is eating and showering, etc... ?

All kidding aside, I've added probiotics to my diet, have tried to cut down on carbs and sugar, and my doctor prescribed some diflucan. Things are looking better already!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Saturday, September 1

Today Lydia weighs 3 lbs 3 oz. She is now eating 30 mls per feeding -- that's 1 fl. ounce! 8 ounces a day!

Chip fed her today, and I got to hold her for almost an hour.

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